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Thread: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

  1. #1

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    New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    I would like to do some 4x5 BW contact prints from 4x5 negatives, on a really thick cardboard like paper suitable for postcards. I don't have any equipment specific to contact printing at the moment (including chemicals, but I do have a jobo 3010 and some open trays) and would like your advice on how I could produce the best possible contact print that would best show the qualities of a contact print (perhaps a textured paper?) and would capture the eye.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2

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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    check out the AZO forum.
    www.michaelandpaula.com
    Read the writings section and the forum.
    Have fun

  3. #3
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    I love Azo/Lodima in Amidol. But that's a glossy paper. You asked about textured papers...
    Supposedly Ilford has a new textured papers out now. I haven't used it, I'm more than happy with Lodima in grade 3 for my printing needs.
    Just FYI, find a paper you like the surface of, and use it until you know exactly how it works(or doesn't). This will probably mean 100-200 sheets of paper, minimum. Use a standard developer(like D-76 or ID-11). Try different dilutions, toning procedures,etc...
    Find what you like, and stick with it.
    Too many people try too many things, and become all wishy-washy, and complain that they're not happy with their prints. Stick with one product, and get used to it.
    best of luck, and welcome to the club
    -Dan

  4. #4
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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    "Qualities of a contact print" can mean different things to different people. Can you explain more specifically what print characteristics you're looking for?

  5. #5

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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    I would like a textured paper look that "wraps" the detail around the texture. I hope that makes sense. But I would like a thick rigid paper suitable for a postcard..

  6. #6

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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    I think you are out of luck on a "thick, rigid paper" suitable for a postcard. The last paper I had that fit that description was Kodak Velox, 30-40 years ago.

  7. #7

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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    Contact printing is simple. You need a light bulb and a printing frame that will hold the negative in good contact with the paper from edge to edge (some people get by with two pieces of glass and no frame). Put the negative and paper in the frame, negative on top. Turn on the light. Run a few tests to get an idea of time. That's about it. You don't need to do nearly as much dodging and burning when contact printing as you do when enlarging (which is fortunate because dodging and burning aren't as easy to do when contact printing).

    If you were printing digitally you'd have plenty of choices of papers, metal, canvas, all sorts of materials. But I don't know of a darkroom paper today that's like the paper you describe.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8
    Brisbane, Australia
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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    Mount your "chosen paper" print onto an uncoated printing stock with all the relevant details printed on it (at home) ....then it can be as rigid as you want and will look like the real thing and be easier to write on. Printers can even sell you sheets of double sided adhesive so you can do it on the cheap at home....just remember to mount sightly larger and trim to size when using this process....

  9. #9
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    Good luck trying to find photo postcard paper any more. Since you're contact printing anyway, perhaps you might consider an alt process and use the paper you want.

  10. #10
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: New to contact printing: need your advice on equipment, papers and technique.

    doesn't ilford make a "postcard" paper, however, it's still only on a 250gsm base:

    http://www.calumetphoto.com/eng/prod...47_a_7cIL80110

    -Dan

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