Where did that estimate originate? I've not seen anything from Michael Smith lately that indicated a specific lead time or range of lead times.
Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
That sums up the Azo advantage quite well
Well, that's where I'm starting to take a departure from the normal course of thought. I have been printing from negatives that I originally printed on Azo. One of them was one that was so dense and contrasty that it took a lengthy exposure on the Canadian grade 2 azo and a water bath. Yet, about the only difference I can see between the Kentmere Bromide print and the Azo print, is a slight difference in tone. I'm starting to believe that some of these modern enlarging papers can do just as good. Its not that I don't still long for a silver chloride paper. But -----.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Alex, I have gotten decent results with the kentmere bromide as well. Did you use amidol? And if so, was it the azo contact or enlarging formula? Have you tried it with Ansco?
Also, I am hopeful the new lodima will be available much sooner....
Yes Scott, I have printed Kentemere Bromide with the amidol enlarging formula and PF 130. This is the crux of my thesis. I'm having a very hard time being able to visually see the difference between the amidol print and the PF 130 print.
Originally Posted by Scott Peters
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From what I gather on the AZO forum and Michael's updates they have had two test runs of paper. The first batch tested last April was to contrasty and cool and after 6 months of aging still has to much contrast. A new coating tested in October also had to much contrast and will need to age. So I am figuring that if the the October '06 batch tests OK in April (6 months of aging) then an actual production run will go ahead. Now if the actual production run needs to age for aprox. 6 months before it is ready, that puts us out to October of this year and then time to raise additional funds and replace outdated checks, cut and ship will probably add a few months. That gets you out to a year, longer if there are continuing challenges fine tuning the paper.
Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura
I maybe confused about the aging issue and perhaps once they get emulsion recipe correct, paper can be shipped right after it is coated. If that is the case then a best case scenario would be Lodima available this summer. I sure hope that turns out to be the case.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
In most cases, an emulsion does not age 'into' being good when bad, but if it does age 'into' good, it keeps right on going out the other side to a different sort of bad.
It is just like fruit in that sense. You pick a green apple, it becomes a ripe apple on your shelf, and then suddenly you have a rotten apple. Chances are, it is one or the other, unchanging or continually changing. In either case, this will most likely be a set of unusable emulsion formulas.
This is based on emulsion experience, nothing more.
I will stick to the original topic of this thread-- an alternative to Azo/Amidol. But, I will say that I think some of the popularity of Azo was the comparable ease of making great prints.
Since 2002, aside from Azo, the only two papers I have used are Kentmere Kentona and J&C Nuance. Since you can only get one of those, I suggest Kentona.
Kentona is more contrasty than Azo. Most of my negatives are scaled for Grade 2 Azo, so I don't use much Kentona. When I have used Kentona, (I can think of only 4 negatives off the top of my head) it has been lovely, and I can show it right next to an Azo print.
The surface is not as glossy as Azo. I learned from Joe Freeman that if you dry the prints over heat, or place them in contact with steam, they gain a little gloss (I have not tried this because the not-so-glossy-ness doesn't really bother me).
As for Amidol not being an advantage over something like Ansco 130: It is really irrevelant. You can make a beautiful print out of nearly anything if you 1: know what a great print is, and 2: work hard enough to achieve that.
Examining David G's point of view on this, I would need to agree (to a point) with what he said. Of course if one has a negative scaled to a 1.65 ES material it will print better on a 1.65 ES material than it will on a material that has a ES of 1.10...that seems pretty much a non brainer. But let's take this a step further, if we may.
Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
When I step back to four years ago and look at what MAS himself wrote about Azo and printing on it, he clearly and repeatedly said that you needed a dense negative. That was where a lot of misinformation began. Azo does not need so much a dense negative as it needs a negative with an density range of optimally 1.65 to print on Azo grade two. Taking MAS at his use of the english language, one could have a negative that had a shadow density of .45 and a peak density of 1.65...the negative darned sure would be dense but it would like like unmitigated crap on grade two Azo. For those of you who wish to question this use of the language, I encourage you to visit the Azo forum archives.
Which brings me to my point, you can tailor make a negative to a given paper's scale and optimize your procedure to the point that you can make some very nice prints on several alternative papers. Will they be better than Azo with Amidol? Good question, that depends on who is doing the printing. A good printer with a conventional graded material will produce better prints than a marginal printer using Azo. Taking the same printer working with both materials, will produce prints that will be fine or bad with either material.
So far as Azo being an easier material to print on, I can't buy that in my experience. A good bit about the ease of printing with Azo is that you can get by with a negative with an extended DR on Azo where it would be more problematic with a conventional enlarging paper...the reason is the difference in the scales of the materials.
Now there are other factors to consider in a paper. One is the dmax of the material. There are several enlarging papers that will equal Azo on this score. Nuance and Ketona are two that do. For that matter, Azo does not exhibit any greater dmin than any number of papers. That leaves the color of the material. There are several papers that are as appealing to me as Azo.
Now please understand that my purpose in writing the above was not to diminish Azo. Nor have I sought to elevate any papers. My purpose has been to lend a degree of objectivity to an often mythical and emotionally charged matter. A matter that often has relied on a lot of arm waving and not much in
way of objective factual analysis. I have tested each of the papers that I have mentioned and so I have not attempted to portray a "mine is better than yours" subjective viewpoint into this matter.
Azo is gone...so is another of my favorite papers (PW Classic) and for the moment at least another as well (Nuance)...It is time to move on...let's use what we have at hand to the best of our abilities...for it is as true today as it has ever been, "the characteristics of the materials far outstrip our ability to use them optimally".
Thanks for allowing me to voice my opinion.
Donald, you have made a very good point, and here are two supplemental thoughts.
First, if you overexpose a negative by about 1/3 stop, you get more density and run the density range up the scale getting more breadth to the usable scale. This is why I always overexpose by this much on all negative materials, color and B&W. Now, I am not the worlds best photographer, but I do know the science of photography and know that this is one of the ways to exploit a negative film to its best advantage.
Second, by doing this, you up the exposure time making a print in most all cases, and this puts you into a different contrast reciprocity failure range for the paper if it exists. Kodak release tests paper at 10" for most contact and enlarging grades. The last batch of Azo appeared good for some people and poor for others. In general, when I talked to some of them, I found this group roughly divided into those who use long printing times and those who use short printing time for whatever reason. Some were due to the density of the negative and others were due to the light source (UV, Tungsten etc) In any event, if there is sufficient spread in these, then contrast reciprocity failure, if bad, will show up and I suspect that is the problem with the last batch of Azo. It may also be why some see the superb tone scale of Azo and others do not.
In and of itself, the curve of Azo paper, its sharpness and the support characteristics are not exceptional as B&W papers goes. It is probably in how it is handled to some rather large extent.