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Thread: Contact Printers - azo

  1. #1
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998
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    3,692

    Contact Printers - azo

    WHat's the value of getting one of those old contact printers with all the lighb ulbs iun and stuff, for printing Azo etc? (8x10)

    Are they worth it over just using a bare bulb suspended above?

    thanks

    tim a
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  2. #2
    Andy Eads
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Pasco, Washington - the dry side of the state
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    232

    Contact Printers - azo

    Tim, Contact printers with bulb arrays can be very useful. There are two basic types available. One allows you to turn off bulbs and the other allows you to move the lamp up or down relative to the platten. In either case, the effect is to locally control the exposure to the print paper. For example, if you wanted to darken the edges of the print, you would turn off a few of the center lamps or raise the outer lamps (depending on your contact printer.) While not as precise as dodging and burning an enlarged print, it offers very smooth transitions and can provide a wide range of effects.

    Andy

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Posts
    769

    Contact Printers - azo

    I find them pretty nice. The bare bulb used to fritz my eyes, especially since my eyes would dark adapt and then get hit with the bare bulb at eye level. The contact printers are quite nice, the bulbs (switched individual ones on or off or moving them closer or further) provides gross dodging. If you want to do more precise dodging and burning, you can lay pieces of card, fil, acetate, whatever your heart pleases on the glass stage between the bulbs and the negative stage. Good luck, DJ

  4. #4

    Contact Printers - azo

    Tim,

    If you want to drive yourself nuts or if you are going to print 50 or 100 or 1,000 of the same print, those old contact printers are great. You can easily spend all day setting the lights for dodging an burning. Not bad if you are going to make many, many prints from a negative, but otherwise it is very time consuming with no reward. Printing with a bulb allows much more control of precise dodging and burning.

  5. #5

    Contact Printers - azo

    Tim

    If you want to drive yourself nuts or if you are going to print 50 or 100 or 1,000 of the same print, those old contact printers are great. You can easily spend all day setting the lights for dodging an burning. Not bad if you are going to make many, many prints from a negative, but otherwise it is very time consuming with no reward. Printing with a bulb allows much more control of precise dodging and burning.

  6. #6

    Contact Printers - azo

    Tim, AZO is the easiest paper to print - longest straight line - often requires little or no dodge or burn. I use a 60 watt light bulb plugged into a photo-flood and projected on my baseboard (or any flat surface)about 3 -4 feet from the light source. Make sure there is ample covererage of light. Typical exposures run between 40 and 60 seconds depending on the "thinness or fatness" of the negative. I might use two tray development - Selectol-Soft and Dektol 1:3 or 1:4 and that give me the exact match to the negative I need without any dodging or burning. Often times I don't need to use Selectol-Soft. Some folks (see Michael Smith) like to use Amidol with AZO because of the color and scale it gives. I haven't tried that because of the cost of Amidol. I have been please with my results. The image color is a little different (chloride paper) but can be modified with toners and various develpoers. Overall it is a very easy paper to work with. I would not buy a contact frame with light controls - a waste of money in my opinion. Get yourself a really good frame from Great Basin (they are in Nevada - check View Camera) Good Luck - AZO is really easy to use - light goes "on" - light goes off"! Take care, Peter Bosco Kensington, CT

  7. #7

    Contact Printers - azo

    Hey Tim, Keep in mind that Weston simply used a bulb. He has some of the most beautiful prints I've ever come across. It's becoming clearer to me that when artists keep their craft simple, the more clearly the craft communicates their ideas, due to the predictability of results.

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