Single Weight Paper : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm a newcomer to LF, and I am currently contact printing on Azo. I'm frustrated by the amount of curling in the paper; I have followed the threads on this site regarding this issue, and have tried pressing the paper under books, etc. I do not own a dry mount press, nor do I plan to get one in the near future, since I'm a beginner and am attempting to keep costs down at this time. Should I abandon single weight paper until I'm ready to purchase a press? Is there an inexpensive solution to this problem? If RC is more appropriate for me, is there a slower paper suitable for contact printing?

-- Mark Christopherson (, January 21, 2000


There used to be a "Print Flattening Solution" available. You'd soak the print in it an it would be remarkably flat after it dried. I have no idea if it is still available, or whether you need a fibre based print dryer to make it work.

-- David Grandy (, January 21, 2000.

I don't know Mark.

I'm wondering though, what's the humidity in your domicile/abode/darkroom like? Could that have an affect? Try contacting Paula Chamlee & Michael A. Smith at They use Azo exclusively and must have run across this at least once. SOme of their prints are 18 X 22 - inches.

I use Azo myself and although I own two dry mount presses (wanna buy one? cheap?) I've never used 'em for print flattening. I agree the prices for new ones are ludicrous to say the least. Instead, I rely on the old Oxford English Dictionary and a couple of other choice weighty tomes acquired at yardsales.

I keep the prints under all that for days, sometimes weeks at a time. Although it doesn't completely eliminate the curl it does make 'em behave better. I have ten of them mounted - with those archival clear corners, not drymount tissue, and framed with glass at the moment. At the end of the month I'll take 'em out and see what, if any impact that has had on them.

I used some of Kodaks print flattening solution and had negligible results - perhaps the dilution they recommend is too dilute for SW paper? Perhaps a combination of the above methods? Let us know what you find out.

-- Sean Yates (, January 21, 2000.

The secret to flattening prints under the higher tech method of large heavy books is to let the emulsion dry out but the paper itself should be ever so slightly still damp. You will be able to tell by the feel. It is still supple and not bone dry. I have dried my prints by hanging and on screens and have never had a problem with not being able to flatten them completely. No wrinkles or curl in 80% humidity to santa ana wind 10%. The secret is "don't do it after they have dried to a crisp." If you're worried about the emulsion getting dinged- don't. Just be careful. james

-- Mr.Lumberjack (, January 23, 2000.

I dry the single weight prints by hanging, laying on screens or on the carpet. Then I flatten them in a 'sandwich board' made of Bainbridge Alphamat Artcare board-heated & pressed in the dry mount press for a few minutes. It works very well and the prints stay flat afterward. Even the Azo prints.

-- Dan Smith (, January 23, 2000.

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