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  1. #11

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    David Lewis Bromoil paper in the "teaspoon" amidol developer. Can be toned beyond what I thought was possible.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    I have nothing against AZO. Except that it is only available from someone on another continent. And that the AZO prints I have seen have (with very few exceptions) failed to overwhelm me, especially with regards to tonality.

    I have contact printed on a wide range of papers and processes, and I don't believe that AZO gives "the finest prints possible".
    Recently, I had a fellow photographer friend (noseoil) show me two 4x5 contact prints he had made. One was printed on AZO, while the other was printed on an enlarging paper (I believe Ilford). The first thing I notice was the SHARPNESS of the AZO prints. Even thought it was a contact print, the AZO print had alot sharper detail! Second, I noticed more tonality in the high values, which were present as only a flat gray tone in on the enlarger paper.

    After seeing this, I tried the exact same experiment myself, and was truly amazed! Using the same 8x10 negative, I contact printed the correct exposure on AZO, then again on Oriental. Again...the sharpness of the print was amazingly different between the two, AZO being the better. Not to mention that the AZO print held detail in my highlights and shadows very well, when they blocked up and required dodging burning on the enlarging paper.

    I do not know who showed you their AZO prints, but maybe you just got shown poor examples. The only way to truly see what AZO is capible of, is to try it yourself and SEE. I promise you that you will see a great improvement on your prints by using AZO.

    So many people would not swear by the paper if it was not superior to enlarging paper.

    Anyways, best of luck to whatever you decided to go with.

    Ryan McIntosh

  3. #13
    Rob Skeoch's Avatar
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    Personally I like the AZO prints but think it's over rated. I like Ilford FB Warmtone with Ilford's developer for my work.
    I find it easier to work with and am happy with the results. I have a box of AZO in the fridge but since it's always a special order item I find the extra hassles of using it aren't justified by the results. Ilford's FIB is a stock item at my local store and I can buy it easier. Besides the ease factor I find it to be a great paper.
    -Rob Skeoch

  4. #14
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    I have nothing against AZO. Except that it is only available from someone on another continent. And that the AZO prints I have seen have (with very few exceptions) failed to overwhelm me, especially with regards to tonality.

    I have contact printed on a wide range of papers and processes, and I don't believe that AZO gives "the finest prints possible".
    Whose Azo prints have you seen?

  5. #15
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    Whose Azo prints have you seen?
    "I refuse to answer that question on grounds that it might incriminate me"

    I have seen several, including some of Michael A. Smith's. I own several, though none of his. Some of those I have seen are very good indeed, but the "Azo magic" fails to stir me.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #16

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    I know a guy that loves his Dodge truck so much that he is suprised any other brand can even start. When I pick him up to go fishing, pulling my boat behind my ratty '94 Toyota pick up with 230,000 miles, he always flinches. On a recent trip with almost a thousand miles of driving, he woke up to the fact that we spent about 1/3 of the money on gas that we would have in his big truck. The spell was broken.

    Azo is good stuff, I printed on it exclusively for about 2 years, amidol, ABC pyro, the whole thing. It is easy to convince ourselves that there is no other way to get to a fine print if we keep repeating to our selves that there is no other way to get there.

    About a year ago I was shooting some documentary stuff with fairly pedestrian stuff, HP5+ in 35mm, developed in D23, printed on Ilford RC paper in Dektol. The 8x10 enlargements just glowed, in a way that few of my best Azo prints did. In the end really great light trumped all the exotic materials.

  7. #17
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    "I refuse to answer that question on grounds that it might incriminate me"

    I have seen several, including some of Michael A. Smith's. I own several, though none of his. Some of those I have seen are very good indeed, but the "Azo magic" fails to stir me.
    The last time I showed Michael Smith any work, he liked the Bergger prints the best. And they were enlargements. Azo is no magic bullet, that's for sure.

  8. #18

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    Magic Bullet

    There have been many thousands of great prints done on regular enlarging paper. This in no way deters from AZO. It's always going to be the print itself-not what its printed on. I enjoy using graded and VC papers and hopefully Forte is going to come back on line. And if you haven't tried Forte you should.
    Best, Peter

  9. #19

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    Ilford IT-8

    Just as an aside I just tried some Bergger NB in Ian Grant's IT-8 toner(in the chemistry recipes) and I'm a little overwhelmed at the results. Deep rich dark black to knock your socks off. Looks like some papers from 30 years ago. Still in the wash so my final assumption is yet made but it looks real good!!
    Peter

  10. #20
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    I just love that paper. The VCCB (warm tone) is good, too. I think a lot of large format photographers are put off by Bergger's lousy film and summarily scratch the paper off their lists through "guilt by association" without having tried it. I hate the film, love the paper. I will try some Forte soon.

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