I have a print of Aggies in which she did an 8X10 enlarged neg of a medium format camera negative. She had to bleach the Azo back extensively to get detail into areas of the print. Azo does require a lot higher DR then conventional negatives for enlarging. But in this particular case apparently the DR of the enlarged negative was beyond the scope of the material's (Azo) characteristics. Azo requires appr .50 log units density increase over a conventional negative designed for purposes of enlarging.
I did not bleach it extensively for the reason he states. It was the toning I did to it that I bleac hed it to make the slenium look like chocolate brown. I bleached the print after I had left it in slenium for an extended period. That orginal negatvie I used to enlarge from was extremely thin. Doing the enlarged negative process i was able to fix a few things. Who among us hasn't made a thin negative in the camera to being with?

As for the differences in the one print Don mentions, I have done it in both Van Dyke and AZO. The van Dyke printed just fine, but the azo just popped. I used the same enlarged negative for both. The toned one is one that gave more of the feel of the orginal antelop canyon. I have one that I did in both AZO and Van Dyke that one of the members back east has also. It is one with ivy covering a door way to an abandoned farm house. That one I will post since the bit of bleaching I did to it was on one of the over hang eves that I just wanted to lighten just a bit. It was not due to the film, in fact it was better than the silver print I had made a few years before that.

As for making a flat interpositive I have found a few tricks that work for me. If i need it flatter I found I could put one of the filters in the enlarger. That helped. In fact i was told I shouldn't do this. Well it worked and if it works that is good enough for me. The second was to preflash the film. I use two methods for this. One is to take a scrap bit of the film and do a flash similar to what we do for paper. I preflash for just a bit, with a twist. i use a styrofoam cup over the lens to soften the flashing. The second method I use is to hold the sheet of film nearer the safelight. It takes a lot longer, but gives a nice gentle fog that works well for flashing. I just go from there to develop in the dektol. I prefer the more exhausted 1:1 dilution. But that comes down to personal preference. One person I know uses his cigareete lighter to flash the film with. It is not precise enough for me

I don't use a densitometer and just eyeball the process. After a while you begin to see the subtle changes. You just become comfortable with your materials.

I found that Arista has some quirks that I don't like about their film. again this personal choice. I stick with the Ilford for this.

The thing in the end is there are several ways to do this process. Mine works for me. Other methods may suit other people. It is fun to experiment and see what happens. That is what photography is all about. Explore and have fun.

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