Printing Times

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by cliveh, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    When I print at 10” X 8” most of my prints are about 6 seconds at two stops down. Although I use lots of other times I don’t like using odd numbers. Is this weird or do others people have strange preferences like this?
     
  2. phelger

    phelger Subscriber

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    Clive,
    when printing 8 x 10 from a 35mm neg and stop twice down on my 50mm 2,8 EL-Nikkor (ie. from f2.8 to 5.6) first of all sharpness and contrast are very good and provided the neg is normally exposed and developed, and not particularly thin I would probably have to expose for 15 - 20s, using Ilforrd MulTigrade MG RC paprer. My enlarger is a diffusor type.
    peter
     
  3. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Yes, you are right - it's weird:wink: Seriously, whatever floats your boat. As long as your getting good results. One advantage of using longer times is the ability to burn and dodge with more accuracy, that is, to give yourself enough time to do it.
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Well, what Blighty says, most would agree.
    And, the visual results should be far more important than the number it took to get there.
    Make some at 9, 11, and 13 just to shake loose.
     
  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have always tried to be between 9 seconds and 25 seconds if at all possible
    This gives me a opportunity to count, remember times and as well dodge. This is a repeatable timeline.

    Longer times do not always mean easier dodging, as dodging is a % of the main time and therefore you need enough time to set your tools but you still have to hit each area to a specific % . Does that make sense?
    I sometimes dodge the whole main exposure , just giving different areas a defined % . Having a long time does not make this aspect of dodging any easier.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Whatever the negative demands.

    My main exposure times are usually between 10 and 40 seconds, and any burning required is in addition to that.
    I draw a stick figure of the print where I note dodging and burning (at varying filter grades), note main exposure time, lens aperture, filtration, etc. This teaches me that it's important to be able to repeat the results down the road, and it helps me remain consistent with my work.

    So, whatever the print seems to demand, I don't care what the actual number is, just that I know exactly what the number is.
     
  7. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    There are enough printing skills to work on without having to worry about even or odd integers. Use whatever times are necessary to achieve the print. That's all.

    I always go back to my musical training when things like this try to creep into the workflow: "if you sound great, nobody gives a shit how you're doing it".
     
  8. ROL

    ROL Member

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    In a word, weird.


    In more words:

    1) Given the small amount of information you've provided, I'd leap to the conclusion that it's a bad habit.

    2) 6 seconds doesn't seem like enough time to accomplish dodges and burns, unless all your prints are straight exposures. I'd suggest closing down a stop to double your exposure time, but that would mean leaving the aperture open 1 stop, and thus disqualify it entirely as it would be an odd number.:tongue:

    3 When a test print is initially made, a less "odd" approach (classic, if you will) may be to use test strips of varying exposure times (at any selected projection aperture) first, rather than trying to force exposures from a single aperture and predetermined time.

    4) You may want to take a basic printing course or peruse this. I'm not saying you don't know how to print. I'm just saying your approach seems odd, errr, I mean even, I mean... Oh, forget it.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Unless it is a very simple and unimportant print, I usually try to get longer exposure time.

    When it's single digit seconds, dodging will be very difficult especially when I have multiple places to dodge. Also, if I keep the aperture the same, burning will also be very critical in timing. When I was using mechanical timers, mechanical error, combined with ramp up time of the lamp itself, the results weren't identical even if I expose it for the same time (according to the timer setting). At less than 10 seconds, "just a little darker" or "lighter" is very difficult for the same reason.

    I'm trying to achieve perfection as I see it. I have no room in my system to think if the numbers are odd or even.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Are non-intrgers odd or even? I usually only print on an integer if I'm lucky on the first test strip.
     
  11. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Just set up my 45MX, Aristo cold light. My exposure times at 10 x 10 from 120 negs are waaaay too short, 2-4 seconds on a good neg, F/8 on my Apo Rodenstock 90 F/4. The distance on my upper bellows is about 2.5 inches. Paper is Multigrade RC.

    What gives?
     
  12. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Underexposed thin negatives.
     
  13. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Nope, good negs.
     
  14. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    If you're using a cold light head, the upper bellows shouldn't be extended at all. 2.5 inches seems too high (mine flattens to about 1 inch). The head should be as close to the negative carrier as possible. I don't know if this is having any effect on your exposure times, but the upper bellows is used to move the condensers, which (obviously) you're not using.
    It sounds like you're using the format gauge (the little red arrow) on the right side of the upper bellows, and setting it for 2 1/4.It seems to me as if you're not set up properly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2012
  15. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    ok, a good negative------but you've stopped down 2 stops from f/4 to f/8, and having to use a 2-4 sec exposing time, for the desired high value I presume? Wrong Aristo lamp, too much wattage, IDK. I guess so, what does give.......if you say that the negative is good.
     
  16. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    There’s nothing magical going on. Whatever light intensity illuminates the negative, the light that passed through the negative now passes through the lens at the stated f/8 resulting in 2-4 second exposures on the paper you’re using.

    Most of us find that faster than we’d expect at the approximately 4.7X needed to make a 10” x 10” print of a 6 x 6cm negative at f/8 (assumed cropping from an approximately 10 ¼” x 10 ¼” projection).

    Assuming that the lens aperture is correctly closing to the stated f/8, then the likely explanation is: brighter than usual light source, thinner than usual negative, or a combination of these.

    You didn’t specify what filters you’re using. Obviously an unfiltered exposure is shorter than a filtered exposure—possibly much shorter.

    Regarding #14, the closer the light source to the negative the brighter the projection and the shorter the printing time. Placing the source farther from the negative would result in longer printing time.

    Thus, one way to increase the printing time is to open the upper bellows to move the light source farther from the negative. This will work so long as the negative remains evenly illuminated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2012
  17. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    The distance issue doesn't make much sense to me either. You'd think the exposure would get longer...
    Another question. Is the diffusion disc installed on the head?
     
  18. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Looks like this thread ran out a few days ago, but - one other question: Which lamp is in the housing? I think someone mentioned this before. My first Aristo head (early 80's) came with the HI(high intensity) lamp, which was always too bright for much of my work, regardless of format. I bought the Aristo (voltage?) reducing unit and solved the problem, just dialed in a lower setting and adjusted the output.
     
  19. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    Whatever the negative needs, although I prefer to stop well down and have a longer print exposure if I have a lot of dodging to do, it gives me more time,and slight errors in dodging/burning do not make such a big difference at a longer exposure.
    Richard
     
  20. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I do something very similar, often less elaborate if the negative doesn't need that much dodging and burning (but if it does, I do pretty much the same.)

    I prefer longer printing times, within reason, to give time for dodging if needed, and the longer burning times with smaller stops/dimmer source also seem to make it easier for me to get a nicely blended undetectable burn. I prefer 15-30 seconds but don't usually open up another stop unless I'm over 40 seconds.
     
  21. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    At six seconds, a one second difference in exposure can actually make a noticeable difference. Whatever floats anyone's boat but for me, time is only a factor of what it takes to get a good print. Could be 13.2 seconds for all I care, since I work in f stops with 12th fractions anyway.
     
  22. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    I don't think the OP was asking about technical things like how long your exposures are, I think he was asking if anyone has any weird habits in the darkroom.

    I avoid 13 even though most of my exposures run around 12-15 seconds. I usually use my experience to get an exposure that will work so I don't see 13 on the timer or the exposure adds up to 13. My avoidance of 13 though is not rooted in mythology or anything traditional, it happens to be the date my father died. Ever since then, I have avoided the number like the plague.
     
  23. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    A 1 second change in a six second exposure is either a -.26 or +.22 stop change - about 1/2 a zone change on grade 2 paper.

    f-Stop timers that work in 1/12ths or 1/10ths of a stop would make a ~.4 second change in a 6 second exposure, about a 1/5th of a zone.