First Contact Print - Thank you all

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by SMBooth, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Just completed my first contact print. So thank you all for posting question and answers that I have been reading through (saved me posting the same questions). I'm using a very basic setup just to get the process, a 15Watt lamp on a dimmer turned down to about 1/2 in a homemade 80mm sq housing. My first process was a trial to see what time exposure i needed, so I done a test strip on 1-6 sec. Of course i read the test strip back to front and thought I only needed a 1 sec exposure when I really need 6sec. That aside the first print was completely white and the next was completely black, started think that the developer was (not sure of the correct term) "expired" after 1 image, the third print was very faint, and I realised that I had read the test strip back to front and need 6 sec exposure. So next one was a 6 sec exp and developed for the standard 1 min and same to me for a 'first' go is a winner.
    Now it all raises some questions

    Q1 - For this first goes I only used 150ml of developer (Ilford multigrade), i assume print developer is the same as neg developer so how much developer do I need per print (8x10)

    Q2 - looking at the print on the edge its black where there was no film, then where the film was but no image (the film base?) is a touch lighter, does this mean it under developed or under exposed should the area were the film base is be black?

    No scanner at the moment to post image.

    Cheers
    Shane
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Shane,
    Theoretically, the clear film should be the blackest black of which your paper/paper developer combination is capable---and at an exposure which is the minimum exposure time needed to render that clear film area your negative basic black on the paper.

    When you really get going, use plenty of paper developer. I don't measure exactly: I just always use the next larger up tray size--which is usually an 11x14 tray of developer for an 8x print.
     
  3. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Thanks John, it would seem I could expose a tad more then. Might have to put a timer on the light for next time to get some consistent time happening.
     
  4. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Wait, so are you contact printing using a light bulb in a box? If you are contact printing with an enlarger it's usually f8 @ 7 seconds (for a perfect exposure contacted on Ilford paper). Print developer is not the same as neg developer, generally the quality of a print is better using print developer instead of film developer but it does work.

    And as for your second question, the space in between frames on the negatives, and around where the sprocket holes are, should be a bit lighter than the outer edge where there was no film.

    =D
     
  5. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Ditto.

    If you have maximum black for the film rebate then the chances are you have lost shadow detail by pushing it up into the shoulder of the paper's HD curve.

    Of course, if your negatives are very dense from over exposure or over development or 'just because' then you may need to give so much exposure that the rebate does indeed print at maximum black.

    Note that this 'max black' advice only applies to contact proof prints.

    If you are making final prints as contacts then the exposure should be whatever the image demands, and how the rebate prints is irrelevant.

    Print developer lasts until it starts to turn orange or the developing time increases to 150% of nominal.
     
  6. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Thanks for the extra info, I'm actually happy with the result so must be OK.
     
  7. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Yes.... a 15W one with dimmer.
     
  8. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Err, this would be somewhat* dependent on your enlarger, the bulb in it, any filters used, the size of the negative and how far racked in/out the enlarger is...

    * totally.


    In other words, I really don't see how you can say "f/8 at 7 seconds" is the 'correct' time for a contact print! What am I missing?