Developing Problems

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by bantor, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Hellp All,

    So i just set up a dark room, and started playing around a bit. With the kit i bought, there was a sample negative, and a picture of what it should look like if properly enlarged. So i follow the instructions and come out with a picture. This is all fine and dandy until one takes a slightly closer look at the result. When i look at the print, i notice that the whites are not white but grey and the blacks are hardly dark enough. No matter how i do it, wheather i turn the f/stop down or up, or change the exposure time or whatever, nothing helps.

    I am using some pretty old Inlford Multigrad II gloss paper, ilford chemicals, and a durst enlarger. I figure the age of the paper might be the main factor in my contrast woes but i am not sure.

    I appreciate any help given

    Thanks

    -bantor
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What you need to do is increase your contrast. Lots of ways to get there. For starters, you may want to add some magenta filtration here and make some test strips before wasting anymore paper. Did your enlarger come with a filter kit?

    And yes, you might want to experiment with different papers, as well, but you should be able to make a decent print with what you have by adding filtration. So many other things come into play, as well - what developer you're using, the dilution factor and timing, etc. Some developers are more aggressive and give better contrast than others. There's a big learning curve, so take your time and keep exposure notes when you change something.

    Start with the simplest thing, adding a magenta filter, and take it from there. :)
     
  3. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help terri. I have a magenta and yellow dialable filter and a cyan filter that slides over the lense. I am using some ilford developer at the strongest dilution (1:4) ratio. It is indeed a large learning curve, more so then i expected, but hey just all that much more rewarding when i get a good print.

    Thanks again for the help.

    -bantor
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're welcome. Good luck! :D
     
  5. ksmattfish

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

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    Magenta increases contrast; yellow decreases contrast. You won't use the cyan filter for BW printing. You can usually find info on how to dial in specific contrast grades for particular brands of paper in the box, or at the website. Although I just do it by eye.

    Old chems and/or paper could also be the problem. Take a sheet of the paper, and expose it to window light for 30 sec. Then develop it as normal. Is it completely black? It should be. Not just dark gray, but completely black. Grey highlights could be because of light or chemical fogging. Take a sheet of paper and put it under your enlarger, and put a coin on the paper. Turn on the enlarger for 20 or 30 sec. (with no neg in the carrier). develop as normal. Is the circle where the coin was completely white?
     
  6. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Thanks ksmattfish. I tried the turning the paper black and it is, but that coin idea is a good one, i will try it out.

    I got the enlarger used so i didn't get a manual, and when i bought the enlarger the gy gave me about 100 sheets of old multigrade 3 paper so there was no istructions, but i will check the web page.

    Thanks a bunch

    -bantor
     
  7. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Well thank you kindly Doug, i erally do appreciate this since i am still having problems getting my pictures to come out really crisp. They are all coming out mederatly well, but still nothing that i am erally proud of yet.

    I will go to the store as soon as i can and check this stuff out. Thanks again Doug. Have a good one.
     

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