'Slow' paper for contacting printing?
I don't have an enlarger at the moment [although I used to], but was thinking about printing some medium format negatives -- 6x9s, maybe some 'diptychs' of 6x6s, that sort of thing -- using contact printing methods, probably on relatively small paper sizes. 5" x 7" maybe.
I'm in the UK and am looking for a source for relatively slow paper, so I can expose it using a contact frame [which I'll make] and an ordinary light -- a small lamp, or overhead bulb. I've read about Fomalux [although I'm having a hard time sourcing the resin coated version], but is there anything else that isn't going to give insanely short exposure times?
Also, slower papers of this type, can I get away without using a safe light? The room I'd be using only has a very small amount of soft orange light coming in through a window [sodium type light from distant street lights] at night. Would this fog the paper in the short time I'd be exposing it before it goes into the dev and fix? I may actually still have an old safe light somewhere, but if not, it'd nice to be able to get started right away.
I'm looking for a paper I can source easily in the UK, not something I have to order from the US.
Matt, you might like to have a look at Bergger's Prestige Art Contact 2 http://www.linhofstudio.com/products...rt/papers.html?
I've not used this paper myself so cannot comment on its performance.
Fomalux FB should be available from Silverprint real soon. I have used this paper and it's very fine indeed. Quite slow, although not as slow as Lodima, but a great paper for making contact prints.
Thanks Trevor, that looks like a very useful link.
I'm a little reluctant to use Fibre, though, as I don't have a print washer, and live in a flat where the water is pumped electrically, so running the tap for 20 minutes to half an hour isn't the greatest thing.
Unless there's some secret washing technique [like the Ilford inversion technique for film] that's a lot more efficient with water?
As to safelight - look at theatrical gel over the window; Rosco 26 or 27, or the Lee equivalent to give you a red filtered window light. Or balnk out the window and put the gel into a conventional battery powered torch reflected off the ceiling.
Consider using a 15w incandescant lamp something like 4' over the printing frame; then go with a dimmer or diode in the power circuit if that is too much hassle.
The other option is to fog and under develop a piece of flilm the size of the contact frame to make a neutral density filter to allow you to use conventional RC paper, of the likes of Ilford MGIV RC.
As to washing FB, yes, changing baths intermittently will work, but better is to fix at film strength, and rinse vigourously after a short fix, before the paper fibres have a chance to swell, end then make things a bitch to wash out.
There again are theatrical filters for green and blue that could be placed over the contact frame for varying percentages of the net total exposure to allow you to do VC with the contact frame.
my real name, imagine that.
So, I had a go with MG IV RC using a small lamp bounced off the ceiling [direct light was far too bright]. Exposure times were too short to be useful -- somewhere between 1 and 3 seconds, depending on the density of the negatives, and a second either way made the prints unusable. However, as a trial run the rest of the process worked fine. No newton's rings, the workflow was straightforward, and I was able to temporarily light proof the room easily.
Thanks for the advice. I'm going to experiment with finding ways of reducing the intensity of the light [for the MG IV] and also seek out some slower paper.
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And the 'good' prints were nice.
Fomalux 312 is specifically formulated for contact printing. Freestyle have it in stock - it is in the "specialty papers" section of their B&W printing paper section...and it is very reasonably priced.