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Thread: 8x10 negs

  1. #11
    Ole
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    The quick & easy way is to contact print on ordinary enlarging paper. A cheap picture frame (from IKEA?) makes a decent contact printing frame for the first attempts - especially with enlarging paper.

    The next step is to go to specialized contact paper, of which there are two: Azo (see above) and Bergger Art Contact (which according to Michael A. Smith isn't a "real" contact paper). I have had very good results with the Bergger paper, I have not tried Azo. To me, the main advantage of Bergger is that it's readily available in Europe. I develop the paper in Ansco 130, home mixed.

    Beyond that there's no real limit to the processes you can use: Albumen, salt print, van Dyke, Pd/Pt, cyanotype, gum... The list goes on, and there are at least as many opinions as there are practitioners.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  2. #12

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    There are a number of "best " ways to contact print an 8x10 negative. The list includes, but is not limited to Platinum, Albumen, Printing Out Paper, Carbon, and Azo. Which you choose to use is a matter of personal taste. Printing on enlarging paper is, however, definitely not on that list.

  3. #13
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    Guess I'll go throw out all those contact prints I made on enlarging paper then...
    hi!

  4. #14

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    No, don't throw them out yet, but if you reprint them properly on Azo, you will probably be wanting to. I made contact prints on enlarging paper for seven and a half years--good prints--a number were collected by collectors and museums. But when I switched to Azo and learned how to print on it, and reprinted those older negatives, most all of the prints that were made on enlarging paper went into the trash.

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    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by modafoto
    I have some 8x10 negs...
    If 100 sheets of Azo seems too much to print "a few negatives", Bergger Art Contact is available in packs of 25 at a very much lower price. I buy mine from http://www.monochrom.com in Germany. Unlike Azo it can also be used for enlarging, though with very long exposure times.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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  7. #17
    Ole
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    I haven't tried Fomatone, nor have I tried anything else from J&C. Since I live in Norway, it is easier to order from Germany. Some of the J&C products are also available here, like the Foma papers.

    At present I'm trying Bergger, Forte and Maco papers, as well as some Kentmere, Oriental and Ilford paper I've had for a while. I think that's enough...

    The Bergger Art Contact is fixed grade, but responds very well to chemical trickery. I have no difficulties getting good results from grade 1 through 4 by changing the exposure and/or the developer.

    It took me 25 sheets to master this - if one needs 200 sheets to master Azo, I think I'll stick to Bergger...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #18
    Ole
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    The 100 sheet boxes is one of the reasons I have not yet tried Azo - it's far too many sheets to buy for trying. Now, if he had packs of 25 I would give it a go...

    What needs careful testing is how to manipulate the contrast to fit existing negatives, not how to make a negative to fit a given paper. I have given up on multicontrast paper, after finding that I have much better control of tonality using graded papers. And the Bergger Contact is one of the most flexible papers I have tried.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  9. #19
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    Ole, if you have a good mastery already with graded papers (and it certainly sounds as if you do), the learning curve with azo would not be nearly as steep as mine is (with less than a year, total, of black & white so far). It really does add a dimension to printing that is difficult to describe. While my results are not yet what I want, they are encouraging and going in the right direction.

  10. #20

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    Ole, If you are satisfied with your prints, no need to switch to Azo or to anything else. There is never any need to switch until you have seen and really know that your prints can be made better. I did not switch until Dody Thompson (Edward Weston's last assistant), whom I met in 1975 and showed my work to sat me down, put a huge stack of Weston's prints in front of me and we looked at his prints next to mine. I had seen hundreds of Weston's prints previously--and close up, but I never had the opportunity before that moment to really compare, side by side, his prints and mine. As I said, my prints were good ones, but it was immediately obvious that Weston's were far better. Dody and I discussed why that was so, and she eventually came up with, "It has to be the paper." I had tried Azo previously, but could not make good prints on it, but I determined to try it again. (Dody's advice was to try a contact printing paper, not an enlarging paper.) I did, and finally, after much experimentation, figured out how to get it right. For the most part, the difference in my prints was astounding. ( I might add here that it was because of this that good things started happening--an exhibition at the Eastman House, major grants, and on and on. My vision had not changed. It was that the prints were so much better. And solely due to the paper, to the use of Azo.) (I had previously tried all of the enlarging papers then available.)

    To repeat, no need to switch papers if you are satisfied with the prints you already make, but if someone has not yet bought paper and is starting out and wants to make the "best" contact prints as the original poster said he wanted to do, it is doing them a disservice to recommend enlarging paper--have them invest in it, only to find later that there is something that is much better--and easier to use as well.

    I was writing about Azo long before I had any inkling I would ever be selling it, which, I will repeat again, was nothing I ever wanted to do, but was forced to do in order to save the paper. So, please, no comments that my posts about Azo have to do with my selling it. I used to make the same type of posts before selling Azo was even an option.

    Kodak used to make 25-sheet packs of paper, but they have not done so for about six oe seven years now. If someone will supply us with the black bags that it used to come in and the foil-lined (I think they were foil lined) paper enclosures, we would sell 25-sheet packages. But we would have to charge for our time to count out the paper and the cost per sheet would be prohibitive (in my opinion), and I would not recommend it. We do have a very few 25-sheet- package envelopes left, and from time to time I have filled them with paper and sold a few of them, not before recommending against it because of the high price per sheet we must charge, because of the time we must spend. But if, after that, people still want it, we have sold it.

    jdef is right. You really need 200 sheets--a box of each grade. No one that I know or ever heard of makes negatives that always print properly on one grade of paper and I can imagine nothing more frustrating than buying one grade, having the prints be either too soft or having too much contrast, and having to not only buy the other grade after all, but having a totally disappointing printing session because of not having the right materials from the beginning. So we always recommend that, for those starting out, that they buy a box of each grade.

    If you, or anyone else wants a 25-sheet pack, although we do not recommend it, we'll sell it to you as long as we have the envelopes and black bags the paper came in. We do, however, only have a few left. Contact me off-forum.

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