Point 1 is false as what developer and paper gives "pleasing tones" is a rather subjective thing. What pleases you, or me, may not please everyone.
Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
Point 2 - so what difference does that make?
Maybe it was the difference in the negs?
Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
Many current enlarging papers have a greater Dmax than Azo does. I understand that Lodima has a greater Dmax than Azo did as well. Congratulations on that.
Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
And "longer scale" - can you explain what you mean here? Do you mean low contrast, as in ISO contrast grade?
Anyway, please feel free to discount my comments as I've never printed on Azo. I find enlargments suit my preferences much more than contact prints. As David Vestal says in the current issue of Photo Techniques, "It is possible to make good large prints of photos that can stand it. Some even gain by it. See the work of Ansel Adams for many good examples."
Last edited by Kirk Keyes; 04-19-2009 at 06:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.
For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!
Maybe I'm being naive, but I honestly do not understand why some people are adding their comments on this thread. If you've never printed on AZO or Lodima, and have no intention to do so, how are your comments adding to the discourse? If there is a thread on, let's say, whats the best paper for Platinum printing; and I added comments like never printed platinum & never will because I prefer enlarging paper - I might be considered, at best, rude & unhelpful. Sorry for the rant.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
Negatives for Azo
Thanks for the interesting information about printing on Azo David. For those of us who lack the experience and expertise of many experienced analog photographers here, I wonder if you might be just a bit more specific about those negatives that you find will yield better results on Azo paper. Thus, when you say more contrast in a given negative prints better on Azo paper, can I take such to mean that the negative is more "dense" than negatives that you might use for more conventional enlarging? What does one see in a negative that has "more contrast" vs. what one might see in a negative that is correctly exposed and correctly developed for conventional silver enlarging? Will you develop your negatives meant for Azo printing for a longer time in order to increase the density? Does more contrast usually "translate" into longer development for a given exposure, or does one also "overexpose" ( vs. exposure for "routine" silver enlarging and contact printing ) in order to get more details in both the shadows and the highlights realizing that such details in the shadows AND the highlights will print on Azo?
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Sorry to ask a rather rudimentary question, but the question of what constitutes "more contrast" in a negative, and how to "get" such, has always been just a bit confusing to me.
I have seen numerous Ansel Adams prints at the museum here in Denver at several elaborate showings and at the Sante Fe gallery and at other places around the country have had the time to get up close and personal with them. Similarly over the last several years I have seen many prints by Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee and I will tell you straight up that M&P's prints are richer more expressive when it comes to sharpness and tonality (leaving the esthetics out of this discussion) than the Adams prints. This is not an adverse condition for the AA prints because they are really excellent but there is a significant visual difference that is qualifiable with little effort. They are simply marvelous with a capital M. If you have not seen these prints in person you really have no reference point to draw upon and therefore this discussion becomes emotional and you are confronted by this discussion. Attempting to qualify this differential with technical information or numbers are meaningless because the argument will continue to be disputed over obscure details when at the end of the day all you have to do is to look at them with an open mind. The difference will astound you. Just ask anyone that has taken their seminar.
Originally Posted by Kirk Keyes
Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak
I have to agree with Michael Kadillak. I first saw M&P's prints in Denver a year or so ago, at the Camera Obscura Gallery. The print quality is simply stunning; I'm talking about PRINT quality. (The photographic quality is also excellent IMHO.)
Shortly thereafter I made my first AZO "fine art" print. It just blew me away; I haven't made an enlargment since. So, if anyone wants to buy a Bessler 810VXL enlarger and pick it up in Colorado Springs, let me know.....
I've never met M&P but have corresponded with them, and they've always been friendly; not snobs.
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hi just to answer your questions since they got kind of lost in the mix
Originally Posted by EASmithV
lodima and azo are contact printing papers .
they are usually used by putting a negative in contact with the paper, no enlargement. you can use a flood light to expose the paper, like a 300watt bulb. these papers are very slow, maybe 10x slower than normal enlarging papers.
you can process the prints in dektol if you want, i have, and ansco 130 or a handful of other developers. amidol is what people suggest because they get
better control and tonality of the print-tone ( and black fingernails ).
it is nice to hear that lodima is getting off the ground, this is good news.
i hope it is around when i run out of what i am using, i can't afford to buy more paper these days.
i am looking forward to it though, i loved making photograms with azo and i am sure lodima will
make nice photograms as well.
I hear what are saying Tim. I have a really marvelous like new Durst 10x10 184 and a Durst 138 5x7 enlarger in my basement that have been collecting dust in my basement for five years now here in Aurora Colorado (outside of Denver) with 10 enlarging lenses after my first experience viewing Michael and Paula's prints. Nothing has had more of a profound affect on how I view photography since that momentous occasion. If anyone wants a smoking deal on some enlargers let me know. Make you a hell of a deal on one or both. All it takes is one viewing and you will be hooked as well.
Originally Posted by Tim Boehm
Well Kirk, since you have never printed on silver chloride paper your comments really are meaningless. However, I have a difficult time, as you may have noticed, letting slights and ridiculous comments pass without comment.
"Pleasing tone." Sure it is subjective. But when 99% of respondents find one thing more pleasing than another, it probably is. All art is subjective, but over time there is a consensus about what is great and deep and lasting and what isn't. Not everyone will agree with the consensus, but that does not give the minority opinion, which is generally uninformed, any validity (except, of course, to the person who has that minority opinion). If you have printed on silver chloride paper, and developed prints of the same negative on Amidol and in Dektol and compared the prints and honestly thought the tones in the Dektol print were more pleasing to you, then your comment about pleasing tones would have some validity. But as it is, your comment is less than meaningless.
"What difference does it make," regarding shorter developing times. I was trying, unsuccessfully it appears, to explain why someone using silver chloride paper for the first time might not get great results. It could come from not understanding that the developing time for silver chloride paper is different than the developing time for enlarging paper.
"Maybe it was the difference in the negatives." No, when later I printed the same negatives on Azo, hundreds of them, that had been printed on enlarging paper, and showed them to Dody and we once again compared the print quality to Edward Weston's prints, they more or less matched, as opposed to the first time, when my prints were clearly inferior.
"What do you mean by longer scale? What I mean is that there is more separation in the mid-tones. Just more steps. With enlarging papers, the mid-tones seem to compress. I am commenting from what I see when I look at prints, not from what I measure as I do not own a densitometer (and never have). When the same negative is printed on enlarging paper and on silver chloride paper and the prints are placed side by side, in almost every case, the print on silver chloride paper has more "glow" and "presence" to it. Why? It appears that the mid-tones just separate more and sing instead of speak. I am not talking about brighter whites or blacker blacks. It is in the mid tones.
Kodak got behind Azo when they sent me some Polymax Fine Art and I made a print on it where the Zone 5 tones matched the zone 5 tones on an Azo print. Those at Kodak were blown away, and rescinded their discontinuation of Azo.
Big Ansel Adams prints: I do not trust, Kirk, your ability to judge print quality. Many years ago, back around 1970, there was a major Adams retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most of the prints were large ones. I was shocked at how terrible the tones were. Yes, that had very deep blacks, but the large prints just had no life to them. Then I noticed a hallway in a balcony where there was a row of his contact prints. I was blown away. I do not believe I have ever seen any prints more beautiful than those contact prints.
Adams himself wrote in his book "Examples" when discussing the photograph, Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain, "Many years ago I made a print of this negative on a contact paper that, when fully toned in selenium, had a marvelous color. It is one of the most satisfactory prints I have ever made, and I have not been able to duplicate it with contemporary enlarging papers. The paper I used might have been Agfa Convira or Kodak Azo. Both were coated with silver-chloride emulsions . . ."
Michael A. Smith
I think you've got it. When I'm making a negative for Azo, I develop for a longer time than I would develop for a typical grade 2 enlarging paper. In zone system terms, my "N" development time for negs targeted for Azo is usually about my "+1" time for negs targeted for enlarging papers, so the highlights on the neg will have more density, and there will be better separation in the midtones and highlights on the neg, and that separation will register clearly on the print.
Originally Posted by Mahler_one