Help me out on these contact prints

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by ColdEye, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I have decided to do contact prints of a bunch of my negatives, I started with the 4x5s and they printed out nicely. But when I was printing some of my earlier negatives (which scanned really nicely), It seems that the contact prints are really dark, and some are almost black. I contact print using a 7w bulb, suspended about 3 feet above the paper and negatives and exposure times are around 15-20secs. Do I need to increase exposure times to get a usable pictures out of the "thin" negatives? Thanks

    Ranie
     

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  2. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    You need to DECREASE the exposure time for your thin negatives.
     
  3. ROL

    ROL Member

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    ...and you can accomplish this simply on the same contact sheet by exposing for the thin ones, covering them up, and adding exposure to the denser ones.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi

    why don't you separate the thin from the dense
    and contact print the dense ones together, they look like around the same exposures
    and the thin ones together as well.
    much easier than burning and dodging out your contact sheets ...
     
  5. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Thin negs can scan surprisingly well. They are in many ways preferable to denser negs (for scanning, not printing).

    For contact sheets, I keep a small collection of black foam core in 2.25" wide strips and squares. If I have negs like yours where the lighting varies, I just place the strips/squares on top of the negs that need dodging and then add time for the other negs. It's pretty easy and intuitive. Definitely worth it to have balanced contact sheets when reviewing negatives months or years later.
     
  6. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    There is something called the Q factor (for scattering) that affects scanning; dye images are no problem but the more silver, the more scattering. That's why lower density negs scan better.


    Obviously, we are talking here in the context of scanning negs for use in the APUG photo gallery.
     
  7. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I don't know why but I was thinking that if the negatives were thin it needed more exposure time. :D Guess I will just rearrange the negatives (group the dense ones and the thin ones) or maybe print them into strips as most of them are 6x6. Thanks to all.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Maybe you should work on exposure control to get them a little closer to being the same? The exposure looks to be all over the place.
     
  9. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Yup, specially the first and last one, which were negatives when I was starting out. I had no idea about filter factors, development technique, metering technique, reciprocity etc... I looked fine when scanned but I guess it's a lot different when printing. As for exposure during printing, I use a timer. :smile:
     
  10. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    A small update, looks like my exposure times are too long, got a bit better results with exposure times of 5-8 seconds. But I still have a long way to go. :D
     

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  11. Compaq

    Compaq Member

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    All contact prints for negative review should follow the same criterion: max black in min time.
    That way you can see which ones will print the easiest, and you can compare contact prints with each other!