Controlling Paper Negative Contrast With Slimt or Preflashing?

Discussion in 'Paper Negatives' started by Existing Light, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntsville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So, I've got a box of paper taking up space in my fridge, so I'm going to try making some paper negatives with it, but I'm worried about controlling the contrast. Obviously, I'm going to give the paper flashing technique a try before I buy potassium ferricyanide. My question is "will the end result be different with slimt and preflashing?" What I mean is, if I take identical shots, one with a properly preflashed negative and another with an unflashed paper neg but properly treated with a solution of potassium ferricyanide, will they bth look the same or will one look "better" in reguards to tonal range, dynamic range, etc? If preflashing will solve the contrast problem, great! Slimt is something I wont have to screw around with. However, if Slimt has some advantage, I'd like to give it a try.

    I know, doing it myself is the only way I'm going to objectivly figure this out myself, but I'd like a bit of guidance before starting out :smile:

    BTW, the box of paper that's sitting in my freezer is Fomalux 111 :D
     
  2. Oscar Carlsson

    Oscar Carlsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    207
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Linköping, Sweden
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You should also try a factorial development, it seems to be a easier way of fine-tuning contrast on non-multigrade papers. I'd begin there. There's some good information in 'The Print' by the holy Adams.
     
  3. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntsville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I dont think I've heard about factorial development*, but I'll check it out. I dont have a copy of The Print, but my local library does, so I'll try to pick it up whenever I'm over that way again. I'm all for whatever option will give me the best out of my paper negatives.

    BTW, I'm aware that Fomalux 111 might not be the best choice for paper negs, but I'm willing to give it a shot since it's just sitting there doing nothing right now :D

    *If I've heard of it, I havent heard it called that
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,096
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    some people use graded paper for paper negatives ( i like agfa grade 0 or 1 ) others
    use multi contrast enlarging filters to adjust the contrast ..

    i tend to photograph on grey days ... sometimes i flash, but not too often, i just use
    older paper that may have fog otherwise, the fog cuts down on the contrast. i also
    use expired / exhausted print developer ( i also use caffenol c ) which is less active
    and leads to less contrast.

    i've never heard of factorial development
    or slmt .. i am sure that there is always more than
    one way that works .

    have fun !
    john
     
  5. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,779
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I would question why you are keeping black and white paper in a fridge? The chemical treatment of these as negatives must surely be determined by the contrast range of your subject?
     
  6. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntsville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Does keeping paper in the fridge not help the paper last longer like it does with film? Or is that just one of those rumors going around the internet? Seriously, IDK, but I've read that here and elsewhere, so I've been keeping film and paper in one of those small, college dorm fridges :\


    You mean using N-minus and N-plus developing like with film? Not quite sure I'm following here. I've read that using diluted paper developer or film developer can help tame the contrast of paper, and that's a technique I'll try as well as any other tips I can find :smile:


    Also, if I'm using a graded paper, can I use a filter over my lens to control contrast? I've been pondering what color filter, if any, would lower contrast, and it seems that a yellow or red filter 'should' lower contrast by filtering out some of the blue light. But since graded paper is sensative to the blue end of the spectrum, I'm also imagining uber-long exposure times using a yellow or red filter.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,434
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It depends on the camera and whether you're shooting wide open or stopped down. In bright sunlight you exposures might be as little as 1/2 or 1/4 second. Unless you're working with very low light, most times exposures won't need to go beyond several seconds unless you're doing pinhole work.

    Diluting developer or working with a slower developer helps, as does a yellow filter if your'e using VC paper. I use a 0 Poly Contrast filter that happened to be handy. Filters won't help for graded paper, use a grade 1 paper and/or tame the contrast with the developer.
     
  8. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,070
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I also preflash, look for lower contrast scenes, and try to develop carefully as possible. You can also use your warm finger during development to bring up some parts faster than others, or (I just learned) use ice to slow other areas. And you could selectively bleach out some portions after development. I haven't done SLIMT but why not. Sure.

    Apart from all that, the obvious thing is simply to "get over it" and compose knowing what the tonality of the final image will be! Trying to make paper behave like film is going to cause trouble. Why not let paper be paper and enjoy it for its weirdness. You can take a pencil on the back of the paper neg and go to town and do something inventive...
     
  9. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntsville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    good ideas. I never would have thought of that


    Haha I'm over it. Just trying to decide on the 'best,' 'most productive' way of doing paper negatives. All that's left for me is to actually find some free time. It seems like I have plenty of free time to think about stuff, but when it comes time to do it, I get busy with 10^10 other things. Guess I should just stop thinking and just do it :smile:

    BTW, I'm all up for enjoying any odd things for their weirdness :D
     
  10. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntsville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    dangit! :smile:
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,096
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    graded paper is sensitive to more than just blue light ( blue and green ) and it tends to be slower than
    vc paper. you can adjust the contrast with graded paper by using 2 developers instead of 1,
    and a water bath.

    good luck !
    john
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,252
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hereis what i do:
     
  13. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntsville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    I assume you either do nothing with paper negs because they arent up to par with film or there was some kind of computer problem when you were typing :D