Darkroom = cool but raises ?'s...

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by JamesD, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    So, I went out today and exposed a roll of film downtown. Minor glitch that I forgot to reset the ISO dial from 800 to 400 on this manual camera.. (I also kept forgetting to wind the film; go figure). Apparently it doesn't matter, because a one-stop push for TMax 400 is pretty muchly normal development. The negatives came out fine, in any case.

    So, I came home and mixed up the dev and loaded the reel yadda yadda etc ad naseum.

    Then, because this is the first film I'll be taking all the way from loading into the camera up to final prints, I decided to make a contact print. It came out all right, too. Pretty cool, in fact... can definately see the difference between bracket shots.

    Oh, and for anyone who might at some future date be looking back through the threads to find out how to make contact prints: I used my normal exposure for 8X10 paper, just with no negative carrier. Middle light setting, F8, 12 seconds, and I used a variable contrast grade #2 filter. The print is a little lacking in contrast, but hey, it's a proof, not a product.

    So, now I have a question or three:

    1) some of my shots have rather a large difference in lighting... like the teddy bear that was sitting on the windowsill. Should one print the dense negative and burn the window area to get detail? Or should one print the thin negative and dodge to get shadow detail? Highlights retain detail better than shadows, right? None of the teddy bear shots came out with quite the right range (and I bracketed that one a couple of half-stops each way). Or, can one use variable contrast filters to compensate? (Still not quite sure how this VC thing works).

    2) I forget what question #2 was. :scratch:

    3) Is there any way to get rid of water streaks on my negatives? They're annoying. No, I didn't use a wetting agent... I don't have any at the moment. However, I've used it before, and still got streaks, though not quite as bad.

    Thank ya, and This Is SO much FUN! :headbang:
     
  2. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    1) Variable contrast filters could help with the tonal range. A #2 filter is like no filter at all, #1 would be a decrease in contrast while a #3 would be an increase.

    2) That is a problem indeed

    3)Yeah, hypoclear usually stops the water streaks. I do everything with my film only using distilled water. Make sure to rinse quite a few time in distilled water, then run the film between your fingers to get rid of the excess water.
     
  3. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Not strictly true.
    A 2 filter gives 'normal' contrast. If you have done everything right you should have a neg that prints perfectly on this grade. However...
    Using no filter at all gives you quite a different contrast range on VC paper and is not to be recommended (though I am sure someone will pop up and claim that their negs print perfectly on VC with no filter and they do it all the time).
    The theory behind paper grades - either by graded paper or VC - is that you are changing the contrast slope of the paper to compensate for the contrast slope of the neg so you get a print with more or less a full range of greys.
    A contrasty neg (for whatever reason) has a compressed range of greys and would normally be printed onto a 'softer' paper - 1, 0 or 00. Soft papers have an extended range of greys and if you use the right grade then you get more or less the same range of greys you would if it was a 'normal' neg printed on 2 (in effect you are putting greys back).
    A low contrast neg can be seen as having an extended range of greys - although not all of them may have been recorded on the film. The general effect on G2 is you can print white but you don't get black OR you can print black but the whites look grey.
    Selecting the right 'hardness' of paper (3,4 or 5) compresses the tonal range on the paper, removing some of the extra greys, to give you the 'correct' tonal range.
    Of course, Grades can also be used creatively to modify your print for artistic effect.

    As to water marks - proper washing and a final rinse in a proper wetting agent (for example Photoflo) should solve it. If you are using a wetting agent and still getting streaks then it is probably because you are not using the correct dilution. Follow the maker's instructions.
    And then follow Darin's advice.

    And I didn't have to talk Science once :lol:
     
  4. stingray

    stingray TPF Noob!

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    you've raised another question here for me... if you don't mind. when you've used the photoflo stuff and you open up and pull the film off the reel, what is used to squeegee it? i have been taught just to do it between two fingers, but surely someone who uses distilled water for developing would not use this method. it seems for me that these water marks are created at this stage.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Water (or drying) marks are caused by salts present in the water crystalising out as the water evaporates.
    These salts are usually naturally occuring minerals (calcium carbonate et al) which are disolved in the water.
    Using a wetting agent disperses the water more quickly so it drains off the film faster and the remainder spreads over the surface to speed drying and reduce the risk of water marks.
    Squeegee-ing the film helps this process by rapidly getting rid of excess water.
    The emulsion is very soft when it is wet so it is susceptible to scratching. Using your fingers is the safest method - you can actually feel if there is any grit present and rinse it off. Film squeegees appear to be designed to scratch film and should never be used.
    Doing this also reduces the chances of the water on the film forming into droplets (it's natural inclination) which would increase the concentration of salts in that region.
    Water droplets also take longer to to dry which means that the gelatine dries unevenly. This causes distortions in the emulsion and is undesirable.
    Doing a final rinse in distilled water can cut down the occurence of drying marks provided you don't re-use it. Re-use will cause a build-up within the distilled water of the salts you are washing off - and then you are back to square one.
     
  6. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Wouldn't it be better to proof at 0 or 00 just to be on the "safe side" ?
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    You always start with things at zero so you start with G2 - you assume you've got it right.
    Contact print onto G1 - contrast changes with image size: the larger you blow up the image the lower the image contrast goes and vice versa. If you print 10x8 on to G2 then the contacts will be more contrasty so G1.
     
  8. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Hertz, are you saying go ahead and use regular water (whatever that might be) to wash the film, then post-wash it with a bit of distilled water? Or am I misunderstanding?
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I use the 2 finger squeegee method. Another trick I've tried is to put the film, still on the dev reels, into a salad spinner, and spin the last wash off. It works, but so does the 2 finger method, and no salad spinner to clean, but if you were really against touching the film...
     
  10. photoromopr

    photoromopr TPF Noob!

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    you could have actually pushed the film. what this is, is that you increase the developement time 20% with each stop that you kept higher on the camera. this will enable your film to act as a faster speed of film. it will also increase contrast on your negs. unless you are talking about color film, then ignore everything i just said
     

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