Question about print size

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Alex Bishop-Thorpe, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I recently managed to get my months of apparently random purchases together into something resembling a darkroom. With an LPL 7700 pro enlarger and a nice El-Nikkor 50mm 2.8 lens, which I got from a very helpful APUGer, I set up with trays and a safe light and everything in my bathroom. I managed to make my first few prints. Being pretty new at this and of course making some mistakes - Times I've put paper under the enlarger without turning the lamp off after focusing: 3. So, I have some questions.
    The LPL 7700 Pro is made to suit 35mm up to 6x7, which is pretty useful because I have a 6x6 camera. The glass universal negative carrier's been easy to handle, but after attaching the 50mm lens the size I can enlarge a 35mm negative to seems rather small. I've made sure the head is configured correctly, removing one of the condensor elements as the instructions suggest, and moving the lamp back further in the head.
    I move the head until I get the desired size, but focus only seems to exist up to around a standard 6x4" size. Moving the bellow so that the lens is further away from the negative only seems to make it more out of focus, and the best I can do is have the bellows contracted completey. I find myself stopping down the lens as far as it will go in an effort to get better sharpness, but my results so far just sort of...suck. Am I missing something, or is it just not possible to make larger prints with this specific enlarger?
    My guess was that since it was made to suit a wide size of formats, 35mm is limited, but I am a little dissapointed.
     
  2. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I just checked the LPL 7700 colour enlarger in my darkroom.

    Have you reversed the lens mounting flange?

    On the R/H side of the lens mount holder, you'll see a small knurled screw that allows you to remove the lens mount holder. This is the thing that the lens itself screws into. Be careful if you undo this with a lens in place, it just drops out.

    If you have it recessed, that is correct for a 50mm lens. In this position you will find that you have to look up almost inside to view the f number.

    If you have it in the convex position, then that position is for the longer focal length lenses the other formats use.

    In short you have to ensure that the lens is extremely close to the negative, to allow focus.

    I'm sure it's a simple thing, you will enjoy the LPL 7700 as it's an excellent enlarger, for 35mm through to 6x7.

    Mick.
     
  3. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Hah! That lovely feeling you get when things work. I just ran and checked it again, and it was the wrong way around. I flipped it over, re-attached the lens and it's sharp as anything. Now I kinda wish I hadnt used all my fixer last night, but thank you very much. I probably wouldnt have figured that one out on my own for a good few months.
     
  4. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    That's the beauty of APUG!
     
  5. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Happy that you have sorted out the focusing problem, but tell me, how do you run out of fixer so quickly?

    I usually count off the number of prints that have gone through the fixer and you really do require a fair amount of paper to go through each litre of fixer to run it out.

    Almost all suppliers of photographic solutions give instructions about how many square metres of paper or film, can go through various solutions. Some give the information in square metres, others give it in the number of sheets per litre.

    Are you dropping the fixer bath before it should, or can be dropped?

    Mick.
     
  6. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I used most of my fixer developing film, so I only had 100ml of it left in the bottle when I got to it to make prints last night. I got it up to 1 liter by over-diluting it and fixing for longer - usually I use fixer about 3 times over when I'm developing film, but wasnt that sure what to do with paper. After 14 prints in 2 hours it had turned sort of murky, so I just dumped it. To be honest I didnt think to read the bottle at the time :D
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    This is a technique you can cross off your list. It doesn't work very well. Stick to the manufacturers dilution and times for RC paper. FB is a another matter, but we cross that bridge when we get to it.

    Happy to see your other frustration gone. Good luck to you.
     
  8. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Which fixer? Most rapid fixer instructions seem to say dilute 1+9 for paper anyway (though I follow Ilford's sequence and mix it at film strength).

    The fixer instructions usually say how many 8x10s it will fix: just put a bit of masking tape on the bottle of working strength fixer and write the number of 8x10 (or equivalents) used on the tape as you go along. I use a film clearing time test (for the paper too) and the Tetenal silver & ph test strips for a belt-and-braces approach... I also keep used film and paper fixer separate.

    If your fixer is going murky after 17 prints, you may have carry-over from developer. If you are not using an acid stop-bath, you may want to reconsider (unless you are using an alkaline fixer of course).

    Have fun, Bob.
     
  9. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I'm using Tetenal Superfix, which says to dilute 1+4, and reading the label apparently has a capacity of 4 square meters of RC Paper and 18 rolls of film (36ex) - I'll keep a better record of my usage, thanks. I'll probably try another brand of fixer since I actually had to order this from interstate when I got my other gear...I used a citric acid stop bath in betwene developer and fixer, but there's a chance I didnt leave it in for long enough. I'll check out what chemicals are available locally and keep an eye on their dilutions and capacities. And actually follow their directions :wink:
     
  10. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I typically use the same fixer for both film and paper, but mix for two different containers. My reasoning is that I want "clean" fixer for film, because the emulsion has a nasty habit of picking up dust or impurities in water, developer or fixer. Since paper doesn't attract dirt like film does, I use a different batch for my paper needs. Typically, the film fixer lasts longer than the paper fixer... Best, tim
     
  11. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    An advert I saw for Superfix says "same dilution as for Hypam", so 1+9 for paper will be fine. Using fixer at 1+4 allows for quicker fixing with fibre paper so it does not absorb so much of the fixer, allowing shorter wash times. With RC paper, the fixer is not absorbed at all (except a little at the edge of the paper) because of the plastic coating so it does not really matter which you use - just allow twice the fixing time for 1+9 over 1+4. 4 square metres = 80 8x10s

    I always let RC prints drain for 15 seconds before putting in the next bath (fibre: 30 secs) to keep contamination to a minimum. Good choice of citric acid stop bath - no smell :smile:. If it has an indicator added, keep an eye on it and dump it as soon as it starts to lose its yellow colour. Tetenal also do a low-odour version of Superfix if that was not the version you bought. I use the Fotospeed equivalents - the low odour stuff really helps in the darkroom!

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  12. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Ilford no longer supports the "sequence" you have in
    mind. You are refering to the no longer mentioned
    "Archival Processing Sequence"

    Emphasis has shifted to silver levels in the fixer
    and "optimal" is now the word. Review Ilford's
    recent fixer PDFs.

    They do strongly suggest the two bath fix. Dan
     
  13. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Whch doc? I can not find a fixer doc on the Ilford site that does not detail the sequence. The most recent fixer docs on the Ilford site are dated 2002 (Hypam and Rapid Fixer docs). Both contain the following:

    They also still recommend 1 minute in 1+4 strength fixer (2 mins for 1+9). This constitutes the "Optimum permanence sequence" that is also detailed in all the current FB paper docs too.

    Silver content in the fixer is of course always paramount to any method, which is why I use the Tetenal test strips.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  14. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    How about a two-bath fix in film-strength fixer, 1 minute each? Washing tests show that fixing in film-strength fixer up to 2 minutes still makes for a clean wash within 30 minutes if wash aid is used. This sequence leaves no non-image silver and only traces of hypo. It is my preferred choice.
     
  15. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Why not? It's a tried and tested method. The Ilford fixer docs do not specify a fixing method to go with the wash sequence: only that 1+4 for 1 minute is one of the options listed earlier in the doc, as is 1+9 for 2 mins and the two bath method.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    You did catch that. At one time Ilford had an Archival
    Processing Sequence. The 5-10-5 wash sequence was
    specific to the initial 30 second then later changed to
    the 60 second fix in their film strength fixer. They
    specified their HCA. They claimed a 40 8x10
    capacity per liter working strength.

    The MGIV, 12/01, and the Gallerie, 3/02, PDFs still
    specify the 60 second fix in conjunction with the 5-10-5
    wash. As you've stated the 5-10-5 wash sequence is no
    longer specific to any one method of fixing.

    In order to meet their 0.5 gram per liter standard only
    10 8x10 prints per liter working strength can be
    processed. And, they do average prints for
    silver content. Dan
    .