Difference between Velox and Azo?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by PHOTOTONE, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    There is so much interest in the discontinued Azo contact paper, yet no one ever mentions Kodaks other discontinued years ago contact paper Velox. I wonder just how good or bad it was compared to Azo. I remember my first darkroom home processing kit came with a teeny-tiny package of Velox for making contact prints of my 120 size negtatives. I cannot judge from my first stumbling results the potential of that paper. I would assume Velox was targeted at the amateur market, and Azo was targeted at the professional market, but as we know from Verichrome Pan, being an amateur product does not mean inferior quality. I loved Verichrome Pan and used it for many professional images over the years.
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Actually, Velite was more of an analog to Azo than Velox. Velox was almost enlarging speed, while Velite was able to be handled in dim room lights. Velite and Azo were considered gaslight papers.

    PE
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I also remember Velox from my first home processing kit.

    I think Velox was used more as a proofing medium and for prints in quantity. My grandfather used to be a newspaper journalist, and he always called the proofs they used in the newsroom "Veloxes."
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Well, actually I was referring to the "image quality" rather than a comparison of speed. Were Velox, Velite and Azo all silver chloride papers?
     
  5. lee

    lee Member

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    David,

    when I first started in the graphic arts field the term "Velox" was used for prints made in the darkroom with halftone line screens and then pasted down on a layout board and then re-photographed so that everything was "in position" for a page negative. From that page neg a plate was burned and developed then hung on an offset press. I would bet the term is now gone.

    lee\c
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think that's what they were. He showed me some of them when I was a kid and he took me on a tour of the printing plant, and he had some--mostly sports photos--in his collection of memorabilia from his newspaper days (he eventually went into PR).
     
  7. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Velox was 2-3 stops faster than Azo. It was primarily made for the print finishing industry as it was available in long rolls to fit automatic processing machines. Almost every "drug store" print was made on Velox.
    Velox was much colder than AZo. It was only made in single weight, glossy - "F", while Azo was considered a higher quality paper and available in "F" or "G", IIRC.
    Print quality was equivalent to Azo.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Velite was an economy version of Azo, but Velox was never considered a companion to either product. It was, as noted above, used in rolls. Azo came in 19 surfaces and 4 grades, Velite came in 1 surface and 2 grades or 3 IIRC. Velox was a unicontrast paper (not to be confused with VC papers) which was used by the photofinishing and printing trade. IDK how many different grades and surfaces Velox came in but I suspect it was only SW Glossy.

    Velite was discontinued in the late 40s or mid 50s. Velox was made in the mid 50s and late 50s IIRC.

    I know nothing about the formulas of Velite and Velox. I suspect that Velite was a chloride similar to Azo, but slower.

    PE
     
  9. Terence

    Terence Member

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    There were automatic processing machines in the 1950's? Learn something new every day. I would have been almost 20 years off guessing when they became widespread.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, Pako and Kodak made printers and processing equipment for the photofinisher market even in the 40s. I've used much of it. One 'automated' machine processed single sheets of any size from 3x4 up to about 11x14 or so. It used baskets on chains.

    We even processed early Type C color paper in this old machine. It functioned flawlessly.

    PE
     
  11. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Velox came in two variations. The one the ordinary hobbiest saw was about three time the speed of Azo - a normal contact paper speed. Velox Rapid was about three times as fast as Velox and was designed for use in photofinishing machines that produced small enlargements. Velite was a very slow paper. As I recall, the recommended safelight was a 60 watt incandescent bulb at six feet. You exposed it using a photoflood lamp at close range then developed it normally. Kodak also made Athena, a warm tone contact paper, Illustrator's Azo, a slightly warmer Azo, and Resisto, a resin coated Azo. Kodak Opal, a versatile enlarging paper, was slow enough to use for contact printing with reduced illumination in the printer. Most other photo manufacturers also made contact papers, Ansco Convira and Cykon being most notable.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Agfa Lupex was their Azo work-alike.

    Yes, I remember Velox Rapid. I used many rolls of that while working for a photofinisher. But shortly after I started working there, they changed names and I've been trying to remember what they called it. I realized that the changeover was so early in my 'career' that I had forgotten about the difference in name, but I've also forgotten the name of the replacement paper.

    PE