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  1. #31
    glbeas's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Aggie @ Feb 23 2003, 08:42 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Don Like I said seat of the pants. We all get used to our enlargers. I am so used to looking at the image before printing, and getting with in at least 1/2 grade of what filter I need. Then when I stop down the lens, I never look to see what setting it goes to, I look at the image and when it hits the right value, I start my test trips from there. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Aggie thats a lot like I used to print in my old darkroom when I was a kid. Had no meter at the time just a few pieces of equipment. I figured out I was comparing the projected image to the safelight illumination, kinda like the old extinction meters I guess. I could throw a neg in the enlarger and set the aperture and get a decent print in one try most times. It was kinda neat doing it as the colors of the B&W image would start swimming around from bluish to reddish at the point I set it, and it could be pretty precise and repeatable.
    Gary Beasley

  2. #32

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    The contrast question is about contact printing on Azo, as negatives optimized for enlargement tend to be a little too thin for Azo (or Pt/Pd, I imagine) and negatives optimized for Azo are too constrasty to deal with easily in an enlarger.

    dgh
    David G Hall

  3. #33
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    Ah, I understand. I&#39;ve read that Pyro developer was supposed to be able to cover that problem. Never had the chance to mess with it though so I can&#39;t really say.
    Gary Beasley

  4. #34
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    The current thinking, and what I&#39;m doing these days at least with Tri-X, is PMK for enlargement (because of the grain-masking effect) and ABC for Azo (because it produces little background stain and higher contrast, at the expense of grain, which isn&#39;t so important for contact printing). I also target my development times one zone higher for Azo, so for TMX (which I develop in D-76 1+1), the N+1 time I use for 4x5" and smaller (i.e., negs I plan to enlarge) becomes the "N" time for contact prints on Azo from 8x10" (I&#39;d like to say "and larger," but TMX doesn&#39;t seem to exist in 11x14").
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  5. #35

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    David,

    I too am doing PMK fopr 4x5 and smaller, the thought being that they are more likely to be enlarged, and ABC for 8x10, as they are more likely to be contacted. The PMK is not only less grainy but also masks the grain a little, and ABC really does seem to make the contrast just right for contacting. On Azo anyway.

    I have yet to try platinum, although after looking at pt/pd pictures over time it seems that you have to have a pretty highlight-heavy scene to really bring out the medium&#39;s strengths. Someone elsewhere on the forum mentioned Jock Sturges&#39; work, which is BEAUTIFUL in Pt., but all more light than dark.

    dgh

    David G Hall

  6. #36

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    You are right about thin negatives, high contrast and dust, especially when using a condensor enlarger. Even with contact printing, thin negatives have more of an obvious dust problem. But, the original question had to do with Azo (I think) and maybe platinum, hence my comment about dense negatives. Generally, I prefer to do my test strips on an entire sheet whether it is a contact or enlargement. For some reason, it gives me a better feel for what is needed overall, and also lets me get a better idea what areas need dodging or burning. It also gives me more room for making notes and scribbling. I don&#39;t have a problem myself with thin negatives, since I always meter the shadows first. That&#39;s just something that came up in this discussion. When in doubt, I meter with a spot, and also with an incident. If there is a difference between the two, I will take 2 exposures to make sure.

  7. #37
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    Quite right Steve. I agree about using a full sheet for testing too, especially when you are nearly "there" with the tones.
    The point I was trying to blunder into was that a thin negative doesn&#39;t necesarily mean a lack of shadow detail. Depends on how it got that way. Goofing the exposure being the most common thing, that will kill the shadow values. I do enough of that to know. A great exposure and n-1 development may look quite rich yet still be thinner in the highlights than a "normally done" negative. David makes a very good point about his work making the N+1 times the normal time for the AZO grade 2 printed negative. Do your work to fit your process and it&#39;s going to look great.
    I&#39;m wondering though about how Azo compares to Pt/Pd printing as Pt/Pd is usually a printing out process as opposed to Azo developing out and printing out needs a long range neg because of its self masking action as the shadow tones start to appear. Azo needs the same thing for a different reason I&#39;m not exactly clear on. Anybody care to lay out the specifics?
    Gary Beasley

  8. #38
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  9. #39

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    glbeas,
    In the interest of brevity, Bob Herbst has written a very good comparative analysis of Pt-Pd and Azo. The information may be accessed on www.unblinkingeye.com. Hope that this answers your questions. Good luck.

    Donald Miller
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  10. #40

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (glbeas @ Feb 25 2003, 03:48 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>.
    I&#39;m wondering though about how Azo compares to Pt/Pd printing as Pt/Pd is usually a printing out process as opposed to Azo developing out and printing out needs a long range neg because of its self masking action as the shadow tones start to appear. Azo needs the same thing for a different reason I&#39;m not exactly clear on. Anybody care to lay out the specifics?</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    The traditional pt/pd printing process is a developing out process not a printing out process. Mike Ware in the UK and Sullivan and Weese there in the US have created a printing out palladium process which does not use pt.

    Trying to compare Azo and pt/pd is like trying to compare apples and oranges, with all due respect to Bob Herbst. Both processes have their strengths and weaknesses and both are capable of producing outstanding work. Both with a totally different feel and impact. To say that azo is a good "proofing" material for pt/pd is a disservice to azo as well as saying that pt/pd prints are "dull and lifeless". It all depends on the skill of the printer and your taste. If you like the traditional silver look, then I think azo coupled with amidol is unsurpassed in its capability to produce a good print easily. If you like a print that "shines" in extreme contrast ranges with a hint of color then pt/pd is for you.

    Both mediums have a long tonal range, the difference is that pt/pd "contracts" the range to fit the paper, while with azo most of the tones fall within the long straight line of the curve, so they are more spaced out, as Herbst explains in his article. This means that azo has the ability to produce a very long range of beautiful grays, excellent local contrast in the shadows with the highlights being a little bit less well defined than pt/pd. The strength of pt/pd lies in the very rich dark and light tones, and using the grays only as accent since they, in my opinion are not as beautiful as the tones found at the ends of the curve.

    If I was to "tailor" a negative for either one, I would choose high contrast negatives where most of the tones fall in the straight line of the curve for azo, I would say a density range of 1.4 or 1.5. For Pt/pd I would choose a high contrast negative where the "strong" tones are at either end of the curve and a density range 1.5 to 1.6.

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