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Thread: AZO help!!!

  1. #1

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    AZO help!!!

    A couple of questions...

    I have never used Azo before - for the past 12 months I have been printing mostly Pt/Pd. I am relocating to GA later this week and have just finished dismantling my dream darkroom. I will be in temporary accommodation until I can find a house we (the family) like and can afford. I expect this process to take a couple of months. During that time, I would like to do more than shoot and process film on the Jobo, but will have no dedicated darkroom so at best will have a converted bathroom for a little printing. I was thinking of just shooting 8x10 and printing on Azo. What is advisable and what isn't?

    How critical are:

    1. light source - what kind etc, bearing in mind that it is most likely going to be a bulb on a cord in a bathroom?
    2. developer - amidol or what other options work well
    3. the negative - what sort of density range do I ideally require for printing on Azo 2 and Azo 3? Also, I presume that using the Ortho channel on my Xrite 361T will give me a pretty good idea of what the negative 'looks like" to the portion of the spectrum to which Azo is sensitive? I'm presuming that Pyrocat HD is a sensible choice as a developer.

    What would the recommended set-up be for someone in a closet type darkroom space?

  2. #2

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    1- A bare bulb or a reflector type bulb anywhere from 100w to 300w.

    2- Amidol is by far the best. Agfa Neutol works pretty good but doesn't work well to control contrast with water bath.

    3_Those negatives you have for PT/PD should print well on azo, more so if made with Pyrocat HD.

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    There was an Azo user who wrote me before and his experience with DS-14 (phenidone-ascorbate print developer) was very good, with or without benzotriazole.

    I make various print emulsions, some of which are chloride emulsions. Generally I use DS-14 as the standard developer, but ALL chloride emulsions I've made so far worked very well with DS-14. Chloride papers are developed pretty fast in it.

    One benefit of DS-14 over amidol is that it doesn't stain your hand, and it keeps a very long time in tray.

  4. #4

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    I feel that you will find that a density range of about 1.65 for Azo #2 and about a density range of 1.05 for Azo #3.

    Get a R40 300 watt bulb at your hardware store and hang it high above your contact printing frame or preferably vacuum frame. Azo is a very slow paper and needs the higher wattage illumination to keep the printing times reasonable. Go to michaelandpaula.com and the Azo forum for everything you want to know about Azo and then some....

    Cheers!

  5. #5
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Donsta-check out the Azo forum on www.michaeland paula.com plus the contact printing forum here. All of your questions have been discussed and answered quite completely. Hope you enjoy!
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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    Curt's Avatar
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    Do you have the AZO and Amidol yet? Check out the threads on the MP web site for all of the details. Pay close attention to the light source and be careful, the bulbs are hot. I use the GE 300R/FL-130V not available at the Home Depot or Lowes. You will have to special order it but it's the recommended one. I consider it to as important as an enlarger and went to great lengths to find out what the Smiths used and made a special effort to get one. Good luck and happy printing.

    C

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    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    I use an inexpensive R40 120w bulb from the hardware store and use it in a clamp on light approx. 3 ft. above the azo and 1/4in glass. Works fine.

    Jon

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    Thanks for all this info....

    I read extensively on Michael and Paula's site - I'm just trying to get a sense of just how feasible this is without a darkroom. Yes, I have a stash of Azo already (400 sheets of 2 and a 100 sheets of grade 3). I actually hadn't realized that there was such a difference between the two grades. I have not procured any Amidol yet. I still have concerns about the toxicity of the stuff and need to do some more research. I don't have a vacuum frame available and presume that a good contact frame (I have one of the Bostick and Sullivan models - is that a decent frame?) should be fine for 8x10s? Are Newton rings an issue? The only contact printing I have ever done onto silver paper was on regular Ilford multigrade pearl and I had real issues with Newton rings in areas of sky.

  9. #9
    Curt's Avatar
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    Yes Jon but my bulb is what Mr. Smith recommended and he said single strength window glass is more than adequate. My glass is "Optically corrected" clear and thick, at least 1/4" and works fine.

    C

  10. #10

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    Don't make it more difficult than it has to be. Just hang a bulb, put out some trays, and get started. Thick glass works fine for a contact printer and will cost you 5$. If you are concerned about amidol wear gloves.
    art is about managing compromise

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