Tonal scale of 0 or 00 grade VC paper versus AgCl contact

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Removed Account, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    Once I get my 5x7 fully functional (still a few months away due to $$) I want to try some of that Lodima stuff people seem so smitten with. A lot of what people seem to be describing for that as well as various alt processes is a long tonal scale due to the paper being very low contrast and so handling the full range of a high-contrast negative. Is it possible to create a similar effect in an enlargement or contact print on VC paper by developing the negative to a high contrast and simply using a 00 or 0 grade filter? I haven't read anything about this, which leads me to think that it's been tried and doesn't really work. Is it possible, and if not why doesn't it?
     
  2. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    This must be a first for APUG! Nobody has an opinion on this?
     
  3. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Have you been reading threads about Azo or it's replacement?... Well, as you know from reading that thread that I've not used silver chloride papers, and therefore my comments are "really are meaningless"...

    But you are right, a Grade 0 or 1 enlarging paper will have about the same contrast range as Azo Grade 2 paper. Contact papers generally have a softer (i.e. less contrasty) toe and shoulder compared to enlarging papers. That will give a different look to prints made when comparing the two papers.

    Also, Azo has a pretty smooth curve, while some enlarging papers start to get all wiggly as they you use grades softer than 1 or so. So there's another difference.

    Id suggest that you try some enlarging papers. You may find you like the look for the negs you produce with the film you like.

    You're still going to get the sharpness/resolution benefit from the contact print, regardless of the paper you use.
     
  4. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I've made prints on the old Bergger VCNB which were indistinguishable from those printed on Azo and developed in amidol. The negative was 400TMax developed in ABC pyro. I cranked the Saunders LPL down to 00 contrast (0 Magenta, 100 Yellow) to make them and developed them in Sprint print developer.

    I haven't found an enlarging paper with which I could do this since Bergger went away, but I have high hopes for Ilford Multigrade Warmtone since attending a demo workshop with Bob Carnie in Connecticut last month. He showed us his split grade printing technique which has since yielded remarkable results using my "welder's goggle" negatives on that paper. And the color is truly marvelous.

    The printer makes a lot more difference than the paper.
     
  5. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I have done a fair amount of printing on Azo. I have a box of the Lomida paper, but I haven't had time to really work with it yet. My experience is based on Azo, but should apply to Lomida as well.

    I found that most VC papers can produce an exposure scale longer than the grade 2 Azo. Sorry I can't tell you the filter grades to use, as I use a Zone VI enlarger with a variable contrast head--so I don't use filters. But, 0 or 00 filters should get you there.

    To proof my negatives, I did the following. I first printed a step wedge on Azo. I then did a number of step tablets on VC paper using soft settings on my enlarger until I got one that matched the Azo scale. I would then proof my negatives at that setting on VC paper. The VC paper is much cheaper than Azo. The VC proofs gave me a pretty good idea of how the final image would look on Azo. At one time, I even had the time of exposure figured out. For examle, if it took 8 seconds under the enlarger to make a good VC proof print, it would use 25 seconds under the bare bulb to expose the Azo.

    The papers are not identical. But the VC gives me a good starting point for the Azo print. A very few times I actually liked the VC print better.

    Proofing on VC papers saved me a lot of time and effort. If my negative development was way off, I quickly learned not to even try certain negs on Azo. Albeit, as my technique got better, this rarely happens now. But, mistakes do and will continue to happen.
     
  6. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Silver Chloride paper is not simply a lower contrast grade paper, in it's heyday Azo was made ( I believe ) in grades 1 through 5. In my opinion it's the tonal separation WITHIN each zone that makes it stand out. There is another thread going on where PE and Sandy King explain it a better, that is if you can wade through all the BS collecting there....
     
  7. RJS

    RJS Member

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    The really old Azo was quite beautiful contact paper (slow and seemingly marvelous blacks). But I don't understand how any paper, very sof (00) and a hard negative can produce a greater range. The blackest black from any paper seems about 2.2 RD.
    so I'm not clear how a longer scale can be produced.
     
  8. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    It's not about the blacks. It's the curves, the separation within the scale...
     
  9. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I've made some prints on the Ilford MG WT from negatives that I could not print acceptably on Azo that were very good to excellent. Not fine yet, but I'm still learning how to print on the VC paper. I'll get there.