Printing 30 yr old Azo

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Silverpixels5, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Anybody have tips on printing 30 yr old Azo? I won some developing trays on ebay and the guy threw in some extras, one of them being a box of 4x5 Azo that expired in '73. The box has been opened, but is still pretty full. I have no idea of what condition it was stored in for the past 30 yrs. Any suggestions?
     
  2. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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    I have some Azo that expired in 1969. Works just as well as the new stuff. If you develop it in Dektol or Zone VI, it will be very cold blue color. I use Amidol, but others have used Agfa Neutol WA and liked it.
     
  3. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Dektol has been getting on my nerves lately, and so I'm going to be trying Ansco 130. I also may give it a try in Rodinal 1:10 as discussed in a previous post. Thanks for the insight! :smile:
     
  4. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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    I'd like to know what you think of Azo in Ansco 130.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     
  5. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    No prob...I should have the materials for it sometime next week, and I'll post my results shortly thereafter.
     
  6. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Interesting, one of my dealers handed me a box of 4 X5 Azo dated 1964. I smiled and thank him. When I got to the darkroom i opened the box and took a piece out and ran developed, stopped , fixed, etc. The top few sheets and the bottom had strange things going on. THe wrapping paper was very musky which probably was the reason for the staining as the middle section was white. I expected some sort of fog and was really amazed that I got White paper. It will be fun to play with; and i was thinking about using LPD or perhaps Ansco 130 and then split tone . (or attempt to split, I have been told it will split.)
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I purchased about 500 sheets of 8X10 a year ago. I am sure that this is really old since it includes grades one and four in addition to grades two and three. I have found that it is a better paper then current Azo. Reports are that early Azo had cadium incorportated in the emulsion and it absolutely glows. The cadium was latter eliminated for environmental considerations. On the old Azo I have noticed that in 6-128 selenium that it will split tone with the print values IV and below going to a faint red while the balance of the print values will hold a slight greenish tone. That can be both a boon and a detriment depending on what effect you want to achieve. This paper will last for a loooong time. I have heard people printing on Azo that has been over 60 years old. A lot depends on how it has been stored...if the original wrap is gone then it will probably not be good.
     
  8. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I remeber a while back someone asking a similar question of the LF forum page at photonet. (2years maybe?) I remember several respondents recommending the Ansco 130. If you want to investigate further, you would need to search the photonet site as I don't think the new site (Tuan's) is searchable yet.

    Let us know your results, I have seen old AZO come up on Ebay from time to time for a resonable price.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  10. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Since I now have 5oo sheets of this stuff, i will make some contact prints and see what happens. The split mentioned above sounds interesting. I am going to use selenium and then gold toners. May try several different developers, as i have a variety available in the lab.
    The only thing I am not crazy about is the single weight of the paper; It will curl like crazy. I almost got rid of a drying screen that will be really helpful as one places the print between two sheets of fiber glass screening. Sort of a locking efect.
    Am interested in how the results turn out for the Ansco 130 as it will be easier and cheaper to use than Amidol. For such a small run of prints I rather not start down the Amidol trail as I am never sure just when I will get around to the project.

    I did remove the orginal wrap as it was very musky but re-packaged in black sleeves from some paper.
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    My experience with Azo is that it curls no more and probably less then most double weight papers. I dry mine face down on screens without anything on top of them. I flatten my Azo prints the same way I flatten all prints...by using a drymounting press. Handling the paper when wet takes a little getting used to. Using two fingers and a thumb guarantee a crease in the print. The use of tongs will do the same. The 130, from what I have heard, is really not markedly less expensive then Amidol when considering the number of prints processed. 130 has a lot of chemical in it. Amidol is the most active photo developing agent. I had a negative awhile back that was over developed and I used water bath development. With only 8 seconds in Amidol and the remaining 52 seconds in water the print developed beautifully. In my experience I run out of developer in the tray (from carryover) before the developer runs out of gas.
     
  12. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    IF anyone is interested Michael Smith has a website on Azo paper and is one of the only real true crusaders of keeping it on the market. I buy from him because if it wasn't for him and paula we wouldn't have azo anymore. also he has a forum on azo and developers so give it a try and learn about azo and the different deveopers his azo followers use. By the way when michael and paula are in town they answer questions on the forum all the time.regards
    http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/index_skip.html
    mike
     
  13. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I certainly agree if i was going to use the AZO on a regular basis I would be buying from Michael and Paula. Who knows, I may like these little gems so much i will go back to 4 x5 negatives more often.
    Glad to hear that the single weight paper is not going to be a drying problem. I too, put dry prints in a dry mount press and let them sit there till i get around to mounting them. Handle little gadget that press.