No snap in 8x10 contact print ??

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by morkolv, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    After shooting, developing and scanning my first 8x10 negative with a great WOW!! :D :tongue:

    The time had come to the real thing.. CONTACT PRINTING, and was I expecting massive details and pin sharp print?? YES!!! :D

    But no, the prints are great with respect to color (brown/black), tonality, general sharpness etc, but lack the distinct snap and "glow".. At least compared with my printed negative scan, so I know its in there... Where did I go wrong?? :confused:

    - The papers I used are Ilford Multigrade IV RC (MGD44M) and Agfa Multicontrast Premium (MCP312RC),

    - The light source is a std dimmed down 25 w household bulb giving exposure around 10 sec.

    - The negative + paper in a real contact printing frame.

    I'm starting to ting that I need filters to set the contrast ??
    And would a 35mm enlarger (they are dirt cheap and very available :surprised: ) with built in safelight and a filter pack do the job as light source for contact printing ?

    Best regards
     
  2. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    smooth

    sometimes grain gives the impression of enhanced sharpness...also enlargement brings out detail we would not normally see in real life....a contact print should show smooth tonalities and when compared to an enlarged print of same film, and be pretty much grainless. Are your whites white and your blacks black, and are you happy with the mid tones? A print with many good tones in the mid range (as in platinum etc) does not always have the "snap" or contrast, is not as graphic etc...........Just some thoughts...of course if the contact print is 'Muddy" or "Flat" that is another situation

    keep printing
    Dave
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes Morten, an enlarger is a great light source for contact prints. Especially with VC papers. But it's a lot more fun to do POP prints, Cyanotypes, van Dykes et cetera - you can sit in the sun and still be "working".
     
  4. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    I am guessing that you have a background doing enlargements? Much of that snap you see in an enlargement is the callier effect messing with the highlights. You wont get that in a contact print unless you push the highlights into the shoulder. You will need greater exposure(overall) and longer development.
     
  5. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Yes, contrast control filters under the light source will help a good bit. As it is, you're printing willy-nilly at Grade 2 or 2.5, instead of taking advantage of the ability of your paper to run the gamut from Grade 0 (or even 00, with some brands) to Grade 5 (or 6). What you're not seeing probably just means you need to try a half grade or one grade "harder" print, so something like a Grade 3 filter.

    Also possible is that your scan was treated in some way (sharpening, unsharp masking, etc.) that covered a lack in the negative, but my experience has generally been that B&W negatives print better than they scan -- I spent a lot of time and effort learning to make scans that look like prints.
     
  6. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    My experience has been different. As soon as I start using levels or curves I have a vast degree of discrete control over highlights, midtones, and low values. Additionally, the transmitted light of the monitor brings out much more 'snap' than the print may have unless it's viewed in a particularly bright light. So...I have to work particularly hard to make my scans look like my prints, and I try to have a well illuminated print beside the monitor when making adjustments. As Donald also points out, various filters like unsharp mask can enhance sharpness that's harder to get in the print.

    As suggested above, learn to print addressing the special techniques of the contact process. However, scans and prints are such different things that you should try to avoid judging one against the unique properties of the other.
     
  7. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    It's on the list of must-do this spring!!! But Your suggestions is very tempting.. I guess cold beers are mandatory?? :D
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Only with very dense negatives - or when sunset is approaching. The exposure times tend to get longer and longer and longer...
     
  9. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Morton, is this a film / developer combination you have used in the past for enlarging on the same type of paper? If it is, then it is most likely as others have said, a filter problem with the light source and paper. The contact paper I use is a graded paper, so filters aren't important in printing. You might get a small amount of grade 2 paper and try printing on it. This should rule out anything except the film's contrast. If it is still too flat and not the way you like it, a bit more development might work. tim
     
  10. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    Well, there is your problem! Why are you shooting 8x10 camera, and making prints on plastic RC paper?! Do you print on fiber paper?

    RC is good for possibly PROOFING your negatives, but even that...8x10 negatives deserve more. You cannot get a quality "fine print" on RC paper.

    If your going to all the work to shoot with an 8x10 camera, you cannot stop when you just get the negative! Your going to have to start printing on a better paper than RC! I suggest AZO, but any fiber paper would be better.

    That is like putting plastic rims on a Mercedes Benz! Its just not a good combo.
     
  11. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    Owned a 200E and a 230E and both had plastic rims over steel wheels as factory fitted:sad:
     
  12. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    No, I have no previous enlargement history.. And are basically selfstudied from books and sources like APUG :smile: I'm Just a computer geek slowly turing to a analog photo geek.. :rolleyes:

    Point taken!! I will find some 8x10 fiber paper, in the meantime I will test a section with some 5x7 fiber paper I have.

    Thanks!!
     
  13. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Is your printing bulb electronically dimmed? That could change the color temperature(more yellow?) and reduce contrast in the VC paper. Just a thought...
     
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  15. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    Yes, it surely is... Hmmm.. I will do some test with a un-dimmed bulb at a larger distance.

    Takk for godt råd Amund!! Ps ble dere mange forrige søndag i Oslo?
     
  16. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    No way, just more trial and error (hmm fun :smile:
     
  17. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Vi ble hele tre stykker. Det var bikkjekaldt, så det ble ikke så mye foto, men plenty kaffe og hygge.. :smile:
     
  18. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    Det var kulda som ikke fristet meg, etter storformat kurs i vigelandsparken med minus 15 grader for litt over ett år siden.. Kommer tilbake sterke når det blir varmere i været. :smile:
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Nå er jeg nesten glad jeg ikke var der :smile:
    Så var jeg da ikke i Vigelandsparken den gangen heller - dro heller hjem til mildvær vestpå!
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Visste inte att det var Norsk-monopol har. Som svensk kanner jag mig lite osidosatt... :smile: Bara po skoj, forstos.
     
  21. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    Det er bra, fortsett med det!! :D :D Spesiellt i disse OS tider hvor Sverige nå leder på antall medaljer forran Norge.

    Burde vi foreslått ett eget Scandinavian forum til Sean mon tro??
     
  22. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Either you are all speaking a different language or my computer has gone on the blink :smile:
     
  23. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    I would work a bit on the blink theory, if I was you :wink:

    It's Norwegian, and a bit of Swedish.. and just chatting..

    However a Scandinavian forum or regional group could be established in the APUG context. If Sean and the moderators agree :wink:
     
  24. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Vi ville frk. din samtalen

    Hope that makes sense to you.

    Phill
     
  25. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    Nope, but it opens up for interesting interpretations, as I sure my English does :smile:
     
  26. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    LOL I typed in to a translation engine (English to Norwegian)

    we will miss your conversation

    So much for technology :smile:

    Phill