Mottled (Grainy?) B&W Prints

OP
Ideal_format

Ideal_format

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
10
Reaction score
5
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
A couple corrections:
The film I used was actually two different types after looking back at the negatives
1) Fuji 100 Across II - PalmTree
2) Ilford Delta Pro 400 - MelPark

Attached is another print that shows the "foggy" along with a few negatives. The close up negatives used a computer as a backlight which is why they have pixels showing up behind them. Sorry for my low-tech work around! I am just now getting started! Thanks again for everyones help!
 

Attachments

  • Logride.JPG
    Logride.JPG
    1.9 MB · Views: 93
  • PalmFog.JPG
    PalmFog.JPG
    2.2 MB · Views: 92
  • IMG_0990.JPG
    IMG_0990.JPG
    114.8 KB · Views: 106
  • IMG_2285.JPG
    IMG_2285.JPG
    338.5 KB · Views: 78
OP
Ideal_format

Ideal_format

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
10
Reaction score
5
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Your negatives look underexposed....
Thanks. I am still learning what to look for on negatives since this is all very new to me. I use the DE-3 HP view finder that has the digital meter in it. Since I am still learning I am not doing anything to complicated like pushing or pulling film and almost always try to get meter at -+ for correct exposure. If I cannot get that by adjusting shutter speed, I'll try and fine tune with aperture. If that doesn't work, I will usually go - if very bright, and + if dark.

The Palm Tree and the Moon were both shot in bright daylight around 3-4pm. Should those be almost completely white in the negative?
 

Pixeldawg1

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
364
Reaction score
266
Location
Suzhou, China
Website
www.facebook.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
A couple corrections:
The film I used was actually two different types after looking back at the negatives
1) Fuji 100 Across II - PalmTree
2) Ilford Delta Pro 400 - MelPark

Attached is another print that shows the "foggy" along with a few negatives. The close up negatives used a computer as a backlight which is why they have pixels showing up behind them. Sorry for my low-tech work around! I am just now getting started! Thanks again for everyones help!

The negatives are under developed and under exposed. The reason you want to see the sprocket holes is because of the imprint that the manufacturer makes when they make the film. It is a consistent exposure, no matter what YOU do on the film, so it's the best place to look if you have these kinds of issues. These are clearly under developed and should be a pretty dense black for those letters along the sprocket holes. Take a quick roll and give it 9 minutes of development and see if there's a difference in the text along the sprocket holes. Am sure there will be. The negatives are clearly underexposed as well, so if you're making manual readings with a light meter, you should get the meter checked or ask a local pro to ensure you are metering the scene correctly. If in camera manual readings, check to ensure that you don't have exposure compensation on, it needs to be at "O". If that's not the case, you may want to have the camera meter checked. If you have it on automatic, it may be that your meter is getting "fooled". I noted that you have a clear sky in the background of the palm tree and that the tree itself is under exposed. I am thinking that you set the meter on Auto and the sky back-lit the tree. There are a few situation that the meter will be fooled, and you should be aware of these. First is if there is more light behind the subject than in front of the subject. The meter will see all that brightness and under expose the foreground subject. Next, if there is a strong black or very dark background, the exposure will be fooled, thinking the scene is darker than it really is, and over expose. Next, if you have a white background, similarly to the backlit scene, it will see the brightness and under expose. These can be problematic in development and printing, so good exposure in black and white is vital. Make sure your exposures are correct!

Next MAKE SURE your chemicals don't have cross contamination. This can also impact your developing and if I were you, I would throw away the chemicals you're using, clean the containers (including the processing tank and reels) thoroughly and start with fresh chemicals to ensure that you haven't inadvertently gotten some fixer into your developer. I am suspecting this may have happened as well, but without being actually there watching you, difficult to tell. The reason I say this is that plastic reels are really horrible for developing and can often keep residual chemistry in them, which will effect your processing. I would HIGHLY recommend you learn to use stainless steel tanks, which don't have these same kind of issues. Burn a roll of film (i.e., a BLANK roll of film and in daylight, learn how to load a stainless steel reel before you try it in the darkroom. Learn to do it with your eyes closed after you get the hang of it so that film doesn't buckle and you have undeveloped portions of your negatives. Steel reels can be tricky but SO much better for processing because the chemicals flow more freely and they clean much better during your final wash.

Long, but hope it helps. Any questions or if you want me to check your new film, hollar'. Be well.

Cordially,

Mark
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,924
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
You have pretty much zero shadow detail....you need to lower your camera's ISO value by at least one EV, and as Mark said, you are also under-developing.
 

Pixeldawg1

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
364
Reaction score
266
Location
Suzhou, China
Website
www.facebook.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You have pretty much zero shadow detail....you need to lower your camera's ISO value by at least one EV, and as Mark said, you are also under-developing.

Very true there is no detail in the shadow area and that needs to change, giving the scene more exposure and better development will fix this issue nicely with no need to change the ISO. If you're exposing incorrectly, you will simply be exposing incorrectly at a different ISO :) The thing that you must do is be consistent. Use the same film, at the same developing/processing temperature and with consistent exposure as well. When I lived in America and was doing commercial work, I would take my film to a lab for processing and some quick prints. They would laugh at me because they said I consistently overexposed my shots by a full stop. I jokingly told them that my exposures were correct, and everyone else was underexposing. :) . They admitted that my shots were very easy to process and print because of the consistency. In fact, in their color printer, they had a specific setup just for me because I used the exact same thing each time. Labs love this because they generally don't have to fool around with color correction or print density. Be consistent, even if you are consistently "wrong", be consistent.
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,924
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The old adage ,"expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights," pays respect to the idea that the ASA-ISO for a film will determine the shadow density based upon the scene being given a fairly generous shadow exposure....unless the OP lowers the Exposure Index ( the ISO set on the camera's meter), no mount of development increase will correct for the under-exposure we see in the shadows.

The OP NEEDS TO LOWER the ISO setting used. The idea that fixer is somehow being retained in the plastic reels is, I think, not a real factor here.
 
Last edited:

480sparky

Chief Free Electron Relocator
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
24,903
Reaction score
8,880
Location
Iowa
Website
pixels.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
............The Palm Tree and the Moon were both shot in bright daylight around 3-4pm. Should those be almost completely white in the negative?

A negative that is 'completely white' is UNexposed. The brighter an object is in the scene, the darker it will be rendered on the negative. This 'inversion' will be reversed again when printed.

Before I would get concerned about developing and ratios and temperature and times in the darkroom, I'd test the gear first. Are you shutter speeds accurate? Meaning, when you dial in, say, 1/250th, is the shutter open 'within specs' of that speed. Are the aperture blades actually closing to the chosen setting? While film cameras tend to actually over-expose due to inaccuracies (ie, shutter speed is much slower than indicated and staying open too long, or aperture blades sticking and not closing enough), it's not outside the realm of possibilities your camera may simply need a Cleaning/Lubrication/Adjustment.
 

vintagesnaps

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
8,884
Reaction score
2,910
Location
US
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I was thinking too, how do the negatives look? and was the exposure off when taking the photos? Looks like it was.

The negatives look rather thin; there seems to be a lot of white and light grays. There should be a range of tones of light to dark grays, and a 'black' black and a 'white' white somewhere in the image.

It's actually the opposite of what you described for the Palm Tree and The Moon. Since they were shot in bright sun the tree and sky would have been brightly lit/lighter in tone, so they would be darker on the negative. When you have the negative in an enlarger the darker areas will block more light from hitting the paper which would keep those areas of the paper lighter (because the paper will be less exposed).

I've found if a negative is too light/too thin there just may not be enough there to work with to get a good print. If a negative is too dense, it can be possible to keep zapping light on it in the enlarger and get a decent image (if it's worth the time and paper to get something out of it).

I'd agree about checking the camera for light leaks, proper shutter speeds, and if the meter's accurate. I've sometimes metered with a different camera if an old camera seems/sounds sluggish (like it's on its last leg! lol) particularly at slower shutter speeds.
 
Last edited:

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,924
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The F3-T uses an electronically-timed shutter and has Nikon's 80% - 20% center-weighted metering which is somewhat different from the old 60/40 spread that Nikon used before and after the F3 model. It is somewhat unlikely that the shutter runs slow or fast: we are dealing with what was a professional camera with a highly reliable and accurate quartz timing mechanism. in mechanically timed shutters we typically see moderate and fast speeds that are slow, and slow speeds which are overly long due to the shutter mechanism being gummed up.

The fact remains that if you are centering the meter diode system and see underexposing, the easiest way to rectify that is to lower your exposure index. This will immediately counteract the underexposure.

if you are using a black and white negative film that has a manufacturer recommended exposure index setting of 100 ,then you would do well to set your light meter to ISO 50 or even lower.
 

vintagesnaps

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
8,884
Reaction score
2,910
Location
US
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
That's what I have Derrel, old cameras that don't have faster shutter speeds anyway and probably are gunky since on a slow speed they sound like the shutter's barely going to make to closing completely! But I'm talking about 50+ to 100 year old ones.

I looked back at the beginning of the thread, and I'd use lower ISO film in bright sunlight. You don't need more light sensitive film like 400 ISO in bright sun; that would be better for cloudy days or low light/late day, etc. Try 100 or 125 ISO film, that 400 speed film isn't helping you any. Not that you couldn't get some decent images, but maybe save that for when you're a more experienced film photographer. If anything I've usually gotten dense images trying to use higher speed film on a sunny day (because it was the end of the roll, that's all I had with me, etc. and I'm livin' on the edge! lol)
 

Pixeldawg1

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
364
Reaction score
266
Location
Suzhou, China
Website
www.facebook.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
The old adage ,"expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights," pays respect to the idea that the ASA-ISO for a film will determine the shadow density based upon the scene being given a fairly generous shadow exposure....unless the OP lowers the Exposure Index ( the ISO set on the camera's meter), no mount of development increase will correct for the under-exposure we see in the shadows.

The OP NEEDS TO LOWER the ISO setting used. The idea that fixer is somehow being retained in the plastic reels is, I think, not a real factor here.

Have seen it happen, particularly if you use the same chemistry again and again in the same set of reels. Fixer dries to a fine white powder and can sometimes not be obvious on the reel itself, which if I recall on the Patterson's, are white. And it was raised in my comment as a possibility, and looking at the negatives, could very well be the cause, but it wasn't limited to that one thing either. Changing the ISO really does much of nothing in film if you are metering incorrectly, it will still be an incorrect exposure, simply at a different ISO.
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,924
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Lowering one's exposure index is the very first step to getting a more generous exposure. The OP has already told us basically how he meters...lowering the exposure index by one exposure value will lead to a more generous exposure even though he makes no change in his light metering technique.

Having seen some of his extremely thin negatives my recommendation would be to immediately go to grade four paper or a number four multi-grade filter.using a grade two filter or paper with negatives that look like his is a recipe for disaster
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top