My experience/opinion with azo / amidol is that only a pyro neg will really have enough scale to print on number two AZO. Making a negative that prints on number 3 doesn't require any special developers, and is probably easier for a beginner to get good results with. I never really believed the pyro thing myself, but I reprinted what appeared to be a high contrast d76 negative on #2 AZO and the negative was pretty flat, even though the eyeball contrast seemed greater than a good pyro neg.

Don't skimp on using amidol though, it is essential. You can get it premixed from
Call Michael Smith at, this is the only place you can get a 100 sheet box of #3 AZO.