I tried Michael Smith's method with Azo

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by edbuffaloe, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. edbuffaloe

    edbuffaloe Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, Texa
    This weekend I tried Michael Smith's amidol formula, and adopted his method of giving very full exposure, then developing for one minute or less. I have to say, these are the best prints I've ever made on Azo. They have remarkable separation in the high values, remarkable detail in the low values, and the reduced development time prevents the print tone from becoming blue. I toned these prints for one minute in Kodak selenium toner (1+15), which took away the greenish cast and gave them the most neutral tone I have yet achieved with Azo. So far, Smith's recommendations have been right on.
     
  2. avandesande

    avandesande Member

    Messages:
    1,246
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tijeras, NM
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ed, welcome to the club! I have been messing around with different types of contact printing for a year, and have taken Michael's advice only with a grain of salt.
    After I personally went to see his prints, I was blown away.
    When I finally followed his advice and methodologies, my results were suddenly much improved. I can't repeat enough that excitement over his techniques is well deserved.
    --Aaron
     
  3. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Michael and Paula are the best friends photography can ever have. What other world class photographic artists are willing to share their techniques and materials with anyone who displays an interest? I can't think of one. All the others have their "secrets", which to me almost always boils down to "secret gimmicks". Not these guys. I only wish I had paid more attention to Michael's advice months ago.
     
  4. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

    Messages:
    963
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Great minds think alike, Ed. I printed some of my older 8x10 negatives last weekend, using Michael's Amidol formula for the first time. Really good results. Much better than the amidol formulae available from Photographer's Formulary.

    For those who would like to try this amidol formula, but don't have a scale, i.e., don't mix their own, be aware that Michael Jacobson at ArtCraft Chemicals will measure the individual chemicals in 1 or 3 liter quantities and pack it up in indivdual packets. All you have to do is pour it into water and go. Michael was great to deal with and his prices are very competitive.

    My 8x10s were shot with a range of films, HP5, Tri-X, BPF, Delta 100, etc. One thing I noticed was that my pictures shot with Agfapan 100 and developed in pyro were orders of magnitude better than anything else I had used, in terms of local contrast and shadow detail. Unfortunately, APX100 is no longer made in sizes larger than 4x5. My new default is Fuji Acros 100 in 8x10 but it is very expensive and fairly slow. I'd love to hear if anyone has a good alternative. thanks.
     
  5. LFGuy

    LFGuy Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Tom Duffy @ Dec 16 2002, 07:39 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>One thing I noticed was that my pictures shot with Agfapan 100 and developed in pyro were orders of magnitude better than anything else I had used, in terms of local contrast and shadow detail. </td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    I'll agree, APX 100 + pyro + Azo is a good mix, my favorite for 4x5.
     
  6. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    It is good to learn about your success with my Amidol formula, Ed. I'm puzzled about the selenium though. We use it 1:128. At 1:15 I would think it would tone too much. I mention this in my article "On Printing." Whatever works, however.

    Many thanks to all for your kind comments.7

    Michael A. Smith
     
  7. edbuffaloe

    edbuffaloe Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, Texa
    Michael,
    I simply used selenium at my normal dilution. I knew it was a relatively strong solution for a chloride paper, so I watched the toning process very carefully and pulled the print before it started turning purple. I'm sure I could find it on your site, but how long do you tone in the 1:128 dilution? Do you get a neutral color, or...
    Ed
     
  8. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Hi Ed,

    1:128 for 3 minutes at room temperature, which is usually around 70 degrees. The information is at the end of my article "On Printing."

    Michael A. Smith
     
  9. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Hi Ed,

    1:128 for 3 minutes at room temperature, which is usually around 70 degrees. The information is at the end of my article "On Printing."

    Michael A. Smith
     
  10. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Whoops. Don't know how that last one was posted twice.

    Yes, we get a neural color. TRhe slight greenish tint gets cut just enough.

    Michael A. Smith