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Trevor Crone
21st April 2010, 07:02 PM
I have finally found some time to produce a few prints on the new Lodima silver chloride paper. This is really a contact only printing paper because of its very slow emulsion.

The paper was originally made available as a limited run in 8x10 size in 2008/2009 by American photographers Michael A. Smith and his wife Paula Chamlee. This pre-production version was only available at grade 2 but subsequent testing revealed it was nearer a grade 3 then 2.

The full production version is available in various sizes at grades 2 and 3, glossy surface only. I ordered a box of 100 sheets of each grade in size 9"x11" for contact printing 8"x10" negatives.

This new paper is slightly lighter then the pre-production version which was a thicker paper but none the less handles well when wet.

Being a slow contact only paper I use a 150W opal lamp at a distance from the paper of 19.5" which gives even illumination (checked with a Pentax digital spotmeter) and average exposure times of 15-20 seconds. This lamp is wired into a Viponel digital exposure timer.

To hold the negative in perfect contact with the paper I use a Lotus contact printing frame purchased from Linhof Studio. Expensive but beautifully made to last a lifetime or more :)

I developed the new paper in Ilford's warm tone developer for 1 minute at 22C. The grade 2 is quite a bit softer then grade 3 and to achieve a decent D-max the paper needs to be toned in a selenium bath. For this I used it diluted 1:25 for 1-1.5 minutes. The blacks really did 'snap' without any visual change to the delicate high and mid-grey values. Because this paper has such a long tonal range dodging and burning are kept to a minimum if at all.

The grade 3 was simply stunning in my view with deep rich blacks and still the long tonal scale of the grade 2. Developed in Ilford's WT really brought out the rich sumptuous warmth that this paper is capable of. I was fearful that selenium toning would bring about a colour shift so I kept toning to a more or less, 'in and out', 20-30 seconds, no more. This was still long enough at this dilution to slightly intensify the blacks without any noticeable change in colour.

The paper dries flat with a pleasing gloss. I trim this paper cleanly to the image and mount onto Fabriano 5 paper, the whiteness of which sets off the warmth of this paper.

The only downside for us on this side of the pond is cost - carriage and the likelihood of custom and VAT charges for the privilege of importing it, I was stung for a further 32, I just put it down to the cost of analogue photography :rolleyes:

Jon Butler
21st April 2010, 09:46 PM
Very interesting, I would love to see the prints in the flesh to compare with Azo.
Thanks for posting Trevor.
JON.

Tom Kershaw
22nd April 2010, 08:53 AM
Trevor,

No issues with X-ray damage?

Tom

Trevor Crone
22nd April 2010, 09:51 AM
Trevor,

No issues with X-ray damage?

Tom

Not that I'm visually aware of Tom.

I did mask one of the prints to give me a white boarder and to my eye the whiteness is on par with Ilford's WT FB paper.

mikeinmono
22nd April 2010, 11:17 AM
Many thanks for posting Trevor. I ordered some G2 and G3 some time ago and look forward to trying it out when it arrives. Your details will give me an excellent starting point for exposure conditions and toning. The G3 in particular sounds like an impressive paper.

Given the success that Michael Smith had with Azo combined with Amidol, have you been tempted to try this developer with the new Lodima paper?

You mentioned mounting onto Fabriano 5 paper, is this because the Lodima is on the thin side? (Is this the Fabriano HP - non textured - paper)?

I will be attending Michael's workshop in Worcester in June and hope to get some experience with the paper before then.

Mike

Trevor Crone
22nd April 2010, 01:51 PM
Many thanks for posting Trevor. I ordered some G2 and G3 some time ago and look forward to trying it out when it arrives. Your details will give me an excellent starting point for exposure conditions and toning. The G3 in particular sounds like an impressive paper.

Given the success that Michael Smith had with Azo combined with Amidol, have you been tempted to try this developer with the new Lodima paper?

You mentioned mounting onto Fabriano 5 paper, is this because the Lodima is on the thin side? (Is this the Fabriano HP - non textured - paper)?

I will be attending Michael's workshop in Worcester in June and hope to get some experience with the paper before then.

Mike

Hi Mike, I did try amidol with the pre-production version and it works well especially when combined with a water bath to control contrast. However I found the print tone was more on the neutral side to the warmth, which I prefer, that I get with Ilford's WT developer. However I've yet to try amidol with this new version so will see if there is any marked change in print colour.

I mount on Fabriano 5 (HP) because I like its white base which for me enhances the warmth of Lodima. I have a boarder of about 2-3" around the print, this also allows for easy handling. This can then be matted in a window matt larger then the image size to allow the white of the Fabriano to show. For matting I use conservation board from Silverprint.

I think the workshop with Michael and Paula will be a wonderful experience. I was hoping to attend myself but I'm on hols. that weekend.

Good luck with the paper when it arrives and I'm sure you will enjoy it. Do provide some feed back on your findings.

Barry
22nd April 2010, 07:37 PM
Thanks for the detailed review Trevor. Sounds wonderful.

I understand that the paper is made in Europe? It would be nice if it could be purchased from Michael & Paula but supplied within Europe to avoid the shipping and import duties?

Trevor Crone
22nd April 2010, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the detailed review Trevor. Sounds wonderful.

I understand that the paper is made in Europe? It would be nice if it could be purchased from Michael & Paula but supplied within Europe to avoid the shipping and import duties?

Barry, that was their original intention to ship it from within Europe but I think they found the shipping cost to be as high or higher then they could ship it from the States.

Of the 32 I paid to Parcel Force, 24 was for VAT and 8 for PF handling fee. :(

Barry
23rd April 2010, 07:42 AM
That's a pity Trevor :(

Dave miller
23rd April 2010, 08:09 AM
Thanks for the detailed review Trevor. Sounds wonderful.

I understand that the paper is made in Europe? It would be nice if it could be purchased from Michael & Paula but supplied within Europe to avoid the shipping and import duties?

As Trevor said, when this production was first muted the plane was to split the order in Europe, to save postage and duties for those of us that live here. I guess the value of pre-orders were too low to warrant that method, which is a shame.

Keith Tapscott.
23rd April 2010, 09:58 AM
My order for Lodima arrived this morning and I also had to pay custom and excise duty before it was delivered. :(

I hope the results are worth it.