Tonight I blew it using D:76

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by lhalcong, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. lhalcong

    lhalcong Member

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    After almost a year with no drastic mistakes, tonight I blew it. I forgot to dilute D-76 and ended up using it at full strength. To make matters worse I was looking to boost contrast so I processed at N+1 (not realizing) Boy I never seen a negative so contrasty like the one I ended up with. I completely blew the sky up If printed I have absolute white space where sky/clouds should be. I'm thinking of printing the clouds and sky from another negative. What do you think ?
    I learned one thing from this. Full strength D:76 give much higher contrast at normal or N+ processing. Maybe prints will be dramatic if I find a sky equally strong. ?
     
  2. fotolapinski

    fotolapinski Member

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    Try Farmer's Reducer.
     
  3. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Try first printing the negative and 'burning' in the sky. By that I mean holding something over the remainder of the negative about 6" above and giving the sky extra exposure. It is quite a simple technique and to get the best out of a negative I have to do it most of the time. If the horizon is uneven, i.e. not a straight line mark out the horizon on a piece of paper and cut around the mark and hold this over the section where you don't want to increase the exposure. The line you mark out should be about half size of the intended print to allow for the card not to block everything out when it is above the image when being printed.. It doesn't have to be exact, a little unevenness will help to avoid a marked line. Make sure you move the card around during this extra exposure to avoid this hard line.

    The times I have tried Farmers Reducer on a negative (Very few) I have always finished up with a more grainy negative and you will have plenty of that anyway, and if you over do the Farmers there is no going back and the negative is more or less toast.
     
  4. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    perfect negative for lith printing then.

    Try 4-5 rounds of 1 minute exposures in the darkroom with a proper lith-paper and see what you can get ^^
     
  5. lhalcong

    lhalcong Member

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    I don't think burning in the sky would work as the negative (upon inspection on light table) is absolute pitch black with no trace of details whatsoever... and farmer reducer which I never used but common sense tells me that it would not bring detail back where it doesnt exist in the first place... but since I never used it, is it possible that I might start seeing detail where I could not see it now ? just wondering.
    Now, I dont know what lith-paper is and what it does, so I will research this to find out what is it about.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If there is very little detail in the sky, then the increased development will enhance it. Perhaps the sky was overexposed on to the shoulder. I'd print it and see before drawing conclusions.
     
  7. momus

    momus Subscriber

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    Your idea of using another neg w/ a good sky to go w/ your current neg is an old established idea. Sounds good to me. Years ago I read about a photographer from 100 years ago or so that did the same thing religiously, and several of his really good prints all have the same skies. I always use D76 full strength. It's confusing looking at the directions for developing on the box because they list 4 different types of Tri-X on there! At any rate, I normally go w/ 7 minutes at 70 degrees w/ full strength in D76. Don't use this as your development times though, as I am sure your agitation scheme and local water is totally different than mine, but it's as good a place as any to start. I'm not getting much extra contrast on my negs, assuming the times I have standardized are kept consistent and assuming I exposed it properly. This is all for 35mm. For 120 I tend to give it a little extra time in the developer to punch up the contrast a little. You can get away w/ that w/ 120 because t looks so smooth anyway, compared to 35mm.

    One issue I have w/ D76 is that after a few weeks at room temp I start to get problems. Sometimes it's weaker, other times it seems to cycle up and give more contrast. So if it's anything important I mix up a fresh batch, let it set overnight, and get perfect negs every time.
     
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  8. lhalcong

    lhalcong Member

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    Since I thought I had diluted but didn't, I processed at standard time 9:45 but then I also raised a zone using N+1 my final time was 12:40. When I metered the brightest part of the sky was in zone 7 I was ok raising to zone 8. But the wrong development I believe increased it beyond detail.
     
  9. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Believe me there will be detail there, but if the negative is so very dense the burning in will take a long time. Years ago (1964) I was using a 4x5 Micropress as part of my work and the film was Tri X. I had set the film speed at 100 but used one of the old PF60 flash bulbs when shooting at close distance. The resulting negative was so dense the exposure for 10x12 print even with a 4 x 5 negative was in minutes rather than seconds. There will be detail, you just have to work at it to get it out.
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    There may or may not be detail. What's the film? With t-grain films they have such a long straight line there is likely to be detail available, albeit quite grainy. Even they do reach a shoulder though and some films still have a pretty dramatic shoulder.
     
  11. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Think outside the box (zone system) here. There is detail in those negatives. You just have to let go of controlling the entire thing. Print it and then go from there.
     
  12. lhalcong

    lhalcong Member

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    Well. What did I know ! there was little detail in the sky after all. You guys were right, exposure was above a minute to almost two. I didnt have a negative above a minute before. However the grain in the sky (as one of you mentioned) is now prevalent. Very Unattractive for my taste. Nevertheless this mistake has thought me something new. The print has a distinctive very contrasty look I didn't get before. I actually like it as it shows distinct from the reality. What A.A. called a departure from reality.
    I might even do this full strength D76 more often now. No clue how to control the heavy grain of TriX 400 perhaps a different developer ? HC-110 ? Sound like a subject for another post.
     
  13. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    To control that grain just don't develop so much. Or use a finer grained film. There is no real reason aside from rescuing a mistake to overdevelop THAT much (extreme push processing maybe.)

    It was far from guaranteed that there would be any detail at all however. All films will eventually, given enough exposure, have a shoulder where the curve gets, if not horizontal, at least close enough that detail will be scant and hard to see or print. Modern films are remarkably straight line, t-grain ones even more so, but still vary a lot. Try this same mistake with Pan F+ and I bet you won't print much detail.
     
  14. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Reduce it.

    Pre or post exposure fog will give some print density more easily then burning in. You want to find the point where the paper turns a slight grey with no enlarger exposure, then back off 10%. This nudges the emulsion up to threshold.

    There are different kinds of reducers. Sub proportional, proportional, and super proportional and it affects whether it reduced the highlights or shadows more . Unfortunately I can not remember what does what and the proper chemicals to make them.