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Thread: Weston's Amidol

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    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Weston's Amidol

    I just came off a printing session using Amidol paper developer for the first time. I had a BLAST! At first I was very discouraged by the color of the developer, but when I started tweaking my printing, I found that this has to be the most flexible paper developer ever.
    I could print negatives on graded grade 2, that would require a lot of split grade printing on grade 0 while using variable contrast paper. It is so flexible in how you agitate, how long you develop for (I used 3 and 4 minutes), and especially the dilution of the developer. I am so sold on this stuff, the highlights just seem to glow with rays of sunshine.

    I just wanted to share my joy of having found this amazing print developer. I think I'll learn how to mix my own and start using Amidol, especially with graded paper. Don't know how it behaves with VC papers. I used it with Fotokemika Emaks G2 and G3, which I like better than any other graded paper I've used, and now they look even better to me.

    The level of control, and how it prints high key images is really astonishing. I think I could probably have achieved much the same result with my trusty A-130, Dektol, Bromophen, or Ilford Multigrade. But I definitely believe it would have been more work.

    I'll post some scans once the prints are dry.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    It is so flexible in how you agitate, how long you develop for (I used 3 and 4 minutes), and especially the dilution of the developer. I am so sold on this stuff, the highlights just seem to glow with rays of sunshine.
    - Thomas
    Try water bathing with it. You'll be pleased
    Tim

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It works very well with Emaks, particularly with water bath processing for contrast reduction. With Emaks I usually use Michael A. Smith's formula for enlarging papers (on his website at www.michaelandpaula.com).

    The basic technique is to use a metronome or timer to time the emergence time for the image, and transfer the print to a still water bath at the emergence time and leave it there without agitation for up to twice the emergence time. The highlights will continue to develop while development slows down and stops in the shadows. For more shadow depth, put the print back into the developer, and then you might try the water bath again or move it ahead to the stop or running water bath and fix when you're satisfied.

    Not every print needs this treatment, but if you are using graded paper, it's a handy way of achieving intermediate grades.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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    welcome to the wonderful world of Amidol
    John Bowen

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    Thomas, which formula did you use?

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    Mateo's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of purple fingernails.
    "If I only had a brain"-Some badly dressed guy made of straw in some movie I think I saw

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    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    Thomas, I'm very interested to see your results. You know how Emakophile I am...
    G.

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    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Good news, Thomas. It really is flexible, especially with a water bath. I've also found you can increase contrast by reducing exposure time considerably and elongating development time my a similar percentage. You can get at least two grades out of Kentona using the MAS brew... Best of luck. Shawn

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    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Well, prints are drying. It was hard to get rid of the brown/orange tint in the prints, but I think I was able to wash it out properly.

    A couple of observations:
    1. Mateo - I used gloves!
    2. If I get black stains on the back of the paper, does that mean the Amidol didn't dissolve properly?
    3. I didn't need a water bath as I had both grade 2 and 3 at hand. Most of my negs print well on grade 2 paper.
    4. I use a metronome anyway. It's such a handy tool.
    5. I found that development times upward four minutes created some really amazing blacks. Phenomenal stuff, this Amidol. I'll be buying more, but I think I'll use it for portraits mainly I think. It's the only prints that I feel like I need it with.
    6. Guillaume - I'll post scans tomorrow. I think they look close to the best I've ever achieved.

    Thanks for your good feedback, gentlemen. I think this brew will be a mainstay alongside my 130 developer and a new formula Randy Libersky turned me onto. Defender 58-D, which helps me print fog free on paper that would normally be completely fogged over in 130 or even the Amidol. Cool stuff.

    Three paper developers - does that officially make me a geek now? I've settled for two film developers and thought two paper developers would be enough too... Oh well, who said it was going to be simple.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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    JLP
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    Thomas. Congrats, it is an amazing developer. If you don' already filter the Amidol please try running the brew through a coffee filter, it is so much easier to clear the stain. You may also want to check Michael and Paula's webpage for Fixing suggestions. It works.


    jan

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