Contact Printing: Azo, graded and mc papers : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I was wondering if anyone has experience contact printing with enlarging papers as opposed to Azo. I am playing with Azo at present, but am curious to hear what others may have experienced with graded and variable contrast enlarging papers. A specific question that comes to mind is the usefullness of variable contrast papers for contact printing a pyro neg. I know that the stain of a pyro developed negative is supposed to mimic the action of a mc filter, especially in the highlights. I wonder if this holds true when contact printing (without any filters)?

Thanks, Paul G.

-- Paul Giblin (, October 06, 2001


When I'm at school, like at the moment, I don't have a set-up to do contact printing on AZO like I do at home, so I just contact on my usual paper, Luminos Flexicon FB paper. While the prints I make on the Luminos don't necessarily have the same feel as the ones I get on AZO, I find that I can make prints that pretty damn good. Pyro stain does help in the highlights, I've found. Last week I printed a negative of one of the greens at OU that was partially in shade and partially in direct sun. There was a sun-lit white door that printed perfectly while still holding good shadow detail in the rest of the print. I've photographed the same scene in the past using non- staining developers and always had trouble in the printing because of the high contrast range. So yes, I do think that pyro stain does have a noticable effect. One nice thing about pyro negatives in general combined with variable contrast paper and filters is that it makes it easier to burn down highlights or shadows without affecting the other. If my shadows are where I want them, and the highlights are a little high, I can put in a grade 0 filter and burn them down without changing the shadows. At least that's how it works for me. I'm sure others use different techniques and have had different experiences.

-- David Munson (, October 06, 2001.

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