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Regular Rod
23-Dec-2014, 07:23
It was all so simple that 57 years ago a nine year old was able to carry out the straightforward procedure of contact printing his photographs. Today it seems to be unnecessarily complicated because of changes to papers.

Is it still possible to buy NEW papers with the following specifications?

Fibre Based Double Weight Paper
Graded NOT Variable Contrast
Chloride or Chlorobromide
Capable of being toned using selenium and/or gold chloride toners
11"x14"

Thank you.

RR

Mat5121
23-Dec-2014, 09:01
Hi Rod,

Foma and Lodima both make chloride papers that fit the criteria you've outlined(Fomalux, Lodima), while Foma and Ilford also make graded chlorobromide papers(Fomabrom, Ilfobrom Gallerie).
There may be others: Freestyle Photographic has a pretty good overview of what's currently available.

Regards,

Matt

Larry Kellogg
23-Dec-2014, 09:24
Are you using a lightbulb or the sun to expose your contact prints? :-) What size are the negatives?

I know you want to use graded paper, but I'm kinda curious as to why you're against variable contrast paper. I think variable contrast paper has opened up new expressive possibilities in how we print.

Regular Rod
23-Dec-2014, 11:18
For consistency I'm hoping to use a light bulb. The negatives are a mix of 8x10 and 6x8. They are developed using staining developers, intending that they should be printed on Grade 2.

RR

Larry Kellogg
23-Dec-2014, 13:30
You remind me of my friend, an old time photographer who was a Pyro addict. :-)

Bob Salomon
23-Dec-2014, 13:37
For consistency I'm hoping to use a light bulb. The negatives are a mix of 8x10 and 6x8. They are developed using staining developers, intending that they should be printed on Grade 2.

RR

Why would a light bulb give you consistency? The output of a light bulb will fluctuate with vriations in line voltage. If it is a tungsten bulb it will also fuctuate with burning time as the by products from the filament's burning are deposited on the inside of the globe which will then blacken with burning time. Quartz halogen won't do that.

So are you going to use a voltage stabilized power circuit?

Regular Rod
23-Dec-2014, 17:50
Why would a light bulb give you consistency? The output of a light bulb will fluctuate with vriations in line voltage. If it is a tungsten bulb it will also fuctuate with burning time as the by products from the filament's burning are deposited on the inside of the globe which will then blacken with burning time. Quartz halogen won't do that.

So are you going to use a voltage stabilized power circuit?

Did you see the post by Larry that I was replying to? The context will help explain "consistency". Here in the UK the sun is not to be relied on as a consistent value light source. Our voltage is pretty stable as it comes from the power supply and the bulb will likely outlive me...
:)
RR

I don't think it will be inconsistent enough to notice as I'll use test strips. Here in the UK the sun

Regular Rod
23-Dec-2014, 17:51
You remind me of my friend, an old time photographer who was a Pyro addict. :-)

Ah! Guilty M'Lud...
:D
RR

Larry Kellogg
24-Dec-2014, 02:33
Ah! Guilty M'Lud...
:D
RR

I suppose you've found this link for Lodima (Amidol backwards) paper, but I'll post it nevertheless:

http://lodima.org/photographic-paper/

I almost went this route but the paper is quite expensive, and I don't shoot larger than 5x7, which can be nice for contact printing. There were some beautiful contact prints in the Paul Strand exhibit I saw in Philadelphia two weekends ago.

As for lightbulbs, well, it was good enough for Weston. For anyone who thinks Weston's negatives were perfect, there is a picture in one of the Darkroom books from Lustrum Press that shows Cole holding up two lightbulbs, a tiny one and a huge one.

My childhood baseball coach was Scottish. I can still hear his voice urging me on, with what I could only make out as: "Run, Luddy, run!"

Regular Rod
24-Dec-2014, 05:10
Amazing prices. The shipping blows it out of the water...

:(

RR

Larry Kellogg
24-Dec-2014, 06:49
Amazing prices. The shipping blows it out of the water...

:(

RR

Did you mean amazing in a good way or a bad way? Reasonable or too high? Pity about the shipping charges. The shipping charges seem really high on that site. I was going to order two books and they hit me with $21.95 for UPS Ground charges, which seems quite excessive considering that the books were small softcovers. The post office offers a book rate to make it more economical to ship books in the US, but they don't give you that option.

Just to put this in perspective, 11x14 Ilford Classic Variable Contrast fibre paper

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1017777-REG/ilford_1172049_mgfb1k_classc_11_x14_50.html

costs $1.88 a sheet for 100 sheets of 11x14.

The Lodima is $3.89 a sheet.

At this point, I print a lot on RC paper to edit and put together my work, that costs $1.39 a sheet. I know the results are nothing like a fibre print, but if the shot does not look good on RC, it will not look good on fibre. It all starts to add up quickly.

letchhausen
15-Jan-2015, 23:15
You can't compare VC paper with graded silver chloride paper that's like comparing cubic zirconia to diamonds. That Lodima paper is loaded with silver and the price of silver these days is very high. Not to mention that Lodima is a small company making paper for a select few at a facility in Belgium. Hardly the same as a huge company with it's own plant and machinery. Even the big companies have to pay more for silver, if you track the cost of Kodak film it's gone way up in the last few years due to silver speculation.

As for Lodima's shipping charges, the small guy pays more than Bigco for boxes, packing and shipping. But a book from Lodima is going to be packed well, tightly and in a heavy duty box and the book will be pristine when you pull it out. I've seen Amazon dump a huge artbook with single one of those plastic pillow packing dealies in an overly large box so that by the time it gets to you all four corners are dinged to hell and the dust jacket is ripped. But hey, the shipping was free!

IanG
16-Jan-2015, 01:29
Importing Lodima into the UK (or rest of the EU) will incur additional taxes, these are added to the cost of the item and also the shipping, Import Tax then VAT as these compound they typically add around 30-35% in additional charges.

Ian

Larry Kellogg
16-Jan-2015, 02:22
You can't compare VC paper with graded silver chloride paper that's like comparing cubic zirconia to diamonds. That Lodima paper is loaded with silver and the price of silver these days is very high. Not to mention that Lodima is a small company making paper for a select few at a facility in Belgium. Hardly the same as a huge company with it's own plant and machinery. Even the big companies have to pay more for silver, if you track the cost of Kodak film it's gone way up in the last few years due to silver speculation.

As for Lodima's shipping charges, the small guy pays more than Bigco for boxes, packing and shipping. But a book from Lodima is going to be packed well, tightly and in a heavy duty box and the book will be pristine when you pull it out. I've seen Amazon dump a huge artbook with single one of those plastic pillow packing dealies in an overly large box so that by the time it gets to you all four corners are dinged to hell and the dust jacket is ripped. But hey, the shipping was free!

I don't agree with your analogy. Beautiful work can be done on VC paper, the paper is not of poor quality, as you allude. Back in the day, graded papers were the only thing available, but advances have been made in paper technology, believe it or not.

With that said, I'm sure the Lodima paper produces beautiful contact prints. The original poster was very much concerned with the cost of the paper, which is why I posted a comparison to VC paper. The cost of Lodima looks even worse with the VAT charges that someone mentioned. At some point, though, we have to be thankful that anybody is producing materials such as these, at any cost.

I considered going the Lodima route but was afraid to strap myself to a rare paper that was not readily available, plus the cost of doing enlargements on the paper is prohibitively expensive. Perhaps some day I'll produce fine enough 5x7 negatives that will demand contact printing but 5x7 is about the smallest size that looks good contact printed, in my opinion. I just can't afford to shoot 8x10, a much more reasonable size for contact printing. So, doing enlargements on VC paper looked like the most reasonable approach for me, but everybody can make up their own minds about how they want to work.

I'm not sure the amount of silver argument is true. I found this little quote:

"In the early 1980s a good friend of mine (a chemist) measured the silver content of all of the papers. (He burned them and measured the silver content in the ash--exactly how, I do not know.) Then he did a DMax test for each of the papers. There was no correlation between the two things. Azo was third or fourth as I recall in silver content, but it did have the deepest blacks." from: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?10764-Silver-content-in-papers/page2

As for the shipping costs, well, I appreciate good packing, and I'm willing to pay for it, but it seemed a bit over the top to have to pay $21 to ship a 24? page 8"x9" softcover book from Pennsylvania to New York. By the way, this same book was available with free shipping from the UK! LOL.

bob carnie
16-Jan-2015, 07:13
I would suggest this is bull...tt Ilford Warmtone for example is ever bit as nice.... basically boils down to who is operating the enlarger or light source.

You can't compare VC paper with graded silver chloride paper that's like comparing cubic zirconia to diamonds. That Lodima paper is loaded with silver and the price of silver these days is very high. Not to mention that Lodima is a small company making paper for a select few at a facility in Belgium. Hardly the same as a huge company with it's own plant and machinery. Even the big companies have to pay more for silver, if you track the cost of Kodak film it's gone way up in the last few years due to silver speculation.

As for Lodima's shipping charges, the small guy pays more than Bigco for boxes, packing and shipping. But a book from Lodima is going to be packed well, tightly and in a heavy duty box and the book will be pristine when you pull it out. I've seen Amazon dump a huge artbook with single one of those plastic pillow packing dealies in an overly large box so that by the time it gets to you all four corners are dinged to hell and the dust jacket is ripped. But hey, the shipping was free!

Sal Santamaura
16-Jan-2015, 08:42
...Lodima is a small company making paper for a select few at a facility in Belgium...Lodima printing paper is sold by Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The Smith-Chamlee's association with Salto in Belgium involves high-resolution offset book printing as well as platinum prints, both of which are Salto's specialty. Salto does not manufacture silver gelatin paper. Based on statements made over the years and clues found in some of Michael Smith's forum posts, I speculate Lodima paper is actually coated by Foma.