Negs are focused, paper is not.

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by dave chamberlain, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. ricklb55

    ricklb55 TPF Noob!

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    When using the focus finder are you placing it on top of sheet of paper equal to the thickness of the photographic paper? Also, are you sure you are exposing the emulsion side of the photographic paper? Lastly, use a small f-stop when exposing the paper, but not the smallest on your enlarger lense. If you are doing all of this then the problem is either the focus finder needs calibration or vibration.


     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  2. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I wasn't sure at first what was meant by a 'focus finder' - I've always heard it called a grain scope. Sounds like you need to learn how to focus the grain. Projecting the image may look like it's in focus but you still need to adjust to get the grain in focus.

    I use a piece of white paper or thin cardboard to focus on especially if the easel is yellow and/or well used and nicked up. (Those Ilford cardboard packages that photo paper comes in can be handy for burning in a corner or to cut up to custom burn in a portion of an image.)

    I had to think what I've done (since it's been awhile but I've done enough printing to not have to think much about what I'm doing). I think I usually focus on an area that has some dark and light (maybe more dark) or maybe an edge or line, on subject more than background.

    I've used a shared darkroom at a college and between the radio cranked up, water running, fan going, students clattering around, I don't think vibration would be that much of a problem (or could be sometimes but not all the time). I also never had negatives 'pop' but I usually would be in the 10-15 sec. range for exposures.

    Maybe check and make sure the enlarging lens is dust free; I usually carried a microfiber cloth because students are little piggies and don't think to dust the lens once in awhile (or anything else).
     
  3. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I wonder if we'll ever find out if a solution was found.
     
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  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    We'll have to wait until the OP returns. If this is happening with just one negative, then the neg isn't sharp.

    I can't believe it's a focus issue. He could focus visually without any aid and get acceptable results.

    Too bad we don't get to see a scan of the neg.

    -Pete
     
  5. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Did he look at the negatives closely? If he doesn't have a lightbox, could use a lampshade. Of course with 35mm the negs aren't that large, but seems like I can tell when it's enlarged if an image was out of focus or if there was blur.

    Meanwhile, the suspense grows... lol
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's what I'm thinking. A simple loupe is all that's needed.

    -Pete
     

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