View Full Version : A couple of Azo questions

Jim Rice
11-Mar-2007, 16:00
The Pyrocat-HD and Michael and Paula's Amidol are on their way from Photographer's Formulary so we're getting scarily close to the nut cutting here in the FEMA trailer. I'll be using the new (03/06) Azo grade 2.

Is the current consensus that the new Azo requires a four minute development time as opposed to the one minute for the old? I'm thinking two minutes in amidol and two in the water bath. I plan on using Steve Simmon's exposure calibration process and need to standardize print development right off the bat. Michael Smith says the new Lodima will be like the old Azo.

I also found a local supply for the remaining chemistry and got a great armload of stuff yesterday. Alas, I only got Ilford Rapid Fixer. Will I have staining problems with it? Should I put off starting until I can get some conventional hypo fix?

That's all I can think of right now, but I'm sure other questions will arise. Thanks.

11-Mar-2007, 17:52
I would go at least 3, maybe 4 in the amidol with newer azo 2. If you want to lower contrast, soften highlights, then perhaps 2 and 2 or 3 and 1, etc. It's a creative thing...not scientific. But, 3 + to 4 will give you best blacks. I would just cut up an 8 x 10 sheet of paper and do some print tests...

I use TF -4 fixer with my pyrocat hd in metol, no problem. Rememer to use a water bath or add a small amt. of stop bath to your stop bath mixture when doing your negatives.

Also, start with a 120W or 300 W bulb at different heights (depending on density of negs) for printing. Maybe start 3-4 feet from your contact frame. Good luck.

John Bowen
11-Mar-2007, 18:01
Hi Jim,

I would suggest you ask your questions on the Azo Forum. Michael is really the expert on all things Azo. I believe most of us develop the 03/06 Azo for 2 minutes. However, some (including myself) have found that 4 minutes will increase the contrast until it is closer to that of the old Azo. A water bath is normally used to reduce contrast. It is important to have negatives with increased contrast to get the most out of the 03/06 Azo.

I've never used Ilford Rapid Fixer. I've had good results with TF-4, but others have mentioned on the Azo forum that it caused stains on their prints. YMMV.

Again, the best place to ask these questions is the Azo Forum.


Good luck,


Brian Ellis
11-Mar-2007, 19:26
The water bath is used to provide contrasts not available in the graded papers, e.g. to make a grade 3 the approximate equivalent of a grade 2 1/2 or a grade 2 the approximate equivalent of a grade 1 1/2. So I don't offhand know why you'd begin with 2 minutes in the developer and 2 minutes in the water bath. FWIW, when I used original Azo and Amidol I used much more grade 3 paper than I did grade 2, ie I generally wanted more contrast rather than less.

Alex Hawley
11-Mar-2007, 21:28
I always used Ilford Rapid Fixer when I was printing on Azo. Nary a problem with it.