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  1. #1
    mryoda's Avatar
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    Kentmere VC Select Paper Need Help

    Hey all,
    I have again run into some problems
    Kentmere VC Select paper and exposure timing.
    Main problem is exposure timing, i didn't have a lot of cash this time, so instead of Ilford MG4 paper
    I got the kentmere, now i understand its 1 f/stop faster paper than the ilford, but the best i can get
    is a 3.5 second exposure @ f16 from the enlarger as apposed to a 6-10 sec using the Ilford Paper
    Its not a prob to get a pic from the paper, but different contrast levels are a problem
    Below is a shot showing what i mean

    To get the clouds to show (which was why i took the pic) i had to make the picture dark
    But as you can see the contrast seems to be just grey ?


    img084

    To keep the image visible in this shot, i had to not expose for the sky
    or the main focus of the pic would have been too dark.


    img087

    Any thoughts ?
    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. #2

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    Try pre-flashing the paper. Use test strips and expose to find the longest exposure that just fails to show density (i.e. the longest exposure that produces no change from pure white). Then pre-expose the entire sheet prior to use, using this exposure setting (of course with no negative in the enlarger). The effect of this is more detail in the highlights without sacrificing shadows to the same extent. You can also make a negative mask. Ctein's book "After Exposure", available as a free download from his website, explains how to do this. It is more work, but definitely worth while if you are looking for better prints from very contrasty negatives.

    You may increase the exposure time by adding a neutral density filter to the light path. Any ND filter of high quality (Nikon, B&W etc.) will work. Select a diameter that suits the enlarging lens you are using.

    About pre-flashing: It is sometimes worth pre-flashing an entire box of paper and storing it in the same box (just make sure to mark it properly!). Then whenever you have a difficult negative that requires help, you have a convenient stash at hand.

  3. #3

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    Dear Mr Yoda,

    First of all....heck of a sky you photographed.....

    Second: Its the neg that makes the print not the paper....

    Third, you are correct, KENTMERE is a faster paper than ILFORD MGIV, but you have all the grades 0-5 in KENTMERE that you have in ILFORD.

    You do not say what grade you are printing at, I also assume that at f16 3.5 seconds that must be a pretty thin neg..

    I do not know how experienced a printer you are, but it seems to me that the print is 'flat' and needs a higher contrast grade, the issue is that when you have sky and foreground you have different contrast levels. What I would do is :

    1) Stop down as far as you can and give yourself some 'time' 3.5 secs is too fast in this instance

    2) Increase your contrast grade

    BUT In going that you will darken the foreground : You can do one of two things

    A) Dodge / hold back the foreground ( buildings )

    B) Split Grade, use a lower grade ( say grade 2 ) on the sky, and a higher grade ( say 4 ) on the foreground to do this you mask the area you are not exposing.

    Finally, are you developing fully, the paper must be in the dev for at least a full minute, 'pulling' your print from the dev before it is fully developed, flattens the print.

    PM me your home address so I can send you our MULTIGRADE printing manual, it does not matter which brand paper you use, the theory is the same and it should help.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology limited :

  4. #4
    Stephen Prunier's Avatar
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    Simon

    Could I also receive one? I will send you a PM with my address

    Thanks
    It has to be true. I read it on the internet, and you can't lie on the internet!!!!!

  5. #5
    artonpaper's Avatar
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    If I may chime in. While pre flashing is a perfectly workable technique, I would forgo flashing the paper, it is a confusing process for a beginner.

    Next, it does appear that your negatives need more exposure. Sometimes giving them more exposure (by using a lower ISO) may necessitate a shorter developing time. But first just try a lower ISO. If the bright areas like the sky are printing very white try reducing your developing time by 12% less.

    Neutral density filters do work, although they are pricey. I have successfully used a sheet of frosted Mylar between the condensers in the enlarger. This will lengthen your exposure time considerably. If possible you should be using f 5.6 or f8 on the enlarger since those stops produce less diffraction. Diffraction can cause a loss of sharpness and is most likely to occur at close focusing distances, such as enlarging.

    Next, use a standard developing time and don't deviate from that. I develop RC paper 2 minutes and fiber based paper 3 minutes. One minute will work, but I expect you would see deeper tones at 2 minutes.

    Best to you,

    Doug

  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I seriously doubt preflashing would help this picture, since the picture appears to be printed from a much too thin negative. Preflashing is a tool used to lower contrast while printing negatives that are otherwise unprintable and have too high contrast, which is exactly the opposite of what's required here.

    Instead, I would recommend giving the negative more exposure when taking the picture. Then at printing time, make a base exposure using Medium contrast filtration, so that the buildings look good. Then switch to Grade 5 filter and burn in the sky to accentuate that dramatic appearance.

    MORE contrast is needed, both in the negative and the print.
    "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

  7. #7

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    OP, I am not sure whether you are saying that with similar or the same neg and Ilford MGIV you didn't have the contrast problem or simply that you haven't got similar negs printed with Ilford paper to make a real comparison and you are simply assuming, possibly wrongly, that it must be the different paper that's given the issue.

    Does this neg look very much thinner than others where the contrast has been fine with Ilford paper?

    Have a look at the dual or single filtration table supplied with the paper. If it is the "new" Harman Kentmere paper then I think the filtration is very similar to that of Ilford paper. However and this in unlikely now unless you bought secondhand, if it is the old Kentmere( made in Kendall) paper then the filtration is quite different.

    It may also be that Kentmere paper has a slightly different contrast at say grade 2 than Ilford does.

    It might be worth doing a test print on the same section of the neg at several grades to see if that improves the print.

    You may find that whereas this neg is best printed at grade 2 on Ilford paper, it requires grade 3 on Kentmere.

    Unless the neg is very thin I'd have thought that the grade range of Kentmere paper is enough to take care of a low contrast neg.

    Let us know how it goes.

    pentaxuser

  8. #8

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    To the OP, are you using any contrast filtration to make your print? You don't mention this and that might be part of the reasons for the flat-print and the short exposure time . . . Look at the leaflet which comes in the packet of paper, and the Ilford website, for more information on changing contrast-grades.

  9. #9
    mryoda's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the replys,
    There is a lot of info between you all and its hard to know how to reply lol
    The film is Also Kentmere 100
    I dev'ed the Film this way
    9 Mins @20c with R09 (rodinal)
    5 Turns to start and 1 turn every Min thereafter
    Then Ilfostop for 1 min turning for the whole min,
    Ilford Rapid Fix for 2 mins turning every 30 secs

    The enlarger is a Durst M370 Colour
    The Magenta wheel was set at 30 then 40
    I did try dodgeing but messed that up and i think loads more practice is needed
    I forgot to remove my thumb from the light lol

    Simon i think you sent me the Manual before, which i am reading now
    Ilford Multigrade Papers - A Manual for the Darkroom,
    if its a different one, pls let me know
    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)

  10. #10
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    OK, the magenta is there for you to increase contrast. The yellow is there to decrease it.

    It still seems like your negative is very thin, meaning the developed silver is not of adequate thickness to stop too much of the enlarger light reaching the paper surface. That's what is causing your excessively short printing times most likely. So what I would suggest is to photograph the film by setting the ISO dial to 50. This will give you better shadow detail, and then develop normally for a more dense negative, which will give you longer printing times.

    Once you have that figured out, print your negatives again. If the contrast is too low (like in your above post), just increase the magenta until the contrast is right. If the contrast is too high, you dial the magenta to 0 and start adding yellow.

    Hope this makes sense.

    - Thomas

    PS. Make sure that ALL of your film processing liquids, including the washing water at the end, is at 20*C. Developer should be bang on 20*C, and the other liquids could be +/- a degree or two without ill effect. The reason I'm saying this is that for being ISO 100 film your print is extremely grainy, which leads me to believe your stop, fix, or wash water may have been much too cold.

    Quote Originally Posted by mryoda View Post
    Thanks all for the replys,
    There is a lot of info between you all and its hard to know how to reply lol
    The film is Also Kentmere 100
    I dev'ed the Film this way
    9 Mins @20c
    5 Turns to start and 1 turn every Min thereafter
    Then Ilfostop for 1 min turning for the whole min,
    Ilford Rapid Fix for 2 mins turning every 30 secs

    The enlarger is a Durst M370 Colour
    The Magenta wheel was set at 30 then 40
    I did try dodgeing but messed that up and i think loads more practice is needed
    I forgot to remove my thumb from the light lol

    Simon i think you sent me the Manual before, which i am reading now
    Ilford Multigrade Papers - A Manual for the Darkroom,
    if its a different one, pls let me know
    "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

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