printing a low contrast pyrocat negative on vc paper

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by AnselAdamsX, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. AnselAdamsX

    AnselAdamsX Subscriber

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    I have a normally exposed negative that I developed with divided pyrocat mc (mistake). It looks very low in contrast. I'm enlarging on an Elwood enlarger onto ilford vc paper. Even with the highest contrast filter it still looks flat. Any suggestions?

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You can try intensifying the negative with selenium toner. You can try high contrast print developer (lith developer) with your existing paper.
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Or try split grade printing. A short soft exposure followed by a much longer (maybe several stops worth) hard exposure might produce a salvageable print.
     
  4. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Try selenium toning the negative as ic-racer suggested. If the negative is relatively thin and/or low in contrast to begin with you might not get much out of that, but it can't hurt. Try a paper that gives higher contrast, or a higher contrast developer. Masking can help a lot, but this is a more involved process.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The OP indicated
    so additional green won't help.
     
  6. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    This topic seems to be coming up a lot lately. If selenium toning doesn't do it for you then your best bet would be to print for the shadows and bleach back the highlights.
     
  7. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Selenium toning will only give you about 1 zone addition in the highlights. If you need more than that sepia tone, or bleach with sepia bleach and then redevelop in a more active developer like ABC Pyro, or HC 110 dilution "A".
     
  8. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Selenium intensification will do nothing if you do not have sufficient densities in the negative. Bleaching and redeveloping may be a better option... or make a copy negative on lith film.
     
  9. pentaxpete

    pentaxpete Subscriber

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    Bring back AGFA Bovira Grade 6 -- all is forgiven !!
     
  10. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    As I'm not sure of what effect Pyrocat has on a normally exposed neg, could I just suggest that if the neg is low-contrast-but-dense then you try a pre-flash. If that's the case, then experiment with different amounts of flash, flash only grade-five etc. Start with the most flash at the hardest grade, just to see if the results go in the right direction. It brings out texture and form in dense, sunlit backgrounds where you have a shaded subject and so on, so you may find it helps get a better separation on a denser than normal neg too (if it isn't completely uniform anyway).
     
  11. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Martin, pre-flashing will decrease local contrast and/or total contrast, which is the opposite of what OP is looking for with a low contrast negative.
     
  12. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    I have no idea what his neg looks like. I only know that for a normally exposed foreground and a low-contrast over-exposed background I can get enough tone and variation in to the background most easily by flashing, often at a high grade. If his neg is uniform and thin then indeed, this technique isn't going to achieve anything.