Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,688   Posts: 1,548,761   Online: 1264
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    East London
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6

    Excessively grainy prints

    Hi,

    I've just got my darkroom set up (Meopta Axomat 5 35MM enlarger with a Nikkor EL 50mm f/2.8 lens - using f/8 for printing) and i've been doing some test prints over the past month or so. I'm mostly happy with them so far, but they do seem to be excessivley grainy for the film type used (i've so far developed prints from 100 TMAX and Neopan 400). I wouldn't expect to see so much grain on a print from a well exposed daylight shot on TMAX 100 or Neopan 400 for that matter, but even at 7x5 i can see grain quite prominantly, mainly on soft areas like skin and skies.

    Now i have nothing against grain, but it does seem a bit excessive for the films used. It's quite visible at 7x5 even on the TMAX 100 shots.

    I'm printing on Kentmere VC Select and developing in Ilford Multigrade for 1:15

    What affects grain in prints? The paper, the chemical temperature, the lens aperture etc? My cellar is very cold, although i keep an eye on the dev temperature whilst i'm printing.

    Or is it more likely i messed up developing the negatives? They look fine, seem to have nice density and decent exposure (they were taken using a Nikon F80). I can see the grain 'pop' up when i focus on the enlarger and look through my focus finder. They were all developed at 20 degrees in HC-110 (B) using Kodak's agitation scheme.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,775
    It is not the printing process. You won't see the paper grain. If the prints look grainy it is the negative.

    Hard to say if the grain in the negatives is "normal" without seeing the prints. But TMax 100 is virtually the finest grained film out there and should not give grainy prints at that magnification. Neopan 400 is significantly grainier than TMax 100, but a 5x7 enlargement should still be relatively fine grained. That being said, everyone has a different subjective definition of "grainy". Grain will always be most visible in featureless areas of relatively uniform density (cloudless skies etc) because there is no image detail to obscure it. HC-110 would not be the problem.

    If small prints appear that grainy (again, hard to tell what that means without seeing), particularly with TMax 100, the only explanation I can think of, besides reticulation (which is pretty hard to pull off these days), is severe overdevelopment of the negatives. Gross overexposure in the camera would also contribute. Are the negatives particularly dense?

    To rule out reticulation entirely, can you confirm when you developed the negatives the stop bath, fixer and wash water were all reasonably close to 20 degrees?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    North Yorkshire, England
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    721
    If the film was over developed or over exposed or a combination of both that will give a massive grain increase.

  4. #4
    cliveh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Shooter
    35mm RF
    Posts
    3,354
    Images
    343
    If you state your film developer/concentration and time/temperature we may be able to help.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #5
    Worker 11811's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,620
    Are you making full frame prints or are you cropping to enlarge a small area of the negative? Even a large format negative can look grainy if you "zoom in" enough.

    Yes, you will see grain suddenly "pop up" when you look through the focusing magnifier. That's what's supposed to happen. It tells you that you have the image in focus. However, the final print shouldn't show too much grain unless you look closely.

    Also, don't forget, you can see grain in many prints, even well done prints, if you analyze from a close distance. Normal viewing distance for an average size print is usually considered to be approximately arm's length or more.
    Last edited by Worker 11811; 01-26-2013 at 03:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    East London
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6
    After checking my negative notes for the prints i just did they were done at:

    TMAX 100 in Ilfosol 3 for 5:30 (Inverting the tank four times during the first 10 seconds, then 4 inversions during the first 10 seconds of each subsequent minute)
    Neopan 400 in HC-110 (B) for 5:00 (Agitating 5 seconds every 30 seconds)

    I measured the temperature to 20 degrees for everything but the final wash. Does the final wash temperature matter?

    The negatives themselves look fine exposure wise, the meter on the F80 is pretty good. The prints are not being cropped, i'm printing so the whole negative shows on the print.

    Thanks

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Florida, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,923
    I have been TRYING to create HUGE grain.... I wish I had your secret.

    Here's something to think about. What you are seeing as grain on paper isn't really grain. Grains are black spots on negative. So on paper, they appear white. If you are seeing BLACK spots on paper, that is a space between grains on negative.

    As such, light and white area on print, thus dark and dense area on film, tends to exhibit more of this kind of thing. Layers of grain stacked up on film emulsions letting very little light through in fewer spots. So these area are less dense (on paper) and appear more grainy.

    A lot of this is normal but it's hard to say without seeing what you are talking about.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Peak District, Derbyshire, UK
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    273
    Quote Originally Posted by Idonex View Post

    I measured the temperature to 20 degrees for everything but the final wash. Does the final wash temperature matter?

    Are you sure it is grain you are seeing and not recticulation?

    Steve
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_barnett/

    book
    wood, water, rock,
    landscape photographs in and around the Peak District National Park, UK.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Daventry, Northamptonshire, England
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    6,997
    Yes the final wash temp might well matter if it is a lot different from the dev/stop/fix temps. If you are developing to the Kodak times and it certainly looks as if you are using Kodak agitation and the negs look right exposure-wise then that only seems to leave 2 options:

    1 The wash temp is the problem. It is a lot different from the other temps
    2. Your definition of grain in a print is a lot different from other users and/or you have an ability to see grain which most of us do not have.

    Option 2 would seem unlikely but cannot be entirely ruled out.However I'd check your wash temp and next time ensure that all temps are within about 1C of each other. The film should withstand a greater range but if this tight range does not solve the issue then you can at least rule out reticulation but I'd have no idea where you would then look for the solution.


    pentaxuser

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,775
    Reticulation seems highly unlikely, particularly in the case of TMax. Huge temperature swings would be required, and even then.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin