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.