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  1. #21
    juan's Avatar
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    I've been using Azo with Ansco 130 and like it a lot. It's not amidol, probably nothing else is, but in using my eyes and real negatives I see essentially the same contrast range. The 130 seems to give just a little more range in the deep shadows than amidol.

    The biggest difference I see is print color. The amidol is rather cold and the 130 is warmer, although I have to hold one print next to the other to really see the difference.

    I've found I can control contrast through changes in agitation. Normal for Grade 2 would be two minutes in the developer with agitation the entire time. To get less contrast, I agitate 30-seconds then let the print lie still for the remaining 90-seconds. As with water bath, the agitation/still time can be varied to make slight changes in the contrast.

    Again, 130 is not exactly the same as amidol, but it's very good in its own right. I'm glad to have two developers capable of making excellent prints (if my photography is good enough).
    juan

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan
    I've been using Azo with Ansco 130 and like it a lot. It's not amidol, probably nothing else is, but in using my eyes and real negatives I see essentially the same contrast range. The 130 seems to give just a little more range in the deep shadows than amidol.

    The biggest difference I see is print color. The amidol is rather cold and the 130 is warmer, although I have to hold one print next to the other to really see the difference.

    I've found I can control contrast through changes in agitation. Normal for Grade 2 would be two minutes in the developer with agitation the entire time. To get less contrast, I agitate 30-seconds then let the print lie still for the remaining 90-seconds. As with water bath, the agitation/still time can be varied to make slight changes in the contrast.

    Again, 130 is not exactly the same as amidol, but it's very good in its own right. I'm glad to have two developers capable of making excellent prints (if my photography is good enough).
    juan
    I've noticed several people using Anso 130 on Azo. Never tried it myself, but it seems to have a good reputation.

    Bottom line is that any developer can be used on Azo and, as usual with such things, its a personal choice. A warmer print can be obtained with amidol by adding more potassium bromide (KBr).

    There are also print color variations in Azo from master roll to master roll. In the current production run, grade 2 is pretty neutral, grade 3 slightly warm. Michael Smith reported the other night that he and Paula are using double the KBr now than they used to. I found the same thing and typically mix in 4 or 5 ml KBr per liter amidol vice the 2 ml KBr the formula specifies.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  3. #23
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    After reading then rereading this thread, I as usual come away a bit confused.
    Has any one done an actual cost break down with other developers versus Amidol? Like the Neutol WA directly vs Amidol? One of the main objections that keeps popping up is the expense of Amidol. Has anyone compiled any
    type of cost comparisons? From what I read, a little bit of Amidol seems to make up into a fair amount of working solution. Somehow I cannot make the connection that it is "x" times more expensive to make 1 8x10 in Amidol than making 1 8x10 print developed in something else. I look at it this way, my "boxes" cost quite a bit, my lenses cost quite a bit, everything else when purchased was very pricey. Do I really need to worry that using Amidol and achieving the best possible results from my negatives on AZO costs twice or three times more than when processed in something else? Like I say I am a bit confused, I have no one today to please but myself with my photography.

    So I am going continue in my confused way to try to absorb some of the tremendous experience displayed on this list but tune out comments like it's
    "to expensive to use Amidol". Especially when I have spent what it costs to buy a box of eight by ten sheet film I darn well am not going to worry about the cost of printing it on AZO developed in Amidol!

    For me the down side of Amidol is having to mix it!, I hate messing with
    measuring, weighing and that stuff. But I will bite the bullet and do it in
    an attempt to do something a bit different, perhaps bit better in my mind than any thing I have done before.

    Strictly my humble opinion!

  4. #24

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    Well now, don't I feel scolded by the wisened Mr. Webb

    As the title says it is a lazy AZO question. I hate mixing stuff from scratch. Pour it out of a bottle and print paper is what I was looking for. Availability is the other issue. It is easier for me to get ahold of the ready made stuff than it is to order the individual chemicals. Amidol has a hell of a short life span. I cannot afford to print as much as I do in AZO. I may be lucky to get one or two prints done in a session. Such is life with a 2 almost three year old. Mixing up a liter for maybe two prints is a total waste. I would not feel so bad pitching a cheaper developer.

    Please accept my humble apologies for ruffling your colorful plumage
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  5. #25

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    Good point Charles.

    I'm thinking about getting some Amidol in the bulk purchase and by the time I get it here (in Australia) it will be expensive... but as you say how's that relate to packaged developers. I currently use Neutol WA and NE because I like it and I managed to buy several bottles real cheap... however it's about to run out and buying it new here is $27 (all $ quoted as AUD... $1 AUD about 75cents US) bottle which makes 8 litres of working developer (1:7) that makes it $3.38/litre. I don't know how much the other ingredients of Amidol will cost me, but the Amidol itself will work out about $2-$2.40/litre (depending on postage costs and import duties I might get stuck with) Not looking too bad (assuming the other ingredients aren't as expensive as the Amidol, which I think is a fair assumption) and one assumes one printing session for comparision sakes (I do keep Neutol for future printing sessions, but only if it's the next night or so). In contrast, Ilford Multigrade costs about $1.25/litre and Dektol about $1.22/litre (1:1 dilution) $0.81 (1:2). Buying in larger quantities can reduced these figures a bit.

    Considering a piece of paper cost me from $0.70 (8x10 RC) up to about $3.00 (12x16 FB), film, other chemicals and not to mention the $ in petrol, accomodation, gear and time to get the photos in the 1st place, the price of the Amidol is not looking to bad (it being cheaper is always better though!). I think I've convinced myself However, if moneys particularly tight... I'd use something cheaper and still be able to buy film! Just got to get your priorities right I guess!

  6. #26
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nige
    Considering a piece of paper cost me from $0.70 (8x10 RC) up to about $3.00 (12x16 FB), film, other chemicals and not to mention the $ in petrol, accomodation, gear and time to get the photos in the 1st place, the price of the Amidol is not looking to bad (it being cheaper is always better though!).
    You forgot the fixer (plain hypo aka sodium thiosulfate prismatic rice crystals - ammonium thiosulfate fixers usually turn the prints pink) and it's damned expensive.

    But since you are spending so much on other materials and giving photogaphy so much of your precious time, the most valuable commodity of all, why not make absolutely the best prints you can possibly make? Personally, if I'm going to do this, I'm unwilling to make compromises. No prisoners. That means Amidol. And of course Azo. (BTW, my Azo cost me approx. US$0.62/sheet for 8 x 10).

    Often the difference in contrast and/or tone between a pretty good print and a superb one is quite subtle. Sometimes that last 1% of effort or quality of materials can take you from 'Ok' to 'Magnificent!'. I want every unfair advantage I can get.

  7. #27
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nige
    Good point Charles.

    ... however it's about to run out and buying it new here is $27 (all $ quoted as AUD... $1 AUD about 75cents US) bottle which makes 8 litres of working developer (1:7) that makes it $3.38/litre.
    Boy, that stuff is expensive down there. That's getting into amidol territory. I pay about $55.00 to Artcraft for 100 grams, which makes 12 liters of working solution, so it's only $4.50 or so per printing session.

    Greg's bulk purchase makes it much cheaper for you to use Amidol. ($0.97 US/liter of working solution.)

  8. #28
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    Mark,
    If my intention had been to scold you I would have done so! I guarantee that if you take my post as a scolding one something in it must have struck a nerve elsewise you would not have tried to read something into my comments that was not there.

    You in no way have ruffled my feathers, I simply considered the source of the (your) wise A-- remarks, that is all that is necessary.

    Have a great day/life Mark!

  9. #29

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    Mark,
    Artcraft chemicals will prepackage the Amidol developer components in packages to make 1 liter of developer. Last time I ordered it cost about $8 per liter. Sounds expensive, but consider that your 8x10 film cost $3 per sheet, AZO almost a dollar. Amidol is notably superior to any other developer you can use. I believe that you shouldn't skimp on your materials. The print is the be all and end all of the process. Use each of best components possible. Amidol lasts for a long printing session. I make sure I have enough negatives saved up to print for 4-6 hours straight. I makes the cost per print quite reasonable.
    Take care,
    Tom

  10. #30

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    Tom,
    If I had the time to devote 4-6 hours to printing I would be in heaven. It is not the number of negatives. As it is, If I find myself with lots of time I look at the chemicals I need to mix and then blow it off and go take pictures. SO far my printing is done is short sputs on POP. No chemicals to waste time mixing, just dump, dilute. It takes me five minutes to be completely set up to print on POP. It took a long time to get one litre of Amidol developer ready. Where, in my small printing window, I can do three maybe four final prints on POP, I get one done in Amidol. That is not very economical because I may not be able to print for a couple of days or even weeks.

    Unless I am missing something about the mixing of Amidol, I see no way to speed up the process.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

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