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Thread: Bromide papers?

  1. #1
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    Bromide papers?

    Here's a naive question, what are some different types of bromide papers? I am about to start contact printing and I wanted to try amidol developer, for the description of Weston's Amidol it recommends the use of bromide paper. Where can I buy some, what's the difference, etc? I'm not familiar at all with it, thanks everyone. -Grant

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Most papers made today are chlorobromide (silver chloride and silver bromide) papers. The most notable exceptions are Azo, which is a pure silver chloride paper, and Bergger Art Contact, which is a chloroiodide (silver chloride and silver iodide) paper.

    Most modern chlorobromide papers don't show much improvement in amidol over other developers that couldn't be achieved in some other way, say by changing development time or dilution with a more conventional developer, but a few do, like Maco Expo RF graded. You might just try your favorite papers in amidol, and see if you like the results. The main advantages of amidol, when it works, are richer blacks and the possibility of water bath control.

    Amidol has the strange property of developing from the bottom up with some papers, so it is particularly amenable to water bath development, which can be a handy thing.

    I use Michael Smith's amidol formula for enlarging papers with Expo RF. This is particularly attractive if you also contact print on Azo, since you can do your Azo prints first in Smith's formula for Azo, add the requisite amount of KBr and Benzotriazole, and finish the printing session with enlargements to get the most out of that tray of amidol.
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    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. I definitely want to try Azo when I start contact printing, I'm worried that I'll get addicted to the stuff, which is no good since I don't own a LF camera yet (I'm borrowing a friends for a while). I'm going to keep hunting around, but thanks for the suggestion, it really helps a lot. -Grant

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Hurrell used Azo for portraits, and Strand and most of the Westons have used amidol (not sure if Kim is using amidol) for all sorts of subjects. Ektapan/Azo/amidol is a great combination for portraits, which I've used in 8x10". I've also done some portraits with the 5x7" using Classic 400/ABC Pyro with Azo/amidol. I don't see it as particularly a landscape thing.
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    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VoidoidRamone
    Thanks for the help. I definitely want to try Azo when I start contact printing, I'm worried that I'll get addicted to the stuff, which is no good since I don't own a LF camera yet (I'm borrowing a friends for a while). I'm going to keep hunting around, but thanks for the suggestion, it really helps a lot. -Grant
    Yes Grant, Azo can be addicting.

    I recommend using Smith's Amidol formulations, both for Azo and enlarging paper because his mixture lasts longer than the others. The problem with Weston's amidol and others is that they go flat after a just few hours. Smith's formula will last a good 24 hours and there is no worry about developer exhaustion. You can print as many prints as is possible within that time frame.

    One is hard pressed to see any differences in a print due to amidol in a scan, but since David brought up the subject of portraits, I have a family reunion shot I did for a friend. I'll post it in this thread as soon as I can get it scanned. There are some humorous touches to it.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    A family "snapshot" on Azo, developed in amidol. Don't get on the wrong side of the Aunt with the shotgun!
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    M.A. Smith did a series of portraits of the students of Spring Creek school, but the vast majority of his work is landscape/scenic. .......I've done a few Azo portraits myself, but I wouldn't say that balances the field.
    It was Deep Springs College and how did you like the Azo portraits? Did you develop them in amidol?
    Jim



 

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