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Thread: Dynamic Range with Azo, Pt/Pd, etc

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Massachusetts USA

    Dynamic Range with Azo, Pt/Pd, etc

    Being a slightly "warm-toned" guy, I wonder if there are some images on the web that demonstrate the effects of different developers on Azo.

    I have read that some prefer a warmer tone than the bluish one that Azo gives "by default", but many of the images I have seen look rather neutral, rather than warm per se. I love the colors I see in Pt/Pd prints, but am somewhat put off by the narrow dynamic range of the prints.

    Jorge mentioned conservator's wax, and the fact that it did little to boost the dynamic range of his Pt prints. I have found, on the web, mention of some varnish products used by art conservators. Perhaps this is what Paul Strand placed over his Pt prints to add a little richness.

    I am merely in quest of a moderately warm-toned, truly archival, printing paper with rich dynamic range. Perhaps it can be found with a warm-toned Azo, or with Pt/Pd + a little post-processing.... any further insights would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Dynamic Range with Azo, Pt/Pd, etc

    You can also try Centenial POP by chicago Albumen works. Its got a great dynamic range, its printed similarly to PT/PL (cost is way less though) but you don't have to coat your own. IT does REQUIRE toning usualy with gold toner of some sort but the big advantage here is the toner formulae seem endless as do the range of image colors available. You can go from a brownish red to almost a blue black with everthing in between.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Portland, Oregon

    Dynamic Range with Azo, Pt/Pd, etc


    The best developer for Azo is Michael Smith's Amidol formula with a toning in dilute Selenium toner. It gives a very nice neutral tone. For warm tones though you might want to try developing Azo in Gevaert g.262. This is a warm-tone developer that contains Hydroquinone as the only developing agent. I use it at a dilution of 1:4 and develop Azo #2 for 6 minutes and Azo #3 for 3 minutes. At these dilutions it does not have a great capacity but it gives very nice results. It gives a wonderful 3-D effect the way Amidol does. You might also want to try Nelson Gold Toner with whatever developer you like. It gives nice warm brown tones.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 1999

    Dynamic Range with Azo, Pt/Pd, etc

    Under the "Writings about Azo" section of, you will find an article that does compare the effect of different developers on Azo. There is also an article on toning with Azo that provides some scans of prints developed in various developers. Not terribly good scans, I fear, but they should serve to give you some idea. If you would like to look at some prints, let me know and I'd be happy to send you some. I finally settled on amidol as the easiest and most straightforward developer that gave me the results I wanted but other developers such as Ansco 130, Neutol WA etc seem to provide good results as well. Cheers, DJ

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