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Print Reduction


TPF Noob!
Jan 18, 2013
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Every once in a while (right) I overexpose a print, so I've been throwing them into a box intending some day to reduce them, which I've never done before. Well, it's raining today so I got out my Lootens book and mixed up some Farmers Reducer according to his formula (Solution A: 16 oz water, 4 oz hypo) Solution B: 8 oz water, 2 oz potassium ferricyanide, 1 oz potassium bromide).

Lootens says to start out weak, mixing 6 oz of A, 1/4 oz B and 50 oz water. It did not seem to do much in the tray, so I wiped some on with a cotton ball and it bleached out that part of a print. Then I tried wiping solution B on while the print was submerged in the tray, which was time consuming but worked to a point, then it stopped working altogether. I went for broke and mixed a new solution with everything I had left, which was higher in B and less water. No change.

I started looking for alternative formulas and found apparent disagreement among people posting on the subject.

I am wondering whether the solution I am using (the last printing of Lootens book was 1975) does not work well on RC papers?

I guess I could just buy the stuff pre-packaged, but I have the chemicals on the shelf if someone can help me with a formula that works better.
The following comes from an ancient Kodak booklet "Processing chemicals and formulas".

Stock solution A
1 ¼ ounce (37.5 gram) Potassium Ferricyanide.
Water to make 16 ounces (500 cc).

Stock solution B
16 ounce (480 gram) Sodium Thiosulphate (Hypo).
Water to make 64 ounces (2 liter).

To use mix 1 ounce (30 cc) solution A and 4 ounce (120 cc) solution B with water to make up 32 ounces (1 liter).
Thanks. It's about the same recipe as the one I was using; somewhat stronger on the Potassium Ferricyanide considering there's no Potassium Bromide to counteract it, but not so much different that what I was using earlier today should have been as altogether impotent as it was. I will give this formula a try. I only experimented with RC paper today, but I have some dark FB prints and I'll play with them to see if there is any difference. Still wondering whether RC paper makes a difference.
I can check my "Darkroom cookbook" to see if it mentions other recipes. I am headed to the darkroom later today (which is where the book is).

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