Thanks David. Can you avoid the staining? Anything else to be careful about with Amidol? In Florida, our water temperature is almost always between 73 and 75 degrees F. Can on use Amidol at such temperatures....my intuition says yes, but the developing process goes faster....Obviously I can use distilled water chilled down if temperature is very critical.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Do you have an opinion about Azo and Amidol, or is the issue similar to the differing opinions about Pyro's "special look".
The staining on the back of the print can happen if you have undissolved amidol in the tray. Some people filter if this is a problem, and others just develop prints face up, and it isn't a problem, as long as it stays on the back of the print.
I'm sure my developer has reached those temperatures, and it hasn't been a problem.
I think that in addition to contrast control through waterbath processing, you get deeper blacks with amidol and Azo, and that makes the whites look brighter by comparison. I'd used other developers with Azo before, but once I tried amidol, I haven't looked back. I tried Weston's Amidol in the kit from Photoformulary first, and that was a significant improvement over Neutol WA, and then I ordered bulk chemicals to start mixing Michael A. Smith's formula for Azo, and that was even better.
Smith's amidol formula for enlarging papers works well with some older-style enlarging papers like Efke Emaks, and I suspect it would do well with Slavich Unibrom.
If you want to make contact prints and enlargements in the same darkroom session and stretch your amidol, what I do is do my Azo prints first, then add the requisite amount of KBr and benzotriazole to the tray to convert it to the enlarging paper formula and finish the session with enlargements.
Smith's formulas are at www.michaelandpaula.com.
David, Have you ever done a comparison printing with enlarging paper using either MAS Azo Amidol and MAS enlarging paper Amidol? I am curius as to what you see different. I have not tried the enlarging paper formula with enlarging paper yet.
The Azo formula works really well with Fortes PWT and Fortezzo papers.
Depends on the paper, but the MAS Azo formula is too fast for most enlarging papers, so you might start to get a little fog before the blacks have come in all the way. The enlarging formula is the same formula with some extra KBr and benzotriazole as restrainers to keep the whites white. More KBr can also give a warmer result. Experiment with the paper you use to figure out the right balance.
I've used Neutol WA and Dektol for proof prints on Azo with the Canadian Grade 2 Azo. The Neutol is very close to MAS Amidol in terms of print color. My Dektol prints had a green tint in comparison. I disliked the Dektol tone so much that I never used it with Azo again. I have been successful using Neutol and a Water Bath. You can use Neutol at a few different dilutions. You will need to use one of the stronger dilutions if you want to use a water bath.
With regards to temperature. I use a Zone VI compensating timer in my darkroom. I recently did a test with Amidol and Azo, where the ambient temperature in the darkroom was about 65 and after a while so was the amidol. I develop Canadian Grade 2 for "2 minutes" per Zone VI timer (actual time about 3 minutes) in Amidol. At the end of the session, I warmed the Amidol to 80 degrees and again developed for "2 minutes" (actual real time about 90 seconds). I could not ascertain a difference in the prints, so temperature should not be a problem as long as you adjust your developing time.
For all things Azo, visit the Azo forum. I'm sure once you have worked with Azo and Amidol, you will want to participate in the Lodima (Michael Smith's Azo like silver chloride paper that is under development) order. Details on the www.michaelandpaula.com site.
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