I need to vent, so here it goes: Today, of all days, I decided to finally print that 20 year-old "bullet-proof" negative (calling it "very dense", simply would no do it justice). I knew this negative would be the mother of dense negatives the split second after I exposed it but it was too late and it's a whole other story. It is a photograph of a dear family friend and when I visited her she had just turned 99. I am currently printing for my family album and she has to be a part of it. This was the best shot I had of her as far as "image aesthetics" go. My normal set-up is a Durst Multigraph with an 80mm f5.6 lens, and a glass negative carrier (w/anti-newton glass). The contrast filter reading said 4.4 and the exposure somewhere at 90 secs. and f5.6 So I changed the lens to a 50mm Nikkor f4 in order to bring the enlarger's head closer to the baseboard (more light intensity). I almost forgot: the enlargement is 5x7 of the full-frame negative. There is so little room for my head and the grain focuser that I start muttering to myself. First strip test at 60 secs. and f4 is 20% too light, so I add 20%. Looks good: I expose the whole sheet and when I finally turn on the lights what do I see? Some weird mesh-like pattern over some parts of the image: it looks like mushy fingerprints. I clean the negative carrier, check it with a loupe and it looks good. Another print and another mushy pattern appears but not in the same area. I remember about the 2E filter above the light mixing box: I remove it even though it looks clean. Another ruined print. Now I am talking out lout to myself. I remove the negative carrier, remove the glass from it and insert the metal cut-outs for 35mm. Another print, mushiness is gone! but more strips are required because the exposure has changed by removing the glass. Tomorrow, if the gods of darkroom are with me, I will finish printing my "bullet-proof" negative. Good grief!