In need of darkroom printing help

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by laurel91, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. laurel91

    laurel91 TPF Noob!

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    Hi there, I'm new to darkroom printing and I'm having some trouble. I'm printing bnw and using ilford multigrade developer. When I place my paper in the developer tray the image starts to appear after a few seconds however the whole paper then turns completely black and the image disappears after about 20 seconds - does anyone know what the problem might be? I've done test sheets, haven't used filters and my lens is set to 8 f-stop. I've also checked the paper hasn't been damaged by white light. I mixed the developer at 1:9. The developer could have been colder than the suggested 20 degree temp - could this be the problem? I'm not sure what else to try, any advice would be massively appreciated. Thanks!! Laurel


     
  2. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    How did you check that?

    The usual cause for what you describe is light leaks in your darkroom.

    You are doing this in a darkroom, right? (sorry, I had to ask)
     
  3. laurel91

    laurel91 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your reply! To check the paper, I took one sheet out in total darkness and placed it in the developer for 1 minute in the dark. Then stop, then fix and turned on the lights. The paper didn't turn black. I read that this was a way to check, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Yes, I'm using a darkroom. I am pretty sure there's no light coming into the darkroom.

    It's strange because the image does start to appear and then it darkens to black. The attached photo was taken out of the developer around 10 -20 seconds as it started to turn black. I left the other ones it for 1 min and they went completely black.
     

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  4. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes you are correct in checking for fogged paper.

    If your neg image appears then just turns to black then I would say you are over exposing the paper.
    Do you practice the technique of using test strips?
     
  5. laurel91

    laurel91 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, that's good to know.

    Yes, I tried testing the exposure by increasing the amount of time I exposed each strip by 5 seconds each time, from 5-25 seconds. Do you think there could be something wrong with my enlarger? It's the first time I've used it? It's a Durst M302. Or could it be that there was something wrong with the way I mixed the developer? I used 60ml developer and 540 ml water. I tried to get the temp to 20 but was working in a cold garage so could have dropped down to 16 degrees or so.
     
  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    With print test strips you expose a strip of paper in different times ... not change the development time.
     
  7. laurel91

    laurel91 TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, that was a typo. I meant exposure. I covered 3/4 of the paper, turned the enlarger on for 5 seconds, covered 2/4 of the paper, turned on the enlarger for 10 secs etc.
     
  8. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Just to make sure what you are saying ... the paper is pure white after fixing ?
     
  9. laurel91

    laurel91 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, it looked pretty white to me. Attaching photo for reference - the white is after fixing and the black is after developing the negative.
     

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  10. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Doesn't look like you are using an easel.
     
  11. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do you have examples of the test strips you can show us?
     
  12. laurel91

    laurel91 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I brought the wrong sized paper for the easel. the easel is a single format 10x8 however I only had 5x7 paper. I didn't think this would make too much of a different to the final print, other than making it a little less neat. Do you think this could have been the problem? I don't have any examples of the test strips as they all turned black once I put them in the developer :s
     

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