Bathroom Darkroom 1st prints

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by randerson07, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. randerson07

    randerson07 TPF Noob!

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    Well I made my first prints last night and this morning. Ive learned a couple things.

    1. Stick to a routine, I forgot to stop down the lens after focusing on more than one occasion yielding black prints.

    2. My home made negative carrier needs some tweaking, Im cutting stuff off I didnt want to, adding things that shouldnt be there.

    3. I think my bathroom is too small for my safelight, all my prints are greyish or fogged I guess you could say.

    4. I could use an easel

    5. Printing is a whole lot harder than developing film, and certainly harder than operating a camera.

    6. Even Failing was fun.


    Anyway here are a couple pics
    1. Notice all the greyness. This is on the cheapest paper I could find, Promaster Black and White. Dev in Ilford PQ universal. F/16 for 15 seconds i think.
    [​IMG]


    2. This is the first one that actually had something on it. Cant remember the settings but its the same paper and developer. It didnt scan well at all, so I tried to adjust it in PS to match what the print looks like, this is pretty close
    [​IMG]
     
  2. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nice pics.

    On the fogging -- use as little safelight as possible. Only barely enough to
    see what you have to see and only when you have to see it.

    And, check for light leaks in your darkroom area. Any faint spots of light
    visible anywhere can fog prints.

    Make sure your enlarger isn't leaking light (many of them do). Drape some-
    thing over the leaks until it's only shining down on the paper as it should.
     
  3. randerson07

    randerson07 TPF Noob!

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    Well the safelight is not adjustable, so i may put something in front or over it next time or get a new one, who knows.

    Ill check for leaks, but i taped off the doors, used towels on the bottom of the doors in the bathroom which has no windows, then I closed all the blinds, doors, and turned off all the lights in the rest of the house.

    My enlarger leaks like a siv(my dad uses that word allllll the time, how do you spell it?) should there be no light coming out except for through the lens? is so then I think thats my problem.

    Weather I use the 35mm carrier the enlarger came with or the home made cardboard one I made, light leaks out the sides on both of them. Should I tape this up or something?

    Do you think the large mirror behind the sink may also be a hinderence?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get a smaller one if you can. Or cover it with a box or something or maybe
    put it on the floor. You really don't need much light in a darkroom. Just
    enough to see where the trays are, etc. And, turn it off when you don't
    need it.

    After you've been in there with no safe light for 5-10 minutes just look
    around. If you see any points of light, those are leaks. Even little ones
    will fog your paper. It might help to only work at night.

    Yes, many enlargers are poorly designed that way. You'd think they'd
    know better.

    Yes.

    Yes. Anything reflective should be covered. Chrome hardware too.

    The idea is total darkness except for the projection coming from the
    enlarger onto the paper.

    The more fastidious you are about that the better your prints will look.
    It makes a big difference. Your prints will sparkle.
     
  5. randerson07

    randerson07 TPF Noob!

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    Todays session showed improvements, i think i have the fogging situation under control. Now I just need to pick some better negatives and make some better prints. Made 3 prints this morning, the first being the best by far.

    1. From a 35mm HP5+ neg. The 35mm Neg carrier works awesome compared to my cardboard 6x7 carrier
    [​IMG]
    2. From a Plus-X 6x7 neg
    [​IMG]

    3. From a 35mm Tmax 400 neg
    I tried to print at grade 3 by adjusting the magenta knob, but i think I failed.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Portrayed1

    Portrayed1 TPF Noob!

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    sweeet!!! im getting excited myself cuz my hubby is building me one downstairs asap...thanks for sharing
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How long are you in the developer?

    As for your safelight, it can be adjusted by using a bulb with a different wattage.

    -Pete
     
  8. randerson07

    randerson07 TPF Noob!

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    Im getting much better prints now. I sealed up the leaks in the enlarger, got some black plastic to cover the large mirror and doors, and block the safe light partially.

    Im in the developer(Ilford Universal) for 60 seconds.

    I made a couple nice prints this morning. Im almost out of developer, stuff goes fast when you only have about 1.5 hours you can devote a day, I end up only being able to make about 3 final prints before Ive got to go to work.

    Can developer be reused?

    Ive been dumping it just as I do when developing film.
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sure, if you've not exhausted it. I would recommend covering it to minimize oxidation. If you know you'll be back the next day, just place a piece of Masonite or the like right on top of the tray. Of course, a stoppered bottle is much better.

    -Pete
     
  10. randerson07

    randerson07 TPF Noob!

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    I think I read somewhere you get 20-30 prints from a batch, would that be about right?

    That should save a couple $ if I can re-use the stuff.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... what's a "batch?" If you mean a quart of working solution, I'd say that sounds about right.

    If I sound a bit vague, it's because I always used the "yellow boxes" and have only limited experience with Ilford and the rest.

    -Pete
     
  12. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    When I was printing on RC papers, developer was incorporated into the emulsion, and my concoction was picking it up, making it more active than when I mixed it.

    As far as film developer went, I always it used over a few times unless it was designated a one shot.
     

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