A print that puzzles me, please advise

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by timeUnit, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    Hi!

    I have a print that looks OK on Agfa MCC 118, but not on Adox Fine Print Vario Classic. On Agfa I get good separation in the skin tones and highlights. On Adox I get a uniform grey in the high value skin tones.

    I have gotten lovely results on the Adox paper before, see my gallery. That print glows, IMO.

    Look at the attachments. They are both neg scans made to approximate what I get on Agfa and Adox, respectively (prints don't fit in scanner).

    What can I do to get better tones on the Adox paper? Should I increase contrast or lower it?

    I don't want to use the Agfa paper because of its surface. I prefer a gloss surface on this shot.

    In hindsight I should have placed the softbox in a slightly different angle, to avoid the reflections in his skin. I was too occupied with the sparks to think about that...
     

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  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The one on the right has a softer toe contrast, but rather seems to match the overall tone scale in the upper region. Unless you can fix that, you cannot match the prints.

    PE
     
  3. Kino

    Kino Member

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    might try a pinch of Benzotriazole in the developer to snap it up...
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Don't add Benzatriazole unless you want to kill the warmth of the paper, you could add a pinch of Potassium Bromide which will increase the contrast slightly.

    Ian

     
  5. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    This photo was shot on Adox CHM125Pro, which reportedly is Ilford FP4 plus. The other portrait (exfoliating face mask) in my gallery was shot on Adox CHS50 (efke R50). I've been looking at the H&D curves of these two films: the efke has almost no shoulder in "normal" densities, while FP4 plus rolls off at approx. 1.5 and is flat at approx 1.9. Maybe that is why I get better highlight separation on Adox paper with eFKe film? Also, efke R50 is orthopanchromatic, emphasizing structure in skintones.

    Could someone recommend a paper with smiliar highlight (or toe) rendition to Agfa MCC, but on a glossy surface. I prefer a neutral tone paper with this shot. Ilford, maybe? Kentmere?
     
  6. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    Thanks for the tips regarding chemical additives. Right now I don't have access to any of them. This will change though, as I get into mixing my own developers.
     
  7. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    I spent a few hours yesterday with the neg. I decided to try "split filtering", ie combining grade 5 (or whatever I get with my filters) and grade 0 exposures into one nice exp.

    Results are most promising! I'll have to look at the dry print, but the wet print looked so much more alive than both previous prints. Using split filter techique I could "lock" the shadows into place and work the highlights independently. I ended up with a 12 sec exposure at G5 with a 2 and 6 sec (version 1 and 2) dodge on the right eye, 4.5 sec at G0, and a burn at G5 on the right side of his face of 5 and 11 sec. I'll see what the drydown does to the print, but it seems overall diffrentiation between the high values is much better.

    It feels great to have gotten closer to a good print of this shot. It's a shot I'm quite proud of, and it took a bit of time and ingenuity to set up.
     
  8. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A local contrast problem. Howard Bond suggests higher
    contrast with water bath development. Expose for the
    highlights. Two trays and three or four passes are
    needed. Work for even development. I've yet to
    see how well it works but an example of his
    work shows much improvement. Dan
     
  9. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    A totally different angle would be yet another paper. I am not the greatest fan of Ilford MG4 but it does seperate highlights very well and seems to deliver higher highlight contrast than many of my other papers. Perhaps buy a 10 pack and see?