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Thread: Contact printing question

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Cortland, NY USA
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    Re: Contact printing question

    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

  2. #22

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    Re: Contact printing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Bennett View Post
    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

  3. #23
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    2,832

    Re: Contact printing question

    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.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    1,257

    Re: Contact printing question

    Quote Originally Posted by rbiemer View Post

    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 :


    Click image for larger version. 

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    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-co...Multigrade.pdf.


    Also you can print coloured masks (Alan Ross way) for local contrast control: http://phototechmag.com/selective-ma...onal-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

  5. #25

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    Re: Contact printing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Bennett View Post
    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...

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine
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    Re: Contact printing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    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.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  7. #27
    New Orleans, LA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    493

    Re: Contact printing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    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.

  8. #28

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    Jul 2016
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    Re: Contact printing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barlow View Post
    All you have to do is make a contact print on Lodima...
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Bennett View Post
    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...

  9. #29

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    Sep 2014
    Location
    North Dakota
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    522

    Re: Contact printing question

    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.
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
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    946

    Re: Contact printing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    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!

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