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  1. #11
    ath
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    Even if your safelight test did not fog the paper the contrast can be influenced. Develop an exposed sheet in total darkness to check.
    Regards,
    Andreas

  2. #12
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    The paper is Arista Edu RC VC Glossy bought new in Feb.
    Developer is Dektol used 1:2 for 90 sec. and was mixed fresh.
    Ilford Multigrade #2 filter as a start in a Beseler 45MCRX condenser enlarger. Filters are new.
    Negatives of average contrast and density. The same negatives printed great years ago.

    I think another safelight test is in order using an exposed sheet partially covered as suggested. The room is completely dark and safe for film loading.
    If the test is good then another batch of chemistry is the next step. Cheapest things 1st of course. After that I will buy some Ilford paper. If I place an order with Freestyle I receive it the next day so it's very convenient.

    Thanks to all for the suggestions so far. It's just a matter of eliminating the variables now.

  3. #13

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    Kodak lists development times for Dektol 1+2 that range from 1 to 4 minutes depending on the particular paper. If your prints are dull you may be pulling them before they are completely developed. Many photographers do not watch the clock when making prints but watch the print instead. Prints are said to be "developed to completion" although this term is not completely correct. What is meant is that there is a point where there is little change in contrast and density with extended development. It is at this point where the print is transfered to the stop bath. Try this method or increase your time to 2 or 3 minutes and see if this improves your prints.

    It has been my experience that people tend to under develop their prints, sometimes this is for fear of safelight fog. This should never be a problem if you observe these things.

    o The safelight filter is one suitable for the paper.
    o The safelight bulb is of the proper wattage.
    o The safelight filter has not faded.
    o The distance from the safelight to the work area is correct.
    o The recommended exposure time for the safelight is not exceeded.

    Filters are not permanent and should be replaced at regular intervals.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 07-23-2012 at 10:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  4. #14
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Also make sure that the developer didn't get contaminated by something in the tray. I've had that happen to me before.

    In addition, the Foma / Arista papers, especially the RC ones, don't necessarily have the same contrast as the Kodak you're used to. I would recommend working with higher contrast filters, and it would also make sense to dilute your developer less for more contrast.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #15
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    Sounds to me like you may need to print at grade 3. See if that solves the problem, or at least improves it.

    RC paper should be fine with a 90-second development in Dektol 1:2. Extending to 2:00 or so could be tried, but shouldn't affect your quality. If it does, definitely stick with the longer time. FB paper will need 2:00 or more, of course.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  6. #16

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    Unsafelight

    I have had good results with this paper, but I had to go to a red safelight to do it. My brownie safelight badly fogged the paper, but you have to pre-fog the paper to see it. Place paper under your enlarger with no negative and expose to zone whatever, light gray. Then do your safelight test to see how much effect the additional safelight produces. I was surprised to find out my safelights were useless. Good luck.

    Best regards,
    Chris

  7. #17
    Wade D's Avatar
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    Again, many thanks for the suggestions. My next darkroom session will be in about 2 weeks. I'm moving my darkroom into an unused bathroom so I can have running water. New paint, plumbing and flooring then back to printing. I'll eliminate the variables and post my findings.

  8. #18

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    Could well be safelight fogging, as mentioned above. The paper may be from Foma and their standard recommendation is a dark-red safelight, not the more usual orange or amber. If you are using an Ilford-safe colour then it may well not be safe for Foma paper. I bought a red filter for a second safelight which replaces the amber one when needed and solves the problem. If you have a safelight using a large, flat, surface then a sheet of rubylith over it will probably save you changing filters (as the orange or amber ones are so much brighter to work in you may prefer them).

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinP View Post
    Could well be safelight fogging, as mentioned above. The paper may be from Foma and their standard recommendation is a dark-red safelight, not the more usual orange or amber. If you are using an Ilford-safe colour then it may well not be safe for Foma paper. I bought a red filter for a second safelight which replaces the amber one when needed and solves the problem. If you have a safelight using a large, flat, surface then a sheet of rubylith over it will probably save you changing filters (as the orange or amber ones are so much brighter to work in you may prefer them).
    If you read the original post carefully you will find that safelight testing has been done.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #20

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    There is more than one way to, incompletely, check a safelight Indeed, my usual bright safelight checks out fine for 25 minutes on Ilford, but fogs Foma papers - we don't even know if this specific box/brand of paper was used for the test that was mentioned, let alone the details of how that test was made.

    If the paper is not exposed to a mid-tone during the test then the safelight-illumination alone might not get to the level where you can see it on it's own, while still being enough in combination with print-exposure to have an effect on the highlights.

    Counting up the topics across the posts, the safelight looks to be the most popular possible cause, especially as this varies between paper manufacturers.

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