Dan, like you I really love contact prints and contact printing. May I recommend, 'Darkroom 2' published by Lustrum Press (1978). Out of print but avialable on the S/H market. There's a wonderful section by Cole Weston on printing his fathers negatives. He used light bulbs from 7.5 watts to 60 watts for contact printing on the faster bromide papers designed for projection printing. Edward Weston used 100 to 500 watts for contact printing on the much slower silver chloride papers.
I've been using Lodima which others have refered to and for me it is just beautiful. For this I use an over sized light bulb, 125mm dia.(this gives me a very even illumination) and 150 watts at a distance of 20" which gives me exposures of 20 + seconds. I've attached it to an old lens panel for my enlarger and I can vary the hight to either increase or decrese the exposure time. It is also wired to an enlarger timer which is certainly not necessary but I like to use so I can easily 'dodge and burn' while it counts down.
Last edited by Trevor Crone; 09-28-2009 at 02:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.