PDA

View Full Version : Contact printing question



rbiemer
21-Sep-2017, 05:58
I've been pretty happy with my 4x5 negative processing but not with my scanning so far.

So, I thought I would look at contact prints.
My ultimate goal is a "real" darkroom and a 4x5 enlarger but that's not happening soon.

In the meantime, I've searched around the web for some basic starting points and, holy cow!, there is lots and lots of somewhat conflicting info!

What I need to do, again, for now, is a basic paper/negative/glass "sandwich" under a suspended bare bulb type of set up.

What I am having a tough time sorting are two main things: bulb size(watts) and distance above the paper.

I've found contact print paper and am hoping to get exposure times of 30 seconds or so--I'm not sure I can consistently control times at the short duration for enlarging paper. Though if I can get 10 to 30 second exposure time with "regular" paper, that would work for me too.

Yes, I will be testing my specific set up but when I read things like "15 watts 3 or 4 feet above the paper" as well as "90 watt (?!) bulb 2 feet above the paper" , I think I need a bit of help to minimize paper/chemistry waste.

Thanks!
Rob

jp
21-Sep-2017, 06:15
You need to get started and try things. One sheet of paper cut into strips will help you figure out exposure ranges, and be good practice.

I use a medium format dichroic enlarger for doing contact prints on normal photo paper. I use the enlarger because it's there for my MF printing needs and I can adjust the contrast with the color dials. Papers vary in sensitivity so there is no general time or wattage.

You may also get better results or at least save time by buying a contact printing frame. It's painful to spend $100 or so for a rugged picture frame with felt in the back, but they do a great job at keeping things flat and held together. It saves time from "making sandwiches" and checking things over.

LabRat
21-Sep-2017, 06:26
Modern papers are fast, so often your exposures will be in seconds (or sometimes split seconds)... Very slow papers are hard to find...

You might need a digital enlarging timer that can expose in split seconds, and you will get better print to print exposures... (Cheap for a used unit...)

You can test exposures by covering almost all of the glass/paper combination with a card, leaving a strip exposed, then move card after another time interval, and so on, and when developed you will see what area looks best...

The good news is once you get good negatives, most will be fairly close to your standard print exposure, so it won't take much to get where you want it to be...

Just cut some paper strips for tests, but carefully note your light to paper distance, and set it exactly there every time... You will find the sweet spot very quickly!!!

Good Luck!!!

Steve K

Jac@stafford.net
21-Sep-2017, 07:03
Tips: Get an inexpensive industrial aluminum shade from your local hardware store. Remove the clamp and hang it by the cord. It will shade the light from your eyes if the bulb is at eye-level. While you are there get a couple conventional bulbs of different wattage (40, 60, 100W), and perhaps a rheostat to regulate brightness.

170113

Contact printing frames are typically $10 on the 'Bay. Go for it.

koraks
21-Sep-2017, 08:53
I use a sheet of glass taped on one side to the board of one of my enlargers so that the tape acts like a hinge. I use an enlarger because it allows me to use filters for vc paper and I can stop down the lens to adjust the exposure time. Works like a charm. A bare bulb would work as well, but exposure times may be very short (depending on the brightness of the bulb) and filtering for variable contrast requires some improvisation.

faberryman
21-Sep-2017, 09:13
An enlarger makes an excellent light source for contact printing with the aperture of the lens providing a way to easily control exposure. It need not be a 4x5. Any cheap 35mm enlarger and lens will work fine. That being said, I'm told Edward Weston did some good work with a bare bulb.

Jim Noel
21-Sep-2017, 09:33
Edward Weston used a bare bulb to print everything. Since you have found some contact paper, you should be able to do the same. Edwards bulb was mounted on a rod so he could vary the height as needed. He also was known to wrap toilet tissue around the bulb to attenuate the light. I suggest you begin with a 25 watt bulb if you can find one. Certainly you need to stay away from 100 watts and higher.
Good luck!

xkaes
21-Sep-2017, 09:37
You are on the right track. Just use the KISS principle -- Keep It Simple, Stupid.

All you need if a light bulb, a sheet of glass, and a piece of cardboard. A safelight makes it a lot easier than working in total darkness.

Put the paper on a flat surface and any given distance from the light bulb. It's a good idea if it is within reach of the light switch. Place a good negative on the paper, followed by the glass. It's a good idea to tape the edges of the glass to avoid cutting yourself. Cover the glass with the cardboard. Decide the longest exposure time you want -- let's say 30 seconds. Uncover a 1/4 strip of the negative. Turn on the light and start counting DOWN -- 30, 29, 28, etc. At 20, uncover another 1/4 strip of the negative and keep counting down. Repeat at 10 and 5 seconds.

If all of the paper is too dark, move the light further away or try a lower wattage bulb -- and repeat.

If all of the paper is too light, move the light closer or try a higher wattage bulb -- and repeat.

If one of the strips looks good, repeat the test with finer timed strips -- around the best strip -- such as 20, 18, 16, and 14 seconds.

Then learn to count seconds in your head -- just watch a wrist watch while you are riding the bus! Pretty soon you'll be able to count five minutes as good as a darkroom timer.

stawastawa
21-Sep-2017, 10:16
Yes! KISS! get started and KISS!
print out Xkaes post above and use it as your guide if you find that helpful.

You are on the right track. Just use the KISS principle -- Keep it Simple, Stupid.

All you need if a light bulb, a sheet of glass, and a piece of cardboard. A safelight makes it a lot easier than working in total darkness.
...

Jac's advice to use a simple clamp on light is great. I too was going to say hang it from a string, You can tie loops in the string to lower or raise the bulb if you need to.

...Get an inexpensive industrial aluminum shade ...It will shade the light from your eyes if the bulb is at eye-level.

Jim's Reference of Weston is also something to look for, I belive he had a 2x4 or similar with holes in it that he could stick the bulb and rod in to move the light up or down. SIMPLE!

Edward Weston used a bare bulb to print everything. ...

John Kasaian
21-Sep-2017, 10:25
I've been contact printing for quite awhile and have tried nearly every approach except a self contained contact printing box (the kind with a bulb in side and looks sort of like a piece of furniture)
Just about everything will work ---some better than others.

My issues with a sheet of glass are
1) keeping fingerprints off the glass
2) registering the negative and paper to jive when placing the glass on top, and
3) the nagging feeling of doom if I accidentally drop the glass.

What works for me is:

Pick up an enlarger, any enlarger(you can still find give-aways) with a working bulb and lens. One for a small format is easily stored. Format isn't an issue, neither is the lens as you'll use it for light source, not for projecting an image.
Hook up a timer so you can replicate exposures.
Get a Printfile Contact Proofer, which had a hinged plate of glass---no danger of finger prints and your "sandwich" can be easily registered. http://www.printfile.com/contact-proofer.aspx

For simplicity (I'm amazingly lazy) I use a step tablet to determine exposures---well more of a step disc. Mine is a Kodak but Delta, IIRC still makes the same one--- https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&O=&Q=&ap=y&c3api=1876%2C%7Bcreative%7D%2C%7Bkeyword%7D&gclid=CjwKCAjwxo3OBRBpEiwAS7X62aKSYRoYi_9zGA-dx9h-cQF3IqHD0X2s2olvU5DW2Y_rOczge1l9VxoC6pIQAvD_BwE&is=REG&m=Y&sku=15711

Safe Light---I used GE Guide Lamp nite lights (2 on a card for less than a buck) but they've been off the market for decades and I only have one working Guide Lamp left, so I now use a short string of red LED Christmas lights I picked up during the post season clearance at a CVS

As I said, there are other approaches but this one has been working for well me for the past three or four years now.
Good luck & have fun!

Ted R
21-Sep-2017, 10:59
The benefit of using multigrade paper should not be underestimated. Ilford multigrade filters can be purchased in size 6x6in which is big enough to cover a 4x5 negative.

David Karp
21-Sep-2017, 17:02
I agree with John. Once I started using the Printfile proofer, I never went back to the contact printing frame.

Will Whitaker
21-Sep-2017, 17:57
At one time I did contact printing in my bathroom. Set trays up in the tub. Placed the printing frame on the counter and flipped on the room light and timed manually. It worked just fine.
The simplicity of contact printing is overwhelming.

Jon Wilson
21-Sep-2017, 18:12
John & Dave, does the negative sleeve page cause any issues when you use the Printfile Proofer? Thanks, Jon

John Kasaian
21-Sep-2017, 21:21
John & Dave, does the negative sleeve page cause any issues when you use the Printfile Proofer? Thanks, Jon

I always take my negatives out of the sleeves, so I couldn't say.

David Karp
21-Sep-2017, 21:49
Same with me. I just lay the paper and negative on top of the foam and lower the glass on top of them.

Jon Wilson
22-Sep-2017, 04:44
John & Dave, thanks. That's what I thought (remove negs from Printfile Proofer sleeve); had made a couple with 35mm neg proof sheets earlier in the day, but it was a pain to organize the strips and when I google for Printfile Proofer, it pictured negs in sleeve.

IanBarber
22-Sep-2017, 05:39
Keep us posted on your progress, I am interested in this

xkaes
22-Sep-2017, 06:03
John & Dave, thanks. That's what I thought (remove negs from Printfile Proofer sleeve); had made a couple with 35mm neg proof sheets earlier in the day, but it was a pain to organize the strips and when I google for Printfile Proofer, it pictured negs in sleeve.

I also make proof sheets with the negatives/slides in the plastic holder -- because they don't need to be perfect, just usable. For real prints, I always take them out, as the plastic deteriorates the image, of course -- but I've never made a REAL contact print, as I always use an enlarger for prints -- even for small ones.

Thom Bennett
22-Sep-2017, 07:06
If you are going to do contact printing in silver you might as well do it right and print on a true contact printing paper: Lodima. It is the replacement to AZO which was one of the many silver chloride papers around when Weston, Adams, et al, were doing their contact printing. (Adox also makes a silver chloride paper, Lupex, that is very nice). Check out these articles by Michael A. Smith: http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/azoamidol.html and http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/onprinting.html. They will explain how best to use these papers. Alternatively, you can try cyanotypes, platinum/palladium, kallitypes, or any of a number of alternative processes. You don't need an enlarger for any of this. Just a bulb for Lodima/Lupex and the sun or a UV light source for the alt prints. Contact prints are great because you get a direct representation of the tones and details in the negative. Good luck!

rbiemer
22-Sep-2017, 08:01
OK, after all your replies above and some further and better googling, I have at least a starting point. :)

Stearman is selling "grade #2 contact speed" paper sized to fit their daylight tank which will, I hope, get me somewhere around 30 second exposures under a 15 watt frosted bulb in a shop light fixture. I will be testing to find a workable time for me. And will set up a way to repeatably set the height ( which will require its own testing). I will be using a very basic paper/neg/glass sheet set up and may add a mask on top of the neg if there are problems with moire. The 4x5 size negs and paper I will be using are small enough that if I need to, I can relatively easily get some 6"x 6" VC filters.
I am fervently hoping to not need those as I am trying to get "normal" negatives from the camera. I'll see how well that plan works out for me! :)

Thanks!
Rob

rbiemer
22-Sep-2017, 08:12
If you are going to do contact printing in silver you might as well do it right and print on a true contact printing paper: Lodima. It is the replacement to AZO which was one of the many silver chloride papers around when Weston, Adams, et al, were doing their contact printing. (Adox also makes a silver chloride paper, Lupex, that is very nice). Check out these articles by Michael A. Smith: http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/azoamidol.html and http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/onprinting.html. They will explain how best to use these papers. Alternatively, you can try cyanotypes, platinum/palladium, kallitypes, or any of a number of alternative processes. You don't need an enlarger for any of this. Just a bulb for Lodima/Lupex and the sun or a UV light source for the alt prints. Contact prints are great because you get a direct representation of the tones and details in the negative. Good luck!
Thanks for those links!
I sure did not realize how...spirited...some of the similar threads on other fora can get when I started this thread. Glad to see this one has been much calmer, thanks all!

And, I did think briefly about some of the alt processes but what I am trying to do is basically to avoid scanning. I am really new to LF and have shot all of about 20 frames so far. I have a developing routine in place and my negatives are fairly consistent--nothing too much worth sharing, yet--but my ultimate goal is prints. So I need a better way to judge which, if any, may be worth time and effort for a "serious" print. With the added bonus, for me, that I can scan a print on my POS scanner quite a bit easier--and more representative of the photo--than I can a negative.
Rob

David Karp
22-Sep-2017, 08:56
I have seen contact prints made on Azo paper, the forerunner of Lodima, and probably other contact papers. They are beautiful. I have never made one myself. The paper is quite expensive and I have plenty of enlarging paper available. I like what I get from that paper, but other photographers disagree.

I really like contact prints on Adox MCC 110, a variable contrast paper. Also, consider graded enlarging paper. I was doing that for awhile before I settled on MCC 110.

Pere Casals
22-Sep-2017, 09:21
So, I thought I would look at contact prints.




Congratulations for engaging wet printing, this is an exciting trip.

Let me recommend a nice type of LED bulb :


170143


Beyond exposure, with this (cheap) bulb you can have an easy contrast control of your print. If you press Red you have a safe light, then press Green for a certain time, then press Blue for another certain time, and then press Red to finish your exposure and develop under safe light. Get fun :)

Depending on if you give more time to the Blue or to the Green exposure you vary the contrast.


As you use the different colors at different times you can burn or dodge with Green or Blue exposure, having a nice local contrast control. (This is split grade printing...)

Here you have the info: https://www.ilfordphoto.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Contrast-control-for-Ilford-Multigrade.pdf.


Also you can print coloured masks (Alan Ross way) for local contrast control: http://phototechmag.com/selective-masking-part-iii-computer-techniques-for-the-traditional-darkroom/ exposing with white light, then press Red.

I use all that for 8x10 because (still) I don't have such an enlarger.


One tip, when making the Green exposure you can press Yellow. Yellow throws Green... and Red that it does not expose paper because paper is not sensitive to red, so it's the same throwing Yellow than Green. Also when making the Blue exposure share you can press Magenta, this is Blue plus also Red... in this way you see better if burning an area... Ilford contrast darkroom filters always throw red (beyond green or blue). Again that red allows to see better while not contributing to paper exposure.

You may need an stop watch to manually control time. In fact a print that needs some burning/dodging requires a not shot exposition, to allow you to work on it, so you may not need a ot of time accuracy, say 0.5 sec in 40 is accurate enough. This led Bulb also has several light intensity levels, so you can adjust it without changing distance or usind a dimmer.

You can also use it in combination with a darkroom timmer, if you power it with the remote command then the bulb starts throwing light automatically when it is powered by the timmer. My LED bulb has some delay before it lights on after the my darkroom timmer powers it, but this is constant and I account for that.


Regards !

PD: Use variable contrast paper. With one box you have all grades. Also it allows split grade printing, you have local contrast control by burning with the right color.

PD: don't press the flashing/strobe modes, this is for music & whiskey :)

Pere Casals
22-Sep-2017, 09:59
Lodima/Lupex

I'd like to ask if you see any advantage with Lodima (chloride) kind of papers, beyond being slower, giving more time for cooking and seeing better while burning. IMHO warm vs cool tone can also be adjusted with other papers...

Bruce Barlow
22-Sep-2017, 12:57
I'd like to ask if you see any advantage with Lodima (chloride) kind of papers, beyond being slower, giving more time for cooking and seeing better while burning. IMHO warm vs cool tone can also be adjusted with other papers...

All you have to do is make a contact print on Lodima, and another on just about any other paper except Azo. Put them side-by-side and you'll see it for yourself. I did this with Azo and 12 papers in 2003. Nothing else was even close. Ilford Galerie was closest, but even it wasn't nearly as good. I've since done it with Lodima and the 4 papers I had at the time.

Yeah, however, I understand that the above is tough to do without having any Lodima in house...

But IMO, "gambling" on a box of 8x10 #3 Lodima is a pretty safe bet. If you're contacting 4x5, even though it's expensive you'll get a lot of prints out of it by the time you cut down the paper to 4x5. I think they even sell 4x5 now??

Hey, OP! Remember the Inverse Square law. If your bulb is 10" from the paper, when you increase that to 14", your exposure time will double. At 20" it's 4x. In other words, a little goes a long way. I found the best height for my LPL enlarger for good exposure times with Lodima, and marked it. I take the lens and lens board out and just let the light blast.

Thom Bennett
22-Sep-2017, 13:20
I'd like to ask if you see any advantage with Lodima (chloride) kind of papers, beyond being slower, giving more time for cooking and seeing better while burning. IMHO warm vs cool tone can also be adjusted with other papers...

In a word, yes. When I first started in 8x10 I made a series of prints on variable contrast enlarging paper. They never quite had the look I was going for but I accepted them. Once I printed on Lodima I've never looked back. Making contact prints on a paper that is designed for contact printing makes all the difference which, to me, is worth the cost. Why would I go to all the trouble and expense of shooting large format and then accept mediocre prints on mediocre paper? The print is the final product and I want it to warrant all the expense and hassle of lugging around a big camera. And, as a true sycophant, I use Amidol as my developer. I compared it to Dektol and noticed enough of a difference (mainly in the mid-tone separation) that it warranted a switch. I shared a print with a fellow photographer and he decided to try silver chloride paper and said that it gave him the look he has always been striving for. I feel the same way. As MAS says, if it was good enough for Weston then it's certainly good enough for me.

Pere Casals
22-Sep-2017, 20:53
All you have to do is make a contact print on Lodima...


In a word, yes. ... Once I printed on Lodima I've never looked back...

OK, but... What's the difference from FB chlorobromide papers? beyond speed...

Sure it is not about resolving power, bare RC papers have better detail than FB, but this can only be observed with a very powerful magnifier, I measured +30 Lp/mm on RC (USAF 1951 glass slide contact copy)

Warmness can be adjusted... so no deal.


Tonality? is this about toe and shoulder shapes ? But this is not related to chloride, but to emulsion formulation...

Is perhaps because results with toning or split toning ?

I've heard about many pople, like you, that are amazed with AZO paper (Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee..), and even I've seen great prints, but still I don't understand the technical difference...

Willie
23-Sep-2017, 04:42
For your timer you might get a cheapie wall clock that audibly ticks every time the second hand moves. A poor man's metronome. This way you will be counting seconds with the ticks(or tocks?) of the second hand. An easy way to keep your timing consistent. You can also use it for timing your print in the developer so you keep it consistent and remove one more variable as you print.

xkaes
23-Sep-2017, 06:53
For your timer you might get a cheapie wall clock that audibly ticks every time the second hand moves. A poor man's metronome.

And a cheap (like me) man's metronome is to use your brain. It also comes in handy when you need to quickly determine the distance between you and a lightning storm -- pretty important in Colorado!

Thom Bennett
23-Sep-2017, 07:00
OK, but... What's the difference from FB chlorobromide papers? beyond speed...

Sure it is not about resolving power, bare RC papers have better detail than FB, but this can only be observed with a very powerful magnifier, I measured +30 Lp/mm on RC (USAF 1951 glass slide contact copy)

Warmness can be adjusted... so no deal.


Tonality? is this about toe and shoulder shapes ? But this is not related to chloride, but to emulsion formulation...

Is perhaps because results with toning or split toning ?

I've heard about many pople, like you, that are amazed with AZO paper (Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee..), and even I've seen great prints, but still I don't understand the technical difference...

You'd have to talk to a photo engineer about the technical differences. I would think it must be within the formulation of the emulsion and how that responds to light and subsequent development. The blacks are richer, the gradations from one tone to the next are subtle and real.

Bruce Barlow
23-Sep-2017, 09:01
OK, but... What's the difference from FB chlorobromide papers? beyond speed...

I've heard about many pople, like you, that are amazed with AZO paper (Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee..), and even I've seen great prints, but still I don't understand the technical difference...

Not meaning to be flip, but I don't care. It just looks better, and that's enough for me.

Pere Casals
23-Sep-2017, 09:28
You'd have to talk to a photo engineer about the technical differences. I would think it must be within the formulation of the emulsion and how that responds to light and subsequent development. The blacks are richer, the gradations from one tone to the next are subtle and real.

I've just been reading this: http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/azoamidol.html


Smith says: "Besides having an extremely long scale, Azo has particularly rich blacks. And recent tests I have conducted show that when compared to enlarging papers it has more contrast in the midtones, giving the prints a glowing richness and greater depth."

I don't understand the "extremly long scale" concept, to me a paper can go from barita white to 1.0D black, slightly more if tonned.

The concept I understand is "rich blacks", this would a be long shoulder that is able to compress easily shadows there, giving more room for midtones for the final grade. Also it looks it has a long toe for on paper highlights.

IMHO this could also be achieved with any paper with the proper technique of tonal management, for example with the Alan Ross way that I'm learning now: http://phototechmag.com/selective-masking-part-iii-computer-techniques-for-the-traditional-darkroom/


But I agree that having a paper with long toe/shoulder may facilitate a lot a "fine print" look, perhaps it saves the need to use tricky techniques to obtain a desired look from a more linear capture....

I guess it should be worth to try it.

bob carnie
23-Sep-2017, 10:05
I like matt paper , not so in need of deep rich blacks but I do like low tones to have nice separation. But nice separation may be the defining detail in Rich Blacks.

Pere Casals
23-Sep-2017, 15:50
Well, matt paper is also more consistent when seen under not ideal illumination...

Pere Casals
23-Sep-2017, 15:55
Not meaning to be flip, but I don't care. It just looks better, and that's enough for me.

This is always an strong criterion

Willie
23-Sep-2017, 19:12
http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/18667/kim-weston-celebrates-black-white-printing/

Take a look at this interview of Kim Weston on B&W photography. You can see Edward Weston's darkroom in the video. Simple, to the point and set up for his workflow.

Some things you will do are the same as most others do. Some you may do a bit differently. As long as it works for you and the final result is high quality and looks the way you want it to - you will probably be happy with the whole process.

interneg
24-Sep-2017, 05:53
"... And recent tests I have conducted show that when compared to enlarging papers it has more contrast in the midtones, giving the prints a glowing richness and greater depth."

Pure (or near pure) AgCl papers seem to give much greater 'linearity' of response to my eye compared to the toe and shoulder characteristics of enlarging papers etc. Relative to regular papers they seem to give a punchier midrange whilst holding more in both shadows & highlights than you would expect a regular AgClBrI enlarging paper to do at a perceptually equivalent midrange contrast. Have had better things to do with my life than test this with step wedges, but they obviously have significantly different toe & shoulder characteristics vis-a-vis enlarging papers. This has a lot to do with the fundamental curve shape that AgCl creates - consider that current chromogenic papers are almost pure AgCl emulsions (with iodide etc for speed & some much more sophisticated emulsion making processes) - there has to be a very good reason for this! If you want to try a chloride paper I'd suggest the 5-sheet taster pack of Adox Lupex from Fotoimpex & some Neutol WA. For what it's worth, I like the look of chloride papers enough to make enlarged negs specifically for printing on them - I just wish a 112/5k matte finish was available too...


IMHO this could also be achieved with any paper with the proper technique of tonal management, for example with the Alan Ross way that I'm learning now

Not really - you cannot make Fomatone & Ilford MG Cooltone FB look identical (for example), but you can make the same negative print equally well on both. Most of the time it isn't hard at all.

bob carnie
24-Sep-2017, 06:22
I am now making enlarged silver negatives, bought a few boxes that set me back quite a bit..... Michael Smith sent me some paper (Lodima) and I am going to balance my negatives to his paper. I have already got a decent balance for Ilford Warmtone, Pt Pd and Gum..

I am very curious to see with my own eyes how Lodima looks with negatives that I control from start to finish..I will be contacting him shortly for the right chemical recommendation and I will purchase more from him.

Personally after looking at a lot of prints by myself and others quality can be obtained with any paper you set you mind too. No magic bullet here.

LabRat
24-Sep-2017, 06:47
I'll also (simply) add that the slower the paper, the finer the silver grains, so these will build up density differently than "fast" papers...

I suspect that modern paper emulsions are a combination of emulsions, like films are today (beyond just MG two emulsions), but if you see prints from each decade, you will see a different look (and printing style that may be influenced by the period materials)... As papers were mostly intended for the pro market, I think that the mfgs assumed that the pros were intrenched in the "time is money" mentality, so paper speed went up for production uses... (And for intended purposes, such as a bright, punchy look for news reproduction, head shots, photofinishing, etc...) In the 60's on, hard/contrasty was the norm, and even in the 20's, A. Steiglitz was fuming about Kodak "ruining" the scale of his favorite paper as they increased it's speed, and so on...

So different papers need to be tested (cold tone papers tend to be fast and build up contrast easily, warm tone has a longer scale, but tends to be slower/flatter and builds Dmax slower with it's finer paper "grain", and contact papers very slow but with a fuller scale (contact papers were commonly used with contact printer boxes that had very bright light sources close to the diffusers that allowed for shortish exposures often for portrait lab proof and retouchable LF contact printing) but could have a wonderful scale... So take your pick...

Give the types a try, but expect very short exposures with the modern paper types...

Steve K

Bruce Barlow
24-Sep-2017, 10:24
I find that I develop my negatives for the same time when I intend to either PT/PD print them, or use Lodima Grade 2 - for me, about 50% longer.

Lodima Grade 3 is the same development time as I use for conventional papers.

bob carnie
24-Sep-2017, 10:38
I find that I develop my negatives for the same time when I intend to either PT/PD print them, or use Lodima Grade 2 - for me, about 50% longer.

Lodima Grade 3 is the same development time as I use for conventional papers.

Hi Bruce

I remember how we would process our neg's to print on a certain paper , and for years it was a perfect method to go by, I usually made prints on a grade 3 which tells me my neg's were a bit softer...
I would not panic if I had a negative that needed a grade 2 or if in between split with soft developer..

These days a lot of this common logic has been lost... I just printed a silver print about Grade 2 from a digital dodged and burned enlarged negative from my digital device.. I am going back to that thinking for
Contact printing and I think this is where Michael and Paulas Lodima fixed grade papers will be the bomb. after time it will be a piece of cake tailoring for the paper and let PS do the rest in between.

I will not stop split printing on VC paper with my enlargers but a whole new world of printmaking is now open to me.

Bruce Barlow
24-Sep-2017, 12:37
Hi Bruce

I remember how we would process our neg's to print on a certain paper , and for years it was a perfect method to go by, I usually made prints on a grade 3 which tells me my neg's were a bit softer...
I would not panic if I had a negative that needed a grade 2 or if in between split with soft developer..



Yup, a development time test is pretty easy to do, and nails the time to print on a given paper and grade. That's what I did with Lodima, and my other go-to papers. It helps keep things simple. I need simple.