Convertional B&W papers for Contacts

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by RAP, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. RAP

    RAP Member

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    It seems to me from the discussion that AZO is the only paper available for contact printing. Why then can't you use regular, conventional fiber based papers to make contact prints?
     
  2. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    You can use regular papers for contact printing. Many people do it, including me. The reason you hear so much about Azo is because it was specifically created for contact printing, and gives such good results.
     
  3. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    As Steve said, you can use regular papers for contact printing. No problem. I did that myself for a number of years. But if you want the best prints that can be made from your negatives, you will want to print them on Azo. Why? Better tonal range. Deeper blacks. More glow. More "presence." Outside of that, I guess there is nothing else. Oh, yes, one more thing. Contact printing on Azo is a lot easier than contact printing on enlarging paper. Because of the long tonal scale of Azo, there is only about 20% of the dodging and burning required than is required on other papers. And as a result, printing on Azo will enable you to print negatives that are otherwise unprintable. I could go on and on. I have already: see www.michaelandpaula.com. Look under "Azo" for my articles and those of others and for the "Azo" forum.

    Michael A. Smith
     
  4. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    As a pretty committed contact printer, I can tell you that OF COURSE you can use trad papers for contacting. And they look great. Azo is neutral at best and a little blue or green if not toned or developed exactly right, so contacting on a warmer paper can make more sense especially when photographing people.

    One thing I have come to notice through experience is that graded papers seem much sharper than VC papers. Visibly sharper. You might try Oriental and Ilford's Ilfobrom, both of which I have had very good luck with.

    An 8x10 contact on a graded paper (especially Azo) is undeniably a contact. An 8x10 contact on a VC paper is very sharp and glowy, but to my eye is indistinguishable from a 4x5 enlarged to 8x10.

    dgh
     
  5. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I've found that next to Azo, I get the prints most pleasing to me with the Bergger papers. Their film is very good, but there are lots of other films that I like. Their papers, however, stand head and shoulders above all others save Azo to my eyes.
     
  6. RAP

    RAP Member

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    Thanks for the feed back. I was always surprised how some negatives printed so well when I used to contact proof them, now I just scan them. From what I have read, AZO seems to have many of the qualities all b&w papers should have, full range of tones, deep rich blacks and a glow. Now if somebody would just make it more suitable for enlarging and in the standard sizes, I would try it.

    Bergger papers may be what I will try next. Though why would they ship boxes with only ten to 25 sheets per box? It does not make sense. Plus with their Siver Supreme, only make two sizes and one contrast.

    I do not use VC papers. I have used the long gone Dupont papers, Varigam, and observed the same thing, not as sharp, plus blacks that are not as deep and rich as graded papers. In all that I have read about AA, I have never read of a print he did on VC papers. Though in his darkroom book, there is a shot of his darkroom and an enlarger with an old VC head.
     
  7. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  8. RAP

    RAP Member

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    The sharpest paper I have ever seen was the now gone Zone VI Brilliant graded. Great seperations all zones, especially in V and lower. Since Fred sold oout Calumet, the paper died, and now that Fred is gone, maybe Bergger is picking up the torch.

    How does Bergger compare to Zone VI graded? Anybody do that comparison?
     
  9. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Well, I'm tempted to say that Bergger is miles away better, but it would be a deceptive answer to your question because I always hated the Zone VI paper. If I had to compare Bergger to any now gone papers of yore I think I'd have to say that it's closest to the old graded Ilford Galerie.
     
  10. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    I am new to contact printing. I have consider using Azo but it is very expensive to buy and ship to the UK, maybe I'll try it when when I have more experience?

    I have just started using Bergger Art Contact 2, which may not be available in the USA yet? I processed two prints in Dektol, one of which I Seleniun toned (3mins@1:20).

    The untoned print is a very beautiful cold blue, which may not be to everyone's taste, but I like it. The toned print is fairly neutral. Both are very sharp and have great depth.

    Worth a try when it's available.

    Barry
    UK
     
  11. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    J & C photography have a paper called Foma Fomatone MG 131. They state it is really a contact paper and is very reasonably priced.

    See the details at http://jandcphotography.com/Photopapers.htm

    Also a these folks are a source of old, silver rich type films in many sizes.

    Mike
     
  12. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (BarryWilkinson @ May 4 2003, 04:32 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>I am new to contact printing. I have consider using Azo but it is very expensive to buy and ship to the UK, maybe I'll try it when when I have more experience?

    Barry
    UK</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Nothing has improved my photography faster and more profoundly in every aspect than learning to print large format negatives on Azo developed in amidol. I'm a better printer, much better at exposing and developing film and my photographic vision is infinitely more meaningful. Also, I use literally one tenth as much paper now to get a fine print as I used to with enlarging paper. Never more than 5 sheets, usually 3. Working with Azo has improved my enlarging, too. I submit that it's the most economical paper you can use. The initial investment is higher in order to get some into your darkroom (especially since you really need both grades from the gitgo), but if you contact print large format negatives you'll never use anything else once you try it. I'm sure Michael and Paula would be happy to ship it to you the least expensive way.
     
  13. durrago

    durrago Member

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    JandC also has polywarmtone paper listed. Including 8x10 100 sheet boxes. I assume this is the same as what Fotoimpex has been selling for years and is the same as Bergger VCCB but much cheaper.
     
  14. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (c6h6o3 @ May 4 2003, 10:06 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Nothing has improved my photography faster and more profoundly in every aspect than learning to print large format negatives on Azo developed in amidol...</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>

    I think I shall be trying Azo sooner rather than later.

    Thanks

    Barry
     
  15. RAP

    RAP Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (c6h6o3 @ May 1 2003, 09:29 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> If I had to compare Bergger to any now gone papers of yore I think I'd have to say that it's closest to the old graded Ilford Galerie. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    If you are referring to the old Ilfobrom from back in the late 70's early 80's, that was a great paper! One of the best I ever used. Nice long full range of tones. The paper tone well in selenium, getting deeper and richer the longer you toned it. It also responded well to home brew developers. I used to used things like potassium bromide, sodium carbonate and glycin to alter contrast and print color.

    If Bergger is anything like Ilfobrom, then I will try it.
     
  16. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (RAP @ May 7 2003, 02:52 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> If you are referring to the old Ilfobrom from back in the late 70's early 80's </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    No, I was referring to Ilford Galerie. That's why I typed "Ilford Galerie". I've never used Ilfobrom.

    It responded to selenium toner in a unique way in that you got a noticeable deepening of the blacks without toning the highlights. It was virtually impossible to overtone. Ilford still markets Galerie but they've changed it and it doesn't seem to yield the wonderful tones I got with it 10 years ago.
     
  17. RAP

    RAP Member

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    I have used Ilford Gallerie and I believe they also call it Ilfobrom Gallerie. Whatever, I have also used it 10 to 15 years ago, and even then, it did not match the quality of Ilfobrom. I have prints of the same negative on the two papers and the Ilfobrom is far and away superior.

    I have found that the Oriental Seagull graded papers have similiar qualities as Ilfobrom. Especially with the toning.