New To Developing, Problems.

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by dix, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. dix

    dix TPF Noob!

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    So I started developing my own prints, and am having some problems. First I'm using variable contrast paper, which I assume is of some importance to this? Anyway, my prints are coming out gray and washed out. Even at different exposure times. I also tried leaving them in the developer for less/more time and same thing. My enlarger has a built in red filter, should I give it a try?

    Also am getting some spots, but I think I may have to dust out my enlarger to fix those. Here's some samples of what I mean, with one print at two different times.

    Also am getting some splotches, as can be seen in the sky in the last two pictures, any hints on how to fix this? I've been rocking the trays while the prints are in, so not sure what else could be the cause?
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  2. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    How do the negatives look?
     
  3. dix

    dix TPF Noob!

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    Negatives look good, I got them done at a pretty fancy film store, since they were C-41 process B/W.
     
  4. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    what filter are you using with the paper?

    what is the ratio of the developer, when was it mixed?

    the red filter is to protect the paper don't use it when printing

    your development time should be constant. Most papers indicate 90 secs development to complention with the common developers.

    what fstop for exposure?

    we will need a lot more infromation to provide helpful information.

    it would also be helpful to view the negatives, in negative form.
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ah, c-41 film. you are going to need to boost the contrast alot and also the expsoure times. Think at least a grade 3.5 as a starting filter and try f8 at 20 seconds and see what happens'
     
  6. dix

    dix TPF Noob!

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    Developer is 1:9 and only about a week old.

    Exposure Fstop was 8 I believe.
     
  7. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Good call, ann!

    To the OP: do you know if you were shooting C-41 film? Do the negatives have a purplish cast to them?
     
  8. dix

    dix TPF Noob!

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    They are slightly purple, and I am certain it was C-41.
     
  9. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Okay,

    Then follow ann's suggestions regarding the contrast filters. You absolutely, without a doubt, need to avoid C-41 film. C-41 film (even the stuff that is called B&W C-41 film) is designated C-41 because it needs C-41 color developing chemicals.

    My favorite B&W 35mm film is Ilford. Their PANF, FP4, and HP5 film is wonderful and reasonably priced.
     
  10. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the record.... with variable contrast (multi-grade) papers....

    You need a set of filters to vary the contrast. Its not achieved through exposure or development.

    -Pete
     
  12. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Looks like light leaks in your darkroom to me.

    Is this a home darkroom or one provided by a school or pro darkroom rental?

    If it's a home darkroom, is it absolutely dark with no visible light anywhere
    after remaining inside for at least 15 minutes? No light at all anywhere? Not
    even a little pinpoint somewhere?

    Does your enlarger leak light anywhere other than out the lens?

    Many enlargers leak light too and need to be taped up or draped so as
    not to leak.

    What safelight are you using? Is it the type recommended by the paper manufacturer?

    One should use the correct safelight for the materials in use and use it as little
    as possible. Use the type recommended by the paper manufacturer that is actually
    made for darkroom use, not just a colored bulb from the hardware store, etc.
    Some of today's papers call for a red safelight instead of the usual OC (amber) type.

    "Splotches" on prints are often caused by touching materials with contaminated
    fingers or tongs, etc.
     

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