Please help me pin down this problem

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by perkeleellinen, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Have a look at these three prints, the top one printed last week (not so saturated in real life), the bottom two last night:

    [​IMG]

    The first two have the same settings (105M / 95Y, 7 seconds)
    The bottom one is 60M / 50Y, 7 seconds

    Why are the first two strikingly different?

    After I made the first print I removed my lamp and put it back in (see this thread for why) - both prints use the same lamp. My Blix was new and my dev had been replenished. Paper is Endura and chemistry is Kodak replenisher.

    After printing the second one I attempted to filter out the cast, not a bad attempt for a guess under artificial light. But what's going on here? The whites on the borders of the second two are also a little yellow - like the difference between milk and cream.

    Dodgy chemistry?
    Light fogging?
    Something disturbed inside the enlarger?

    Any ideas?
     
  2. mexico531

    mexico531 Member

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    I'm not saying that this is certainly your problem, but the second print shows under development. Are you sure the dev hasn't expired or that the temp was not way down? It really does look more like a chem related problem rather than filtration/exposure.
     
  3. David_A

    David_A Member

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    It's defiantly a chemical problem somewhere. If you think about it they have all been masked, in an easel, to give you a white border. Therefore filtration will have no affect on the white border it’s not getting any light. So for the border to be affected it must be a chemical problem. Check the temp of the chemical as well.
    David
     
  4. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Thanks. I'm going to mix some fresh developer and try again.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Steve. Not really relevant to solving your problem but what I find striking is how little effect on the overall look a drop of 45 M&Y has had. It shows the range that Kodak paper will tolerate and still look about right. From my experience of Fuji a difference of as little as 10 units gives the print a radically different look. 1st and 3rd might contend with each other depending on the viewer's attitude towards colour, especially skin tones. They'd never compare if this was Fuji paper in my experience.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I've found the Kodak paper is very tolerant and easy to fine tune as +/- 10 or 5 units makes subtle differences. I'd read before that Fuji paper was narrower in tolerance, needing just 1 or 2 units for Kodak's 5 or 10. At the moment I'm very happy with Endura and Edge is also nice (but thinner). Toward the end of last year there were rumours of Endura's demise and talk of Fuji coming back in sheet form (via a 3rd party). I hope the Kodak papers continue as switching to Fuji will inevitably mean changing my habits and having a steady hand on the colour dials.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Steve;

    The second picture above shows almost no Blue or Green exposure or development. I cannot tell which. It resembles a photo exposed through a very strong red filter such as used when focusing an enlarger. The top and bottom prints differ substantially. The top one is the only one that looks "normal" to me. The bottom one looks very low in contrast and desaturated, as if it were underdeveloped.

    PE
     
  8. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    PE;

    I'm going to mix fresh developer tomorrow and try a new print. Hopefully, I'll be able to blame the dev for the 2nd and 3rd prints.
     
  9. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I'm starting to suspect there might be a mechanical rather than chemical cause at play here.

    I just turned on the enlarger, set 105M / 95Y and the light is bright red. When I swing the red filter under the lens, I cannot tell the difference.

    If I dial 60M / 50Y, the image looks more like what I'm used to seeing when I print.

    The back of the Kodak paper box, incidentally, recommends a starting filtration of 65M 55Y.

    Too late in the day to experiment now, I'll report back tomorrow after changing the developer.
     
  10. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Reporting back. I mixed new developer, checked temperature (32C) and waited a good 5 minutes before printing to let my eyes adjust so I could check for light leaks. Here's the results (not so saturated in real life):

    [​IMG]

    Top: original print made last week (105M, 95Y)
    Bottom right: print made this morning (105M, 95Y)
    Bottom left: print made this morning (70M, 55Y) (borders are bright white)

    I then changed my bulb to a new one that arrived yesterday and the pattern was the same.

    I decided to try a B&W print:

    [​IMG]

    Top: print made a few months ago (170M, 0Y)
    Bottom: print made today (170M, 0Y)

    So, in sum, prints made in B&W seem consistent. In colour, I have a shift of around -30M, -40Y. I've been printing Superia 800 on this enlarger for over a month using a starting base of 100M, 90Y. Now that seems to have shifted to 70M, 55Y. Next I'm going to open a new box of paper and try a sheet. After that I'll look inside the enlarger head to see if there's anything obviously wrong (anyone have a scanned user's manual for a LPL C7700?).
     
  11. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Yes - PM on it's way with a link. Be warned though. There isn't really that much information in the manual.
     
  12. mexico531

    mexico531 Member

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    70m 55y would seem to be somewhere in the right area on my LPL7700.I would suggest that your enlarger is correct now. Maybe there was a problem before. With 105m 95y I would expect the transmitted light to look very red on the baseboard/easel.
     
  13. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Maybe there was something wrong with the filter positions and opening the machine when changing the bulb popped filters to their correct places.
     
  14. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Paul, Thanks!

    mexico531 & hrst: yes, I think this could be the case. Good to know 70M/55Y is about right on someone else's machine. At 105M, 95Y the light is very red. So red that when I swung the under-the-lens red filter over half of the image, I could barely see the difference.
     
  15. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I assume you picked up the enlarger second hand correct? Few buy enlargers brand new these days.

    I have an old Omega DII that I recently switched out the lamphouse to the Super Chromega Dichroic II.
    I picked up the dichroic head off ePrey and it wasn't in the best shape so it afforded me the luxury of getting to know the inner workings and how the filters and light path were designed.

    On the Omega, the filters swing in and out of the light path by means of a geared cam setup and the whole cam assembly/filter holder-arm can become crusted from old lube and the incredible amount of dust that can get in there if the head is not periodically maintained.

    The filters are quite small, say 25cm x 25cm and are held in place with 4 drops of glue/cement. The filters can VERY easily become loose or cracked and slide out of position.

    What I'm getting at is although your lamphead will be a different design the principles are the same and not that difficult to figure out if you are at all mechanically inclined and can get a good look at things.

    You can open up the head and clean up everything and see if somethings been knocked out of place etc. There's quite a few parts that can get bumped out of place etc on an older unmaintained enlarger.
    The head will run cooler if you get the dust out and preform much better.

    It can be a bit intimidating at first but if you take it slow on a well lit table/workbench the designs aren't real complex.

    Good luck in getting everything straight again.
     
  16. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Yes, it is secondhand, I got it from a fellow APUGer. I transported it back home by car and although we did our best to cushion it, there may have been some jolts on the way. When I got it home I just span the dails noticed the colour shifts and thought all was good. B&W prints were fine and colour was easy enough to balance. I've tried printing three films, all of which have high filter pack values:

    Superia 800: 100M/90Y
    Pro 800Z: 100M/105Y
    Pro 400H: 105M/105Y

    It looks increasingly likely that something may have got dislodged on the journey home and changing the lamp last week shifted things back into place. But I'll take a good look inside the head this week and check for anything obviously out of place.
     
  17. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Steve,

    Have you noticed a powered residue on the newer boxes of Kodak Supra Endura packaged in Brazil?

    Tom
     
  18. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Tom,

    I did notice the black bag had some sort of residue on it when I first opened the box.
     
  19. Tobster

    Tobster Member

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    I also have an LPL C7700, and I use 80M/65Y as standard filtration when printing on Supra Endura.
     
  20. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Stop replenishing. It just causes problems. Use the developer to capacity and dump it. Mix it the same way every time. You'll avoid inconsistencies and strange things like this.