How to print an over developed negative

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by stradibarrius, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I have some negatives that I over developed and when I tried to print them they appeared overexposed. All the highlights were blown.
    They were printed on Ilford Ilfospeed Deluxe #2 RC paper and processed in Dektol.

    The negatives are very dense.
    Can I salvage these shots? Someone suggested using #0 grade paper or CF?
    Someone else said to expose the negatives for a longer time with the enlarger? They were exposed for 7.5 secs. with the results of blown highlights/Over exposed look.
     
  2. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    You definitely will need more enlarger exposure for a denser negative. If they are really cooked, you may need to adjust paper contrast (and mey not get anywhere near an optimum result). There are also tricks with reducers and such which I know little about, but if you're only overexposed a stop or two, they should be salvageable without drastic measures.

    Edit: Essentially each individual negative has to be dealt with going through the test strip process. Only in a bunch of shots taken at the same time in the same light will the same enlarger settings come near working for a whole roll.

    DaveT
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Dead on perfect candidate for split printing. In a nutshell, using vc paper find an exposure with your softest filter that barely reveals the highlights. Then dial in a second exposure with your hardest filter for the shadows.

    (or send it to me and I'll see what I can do, I love a challenge, and it's fun to see how others might print your negatives and vice versa)
     
  4. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    You need to make contrast reducing masks for each negative.
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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  6. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    First of all, if you've really over-developed the negative, it will have too much contrast so you need a paper with lower contrast. You say that you use fixed grade Ilfospeed #3. While not encourageing you to be sloppy about film developing, a multicontrast paper will save your day here. One pack of filters and One pack of paper, as easy as that...
    Along the way, once you get your negatives consistent with printing nicely on grade 2 you will know that you are there. Until then you seem to need the latitude, which multicontrast papers will give you.
    Some people suggests split-grade printing. While that approach probably will be the best for your negative, I don't think it's the best approach for your personal development. It is just to complicated at the moment, so just learn that there is something called "split-grade printing" which you (hopefully) will try out much more later on.
    For now, try to make things as simple as possible. Get a pack of Multigrade paper and a pack of filters. Try to always start with filter #2 and be very reluctant to use any other filter for a few hundred prints or so. (I know you will, I just don't want to encourage you.)
    Don't worry about a "perfect" enlarging time. First, it's as long (or short) as it does need to be. Second, once you've learnt about adjusting film exposure etc. everything will be more and more easy.

    //Björn
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Straight split-grade printing will not help you in this case. A contrast reduction mask (as suggested by Jim Noel) will. However, it is a lot of work, and the effort may not be worth it to you (something only you can decide).

    Next time, if in doubt, overexpose and underdevelop!

     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Need to?
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ******
    What is your established minimum exposure for max black through the clear film between frames for this strip of negatives?
     
  10. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Sounds like good advice - try printing them darker until the highlights don't look that bad and see what happens. Overdevelopment, if the film has received proper exposure, isn't all that deadly.

    You can lower paper contrast about a stop by using a water bath developing regime - put the paper in the developer for 15 seconds or so, transfer to the water bath for a minute, repeat as needed. Dilute developer with lots of agitation will also work - rock the tray and every 30 seconds pick the print up, let it drain and flop it back into the tray. You want to do the same thing you do with film: overexpose the print and then underdevelop it.

    You should get hold of a set of Ilford multi-grade filters and a packet of multigrade paper - it will let you recover from mistakes like this with relative ease.
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Maybe not deadly, but, after underexposure, the worst I can think of. Having said that, slight overdevelopment is easily corrected with a softer grade or some dodge or burn. However, even modes overdevelopment is pretty tough to correct.
     
  12. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Bleach them....Evan Clarke
     
  13. theblood

    theblood Member

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    Reshoot

    JY
     
  14. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    If you do that with anything than a proportional reducer, the contrast will increase. Farmers Reducer, for example, will make it worse. Proportional reducers work, but they are only worth the effort if you really need these images. Otherwise, reshoot, as someone said, or write them off as a learning experience.
     
  15. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    re shooting is certainly an option. I am trying to take this opportunity to learn from a mistake. If ti fix is too complicated then at this stage it is not worth it. If it were a shot of a lifetime...but it is not.
    Know how to recover from one's mistakes is very valuable knowledge.
     
  16. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Persulfate bleach....EC
     
  17. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    Reserve any chemical treatment of the negatives as a last resort - it is fairly easy to reduce density chemically, far harder to reduce contrast unless you use a sub-proportional reducer, and you will increase grain in all cases.

    Solution #1: Buy some variable contrast paper (such as Ilford Multigrade) and a set of filters and try printing with #00 filter.

    Solution #2: Try waterbath development - expose a print heavily, start its development in normal print dev for some seconds and then remove the print and place it in a bath of plain water at 20 degrees C and leave it there WITHOUT AGITATION. The print can be move back and forth between baths, this will bring up the highlights somewhat relative to the shadows.

    Solution #3: Print with a flashing exposure. Print the negative normally and then give an additional exposure without the negative in the enlarger, having previously determined the length of this exposure by test - it is the exposure JUST LESS than the minimum required to produce a visible density in the print (the idea is that the flashing exposure and the highlight exposure each on their own produce no density, but combined they do).

    Only after that consider contrast-reducing masks. These will work, but they work by adding density selectively to the shadow parts of the negative and thus make the overall exposure longer - as printing exposures get very long, reciprocity law failure sets in and contrast goes up!