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  1. #41
    mryoda's Avatar
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    Hey Dorf, the developer i used for the paper was Ilford Multigrade and was at 20c, it was a new batch.
    It was really warm in the darkroom, but i was only in there 10 mins, that why the contact prints look so bad lol, i rushed them
    I have used the Gamer a few times now and i can get more time out of it compared to the Durst, i have also been taking loads more care to develop
    the films properly, they are no longer "thin"

    I have like you have not had a lot of success dodging and burning,
    i think that will take a while to master.

    I had considered a different film developer as suggested above but, i don't like to give up on anything
    I am using R09 new not original Rodinal, i have no idea if they are different, but i would like to get it right before moving on.

    For the most part i have used a Nikon, but just got a canon to try, EOS 50E so i will see if there is anything different between the 2
    as for writing everything down, i have a assistant for that lol, my daughter, she is as eager to learn this as me

    i think slowing down and considering each step would be better
    I don't have the worlds greatest amount of patience

    Here are a couple of shots using the Gamer Enlarger still on Kentmere paper
    There was no filtering done at all, it has a drawer for filters, so i have some of them on order
    Both shots were exposed for 10 seconds.



    22222


    out
    When your dead, None of this Matters.
    Film- Nikon F65, Sigma 28-80mm Macro Lens, Canon EOS 50E with Canon 28 - 80mm Lens
    Yashica-A (my new fav)

  2. #42

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    Hi mryoda,

    When I restarted with film early last year, I basically had a choice of ID11 and Rodinal, both of which I had kept from my student days in the early 90's. The ID11 was from a 5L batch, which back then I had the forethought to ask a chemist friend of mine to divide into five equal parts and seal them in plastic containers inside a palstic sleeve for me. So I had 1L batches just ready to mix. The Rodinal was from half empty bottles that I got from an old darkroom lab at work - they were about 15 years old then, and probably 30 years now, and the developer is still 100%. If anyone tells you Rodinal will last forever, you can believe them.

    Since re-entry, I have done around 100 B&W films, not sure as I am not really counting. Around two-thirds have been developed with Rodinal, so I have some experience with it now. I do everything basically at 1 in 50, that is 12 ml on a total of 600 ml. If you develop a single roll of 35 mm, I suggest you work at 1 in 25 (12 ml in 300 total) or work with the larger volume of 600 in any case. The reason is that 10-12 ml is required to fully develop one standard film (35mm 36exp, or 120). If you use D76/ID11, there are similar guidelines for minimum developer quantity (250 ml of stock per film, if I remember correctly). What that means is that for higher dilutions, you also have to increase the total volume. This is one of the reasons why some beginners underdevelop their films. If you run near the depletion zone, it will also make your results less consistent.

    If I am not mistaken, R09 is the OLD (post-war) Agfa Rodinal formula. The newer formulation is not identical, and apart from 4-aminophenol also contains another developing agent. The 4-aminophenol content is consequently lower. Rodinal Special is totally different still. You will be able to find many formulas for Rodinal and "home brews" that have the same essential formula. I have made two versions of Parodinal, and also the version explained in the Darkroom Cookbook (Anchell). Parodinal is made from Paracetamol (Acetaminophen). Another variation, metonal, can be made from metol in similar fashion. If done correctly, all of them are identical (in use) to Rodinal. The German pre-war formula for Rodinal contained KBr (Potassium bromide), but I believe that is only of concern for stand development. If you do stand development with low concentrations (1:100), then perhaps 1g/L KBr is not a bad idea, but you can add it when mixing, not to the concentrate. It also contained EDTA, which is only necessary for poor water quality. I mix with distilled water, so that does not affect me.

    Rodinal tends to produce fog with some emulsions, notably with Rollei PRX400. I don't know why. It is not too problematic for darkroom printing, as one simply prints "through the fog". But for scanning it does require more effort to get good quality. One of my acquaintances has done a comparison on RPX400 with different developing agents, and the Rodinal fogging issue is quite clear. If there is something to be learnt from this, it is that one should experiment a bit every once in a while. Each fim/developer combination is potentially unique, and if you try a new film, then knowing how it mates up with developers is useful information. The exception is possibly D76/ID11, as that is used by film manufacturers as the benchmark. Therefore, almost no films are released unless they respond well to D76. If I were you, I would develop at least one test roll of the Arista 100 with D76 to compare to Rodinal.

    "i think slowing down and considering each step would be better" - wise words indeed, but with children around not always that easy to realise :-)

    I think with better negatives you will find the printing easier going, no doubt. Using VC (or MG) paper without filtration is a bit like driving a 5-gear car that is stuck in 3rd. You will find that even a half-grade change up or down can help some negatives somewhat. I very seldom venture beyond 3.5 or below 2, but sometimes the extreme grades are useful for a bit of burning in here and there. Every print potentially has areas that will benefit from dodging/burning, so the technique has to be learned. My point was that I haven't learned how to save a print from a negative that is more or less unprintable in the first place. To a master printer, though, that is merely a nice challenge. I appreciate the skills of master printers for what they are - the pinnacle of a craft practiced by many but mastered by only a few. While every golfer aspires to playing like Tiger Woods, it should not take away the pleasure of playing in any case. If you like playing golf, that is . BTW, I can recommend Tim Rudman's books - they are very good guides, and Tim seems to have some mercy on beginners too. I still can't replicate everything he explains, but at least I understand what I am doing wrong in most cases.

    My kids are just too young still (5 & 3) to learn darkroom, but the easier stuff like cyanotypes they LOVE! If you haven't done that with your daughter, give it a go. We collect leaves, seaweeds, feathers etc. and make photograms with them. It is terrific fun for children (and for me too!).

    Regards,
    dorff

  3. #43
    mryoda's Avatar
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    Thanks for that
    I think i will order some D76/ID11 and try a few films with it,
    if its the standard and i make a right mess then i really must be doing something wrong.
    I am going to take a look for Tim Rudman and his books, i have seen some of his pics and i have
    to say i like them a lot,
    I love being in the darkroom, but sometimes it can get frustating
    being able to come on here and express that and get help is just great, amen 4 apug
    Thanks all
    When your dead, None of this Matters.
    Film- Nikon F65, Sigma 28-80mm Macro Lens, Canon EOS 50E with Canon 28 - 80mm Lens
    Yashica-A (my new fav)

  4. #44

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    My experience has been that if you buy an Ilford or Kodak film and follow the processing instructions faithfully for the film manufacturer's developer then you will get "very printable negs" i.e. good prints at between grade 2 and 3 without having to be a master printer.

    D76/ID11 are the two "anchor" developers which probably have the least "foibles" and behave best when you are looking for simplicity and reliability.

    I couldn't see much wrong with the prints you showed in your post above.

    pentaxuser

  5. #45
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    You have a nice range of tones in these prints, and I would say it would be better to work on your technique with your existing materials than switching developers. Developing film isn't rocket science; it just takes a keen eye and an understanding of how to correct for things that aren't going right. Use Grade 2 filtration as your standard, and try to make negatives that fit the scale you need for grade 2 printing.
    Too little contrast - develop longer. Too much contrast - develop less. Negatives too dense - expose less. Negatives thin - expose more. Repeat as necessary until you get decent work prints at Grade2. Learning these steps, how to recognize the problem, and how to correct them, will make you able to appreciate the differences between different films and developers.

    I say just keep doing what you're doing, lend your results a critical eye, and try to compensate for any problems at the negative exposure/development stages by altering your technique. For example, you could, just to see the difference, expose your film, on purpose, -2 stops, -1.5 stops, -1 stop, -0.5 stops, normal (box speed), +0.5 stops, +1 stop, + 1.5 stops, +2 stops, +2.5 stops, +3 stops. And then develop normally according to the manufacturer's instructions. Print all of the negatives to the best of your ability, which includes using the contrast filters and different exposure times. This will tell you an awful lot about how you prefer your prints to look, or not to look. It teaches you about mistakes, without having to blow it on important shots. Then when you find a preferred film speed (+/- however many stops from box speed that may be), expose an entire roll at that speed. Then develop one third of the film at a time, and develop it using different times, say +20%, normal, and -20%. Print one of each to the best of your ability. This also teaches you an awful lot about how to get negatives that you like how they print.
    Eventually you will also want to explore different lighting situation. For example, when shooting into the sun, how do you expose for the best results? Only one way to find out. Try different exposures, and print the negatives to find out what the print looks like.

    pentaxuser makes a very valid point, however, and that is that often times you will get good results following the manufacturer's instructions. The above is for when you're going to 'see for yourself' what you like. Both are important things to try, and using the manufacturer's instructions is also something that's nice to fall back to if something goes wrong and you feel unable to sort it out (this has happened to me several times).

    Keep up the good work! Continue to explore with an open mind and a critical view.


    Quote Originally Posted by mryoda View Post
    Hey Dorf, the developer i used for the paper was Ilford Multigrade and was at 20c, it was a new batch.
    It was really warm in the darkroom, but i was only in there 10 mins, that why the contact prints look so bad lol, i rushed them
    I have used the Gamer a few times now and i can get more time out of it compared to the Durst, i have also been taking loads more care to develop
    the films properly, they are no longer "thin"

    I have like you have not had a lot of success dodging and burning,
    i think that will take a while to master.

    I had considered a different film developer as suggested above but, i don't like to give up on anything
    I am using R09 new not original Rodinal, i have no idea if they are different, but i would like to get it right before moving on.

    For the most part i have used a Nikon, but just got a canon to try, EOS 50E so i will see if there is anything different between the 2
    as for writing everything down, i have a assistant for that lol, my daughter, she is as eager to learn this as me

    i think slowing down and considering each step would be better
    I don't have the worlds greatest amount of patience

    Here are a couple of shots using the Gamer Enlarger still on Kentmere paper
    There was no filtering done at all, it has a drawer for filters, so i have some of them on order
    Both shots were exposed for 10 seconds.



    22222


    out
    "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

  6. #46
    mryoda's Avatar
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    OK well i have been listening to everyone here and have some results to show you,
    A couple days ago, i bought some stuff on Ebay, print drying rack, easel, stirir, etc, etc loads of it, in amongst the stuff
    was a re-usable film canister and in it was a film, so i decided to develop it for a laugh and because this was an unknown film,
    i used my Rondinax 35u to develop it, I wouldn't normaly use it, but anyway i tried it,
    The film was Fortepan 50 and made in Hungary
    The film had some shots of Niagra falls on it and in them were a few shots of people, looking at the clothes and hair styles this film was shot in the 70's
    I was really shocked to see the pics after i developed it and the negative came out like it was shot yesterday.

    This shot i exposed standard at 10 secs F11

    1-Standard

    This shot below, was the same image, dodged and burned for 20 secs at F11

    2-Dodge-Burn

    Again below was exposed for 10 secs at F11

    3-Standard

    Same image again, Exposed for 20 secs at F11, doged and burned also
    If you look at the front of the boat, i got a bit dodge happy lol

    4-Dodge-Burn

    From looking at modern pics of Niagra Falls this is not the same boat they use now
    All pics above were using a Grade 2 filter and developed in Suprol paper developer.
    Both shots only took 3 peices each of Kentmere VC glossy 5x7
    Remember its just practice for me, so all comments are really welcome.
    So what do you think ?
    Last edited by mryoda; 08-18-2012 at 01:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    When your dead, None of this Matters.
    Film- Nikon F65, Sigma 28-80mm Macro Lens, Canon EOS 50E with Canon 28 - 80mm Lens
    Yashica-A (my new fav)

  7. #47

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    Wow, what an interesting story. Have you heard about the Vivian Maier collection? Worth reading up on. A substantial part of her films were undeveloped and lay in a box in a cupboard for years and years. John Maloof, who virtually by accident bought the collection, spent months afterwards to develop the remaining films as well as cataloging the already developed ones. She never printed her photographs or even showed them to anyone. Imagine that. Thousands upon thousands of unseen pictures, that close to landing on a trash heap.

    5x7 prints are tricky to dodge and burn, because one has to work finely with small instruments. I think even a minor size bump to 8x10 or 9,5x12 will make life easier for you. It will, apart from giving you more space, also extend the column height and the printing time. More time is more forgiving in terms of minor mistakes.

    If I were you, at least try the following: Instead of printing darker and dodging on the boat, do the opposite. Print a lighter base exposure and burn in the water and the roof of the boat. It is ease, not size, that matters. Remember to work far from the paper and to keep your dodging tools moving constantly. Use a piece of cardboard and work right round the boat, giving it equal exposure time in a 360 degree circle. For the boat's roof, make a small circular or oval hole in a piece of cardboard large enough to obscure the rest of the image, and burn in by covering the area you want darker. If you move to and fro at the same speed, you will burn in most in the center of the area, so move slowly one way, fast the other, or time it such that you do only one pass. For the water, you may perhaps use a higher contrast grade. Only change the filter, leave the rest as is.

    It took me a while to understand how to apply contrast filters, or put differently, what I should be looking to achieve with them. That this is non-obvious is perhaps surprising, and the degree to which it is subjective also complicates matters. In simple terms, you can use your grade 2 to determine the time to expose your highlights optimally. That will give you an exposure with just the right amount of details in the brightest parts (below pure white). Then keep this exposure time, and change the contrast filter to give you the corresponding dark tones, including a solid black if that is what you want. For grades 4 to 5, you will usually have double the exposure time (read the manual to be sure). It means defining your white point with the timer, and the black point with contrast, to use histogram terminology. Then use minor dodging and burning to cover the areas that need attention.

  8. #48
    mryoda's Avatar
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    I think learning the filters is quite a challenge, like you say, they seem obvious
    but the truth is far from that, well for me anyway.

    I have also ordered a 75w bulb for the enlarger, i read the manual for my old Gamer and it says for B&W
    to use a 75w, there is a 150w in there right now, so that will allow me to open the lens and extend the time

    I have some 8x10 paper, but its ilford and i was trying to get used to the Kentmere before trying that again,
    I think its fun to dodge and burn and see the difference in the developer, more magic happening lol its great!

    As for the Vivian Maier collection, that sounds really interesting, i am going to have a look at that
    I was shocked to see anything on this film i got, its 40 years old or there abouts, just shows how long film
    can last.
    Thanks for all the advice, when i get in there next, i am going to try some of it
    When your dead, None of this Matters.
    Film- Nikon F65, Sigma 28-80mm Macro Lens, Canon EOS 50E with Canon 28 - 80mm Lens
    Yashica-A (my new fav)

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