I searched this site and others, last night for info on contact printing and my head is still spinning this morning. Here's the deal................I've been shooting my 4x5 lately and it's really been rewarding and relaxing. I got to thinking that if 4x5 is this rewarding and relaxing then 8x10 must be twice as beneficial. Right???? So, I dug out my trusty BJ 8x10, blew the dust off, slapped my convertible Zeiss Protar on it and now I'm ready to go. Of course I don't have an enlarger or darkroom big enough for 8x10 enlarging.
I want to contact print my negs!!!!! Here is what I have. 1.) Light source= my Omega D2V condenser enlarger. 2.) Contact set-up= 20"x24" vacuum easel. 3.) Film= old TRI-X 320 and TMAX 100
This is the help I need. I think the light source is fine. The vacuum easel should work, but I have to figure out a way to keep the neg in perfect contact with the paper. I'm thinking of a piece of 11x14 1/2" thick plate glass or any other suggestion? Now, for my real question and that is paper and developer. I just want to experiment with this set-up for a while to get the hang of it so I don't want to shell out much dough. I know from the research last night that AZO and Lomida papers deliver the sharpest contact prints. Or so they say! I'd like something close since I'm kind of a sharpness freak. I'm leaning toward Foma Fomalux RC312 (very cheap), Adox Nuance sounds good also. Now, comes the developer? I'm going to do some 8x10 portraits and maybe a couple of landscapes/light house shots and want a neutral or slightly warm tone look with good blacks. I know many use Ansco130, but I don't think it would be warm enough for my liking. So, maybe something on the order of Selectol Soft or Agfa Nuetol.
So, what I'm after is a cheap starting point, as sharp as possible print with a slightly warm or warm tone look. Anyone have any good advice besides buy a digital P&S. JohnW