First Self-Developed Roll (!)

elemental

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As many of you know (and thank you for all of your help), I have embarked on the adventure of developing my own black and white film. The chemicals and large order of film arrived yesterday, and so I wasted a roll as quickly as possible in order to get to the developing.

The negatives themselves seem pretty soft in the blacks. I know they were exposed correctly- would this indicate underdeveloping? I suspect my developer was a little cooler than 75. These are scans of Ritz prints from the negatives (sorry, no film scanner yet and yes, these are the worst scans ever). Please excuse the horrendous blacks.

Nikon N75, Arista Pro II 400 (Agfa APX 400), Clayton F76+


Fruit in my living room:
fruit859.png



Leaves in the back yard:
leaves_2644.png




More leaves (still prowling the back yard trying to waste film):
leaves_3209.png




If anyone of you sages would like to share some ideas on getting better darks on the negatives so there wouldn't need to be so much correction in printing, feel free to share. I'm going to try some Tri-X in a little bit with more careful monitoring of temperature.
 

compur

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The negatives themselves seem pretty soft in the blacks. I know they were exposed correctly- would this indicate underdeveloping?

I don't know what you mean by soft in the blacks. "Soft" usually pertains
to focus. Is that what you mean?

I suspect my developer was a little cooler than 75.
Temperature is important with 76-type developers. Time needs to be
adjusted accordingly. How much cooler was it?

These are scans of Ritz prints from the negatives
That enters 3 variables: your developing, Ritz's printing and then the scanning.
It's hard to tell what you are asking and what you want to know.
Your developing looks pretty good to me but it's not clear to me what you
don't like about the pics.

Please excuse the horrendous blacks.
How are they horrendous? How do you want them to look?
 
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elemental

elemental

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I don't know what you mean by soft in the blacks. "Soft" usually pertains
to focus. Is that what you mean?

I meant the negatives never really get to "black." The darkest areas are dark gray.


Temperature is important with 76-type developers. Time needs to be
adjusted accordingly. How much cooler was it?

I would say at most 3-5 degrees off, so maybe 72 instead of 75. From 68 to 75 is a two-minute jump (eight minutes down to six).


How are they horrendous? How do you want them to look?

This refers to the bars, stripes, and general nastiness i see in the dark areas of the images, particularly the first and second. I think the scan of the print is pretty poor.
 

randerson07

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I think they look pretty good, that second one in particular I like. The light on the leave is very nice.

We cant tell much at all about the negs from scans of digital prints. The lines look to me like they are from the scans. Do those lines show on the prints? negs?

You did far better than I did on my first roll. Be on the look out for a film enabled scanner on craigs list, you should be able to get one cheap.
 

ann

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black in a negative is clear film, not gray.

temperature control is critical. close is not good, this is not horseshoes.
 
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elemental

elemental

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I think they look pretty good, that second one in particular I like. The light on the leave is very nice.

We cant tell much at all about the negs from scans of digital prints. The lines look to me like they are from the scans. Do those lines show on the prints? negs?

You did far better than I did on my first roll. Be on the look out for a film enabled scanner on craigs list, you should be able to get one cheap.

Well I have the advantage of having a camera with a working shutter (just kidding- more mojo in your Petri's little finger than in my little Ricoh).

The lines are not on the negs or the prints, they're from my ghetto scanner that I used to scan the prints. I need me a film scanner- thinking about one of the refurbished Epsons.

Tri-X is drying one the side of the fireplace. Second roll was much much much easier- so many tricks you pick up so fast. I definitely learn best by doing.
 

KD5NRH

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2 degrees makes a big difference with BW. Color is even pickier. OTOH, scanning your own negs allows a *lot* of latitude in the process - two stops of correction done right can be almost invisible.
 
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elemental

elemental

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black in a negative is clear film, not gray.

temperature control is critical. close is not good, this is not horseshoes.

Right. So this would mean my lights/highlights. I was referring to the dark areas of the negative. Same thing.

On my second run, temperature was within half a degree of 68. It's so much easier to get the water to the right temperature before mixing the chemicals- I feel stupid for doing it the other way around the first time.
 

compur

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Considering the Ritz printing and the scanning, and the temperature issue,
they look pretty good to me.

My view: To get the most out of B&W photography you have to do
everything yourself. Especially the printing. There are as many variables
to printing as there are to shooting and film developing.
 

Helen B

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These look fine, given that they are poor scans of Ritz prints. For conventional printing the dark areas of the negative (ie the highlights) should not be black, they should be see-through. The old rule-of-thumb is that you should just be able to read a newspaper when the negative is placed over it.

Best,
Helen
 

nealjpage

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Ah, I remember my first roll of film. Memories....
 

mblanton

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Your photographs look pretty good for scans. The developing could play a small part in the depth of the blacks...are you using powder or liquid developer? Tempature does make a huge difference...I used to measure enough chemistry to process 1-2 rolls of film in brown peroxide bottles. I then submerged the bottles in a 10 gallon fish tank with heater installed. Always use a 2nd themometer to verify your tempature and adjust your time accordingly. Are you going to make your own prints or rely on a 3rd party? It can make the biggest difference. Most 1hr photo's calibrate their equipment to produce neutral prints....which means you may never get true blacks. From my darkroom experience I can tell you that high contrast paper along with fresh developer can make e huge difference.

Good luck and look forward to seeing more of your work.

Mike
 

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