Hello to everybody,
I am interested in learning to contact print, and I keep reading over and over about AZO and Amidol. Because I have never held an AZO print in my hand I dont know what type of paper it is. Is it Glossy, Matte, semi-matte? It must be good if I hear so much "glowing" comments about it. I shoot in medium format with FP4+ and develop in Rodinal so my images have a nice combination of reasonably fine grain but nice noticable sharpness and I have to say that the only matte surface I have ever liked with my work is Agfa MCC118, it has a nice subtle luster without being lifeless. Most of my work I have been printing an image slightly larger than 11x14 onto 16x20 Oriental Graded paper, would this be a size problem for contact printing. Sorry not meaning to offend those who like matte surface it just doesnt work for me.
Love to hear more details about this wonder paper
Last edited by Rusalka; 11-30-2004 at 05:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Greetings Katla and welcome to APUG FP4+ / Rodinal is a beautiful combination and look forward to seeing some of your work. Sorry I can't answer your AZO question but though I'd be the first to welcome you here LOL
The surface of Azo is fairly similar to Oriental glossy and other glossy fiber based papers. Both are glossy papers that can be air dried for a smooth luster or ferrotyped to high gloss. It is not a matte surface.
Are you planning to enlarge on Azo? Azo is much slower than conventional enlarging papers, so most Azo users contact print from large format negatives. There are now enlarging heads made for Azo, though, and it is also possible to make enlarged negatives on film or digitally for contact printing onto Azo. Info at www.michaelandpaula.com.
Azo is manufactured in F surface only. That is glossy. The Azo glossy is different then Seagull glossy for instance. Thus the Azo print seems to be more "in" the paper rather then "on" the paper. The problem that arises for you considering the format size is that Azo is a contact paper only. Thus you will have small contacts (can be attractive with some subject matter) or produce a larger negative. This could be accomplished by producing an enlarged negative. There is an excellent article for doing this on www.unblinkingeye.com. The author of this article is Bob Herbst. Good luck.
David...an enlarging head for AZO...do tell ol boy...
Also I just spoke to my friend who showed me some prints on AZO that I didnt like the look and feel of...I found that they were not air dried and thus the high gloss I didnt like...perhaps the air dried would be a nice surface for my work afterall.
Michael...with this discovery of a more sublte sheen capable with AZO...perhaps I will be ringing you shortly for an order, and give it a shot...that is if I can get my head around enlarging negs...still leaning to having someone do that for me.
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"David...an enlarging head for AZO...do tell ol boy..."
I'm not David, but here, check this out... http://www.apug.org/forums/showthrea...0&page=3&pp=10
I asked the same question in this thread.
There are a few threads on enlarging onto Azo on www.michaelandpaula.com.
There is a Durst head that takes lots of current and probably would involve beefing up the wiring in your average darkroom, and there is another head that can fit on an Omega or Beseler 4x5" enlarger (or any other enlarger that can be adapted to an Omega D type head), that isn't quite as costly or power hungry as the Durst unit, but still isn't cheap.
If you're not making really big prints, it's worth trying to make enlargements with what you have before investing in something like a dedicated Azo head. Much depends on the spectral range and light output of your light source, and you may be able to improve things by using a glass neg carrier and apo lens that will let you enlarge at a wider aperture. If you can keeping the enlarging time under two minutes, it's not impossible.
I strongly encourage you to start reading the Azo Forum at www.michaelandpaula.com. It is the best resource available for learning about Azo. Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee are also Azo dealers. They have some options available that are not available from the big supply stores.
There are also good threads here on APUG in the Contact Printing Forum.
ldh, if you saw some Azo prints with a high gloss surface, they were probably ferrotyped. Ferrotype was a drying process where the prints were pressed against a smooth metal surface then heated. In its natural finish, Azo is more subtle and not "glossy glossy".
Rusalka, hope you continue and get started with Azo.
Thanks to everybody for you answers...I am thinking it could be fun to make contact prints, but noe I am doing research to learn aout making larger negatives so my contact prints would not be so small
The two approaches that seem to be required are either exposing a larger negative in camera or to produce an enlarged negative by conventional darkroom or digital means.
Originally Posted by Rusalka
There is information on enlarged negatives at www.unblinkingeye.com.