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  1. #1
    Marc Leest's Avatar
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    Deepest black on Ilford FB MGIV

    I always arrive when using Ilford FB MGIV having not satisfactory blacks.(deep grey, not black). Prolonged exposure blocks the shadows. So what can I do to improve this issue (film developer, technique, paper developer, toner).

    thx, Marc.
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  2. #2
    david b's Avatar
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    Is this glossy or semi-matte? Also, is this warm tone?

  3. #3
    Marc Leest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david b
    Is this glossy or semi-matte? Also, is this warm tone?
    It's the non WT, glossy - air dried.

    M.
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

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    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I know what you mean.
    I had the same problem and solved it completely by switching to Kodak Polymax Fine Art Paper. Unfortunately, soon that will no longer be an option ( Thank You, Kodak ).
    Once, I tried Edwal Ultra Black paper developer with pretty good results. It boosts the Blacks and the contrast a bit but it is sort of expensive, at least compared to Dektol.
    I'll be following this thread closely to see what others suggest.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Try graded paper. I find the blacks more satisfying with graded papers in general. I keep some MGIV FB on hand, but just for negatives that I think might particularly benefit from split grade printing or local contrast burning.

    Also, you can try increasing the development time, using stronger developer solution, or a higher contrast filter.

    Michael Smith's amidol solution will boost blacks slightly with MGIV FB, in my experience, but not necessarily enough to justify the expense.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Leest
    I always arrive when using Ilford FB MGIV having not satisfactory blacks.(deep grey, not black). Prolonged exposure blocks the shadows. So what can I do to improve this issue (film developer, technique, paper developer, toner).

    thx, Marc.
    From what you describe, my thoughts are that the curve of the film is not coinciding with the curve of the paper. By that I mean that if you are using a long toe film and placing your shadow exposures on the toe of the film curve then your shadow densities will not show adequate separation when you print them. This would lead your shadows to block more then if the shadow densities are placed higher on the curve. You might try giving more film exposure and see if this helps you at the printing stage.

  7. #7

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    It's hard to say where your problem is. A few suggestions tho':

    When taking the photo, meter for the shadows and print for the highlights in the darkroom.

    You might want to develop the film a *little* longer. This will increase the contrast. This can take lots of trial-and-error. I'd start with a 1-minute increase.

    Use fresh developer when devving the film and paper. Nothing leaves you flat like exhausted dev.

    Are you using variable contrast filters or a color head when you print? The filters/colorhead will affect your contrast.

    It may take a while to pin this down, but keep at it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    I keep some MGIV FB on hand, but just for negatives that I think might particularly benefit from split grade printing or local contrast burning.
    I agree 100% Split Grade Printing..

    Chris

  9. #9
    Marc Leest's Avatar
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    I use a VC head with a RH designs analyser pro. Calibrated with a Stouffer transmission step wedge. Split grade printing is an option.
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  10. #10

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    I use split grade printing for virtually all of my work. Once I got use to it the technique it seemed like a natural way to print. I get the print I want faster and I like the results better!

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