Weird glare on my prints

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by KevinR, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    I was printing today and I noticed I was getting a weird glare on my prints. It actually is two going across the picture. They are pretty uniform. I checked everything around the enlarger and the enlarger itself to see if I had a light leak or something. I even changed the lens which changed the height of the enlarger and I still got it. This is a brand new box of paper. Could this be a defect in the paper? Any ideas would be helpful. I have quit for the night, will try again tommorrow. Decided to break out some wine before I break something else.
     
  2. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    If you suspect that it is a defect in the paper, try exposing the paper in a different orientation and see if the orientation of the glare changes position. If not, then that would point to something at exposure time.
     
  3. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    My guess would be that you're getting a reflection off some other surface in the darkroom - perhaps an enlarger leak that's bouncing back and reflecting off the column. I'd suggest tracking it down by using a piece of black paper or cardboard to block the easel area from various positions and angles, then work back from there to the source.
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    If it were a reflection would it be white or black? These marks are white.
     
  5. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    That depends on where/when you're seeing them. If under the enlarger, a reflection would appear brighter (whiter). If in the developed print, a reflection would show up as a darker area. Whiter/lighter areas in the processed print would point to either a disruption of the light path, a fault in the negative, or (least likely) a fault in the paper.
     
  6. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    OK, Kevin, this has got to be easy to sort out on your own. We'll just be talking endlessly here without anything to see. If you are seeing white streaks on your developed print and it were an enlarging fault, you would see dark streaks on the projected negative (we are talking B&W here, right? You haven't really given much information.)

    Do this: 1. Under safelight, remove one sheet of your paper. Put the rest back into your paper safe. 2. Turn on the room lights. 3. Develop this sheet of paper under the room lights. If the paper ends up with those white streaks, you either have bad paper or something wrong with your development process.

    Beyond that, I think you have to make an effort to debug this yourself.
     
  7. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    Ok, I think rbarker has got it. It seems to be a disruption in the light path. After messing with the paper and stuff that was around the enlarger, I printed a shot at about the 4x6 size. Up until then everything was around the 8x10 size. The marks were there at the 4x6 and proportional to the smaller size. I am not seeing anything in the path though. Would this possibly indicate needing a new bulb? I'm going to take it apart again, but was just wondering since this is my first enlarger.


    Looks like the bulbs okay. Tore it apart again and cleaned the elements, I don't seem to be getting the lines now. Sorry to bug you guys on this, the prints where for my final project in a class, and the deadline was coming up quick. Started to feel the pressure. First time I've had this kind of problem, so wasn't sure where to start.
     
  8. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    I spoke too soon. Thought maybe the elements where misaligned after cleaning everything. I am still getting them. The only constant I can think of now is the bulb. Has anyone had a problem with a bulb sending strange shadows through the light path. I know this is a reach, but the enlarger isn't that complicated (omega c700) and I'm running out of ideas. If I can get a print scanned I will post it.
     
  9. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    How heavy is the "glare"? Is the image under the glare (on the print) completely absent, or just lighter than the surrounding image? When you look at the negative image projected under the enlarger, do you actually see dark streaks?

    If you project a clear (unexposed) negative, do you see these streaks? If you have no negative in the carrier do you see these streaks?
     
  10. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    That's whats confusing me. I cannot see these on the projected image. I did this with and without the neg, both enlarged as big as it will go and small as it will go. Its fairly light on the print. Most noticable when I bump the contrast up on the image. A few of the prints I was working on I was going for a heavy contrast. I did take the filter out and overexposed a print to see if it might be the filter but it appeared again.

    I am down to the bulb or the heat absorbing glass I guess.
     
  11. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Do you have the right bulb in the enlarger? The wrong size can create problems, if its a standard light bulb the coating is not really thick enough to do a good job and it might image the filaments or the filament support wires. Also it might image any imprinting on the end of the bulb.
     
  12. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    That's a good point. Do these type of bulbs have a double filament? Maybe it worked good at first but has lost some of it coating. I stopped by my local photo store and they are out of the bulbs till next week. Man, that would make my day if that's it.

    When I get home, I might try loosening the bulb just a little and see if the lines move accordinly.
     
  13. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Are you sure it's not just a case of light leaks or surge marks on the negative? Those would produce light areas in the print, which would be fixed in orientation (given a negative inserted the same way each time) and would scale with the enlargement factor.

    To eliminate this possibility, try rotating and/or flipping the negative in the carrier and see if the "glare" marks change orientation with the negative (or simply inspect the negative for a dark region that corresponds to the light "glare" mark you're seeing in your prints). If the glare moves with the negative, it's on the film; if not, it's something in the enlarger.

    I have a 120 camera that has a light leak, but it's not in the bellows or image mask area, it's in the film supply or take-up chamber; I know this because I see a shadow of a pin roller in some/most of the light marks. However, the fogging shows in an image, because it's on an area of the film that will be in the next image, or was in the previous image, and in a B&W print or scan it looks very much like "glare"...
     
  14. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

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    Funny I had the same exact problem with an old folding 120. One day a little screw fell out from the take-up chamber and I started getting these funny glare pattens on the negs which were only obvious in enlargement. Took me a heck or a time before i figured out it was the camera, since the camera never before gave me problems. If the bulb doesn't do it check the film under a loup looking for the glare as a +1/6 stop tonal change. You will see it if its there.
     
  15. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    I hope to try a new bulb this weekend. I printed the negs on another enlarger, and they were fine. So I'm positive its the enlarger. Just hope it's the bulb. Those are cheap. :smile:
     
  16. josephaustin

    josephaustin Member

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    I have had 2 parellel marks run across my prints before, and I have 2 enlargers so I dont think thats it. I belive in my case it was a defect in the paper as it ran dead center down the paper and happens about every 10 sheets or so. Im not all that worried about it as this was extremely cheap paper. I have not had the same problem with Ilford paper on the same machines, I also sometimes get irregular splotches with this paper.
     
  17. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    Just a quick update.

    Replaced the bulb, everything seems to be good now.

    Man, that was fustrating.

    Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it.