Short Print Times

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mexipike, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    I got back in the darkroom today after a long time not having a darkroom. I printed a negative from a fairly thin, but not super thin negative. Tri-X 400 pushed two stops. I just obtained a Leitz Focomat V35 and used that. I printed it on Adox MCP 312 RC paper, at 5x7. I ended up with a time of 4 seconds at f11, this seems to be excessively short? The print came out fine but if I had to dodge or burn much it would be difficult.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Stop the lens down to f16 that'll double the time.

    Ian
     
  3. ~andi

    ~andi Member

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    Sounds about right for the V35 and thin neg at 5x7. My negs are fairly dense and I usually end up around 12s at f8 with the 5x7s. I've lowered the voltage on the V35 by using the 250V setting (although we have 230/40V here), that helped a bit. Check your voltage setting if there's any room to go up a notch. Going to 220V with a 120V mains might make it way to dark. However, another pragmatic approach would be using a transformer 120V->220V then setting 250 on the V35.

    Are you using the color module? If not try to get one. Those filters also swallow some light. Using ND filters under the lens is another possibility.

    Cheers,
    Andi :smile:
     
  4. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    f/16 is an awfully small aperture for 35mm negatives. The grain of even Tri-X may become a bit mushy at that aperture. You can check sharpness at various apertures by observing the image with a fairly powerful focusing aid. I found that stopping below f/8 with the finer grain T-Max film noticeably affected sharpness in large prints. Maybe f/16 for Tri-X will be acceptable in 5x7 prints.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Can you lower the wattage of the lamp? This is certainly possible with a Durst. You don't say whether this exposure includes under/over the lens filters or dialling in the appropriate Y&M dichroic head filtration.

    If you printed unfiltered and the neg's contrast was right for grade 2 then of course the print will look right but will look equally good and at a longer exposure if you dial-in Y&M or place a grade 2 filter under/over the lens.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    id suggest a lower wattage light bulb, or getting a dimmer ..
    i have an aristo ( as in aristo grid cold light head people ) one
    it is pretty much un-used, if you are interested, let me know ...
     
  7. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    I think from reading all this that the simplest solution in my case will be to get some good ND filters. I don't know where to mount them on the v35 so I may just tape them up under the lens or something. I don't think I can use a lower watt bulb as the V35 has a strange housing in the first place.

    To answer questions about filtration: I have the color head on my unit and was using that. I have been reading Way Beyond Monochrome and I'm trying to learn F-stop printing and other techniques in the book. Thus I used the method of exposing for the highlights and then using contrast to dial in the shadows. Therefore I did not adjust times for the filters. I just did a search about this and it seems like there's a lot of disagreement about whether to do that or not. I think I printed at what would be a grade 3 for a durst enlarger, which if I recall was about 45 magenta.

    One other thing to note, I had a hell of time trying to make a test strip using the f-stop method. Of course once I discovered that my time was less than 8 seconds I realized that was some of the problem. Also noteworthy on my first foray back into the darkroom- my gralab 450 I bought on ebay sucks! the button would stick and sometimes it would expose for a bit then turn off. I'll try to get something else, I'd like an fstop timer but I can't afford one, and they don't make them new. I'm working on building the arduino based one( http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/95266-open-source-f-stop-enlarger-timer-released.html ) but it's way over my head for now.

    Also, I love my Focomat. Never printed on anything I've enjoyed more. I shoot 35 on a leica m6 and love to have the leica optics all the way through. I also have a besseler 23ciii with a vc head that I'll set up for 6X6.

    I've been working on building this darkroom for about 8 months in my very limited spare time. I had to completely drywall a room and all that, so it feels great to be printing again.

    Sorry for the rant, probably some stuff that should have separate posts.
     
  8. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    lower wattage bulbs is great advice
     
  9. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    Is there a way to do this on the Focomat?

    Seems like there's just the one bulb, but I've been known to rig my own stuff up.
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    many engineers on this site that can answer this, I am not familiar with the Focamat.
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I find that slightly thin negatives print better on a condenser, than a diffuser. However, it may be that you need to produce a slightly denser negative in order to treat the cause of your problem rather than the effect.
     
  12. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Neutral density filtration between the light source and the negative. I don't know if your enlarger allows for that. But large ND sheets are terribly inexpensive if it does. This has worked well for me in the past.

    I cut out a set of 1-, 2-, and 3-stop custom filters. In various combinations they allowed me to stay near or right at my preferred enlarging lens aperture, while still giving me my preferred exposure time length for comfortable dodging and burning.

    Ken
     
  13. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    this will work great as well, Lee Filters or Roscoe filters sell them cheap, just try to keep them above the lens and a distance from the neg.
    the bulb will burn them if they are too close.

     
  14. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    I think this is exactly the direction I'll move in. Any suggestions on where to get some sheets of this inexpensively. The search I did kept returning things in the $100 range.
     
  15. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    It's the rolls that are in the USD $100 range. Here's an individual 21x24-inch sheet of 1-stop ND for only USD $5.89.

    The shipping will likely exceed the cost of the sheet, so buy several densities at once.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2013
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It sounds as if you established the correct time, presumably with test strips but without filtration and then dialled in Y&M to give you the correct grade.

    If 4 secs was correct without filtration then you dialled in filtration using the same time I am surprised that the final print and test strip didn't appear different. Any filtration will increase the time required to get the same looking print as the test strip.

    If 4 secs looked right on the test trip without filtration then with filtration I'd have expected the print to be underexposed and look lighter.

    pentaxuser
     
  17. martinjames

    martinjames Member

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  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Yes equal amounts of cyan Magenta and yellow create nuetral density. the issue would be then if the OP wants to split print and use maximum magenta for the higher contrast.
    If so screwing around with all the dials would be an issue also if the top of the enlarger is not braced with wall mounts.
     
  19. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    I just tried a quick session in the darkroom and ended thinking I just need to stop and wait until I get the ND filters. I don't know how to use the CMY to control both density AND contrast.

    Bob- I've been looking a lot at your thread that's the sticky here. I take it you use under the lens filters, I'm slightly puzzled how you juggle switching from one filter to the other mid print time sequence? This may be a little OT here but since filtration's getting involved...

    Thanks so much for everyone's help.

    John
     
  20. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    John- You do two exposure times. One with the #0, and another with the #4.
     
  21. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    I ordered some ND filters but I may have found a part of the problem. Somehow I failed to notice that the borders of my prints aren't the same white as the same paper printed in another darkroom months previous. I now need to test to figure out if my paper is fogged from age or safe lights. I bought it in October so it seems odd to be fogged from age. I'm using 3 led safe lights, which I read about here, and it's possibly that. Ill test and get it sorted out.