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  1. #1

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    Beginning Contact Printing

    Hi All,

    I have been reading the archives for a while, and have not been able to find a clear answer to my question.

    I managed to get an 8x10, and there is no way I will be able to get an 8x10 enlarger, (my 4x5 is enlarger is big enough), so I am going to do contact printing and later want to start pt/pd.

    Anyway, I will be printing for now mostly on VC papers, maybe someday the AZO replacement when it comes out. I was wondering can you do things like split grade printing when contact printing? I realize I am going to have to use some ND filters and/or small aperture on the enlarger(that will be my light source) to slow my printing times down.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Gary

  2. #2
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Gary, if you have standardized your use of materials already, there is no reason you can't use the enlarger to print the 8x10's. Have you ever made an enlarged print from 4x5 and wondered about doing a similar contact print? If so, you already have the correct time and exposure for a 4x5 contact print. I did a few 8x10 enlargements last night, then moved the easel and brought out the printing frame. The same exposure for my enlargement was used as the setting for my most recent upload of a 4x5 contact print.

    The 4x5 contact print has more apparent contrast, but that is due to the enlargement ratio and how the same paper "sees" tonality in a smaller image. So to answer your question, with the same paper you can use exactly the same procedures in making contact prints. A thinner paper is easier to work with in contact printing than a heavy paper. Best,tim

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by coriana6jp
    Hi All,

    I have been reading the archives for a while, and have not been able to find a clear answer to my question.

    I managed to get an 8x10, and there is no way I will be able to get an 8x10 enlarger, (my 4x5 is enlarger is big enough), so I am going to do contact printing and later want to start pt/pd.

    Anyway, I will be printing for now mostly on VC papers, maybe someday the AZO replacement when it comes out. I was wondering can you do things like split grade printing when contact printing? I realize I am going to have to use some ND filters and/or small aperture on the enlarger(that will be my light source) to slow my printing times down.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Gary
    I have heard very good things about JandC Nuance paper when used to make contact prints developed in amidol. Some claim results as rewarding as those obtained with Azo in amidol. I have not seen these prints, but the photographers who tell me about this paper are as good as they come. I don't know what they're using as a light source. I intend to buy some of this paper and begin learning how to use it, and I have a pretty good stash of Azo laid in.

    The bottom line is that you don't have to use Azo or any replacement for it to make fine contact prints.

  4. #4

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    I am interested in trying the Nuance for contact printing. Anyone here with experience that can tell me what light source to use? thanks!

  5. #5

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    I've been using Nuance and can confirm that it's a wonderful paper. I only make contact prints on it. When Azo was discontinued, I began testing different papers including Kentmere, Fotre Elegance, Oriental Seagull, Ilford, etc... To my eyes, Nuance was head and shoulders above all the others and very close to the results I'd been getting with Azo. I've been using an enlarger as a light source, although I've also used my Azo light source which is nothing more than a lightbulb hanging from a cord. However, basic lightbulbs tend to throw more uneven light than an enlarger head and Nuance is much more sensitive to this than Azo so if you have an enlarger head, I'd recommend using that. I'm developing in the MAS Amidol formula and development times seem to really impact contrast - the softer grade (although they roughly correspond to Grades 2 & 3, this is not what they're called), can be developed to a higher contrast than the harder grade paper by developing longer. Nuance also responds well to a water bath so the combination of development times and water bath really gives a lot of control. Great blacks, color is a wonderful warm tone - especially the hard grade (soft grade seems a touch cooler to me). Both grades need a longer fix before I can turn on the lights than Azo did. Overall, it's a great paper.
    Scott Killian
    www.scottkillian.com

  6. #6

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for the help. It gives me somethings to try. I bought some Oriental FB paper to try as well. I will also give some Nuance a try as well.

    Do things like split grade printing and VC filters generally behave the same way as "normal" enlarging?

    Thanx!

    Gary

  7. #7
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Gary, split grade printing on vc paper is the same. The only difference is that the film is in contact with the paper, so burning and dodging are a bit more difficult to see. Try a print from your enlarger, then use the same film at the same setting in a contact frame with the same manipulations. tim

  8. #8

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    Tim,

    Thanks! That was exactly the answer I was looking for. I will give it a try in the next several days.

    Best Regards,

    Gary

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skillian
    although I've also used my Azo light source which is nothing more than a lightbulb hanging from a cord.
    What wattage? Is it a normal household lightbulb or an R40 flood?

  10. #10

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    I emailed jandc and they recommended 40-60 watts about 5 feet away for starters....I ordered some of the nuance and will report my comparisions with AZO on the forum.

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