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Thread: papers for contact printing

  1. #1

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    papers for contact printing

    Hello to All!

    is there difference on what kind of paper to make contacts?
    the main question is - Graded -vs- VC?

    How to control the contrast? Just with exposure time/developer dilution? Or there are things that can help to make the final print better?

    If it is not difficult, post yours pics
    thx a lot!

  2. #2

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    Re: papers for contact printing

    I have no experience, so I'm just brainstorming. If you're using VC paper, you maybe could use a colored gel? There are also developers that bring down the contrast or you could pre-flash the paper.

    Easiest is probably to use a graded paper and use the one you think suits the negative.
    A puny body weakens the soul.
    Paul Cezanne

  3. #3
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: papers for contact printing

    I use a color dichroic enlarger as a light source for contact printing with VC paper.

    I mostly stick with one developer, and I develop to completion, so I don't count on development to adjust contrast.

    If you use graded paper and a light bulb, the azo paper looks pretty nice. I haven't used it yet, but have seen what others' use of it.

  4. #4

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    Re: papers for contact printing

    thx guys!

    i use light bulb (matted warm light) or can use cool diod-light with a piece of white paper as a diffuser too. i have my old 5x7 monorail as enlager and can use it too.
    can it bring better result if i will use 5x7 (i am going to buy ilford MG filter set) + diffused light compared to light bulb + contact print frame?

    i am going to test some papers (Slavich, Foma, Rollei, Ilford. RCs and FB. Graded and VC). It will be fine if anyone interessed on such experiment and ready to make some test too?!

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: papers for contact printing

    You can use all your ordinary printing papers, whether variable contrast or graded. No problem. But contact printing does allow you to expand your choices into
    relatively slow-printing chloride papers (like Azo or Lodima) and types of papers which require UV light sources, such as sunlight. With VC papers it is easiest just
    use the enlarger as the light source, just like during ordinary enlargement, except that light is falling upon the contact frame with the negative in that, instead of through the negative in a carrier onto paper below. But since contacts are only 1:1, you'll have to re-factor how much contrast you want. Dodging and burning tends to be more difficult with contact printing because you are working with a relatively small area, and it's difficult to see details.

  6. #6

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    Re: papers for contact printing

    Thanks, Drew!

    I will try Azo when i have it

    I have started my experiment with VC RCs: Foma Glossy/Velvet, Rollei Vintage Matt and Ilford MG IV Pearl under 30W warm light bulb. One i can say: I couldnt get result "ok, it looks very nice". The best from these four is Ilford Pearl (the result can be found in Dec 2014 Portraits thread). My best expierence is Foma Glossy #3 (normal).
    But i will work and try my enlager cold defussed light too.

  7. #7
    Ironage's Avatar
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    Re: papers for contact printing

    I have been using Fomalux which is a chloride paper. I have only tried the 5x7 RC which is quite economical, but the fiber based version is on my bucket list. The chloride papers seem to be better to me. There is more of a density range compared to enlarging paper. This paper is only available in grade 2, so you will need to use exposure and development control in the negative stage of your process.

  8. #8

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    Re: papers for contact printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironage View Post
    I have been using Fomalux which is a chloride paper. I have only tried the 5x7 RC which is quite economical, but the fiber based version is on my bucket list. The chloride papers seem to be better to me. There is more of a density range compared to enlarging paper. This paper is only available in grade 2, so you will need to use exposure and development control in the negative stage of your process.
    what kind of light for cantact printing have you been using?

  9. #9

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    Re: papers for contact printing

    Fomalux seems to be right paper what i am serching for7 i shoot 99% x-ray, and the negatives i have are contrasty. #2 is what helps by printing such negatives

  10. #10

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    Re: papers for contact printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironage View Post
    I have been using Fomalux which is a chloride paper. I have only tried the 5x7 RC which is quite economical, but the fiber based version is on my bucket list. The chloride papers seem to be better to me. There is more of a density range compared to enlarging paper. This paper is only available in grade 2, so you will need to use exposure and development control in the negative stage of your process.
    The chloride papers are superior for contact printing. In the days of drug store prints all papers recommended for contact printing were silver chloride. Today's enlarging papers are simply too fast to allow ample printing time when making contact prints.

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