Yesterday I finally tried Lodima Paper, and today I've just finished another print section, so I could write down some impression of it.
I'm very impressed about the quality of the paper, the weight for me is not double but single a half,I think is a perfect tickness, easy to manage in all case.
It seems similar to Azo but slightly faster, more and less 30-50%, the tone is neutral,or slightly warm but not so much, with very deep black, clean white and a very good mid-tone,with a good micro-contrast, the scale is very long.
Paper takes very well water bath, and in selenium works well, no big changement of colour(I use a diluition 1:64).
I like very much the one minute on the developer(Amidol), remind me an old box of Azo paper, that used only one minute...
I think when the final production will run, to re-print some pictures.
The only problem I had, are the same that I read on the forum, a little problem on the black border emulsion coming off in the egde, and in some sheet of paper a black speck, but easily removed by a gentle use of cotton bud..
and the curl of the paper, although, I didn't have problem in the baths but more to put the paper in contact with negative, but it was notice and I read that in the final run won't appear this problem.
Summarize I think this paper is the perfect evolution of Azo, for me it's better, and I would like to send to Michael and Paula, my gratitude for their effort to put on the market a so beautiful silver-chloride paper.
I should be able to put on the gallery tomorrow some prints, I hope with a comparison between azo/lodima
This is my first serious attempt at a good print with Lodima. Scott included color information in the .jpeg, but this is still much colder than the print. The best approximation to the color I'm getting is the banner at the top of M&P's website.
Originally Posted by c6h6o3
This print was made from a 400TMax negative (old) developed in Pyrocat HD. I think it really shows off the incredible scale of this paper. I put the darkest shadows (the middle of the right door) on Zone IV and the brightest areas (the panel above the doors and the sunlit stone on the left) fell on Zone IX-1/2. I gave it N-1 development. I had to use a water bath to get the highlights right.
The negative is incredibly sharp. You can see the piano wire mesh that the Cathedral has placed over Ex Nihilo to keep the pigeons off of it with the naked eye on the negative. The paper is not quite as sharp, as you need a loupe to see the wire, but it's still amazing. One of the guards asked me if the camera lens would resolve the wires. You can't see them from the camera position. I told him I didn't know. Now I know.
Thanks to Scott Davis (The Flyingcamera) for scanning this for me.
Last edited by c6h6o3; 12-26-2008 at 07:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I did some comparative curves between Lodima #2 and Canadian Azo #2 - both developed in Amidol for 1 minute.
You are looking at a grade 2 vs a grade 3 paper just eyeballing the curves. Maybe the difference is even greater. I would have to compare thise with my standards here for better analysis.
I've posted curves and speed comparisons here with my Azo type emulsion.
I finally printed on Lodima FA test paper. Circumstances of life here severely limit my time available for photography or darkroom work. Therefore, although I have lots of Amidol on hand from Greg Davis’ group purchase, the convenience of Neutol WA (1:7) and TF4 (1:3) liquid concentrates wins out. I used that combination on the Lodima with a one minute developing time.
My negatives are not developed with a staining developer. I expose Canadian grade 2 Azo using a 38W bulb in a 10-inch Smith Victor reflector with clip-on diffuser. At the same 15-inch illuminant distance, Lodima FA required that I use a 60W bulb to stay in the same 17 – 20 second exposure range. Emergence time was 5 seconds, compared to 18 seconds for Canadian grade 2 Azo (the Azo gets 3 minutes in Neutol WA). I agree with Michael Smith's assessment that the contrast is grade 2-1/3.
In Neutol WA, this paper is warm! Canadian grade 2 Azo is a cold neutral in the same developer; I tone it for 3 minutes in Ilford HARMAN selenium toner 1:10 to solidify blacks and achieve the slightest hint of warmth. By contrast, Lodima FA has the same patent leather blacks and is almost brown right out of the developer. No need to tone Lodima.
Curl. Yeah, it sure does curl. In fact, while Lodima prints I made from 5x7 negatives were sharp, those from 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 negatives on 8x10 paper had areas of unsharpness. I attribute this to the weak springs on my larger printing frame being unable to hold the sandwich flat against the curl. I suspect a vacuum frame would overcome that problem but hope the manufacturer’s assurances to Michael and Paula that production runs won’t curl are lived up to.
I experienced almost none of the edge lifting reported by others when printing 5x7 and a little when using full 8x10 sheets. I suspect the problem was made worse by additional handling necessitated by curl with the larger paper.
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Let's hope they fix that as they say they will. The curl is so bad with my box that when I immerse an 8x10 sheet in an 8x10 tray with 1 liter of amidol in it, the corners curl up out of solution, making it nearly impossible to get even development in 1 minute. I'm not saying that it's a deal killer for me (yet), but it's certainly close. I can't imagine, however, that Michael and Paula won't take it very seriously and fix it.
Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura
Originally Posted by c6h6o3
I have no reason to believe the curl won't be fixed, but even if it weren't fixed it isn't the end of the world. I always start development by placing the paper in the developer emulsion down and flipping the paper over within 3-5 seconds. A glove on the other hand, and you can hold the edges under the developer. Extra H2O in the water bath tray solves the issue there, and by the time it gets to the fix tray, the curl is pretty much gone.
I have to believe folks (like you and me) who appreciate what a silver chloride paper has to offer, will step up and support Lodima. The curl, I can deal with. I just hope the final Grade 2 is closer to the old Rochester Grade 2 Azo in terms of contrast.
I'd rather have curly Lodima then no Lodima at all....
Copied from Azo forum.
Finally got a chance to try this stuff out. I mixed up 3l of MAS amidol for an 11x14 tray. I recommend that much, curl will be no problem. I started off with a calibrated step wedge. I have to recalibrate my densitometer then I can provide some numbers. I went through about 25 sheets, more than I would like to have but I think it was worth it. I had an exposure 6 seconds 100 watt bulb 38 inches distance, to get to minimum black with a .12 FB/F. Full development at one minute nothin' at all gained from 2 and three minute times other than paper brightness going away. At three minutes I could see what must be that illusive pink stain I hear people talk about. I would agree that a grade two even would be just right. I would rather have the current grade as my compliment to G2. G3 doesn't excite me. If I expose the paper to get Dmax thru FB/F and this paper only needs 6 seconds with a 100w bulb. Why are so many having such long times? I pulled out some negs that were in the also ran pile for whatever reasons. I tried some negs that would be considered condenser CI. Gave it the 6 to get black and the top fell in beautiful. The thinner neg developed for the full minute with no need at all for a snatch session. This has me taking a new look at the whole " get a bunch in the neg" attitude. I can see that I have been pounding on my negs WAY more than I need to for this paper. Since most of my negs keyed to carbon and new Azo 2, I was not suprised to see that most of my negs were to high in density range. I would say you could get a good print in a neg that was developed for scanning as per Sandy Kings article. That is why MAS says print everything. Bottom line, I would walk past ANY box of Azo and pick up this paper. If Azo hadn't went away we wouldn't have a better alternative. Thanks Michael.
PS:I forgot to say there was NO DIFFERENCE in step wedges developed at 68.6 and 57 degrees.
I ran some step wedges on this paper the other day. I read them with my densitometre and it indicated that the paper is a soft grade 2. I then counted the steps on the paper and I get about grade 2.5 . So, one has to decide which reading is more relevant, the densitometre reading or a visual check of counting the steps. Me thinks a visual check is more important as we look at prints with our eyes.
I printed a "normal" negative in Amidol and it printed beautifully. I tried the water bath on a contrasty negative and I found that 10 seconds in developer and remaining time in water (1 minute total between developer and water) worked very well.
A really nice paper with deep blacks and clean whites.
The curl was very annoying for my very simple contact printing setup. I understand that this will be corrected for future runs of this paper.
I never used Azo, so I have nothing to compare it with...but who cares? Nice paper that I can see using in the future.
This paper is a real pleasure to work with. Did some more printing yesterday. Using 25 watt bug lights in darkroom which makes determining of snatch point for water bath a breeze. Exposing with 75 watt R20 bulb, with times between 7.5 secs & 20 secs depending on neg. Developing in rather old PF130 for about 30-45 seconds (when blacks look good); then into a deep tray of water for another 2 mins. Examine print to see if any areas need further dev. If so, paint with developer on local area for another couple of mins. Prints have a nice touch of warmth. Looking forward to having paper in ULF sizes.