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  1. #31

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    I might have overstated the issue with the black not black enough. It really is just an issue with contrast overall. Not just the blacks, also whites too gray. It seems I'm not the only one having this problem. What would be the optimal temp for the developer? In F please.

  2. #32
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR
    I might have overstated the issue with the black not black enough. It really is just an issue with contrast overall. Not just the blacks, also whites too gray. It seems I'm not the only one having this problem. What would be the optimal temp for the developer? In F please.
    68░F (20░C)

  3. #33

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    Thanks, I don't think it's a problem, but its nice to know.

  4. #34

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    Just an update on this thread.

    I just made my first prints in my darkroom. Everything is working well, just getting familiar with this enlarger.

    I printed a few of the negs that I was having a problem with contrast at the other darkroom. Contrast was fine without any filters, so it definitely is something with the other darkroom.

    Something occured to me when I bought a bulb for my enlarger, I was wondering how much intensity(and I am equating that with contrast) is lost with old bulbs. Just a thought.

  5. #35

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    Two ideas

    I was always taught that you expose the print for the whites and adjust contrast for the darks. This lets you minimize the variables. My question for you is are you using filters or a color head? I had a bear of a time with a color head until I learned that the light intensity on a color head is variable with each movement of the dials (unlike a filter where you only have to adjust your exposure twice).

  6. #36

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    No color head. Really, I'm quite happy with my results in my new darkroom. It just tells me that there is something going on at the schools darkroom. It's spring break, so I can't get in there till next week.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR
    You may have something there on the light leak. The enlarger I use doesn't hold down on the neg carrier as tight as I would like.

    I use a Besler 45 with a colorhead, and I've long ago learned that I had to make some little flaps out of mounting board and black masking tape to hang down over the edges of the area where the negative carrier goes in, because the light leaking out was "pre-flashing" my paper. I also learned way back then to paint the area of my darkroom in about a 3-foot radius around the enlarger a flat black so that light leaks don't reflect back to the easel from the walls.

    Larry

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine-iac
    I use a Besler 45 with a colorhead, and I've long ago learned that I had to make some little flaps out of mounting board and black masking tape to hang down over the edges of the area where the negative carrier goes in, because the light leaking out was "pre-flashing" my paper. I also learned way back then to paint the area of my darkroom in about a 3-foot radius around the enlarger a flat black so that light leaks don't reflect back to the easel from the walls.

    Larry
    My sentiments, precisely. The problem is made worse when there are several enlargers in the same room, or if the safelight isn't safe.
    Gadget Gainer

  9. #39

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    Several easy changes

    As noted earlier create a low flare condition by reducing light leaks and having the area that the residual light leaks unto of high absorbance and low reflectivity...matt black. Make 2 prints one entirely in the dark and one as normal with the safe light...is there any difference ? Is your enlarger lens clean...a dirty enlarging lens can have a very high impact on contrast ? Is the optical system of the enlarger clean...diffusers or condensers...if a system has not been cleaned in a very long time overall contrast may suffer? Is the bulb clean. Is the enlarging lens relatively modern and designed for enlarging? Has the paper been stored properly and is not damaged by conditions of storage and is not way out of date ? There is a difference to be had in developers D 72 or Dektol which will give quite different results than Selectol soft. Is the developer overly diluted compared to the manufacturers recommendation? Is the developer designed for print processing? Try adding restrainer to the print developer if the paper is old or slightly fogged...Potassium Bromide or benzitriazole will show an improvement..is there any difference? Are you using an MQ developer at lower temperatures... say 60║F. Hydroquinone will work very poorly at lower temperature making metol do all the work and give lowered contrast. Is the developer as packaged reasonalbly fresh?

    Are you producing negatives of reasonable contrast in so far as exposure and development are concerned?

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR
    Hey Everybody,
    I have a few questions, don't know how simple they are?

    I am printing with Ilford Multigrade IV MGF. Developing in Sprint chemistry at the moment.

    It seems that I am using really too much contrast filters just to get a decent print. The negs have decent contrast to them.

    Does this paper have a dendency to need that boost with the contrast filters?
    Does the developer have any play in the contrast of the prints?
    Could there be something with the enlarger?

    Any help would be appreciated

    Thanks
    This is a classic symptom of non-image light striking your paper. Run the Kodak K4 safelight test. (Go to the Kodak Web site and search for "How Safe is your Safelight?" From the articles returned from this search, select K-4 and you'll have the Kodak safelight test. I'll bet you will find you have either an un-safelight, a darkroom light leak or light leaks from your enlarger. When I fixed these conditions in my dark room, I reduced contrast on my prints by 1 full paper grade. I print identical contrasts for 8X10, 11x14 and 16x20.

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