Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: What's the point of "Contact Speed" paper?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    586

    What's the point of "Contact Speed" paper?

    I did a search on this question, but ony came up with a few comments about AZO/Lodima and Amidol, a combination I will probably be trying out soon to see what all the hubbub is about. I guess there's also a Foma contact speed paper out there, but I know nothing about it. Still, no definitive answer to the question, what's the reason for using contact speed paper over 'normal' paper for contact printing? Besides the certain look of Lodima/AZO/Amidol.

    I mostly print with Oriental Seagull or Ilford MGIV (FB) and as far as speed goes, I can get just about as long or short exposure times as I want using the enlarger lens aperture, and some time control from the column height too, if I'm contact printing. All of this, of course, depending on the negative.

    I saw someone comment on the longer exposure times of slower contact speed paper, but I can pretty easily get a minute or more if I want using the enlarger light source and I can't think why you'd need much more than that. I can typically have time for all my dodging and burning with a base exposure of 20-40 seconds. Is that unusual? What else might someone gain from using contact paper?

    Why would I be interested in slower paper, other then for the unique look of something like Lodima (so I hear)?

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Humboldt County, CA
    Posts
    8,873

    Re: What's the point of "Contact Speed" paper?

    My guess is that compromises are made in image quality when bumping a paper up to enlargement speed. Otherwise, where are the qualities of AZO (and now Lodima) found in an enlargement speed paper?

  3. #3
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles area
    Posts
    2,150

    Re: What's the point of "Contact Speed" paper?

    Chloride emulsions are generally much slower than enlarging papers, since most folk who enlarge aren't interested in 1-2min print times, like us contact printers/alt process folk are

    The trick for US(contact printers) is to use a higher wattage bulb . I've found a 150W reflector bulb to work well.

    Dan

  4. #4

    Re: What's the point of "Contact Speed" paper?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielStone View Post
    Chloride emulsions are generally much slower than enlarging papers, since most folk who enlarge aren't interested in 1-2min print times, like us contact printers/alt process folk are

    The trick for US(contact printers) is to use a higher wattage bulb . I've found a 150W reflector bulb to work well.

    Dan
    Like Daniel I use a R40 300 watt bulb for my contact printing with silver chloride paper. One of the benefits of such a source of such considerable illumination is that you can surely see what you are dodging and burning. I first became interested in contact printing papers as I learned that many of the master photographers from the old days used silver chloride paper as every photographic paper manufacturer produced a silver chloride paper product and the results spoke for themselves. The improvements in film technologies and variable contrast paper eroded the market base to where for years Kodak was the only manufacturer and even they gave it up several years ago. Now Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee are the only remaining advocates for Lodima. We saw how quickly printing out paper disappeared from the market so it is fabulous to have access to such a wonderful paper.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    6,336

    Re: What's the point of "Contact Speed" paper?

    Richness. Developed in Amidol with a full range, it will trip the lights fantastic on your densitometer.

  6. #6
    Vlad Soare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bucharest, Romania
    Posts
    461

    Re: What's the point of "Contact Speed" paper?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cletus View Post
    I saw someone comment on the longer exposure times of slower contact speed paper, but I can pretty easily get a minute or more if I want using the enlarger light source and I can't think why you'd need much more than that. I can typically have time for all my dodging and burning with a base exposure of 20-40 seconds. Is that unusual? What else might someone gain from using contact paper?

    Why would I be interested in slower paper, other then for the unique look of something like Lodima (so I hear)?
    Low speed is just a side effect. That's not the reason to use Azo or Lodima.
    Silver chloride papers developed in amidol exhibit a straight characteristic curve, unlike the S-curve of enlarging papers. This allows you to get deeper blacks without losing details in almost-black areas. Enlarging papers have a shoulder, and even though some of them are in theory capable of an extremely high maximum density, in practice you tend to lose shadow details long before reaching that.
    The difference is subtle and only noticeable with certain subjects. I used to think it was just hype until I saw it with my own eyes.

Similar Threads

  1. Digital negatives for contact printing "are you experienced"
    By David Brunell in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 4-Jun-2012, 05:50
  2. D.O.F? "Infront of focus point" vs "behind focus point"
    By mandonbossi in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 1-Jan-2012, 08:06
  3. At what size is the contact print a "jewel"? Or has digital scanning taken over?
    By audioexcels in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2008, 15:20
  4. Show your Digital and Traditional "Contact" Photo thread
    By audioexcels in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 1-Mar-2008, 13:30
  5. help. another "what is this?" 8x10 film holder/contact frame
    By eddie in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-Feb-2008, 17:49

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •