Black out!!!

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Bullseye, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Bullseye

    Bullseye Member

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    Ok I have a problem,

    I tried to print a photo, the first time I done it the paper was totaly black, but I could just about make out what the image was suppose to be, so I increased the exposure time from 3 secs to 5 secs tried again but the image was even darker! :confused:

    The chemistry had cooled down a bit in the time it took to do the 2nd exposure, so I tried again, this time touching nothing on the enlarger, but warming the chemistry up a bit, but it was exactly the same as the 2nd exposure (the 5 sec one) I used the chemisty mixture ratio as provided in a reply to my chemistry question in the colour chem forum on here...


    Is it possible that since RA-4 is reversal paper, that, because I increased the exposure time that it had appreared darker?


    Thanks in advance.


    ~John~
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Too much exposure yields a darker print, not lighter. You need to reduce your exposure time, or stop the lens down some.
     
  3. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Since your paper is almost black with such short exposures and you are just starting out, let me ask a few questions to make sure the cause of the problems is elsewhere.

    Since color print material is panchromatic, it cannot be exposed or processed under normal black & white safelights. Are you printing and processing in total darkness? (Including taking the paper out of the box and putting it in the easel.)

    Some just learning to print put the paper in the easel then turn the enlarger on to compose and focus. Then they make another exposure on top of that and the paper just comes out black. Composing and focusing should be done on a scrap piece of identical photo paper used only for that purpose.

    I've seen so many novice printers make these two mistakes that even though they seem obvious things to avoid, it is always one of the first things to ask and eliminate as a cause.

    After that, I'd ask what f-stop are you setting for the exposure? Try starting at a middle aperture like f/8. Ideally, you'll want to have a long enough exposure to burn and dodge accurately if you wish. With color, I like to print around 15 seconds and adjust the f/stop to get there. With black-and-white, I'd rather be out around 40 seconds or so.
     
  4. Bullseye

    Bullseye Member

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    I didn't turn the light on until the photo was in the drum and the drum was securely sealed up, I'm working in complete darkness.... I was using f4...
     
  5. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    If you are using R4, a reversal paper, increasing exposure lightens jsut like slide film. Black wouldindicate no exposure. white woldindicate fogged paper (after propcessing ) You may need ot radically increase your exposure make a test strip steping across the paper 5, 10 15 20 seconds . You should see some change in density. Try fogging a piece of paperin room light to rule out bad paper or chemistry.
     
  6. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Wasn't Kodak's reversal paper called R3000? Is there such a thing as R4 reversal paper? I haven't printed on other than Ilfochrome/Cibachrome for prints from slides in decades so I'm out of the loop on that.

    I just assumed the OP was using RA-4 paper (e.g., Endura, etc.,) for prints from negatives. Yea or nay?

    Edit: I see from the other threads that you are using c-41 film chemicals, Tetenal RA-4 kit, and presumably Fuji Crystal Archive paper, so printing from negatives. If so, the paper wouldn't lighten with exposure. It will darken with more exposure.
     
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  7. mexico531

    mexico531 Member

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    RA4 is not a reversal paper. It is a standard neg - pos colour paper. Kodak's reversal process, i.e. making prints from transparencies was known as R3.
     
  8. Bullseye

    Bullseye Member

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    Ok guys and gals,

    I tried 1 sec exposure @ f/8 and added 20 magenta and 20 cyan (becuase the print was still dark and green) I referred to my ilford print book, now the image is somewhere in the ballpark, I need to tone the yellows down a tad and I think it will be pretty much there!


    Thank you for all your help and suggestions.


    ~John~
     
  9. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Do you have a Kodak Viewing Filter Kit (Cat No. 150 0735) ?

    Not essential, but I found one helps to nail the colour filtration down to within a few units.
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Whoa!! Regardless of what caused your paper to be dark, this needs addressing. This is what would have been graded as "GCE" in my Navy nuke school: Gross Conceptual Error. :D That the picture was too dark, and you reasoned that you needed to increase time to lighten it illustrates a GCE of enormous magnitude in negative-to-negative printing.

    You really, really need to learn the most fundamental basics of negative photography before you go any farther with color printing, or even black and white printing. Attempting color printing, or any printing from negative material to negative material, not even knowing that more exposure yields a darker print is absurd. Put down your tools for a while, get a basic photo text, and read the parts about negatives and about printing, so you understand at least a little bit before wasting your time and money and learning nothing.

    ...that is only if you want to learn how to print negatives. :D

    "Photography" by London and Upton, or "Black and White Photography" by Henry Horenstein are two very classic texts that I recommend.

    If you read a book, you have got more knowledge, and much, much, much better-quality knowledge, in a few short hours than you have with months or years of asking a question here and there on the Internet and blindly ruining paper in your darkroom.

    P.S. Do you like working with one second and three second exposures? I sure don't! If you stop and think logically and practically about why they might not be so good, and I am sure you will come up with plenty of good answers...but this will all be covered in one of those two books I suggested.
     
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  11. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    How small is the print you're making? 1 second is waaay too short an exposure. You'll never be able to dodge/burn if the image needs it.
    I think there are other issues you need to troubleshoot. Are you sure the enlarger has the correct bulb?
     
  12. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Another thing that could be going on is the negative might be underexposed and thus printing dark. Do you have a machine/lab print from the negative that looks ok?
     
  13. Bullseye

    Bullseye Member

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    Eddie - Yes I'm using the correct bulb, I checked with a company that deals in spare parts for the brand of enlarger that I'm using, its also the bulb recommended in the user book, I looked all over for them bulbs too!

    Smileglitz - I have a small contact sheet and a scan straight from the film scanner, I will post the image I am trying to print (from the film scan) on here..

    I will have a look at my library for those books you mentioned, I've also got an Ilford print guide book that gives quite a comprehensive insight into to colour correction ect...


    again thank you for all your help and advise :smile:



    ~John~
     
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  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Despite your replies that the bulb is correct for the enlarger there still has to be something wrong at 1 second at f8. That means that if its a 50mm lens and goes to probably f16 max then the exposure is still only 4 secs.

    My experience with a Durst M605 enlarger was that the 100W bulb which was recommended produced an exposure that was just less than 4 secs at f8 or maybe was f11. I didn't want to go to f16 so bought a 75W bulb which is also made for this enlarger. That solved the problem. It seemed that while 100W was OK for B&W negs, it was too much for reasonable colour neg exposures.

    I'd be worried about warm-up time as a percentage of exposure time with an exposure of 1 second.

    You could dial in 30 cyan, 30 yellow and 30 magenta( or maybe less would do) to give neutral density to increase exposure so if the correct filtration was say 40M and 35Y then adding 30C but maintaining the colour balance gives 30C 70M and 65Y.

    pentaxuser
     
  15. Bullseye

    Bullseye Member

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    Am I right to believe that the bulb is perhaps too bright?
     
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  16. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    The bulb is one possibility. What size are the prints you're making?
     
  17. Bullseye

    Bullseye Member

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    8 x 10, but I don't want to print the whole image so I have in effect cropped it by enlarging it outside the bounds of the paper.
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    That makes 1 second even more amazing:confused:. You are in effect doing what might be a 10x12 or even 11x14 print depending on how much of it is outside the bounds of the paper.

    At that size I am flummoxed for an explanation. Even if 100W was a little too powerful for a 6x4 or 5x7 print it should be giving exposures in very high single figures if not double figures for this size of print.

    Sorry I am out of ideas. There has to be an explantion and it may even be quite obvious if we could see your enlarger and you at work but we can't. I hope that someone has an explanation that fits.


    pentaxuser
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Are you absolutely positive that your enlarger lens is stopped down to f/8 (not f/2.8) when making the print exposure?

    What kind of paper are you using? Where did you get it? How old is it? How has it been stored?
     
  20. Bullseye

    Bullseye Member

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    The paper is brand new, fuji crystal archive, luster, I use a Meopta, opemus 6 colour enlarger, the image is in effect enlarged to about 11x14, but printed on 8x10 paper, if its any help, I'll post some photos of my enlarger and a film scan of the image tham I'm trying to print.


    ~John~
     
  21. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I'm stumped by your problem. I looked at the Meopta site. It says you need a mixing chamber, with the color heads, when using any lens 50mm or shorter. Is yours installed?
     
  22. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Take a sheet of unexposed photo paper and process it normally. It should come out white. That would help determine if the paper has anything to do with the problem.