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View Full Version : Controlling Paper Negative Contrast With Slimt or Preflashing?



Existing Light
01-16-2012, 01:02 AM
So, I've got a box of paper taking up space in my fridge, so I'm going to try making some paper negatives with it, but I'm worried about controlling the contrast. Obviously, I'm going to give the paper flashing technique a try before I buy potassium ferricyanide. My question is "will the end result be different with slimt and preflashing?" What I mean is, if I take identical shots, one with a properly preflashed negative and another with an unflashed paper neg but properly treated with a solution of potassium ferricyanide, will they bth look the same or will one look "better" in reguards to tonal range, dynamic range, etc? If preflashing will solve the contrast problem, great! Slimt is something I wont have to screw around with. However, if Slimt has some advantage, I'd like to give it a try.

I know, doing it myself is the only way I'm going to objectivly figure this out myself, but I'd like a bit of guidance before starting out :)

BTW, the box of paper that's sitting in my freezer is Fomalux 111 :D

Oscar Carlsson
01-16-2012, 01:36 AM
You should also try a factorial development, it seems to be a easier way of fine-tuning contrast on non-multigrade papers. I'd begin there. There's some good information in 'The Print' by the holy Adams.

Existing Light
01-16-2012, 12:10 PM
I dont think I've heard about factorial development*, but I'll check it out. I dont have a copy of The Print, but my local library does, so I'll try to pick it up whenever I'm over that way again. I'm all for whatever option will give me the best out of my paper negatives.

BTW, I'm aware that Fomalux 111 might not be the best choice for paper negs, but I'm willing to give it a shot since it's just sitting there doing nothing right now :D

*If I've heard of it, I havent heard it called that

jnanian
01-16-2012, 05:14 PM
some people use graded paper for paper negatives ( i like agfa grade 0 or 1 ) others
use multi contrast enlarging filters to adjust the contrast ..

i tend to photograph on grey days ... sometimes i flash, but not too often, i just use
older paper that may have fog otherwise, the fog cuts down on the contrast. i also
use expired / exhausted print developer ( i also use caffenol c ) which is less active
and leads to less contrast.

i've never heard of factorial development
or slmt .. i am sure that there is always more than
one way that works .

have fun !
john

cliveh
01-16-2012, 05:25 PM
I would question why you are keeping black and white paper in a fridge? The chemical treatment of these as negatives must surely be determined by the contrast range of your subject?

Existing Light
01-17-2012, 01:38 AM
I would question why you are keeping black and white paper in a fridge? Does keeping paper in the fridge not help the paper last longer like it does with film? Or is that just one of those rumors going around the internet? Seriously, IDK, but I've read that here and elsewhere, so I've been keeping film and paper in one of those small, college dorm fridges :\



The chemical treatment of these as negatives must surely be determined by the contrast range of your subject?

You mean using N-minus and N-plus developing like with film? Not quite sure I'm following here. I've read that using diluted paper developer or film developer can help tame the contrast of paper, and that's a technique I'll try as well as any other tips I can find :)


Also, if I'm using a graded paper, can I use a filter over my lens to control contrast? I've been pondering what color filter, if any, would lower contrast, and it seems that a yellow or red filter 'should' lower contrast by filtering out some of the blue light. But since graded paper is sensative to the blue end of the spectrum, I'm also imagining uber-long exposure times using a yellow or red filter.

bdial
01-17-2012, 08:17 AM
It depends on the camera and whether you're shooting wide open or stopped down. In bright sunlight you exposures might be as little as 1/2 or 1/4 second. Unless you're working with very low light, most times exposures won't need to go beyond several seconds unless you're doing pinhole work.

Diluting developer or working with a slower developer helps, as does a yellow filter if your'e using VC paper. I use a 0 Poly Contrast filter that happened to be handy. Filters won't help for graded paper, use a grade 1 paper and/or tame the contrast with the developer.

keithwms
01-17-2012, 09:36 AM
I also preflash, look for lower contrast scenes, and try to develop carefully as possible. You can also use your warm finger during development to bring up some parts faster than others, or (I just learned) use ice to slow other areas. And you could selectively bleach out some portions after development. I haven't done SLIMT but why not. Sure.

Apart from all that, the obvious thing is simply to "get over it" and compose knowing what the tonality of the final image will be! Trying to make paper behave like film is going to cause trouble. Why not let paper be paper and enjoy it for its weirdness. You can take a pencil on the back of the paper neg and go to town and do something inventive...

Existing Light
01-17-2012, 12:34 PM
You can also use your warm finger during development to bring up some parts faster than others, or (I just learned) use ice to slow other areas.
good ideas. I never would have thought of that




Apart from all that, the obvious thing is simply to "get over it" and compose knowing what the tonality of the final image will be! Trying to make paper behave like film is going to cause trouble. Why not let paper be paper and enjoy it for its weirdness. You can take a pencil on the back of the paper neg and go to town and do something inventive...

Haha I'm over it. Just trying to decide on the 'best,' 'most productive' way of doing paper negatives. All that's left for me is to actually find some free time. It seems like I have plenty of free time to think about stuff, but when it comes time to do it, I get busy with 10^10 other things. Guess I should just stop thinking and just do it :)

BTW, I'm all up for enjoying any odd things for their weirdness :D

Existing Light
01-17-2012, 12:36 PM
Filters won't help for graded paper. dangit! :)

jnanian
01-17-2012, 12:45 PM
graded paper is sensitive to more than just blue light ( blue and green ) and it tends to be slower than
vc paper. you can adjust the contrast with graded paper by using 2 developers instead of 1,
and a water bath.

good luck !
john

RalphLambrecht
01-19-2012, 05:22 AM
good ideas. I never would have thought of that




Haha I'm over it. Just trying to decide on the 'best,' 'most productive' way of doing paper negatives. All that's left for me is to actually find some free time. It seems like I have plenty of free time to think about stuff, but when it comes time to do it, I get busy with 10^10 other things. Guess I should just stop thinking and just do it :)

BTW, I'm all up for enjoying any odd things for their weirdness :D

hereis what i do:

Existing Light
01-19-2012, 12:39 PM
hereis what i do:


I assume you either do nothing with paper negs because they arent up to par with film or there was some kind of computer problem when you were typing :D