Making Black and White Prints

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by darin3200, May 15, 2005.

  1. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    I recently picked up a Beseler 23C II enlarger and some Kodak black and white photo paper. I have negatives that are already developed and I just want to make prints. The problem is I am having trouble finding a good guide on how to make prints. How long should the photopaper be exposed, what chemicals do I need to make the prints, etc...

    Thanks,
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    This is quite a long answer, because your asking how to set up a darkroom.
    You've got a good start witha nice enlarger. What kind of lens does it have?

    You need some photo trays to put your chemicals in. Then you need basic chemicals like a print deveploper, stop bath(can be water), fixer, and a wash (again, water)

    Get yourself a basic B&W photography book. They will go through the how-to of a darkroom.

    Exposure depends on the neg. You want to close down your lens to say f8 or f11 and start at a given time. I use 4sec. I hold a piece of cardboard and expose for 4sec moving the cardboard about 2 inches at a time. That way you have a test that has exposures of say 4,8,12,16,20,24 etc. then from there you have some kind of idea of your exposure time.

    Again, this is something that would be covered in a basic photo book.

    As you set things up, don't hesitate to ask more questions.
     
  3. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I couldn't remember the book ksmatt recommended so I found it.

    And a thousand times I'll recommend Henry Horenstien's books:

    Black and White Photography
    Beyond Basic Photography
     
  4. ksmattfish

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

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    Assuming you have the light proof room, you'll probably want a safe light. Film must be handled in complete darkness, but you can have a red safelight on when printing.

    Tongs are handy for handling the paper in the trays. Use the same tray and tongs for the same chems every time. I think the cheapo bamboo tongs are the best.

    Put a neg in the film carrier, a piece of paper in the print easel (save this sheet of paper to focus on next time), and crop and focus your image. Turn off the enlarger. Get a fresh sheet of paper in the easel. Make a test strip like Kevin suggested.

    Develop it for whatever your paper manufacturer suggests. Usually around 1 min for RC and 2 min for FB paper. Stop bath for 10 sec or so; I do at least 30 sec if only using water. Fixer and washing time depends on paper and fixer type. Washing is accomplished more by soaking in clean water than moving water, so if you don't have a fancy print washer, you can wash by soaking for 5 min, and then replacing the contaminated water with clean water, repeat as necessary.

    Look at the test strip and decide what time looks good, and make a print at this exposure time. Develop like the test strip. It'll probably still need tweaking, but hopefully you'll be close.
     
  5. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    So is it possible to put negatives in the enlarger, make the print, and then just use water and not chemicals?
     
  6. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    No, you need a paper developer if you are using a basic fiber or RC paper.
     
  7. ksmattfish

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

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    You can get cyanotype paper that will develop in water, but it's a contact method of printing, so you need a big neg. And it only comes in blue and white.
     
  8. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, thanks for all the help so far.
    I followed the Adorama link on the bottom of the page and currently have in my cart

    Adorama Black & White Paper Developer, Quart Bottle Makes 5 Quarts of Working Solution
    and
    Adorama Universal Fixer for Black & White Film and Paper, 1 Quart makes 1 Gallon
    Should I get stop chemicals or anything else?
     
  9. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I am confused. Do you have a darkroom set up, or do you already have the supplies like trays, tongs, safelight, etc? Beacause you will need something to put the chems in to process the prints. A thermometer is good to have so that your not using a too cold solution. Things will happen real slow if it is too cold.

    I use a commercial stop bath. It is cheap, so I want to be sure. You can use water for your stop, just make sure you are changing it pretty often, or you will be dunking your prints in a diluted developer after a while.
     
  10. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I have a darkroom set up with a safelight, trays and tongs etc...
     
  11. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Cool :thumbup:

    Then you need to get in on the print exchange.
     
  12. ksmattfish

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

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    Get some stop bath.

    What kind of paper are you using? Kodak Hypoclear or some other wash aid will come in handy for fiber paper, and film.

    Photo flo for clean drying negs.

    Jugs to mix the chems.
     

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