1.- ABC pyro (also known as Kodak D-1)is a well known and stable formula if you keep the part A, Part B and Part C separate. When you want to develop your film you mix the appropriate amounts of part A,part B,part C and water and use it inmmediately. I am posting both the traditional formula and the formula Edward Weston used.
ABC Pyro (kodak D-1)
Water 750 ml
Sodium Bisulfite 9.8 grams
Pyrogallic acid 60 grams
Potassium Bormide 1.1 grams
Cold water to make 1 liter.
Water 1 liter
Sodium Sulfite 105 grams
Water 1 liter
Sodium Carbonate, anhydrous 90 grams
For tray development use 1:1:1:7 (which means 1 part of A, 1 part of B, 1 part of C and seven parts of water.)
So for example if you want to make 1000 ml of developer you would mix 100 ml of A, 100 ml of B, 100 ml of C and 700 ml of water.
Westons formula used in solution C Sodium Carbonate mono hydrated but you can use the anhydrous species also. (see post on conversion)
Additionally he used different ratios for his formula, they are 3:1:1:30
(same as above 3 parts of A, 1 part of B, 1 part of C and 30 parts of water)
You will need longer developing times if you decide to use this formula.
All this information can be found at the Darkroom Cookbook written by Steve Anchell.
If you wish to get the developer in a kit you can find it at photographers formulary.
or at Artcraft
Azo paper is a Silver chloride paper wich is very slow thus needing a more powerful light source than an enlarger. It is designated by Kodak as a contatc printing paper because of this.
To use it all you have to do is put a 300 watt bulb in your bathroom about 4 feet from the negative. turn light on and off and test your exposure times.
Azo can be processed in all the paper developers you wish to use, but Amidol produces the best results. The process is exactly the same as developing any regular enlarging paper. for greater reference I have included the Kodak web page link.
Azo paper can be bought in addtion to Smith's site at B&H, Adorama, etc.
Amidol is an excellent paper developer one of the best formulas is Looten's Amidol black.
Water 750 ml
Sodium sulfite anhydrous 24.5 grams
Citric Acid 0.6 grams
Amidol 8.1 grams
Potassium Bromide 0.6 grams
Again you can find ll these chemicals at photo formulary.
This developer oxidizes rapidly and should be mixed before use.
If you want balcker blacks you can add 0.3 grams of potassium thiocyanate.
There really is not much difference as far as processing goes from what you been doing normally. The one only hurdle you might have is mixing the chemicals and storing them. I would recommend you buy the book by Anchell as it has many wonderful alternatives.
Another way you might want to go is to use POP paper (printing out paper) sold by the Chicago Albumen works.
This paper you can just place the negative on top of it and judge your exposure by inspection, as the image appears on the paper as it is being exposed...pretty cool uh? With this paper you can change the tones by using different toners. I reccomend the book Coming into focus, edited by John Barnier. It has a very complete chapter on this paper and I think it will be a better choice for your situation.
I hope this helped, if you have any more questions just post them and we will take care of them!
jdef, I forgot to mention one thing about POP that is not included in the book I recommended you. If you do decide to use the paper, when you print put a thin piece of mylar (1 mil) in between the paper and the negative. The paper will stain the negative after a few pasess. I am unsure about why, and I am not knowledegable enough to tell you the reason, but a very experienced person gave me this advice and he sure was correct. I of course knew better and tried it without the barrier first..... http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/sad.gif
Since this is also a silver chloride paper you will need a UV source, the sun will do!. Actually the only difference to Azo is that it does not come in grades and of course the obvious it is POP. For my taste this paper has much more posibilities than azo since the gold, pt, etc toners produce an incredible array of colors.
I have had a 'contact darkroom' such as you mention. I have used both Azo and POP. If you have nice negatives, POP is an easy way to go. Both Azo and POP need fixing and toning and washing. POP is easily exposed using sunlight through a window and, since it is a POP, you see what you get. It is also self masking, which means darker areas, as they print out, block additional light reaching the area in relation to the exposure already received. POP also has an excellent glossy surface, is heavier and is easier to handle than Azo.
On the other hand, I have personally had some quality issues with POP. Azo seems indestructible.
I imagine that water treatment of POP is safer than paper developers used on Azo. Both papers still need fixing and toning so that aspect is the same. I understand Begger also has a contact printing paper but have not used it.
As a much different aside, cyanotype is also very easy to use as contact printing method, requires no developer, no fixer and no toning except maybe tea or coffee. And the chemicals are 'safer' than many photographic chemicals.
The previous posting about using mylar is a good idea with POP. Otherwise, I understand that the excess silver on the POP can affect your negative. But I would use the same precaution in any contact printing method. I have never suffered the damage becasue I have always shielded my negs, but it seems reasonable.
Using an 8x10 tray and one liter and getting Amidol from Artcraft Chemicals at $185/lb more or less, Amidol comes to $3.25 per printing session. You can cut the Amidol to 6 or 7 grams, making the cost $2.85 to $2.44. In my formula, Amidol lasts a long time--all day--or as many prints as you can put through without losing it due to carry over into the stop bath. Since it should take no longer than one hour (okay, if you are new at it, an hour and a half) to get a perfect print 5 times (unless your negatives are totally off the scale), in a full all-day printing session that's 25-40 finished prints from 5-8 negatives or about 6 cents at very best to 13 cents a print at the very worst.
jdef, if I were you before I got bogged down buying all these chemicals I would try using azo with Ethol's LPL, if you like what you see then spend the money to buy the Amidol for those prints you really want to shine. I doubt very much you will be making 40 prints so the developer activity should not be an issue with you. If it is all you have to do is add an antioxidant and it will make it last longer. EDTA is the most common, but there are others you can use. So this way you try as many negatives you have with LPL and then when you have enough to make a printing session with Amidol then you can go ahead and mix it.
I am sure if you decide to stick with Azo as you become more expirenced you will find ways to make things work for you. There is really nothing magic or special about azo, that cannot be done with masks on regular enlarging paper or with POP.
jdef, do not feel aprehensive about the developer. Specially in a kit form it should come with instructions and it is just like any other developer. We all start with our first negative, if you mess up a few....so what?
If you settle on tray development, be sure to wear gloves if you are using pyro, a box of latex gloves (without powder) should run you about 10 bucks and last you a lifetime. Although pyro is not the poison some people make it out to be, careful handling is always good. Again if I were you I would try developing using a more common developer, say HC110 dilution B, but instead of a 1:15 use it at 1:30 with more developing time. Anyway, once you feel comfortable doing your developing then move to pyro. HC110 should give you good enough negatives to print on Azo or POP if you develop them a little more contrasty than what you are used to for enlarging.
If you plan to use your multigrade paper, get a 15 or 7 watt bulb and you can also do this in your bathroom.
I look forward to your first posted contact print... http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/tongue.gif
jdef I dont recall reading what film you are using. I can tell you my experience with TMX in Rodinal was great, beautiful tones across the entire scale. The only thing I did not like is that it was a bit too grainy for my taste. So you might want to take that into account. Rodinal is a wonderful and easy to use developer and you should see good results. For portraits I think it will be a very nice developer, you will get creamy whites and very contrasty shadows. Grain with a contact print should not matter so I say go for it!
As to your first print upload I will be glad to tell you what I think in private as I dont wish for this site to become a "critique" site. There are may other sites for that. Always remember it is just my opinion and I dont claim to have the "only" answer for anything. I am sure your efforts will be succesful, dont fret, trust in what you know and go ahead.
So stop posting and go take pictures......
I've just received my package of chemicals from artcraft that included the
pyro and amidol developers which I've not used previously. I've bought a 5x7
Seneca view camera with addded front swings, new bellows, etc. I've mounted
a Wide Field Ektar 135/6.3 lens, received a BTZS focusing cloth. I've got a
hundred sheet box of Azo and a thousand foot roll of 5 inch wide Panatomic-X
aerial film to cut down for the 5x7 size.
Since I've not used pyro before, I feel like a youngster (I'm 57). Initially,
because the film is so thin (aerial film) I'll be developing one sheet at a time.
I've some experience in contact printing but it's been awhile! I've picked up
almost a dozen 5x7 film holders which I'm waiting to get.
I've refurbrished an old Elwood 5x7 enlarger and aquired 9 300 watt bulbs
for it. If I remove the lens board, I believe it will be ideal for contact printing.
Since all the equipment and material is new (to me), I need to set some project(s) to
learn it's operation. I've decided to work indoors with some table top setups,
until operation of the camera becames smooth. Also, I'll be able to develop
the negatives right away. I suppose most will go in the circular file, but
I may get some keepers. My front room has great window light.
It has taken the better part of a year for me to afford and locate the materials
for this project. I look forward to this forum for assistance in the near future!
I'd like to thank Mike and Paula for there generous sharing here and on the
puresilver mailing list. I just wish we were on the same coast of the US.
onto Azo as the height can be easily changed.
I'm limited to enlarging onto 11x14 paper right now, that's the easel size and
the size of the Versalab washer. However, the 5x7 Elwood with the 180mm lens can
project an image to fill 20x24. Maybe in the future, but easels (the four blade kind)
and washers that size are expensive. Besides I need to hone some skills first and
may not wish to make larger prints. Well, I do have some skills as I had a commercial
lab for color prints long ago. I've zero interest in making color prints today.
Even enlarging 5x7 full frame onto 20x24 is only about a three times plus enlargement.
Onto 11x14 it's barely a 2x enlargement.
I've bought the bulk chemicals, including 50 lbs of hypo. But just small amounts of
the Pyro and Amidol to try out. So I'm mixing all the solutions. I'll try the ABC formula.
I guess you tray developed your 8x10 negatives. For the inspection development
(I've not tried it yet, but got the safelight and filter), did you use a 15 watt or 7 1/2 bulb?
Kodak recommends a 7 1/2 bulb, but I believe Mike and Paula use a 15 watt bulb.
Did you develop one sheet at a time?
Regarding the extra density at the edges of your film, jdef. My guess is that it is not due to improper agitation at all, but due to bellows flare. That's the usual culprit for the problem you describe. Especially if the extra edge density is only noticeable in the lighter areas of the prints.
Michael A. Smith