POP Paper

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I'm wondering has anyone used the Chicago Albumen (sp?) Works paper? What's it like? Is it easy to make good 8x10 contact prints with? What do they look like? Are you pleased with the process? Since trying to get Azo paper seems like a lot trouble to get in 11x14 sizes without buying more than you will ever need in your lifetime, this seems like a good way to go for 8x10 contacts with a good sized border. Thanks for your help in advance.

FYI I really enjoy this forum, I find it most helpful and good reading plus the opinions given are honest and real. Thanks again.

Sincerely John

-- John Miller (vwbus1967@earthlink.net), January 24, 2002


John, This paper is a printing out paper so the process is very different from Azo. The paper is doubleweight with a thick emulsion. There is no developer but in order to get a neutral graytone the image must be gold-toned. Without the toning, the image is orange. You can make really fine prints with this but it requires more effort than Azo. The shelf life of the Centennial Paper is short. The paper will develop a base fog in less than a year at room temp.

You might consider 20x24 Azo and cut it down to a custom size that will permit a large border for your 8x10s.

-- Wayne Firth (wfirth@silverlight.net), January 24, 2002.

I use this paper and am happy with it. You need a high constrast negative (about N+2 development) to get a normal-contrast print. With gold toner, the color can be brownish red, rose, or nearly neutral. It depends on how long you tone and what formula you use. Gold toner made with borax gives a rose color. You also need to use plain hypo with this paper. Any commerical fixer will wipe out the image.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), January 24, 2002.

I'm to the point now where I use Centennial almost exclusively. I think the finish is sweet, but as stated, you better be using negatives with a long tonal range if you want nice results. Contrary to popular belief, though, you don't have to tone in gold. I use selenium with great results (1:200 to 1:250), but my favorite is still gold borax. (Some people use platinum toner.) Try it. 50 sheets DW FB for $60 from B&S.

-- Chad Jarvis (cjarvis@nas.edu), January 24, 2002.

William......when you say plain fixer, not commercial fixer, could you give more detail please. I tried printing POP with limited success. The density of the blacks seemed to reduce during rinse/fix. I used Ilford Hypam fix (1+9). However, the process of making POP prints is very enjoyable, and it is easy to see that the potential for making fine contact prints is there if the technique can be controlled. Many thanks....

-- Stephen Vaughan (stephen@vaughanphotos.freeserve.co.uk), January 25, 2002.


Uing plain hypo is suggested in the literature provided with the Chicago Albumen Works paper. The formula is 150 g Sodium Thiosulfate to 1 liter water. This has to be used within a few hours. Regular fixer will wash out the image.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), January 25, 2002.

Even plain hypo will reduce blacks. Hypo with hardener, such as Kodak RapidFix, will flat-out BLEACH your paper. I use two-bath Rapid Fix without the hardener (part B), which is plain thiosulfate, mixed from 1:10 to 1:7, depending on my mood and how many prints (and with which toner) I'll be processing. As far as blacks being reduced, as I said, it is unavoidable. Even if you print out until your shadows are thoroughly "bronzed," you'll still get A LOT of detail once fixed. That's just the nature of the beast; it takes a special negative to get it just right.

-- Chad Jarvis (cjarvis@nas.edu), January 25, 2002.

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