Long exposure time for printing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by WGibsonPhotography, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    Ok, second question for today (and this is a dumb one :D )

    I did a few test prints a few days ago with my Beseler 23CII enlarger. The exposure times were rather long, like about 7 minutes. I was quick to blame the long exposure time on the bulb (which I think is a 75 watt*). I then thought about it for a while and remembered my Dektol, which had been stored in a fridge in 5ooml water bottles was getting pretty old, about three months I think.

    Then I realized I didnt check the temperature of the developer. I just took it from the fridge and poured it in the tray and added the apropriate amount of water (1bottle of Dektol : 2 bottles of filtered water from the sink).

    Could the old developer and cold developer temperature cause me to expose the paper longer or could it be that a 75 watt bulb is too weak? Both perhaps?


    *I'm guessing that it's a 75 watt bulb because I read on a different photography website that a 75 watt bulb was the "standard" wattage for the Beseler 23CII. when I googled the model number of the bulb that I read about, the bulb in the picture looked just liked the one I have*


    BTW, I still have two 500ml bottles of Dektol, so I'm planning on getting the developer to 68 degrees and trying again
     
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Why do you store your developer in the fridge?
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A 7 minute exposure is excessive, unless you were stopped all the way down, and even then, 7 minutes is probably long.
    How long did the print require in the developer?
    And, as Ralph said, why do you keep your developer in the fridge?

    Getting it to 68 before use is a good idea. Completely fresh developer (at 68 or greater) is an even better one.
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Yeah, get the processing temp up. And I agree with both Ralph (in the fridge?) and Barry (7 minutes?). Keep it warm and sealed, takes less finickin' later. And trying opening up to about f/11 or f/8 on your enlarger lens. I doubt you'll be blaming the bulb for much longer.
     
  5. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    I assumed keeping it in the fridge would make it last longer. Perhaps I'm wrong, which is probably the case. It's not the fridge where I keep the food, though. It's one of those small square fridges, probably designed for college students. I keep my film in the freezer section (a little square compartment in the top left corner); my paper and Rodinal in the fridge part; and my Dektol on the door where the water bottles go. I use the powder Arista odorless fixer and Arista stop bath, but they stay on top of the fridge because there's not enough room inside, and they shouldn't go bad before I get a chance to use them up.

    Also, I develop my paper for 2 minutes. I cant remember if the pack of Dektol powder said 2 minutes should be adequate or the instruction sheet included in the paper. The paper is Slavich Unibrom.

    Before switching to Slavich Unibrom, I used an Arista RC paper, but I'm not sure which. Arista EDU, I believe. When I used the Arista paper, the exposure times were between 20 and 30 seconds. When I printed Slavich at school, the exposure times were about 75 seconds (using a Beseler 23C like the one I have). Could Slavich Unibrom paper be a slower paper? If warmer developer doesnt work, perhaps a faster FB paper would work better for me :/
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The Slavich is slow, but even a slow paper shouldn't be 7 minutes slow. Did you print with the Arista on this enlarger?
    2 minutes is about right for Dektol, I'm surprised chilled developer that old did that well, or perhaps it was the 7 minute exposure.
    It would be good to make sure there is nothing in the light path that isn't supposed to be there, and that you have the condensers in the right place.
    Also, check the contacts in the bulb socket and make sure there are no loose connections. If your enlarger is the same as what you have at school, there is no particular reason your exposures should be that far off, if you're using good chemistry.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Some processing chemicals can be ruined by temperatures below 50°F. Make sure they are bottled up, have as little air as possible in them and keep them at room temperature. Use for fridge for film and paper. There is no need (and possibly harm) in keeping photographic chemicals in the fridge.

    However, I think your issue was more a temperature issue than ruined chemicals.
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    There are three things involved here.

    Light and Enlarger. Power, light source, enlarger type, enlarger height. What is the same and what is different? (check for obstructions)

    Paper. New, old, paper type, manufacturer. What is the same and what is different?

    Chemistry and Process. Type, temp, dilution, time. What is the same and what is different?
     
  9. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    I was unaware that the chemicals could be ruined by keeping them too cold. I assumed they should be treated like film and paper and kept as cool as possible. Since it's getting old and I only have a liter left, I'll order more on my next freestlye order and get rid of the old stuff. I'll go ahead and take my rodinal out of the fridge and put it up on top with my fixer and stop bath. :smile:
     
  10. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ****** All what others said. In addition, did you perhaps leave a VC filter/filter pack in place with graded paper?
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I'm not 100% sure about developers, but fixers don't like cold temperatures. Some ingredients drop out of solution and cannot be disolved afterwards. Ian Grant might be able to add more facts.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No liquid chemistry should be stored in a refrigerator, you'll get all sorts of things crystallising out of solution. Ilford list recommended storage temperatures 5–20ºC, (41–68ºF)

    If it's powdered Dektol (or D72) made up you'll have problems.

    In addition some developing agents barely work if the temperature is too low, Metol in particular, hence the long exposure times.

    Ian
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you could always see if it is your developer is toast
    by taking a "test strip" of paper
    and put it in your developer with the lights on
    to see how long it takes to turn black ...
    it shouldn't take long at all ...
     
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  15. mjs

    mjs Member

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    My exposure times using my standard lens had been growing longer gradually over time. I replaced the enlarger bulb and that didn't fix it. I mixed new chemicals and that didn't fix it. I bought a new box of paper and that didn't fix it. Finally I took the enlarger lens out to see if the aperture stops were moving properly. They were fine but the batch of fungus growing between the lens elements were becoming a serious hindrance to the passage of light. :smile: I need to remember to occasionally remove the lens and peek through it...
     
  16. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    Well, I learned something new :smile:

    The Dektol was in there for a few months. It's probably about time I got some more, anyway. I'm fearing for my rodinal, though :sad:. It does have some stuff on the bottom of the bottle, but I believe I read somewhere that it was normal for some stuff to form on the bottom of the bottle.

    I just found a data sheet for Rodinal on the internet. It says keep it between 40F and 80F, but the preferred storagr temp is 68F. I doubt the fridge gets down to 40F. the freezer cube in the corner does, though, because there's a layer of ice on it. I dont know if the freezer cube could get the rest of the fridge below 40 or not. Perhaps I sould buy another bottle. It's pretty cheap, and I'm about to order some stuff from Freestyle, anyway. I'll do a test roll from each bottle when it comes in to see if the fridge had any adverse effects on it :/
     
  17. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    I checked the lens for scratches and fingerprints and stuff when the enlarger came in. I didnt notice any fungus growing, but I will check again when I get home. I'm thinking the problem is user stupidity (keeping chems in the fridge)
     
  18. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Somethings wrong, and unless you have a filter in place, or are stopped way down, or both, it's not the enlarger. With no neg and the lens open do you have a nice white even projection on the baseboard? Do you have the same result contact printing? If so, look to your neg (super thick?) and the rest of the process. If your neg is normal, and chems are bad/off temp you would have slow development, but it likely would still develop as over exposed with that length of exposure, even if it took a long time. Paper is more likely, but you should have good chems at proper temp before drawing any conclusions. The most obvious thing after checking your enlarger to fix first is your processing temp, then chems, then paper. With your temps so far off, who really knows? If you get the same result with proper procedure, then you can move on to other things, but a proper process is first before all else, because here you have a variable that you can control that you know was wrong. There is absolutely no reason to keep your chems in the fridge. Room temp is fine. Air is the enemy.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2009
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If your refrigerator doesn't go below 4.5°C/40°F then it wouldn't be safe for food :D They switch on/off between about 1.5°C and 3.5/4°C

    Ian
     
  20. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    Good point. I know my fridge has a temperature dial. Hopefully it isnt set to the coldest setting. That might be what saves my Rodinal (But i'm cosidering it a lost cause for the monent :\ )

    I guess I'll order new rodinal to be safe and then try a test roll in the new one and the old one to see if the bottle kept in the fridge has been affected. If so, it's cheap, so buying a new bottle isnt a big deal. If it's fine, then I have two bottles :D

    As for the Dektol, I have a pack in my Freestyle shopping cart right now. I guess I'll test the new stuff and the refridgerated stuff.
    :D
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Tell others, it's a common misconception!
     
  22. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    Of course I will. I try to share any bits of wisdom I find here with film shooters, even if the wisdom comes from my own stupidity. :smile:

    Hopefully I'm running out of things to do wrong. One of these days I'll stop doing stuff that's bad for my chems, paper, and film and actually print some good pictures :D
     
  23. DLawson

    DLawson Member

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    Just to address this one point:

    It looks like the standard bulb for a 23CII is a PH140, which is indeed 120v and 75watt.

    Funny looking bulb. Somehow reminds me of a plum tomato.
     
  24. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    Yeah, that's the bulb. I couldnt remember the specific model number (I'm not sure if "model number," but you know what I mean (I hope :D )

    Yeah, that's what I thought when I forst saw it. I saw a 150 watt bulb at
    Lowe's one time that looked similar that was a little more cylindrical than that one and had a golf-ball-size bulge in the middle of it. Kinda hard to describe, and I dont know the specific number of the bulb, but it fit in a regular light socket :D
     
  25. shotgun1a

    shotgun1a Member

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    All wisdom comes from an initial bout of stupidity I think. :smile:
     
  26. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    Possibly :D

    One of my photography instructors once told the class "the best way to learn something is to f**k something up" :D