It's been so long since I used HC110 that I don't remember what dilution E is. When I did use it, it was at 1+31, and TRI-X at about 8 minutes runs in my mind as about what I used. I do remember getting some good shots of guest artists from my principal oboe chair at dress rehearsals. Oboes often have long rests. This was before 1980, mostly. Stage lighting is rather harsh, but not too strong, so there is a conflict between exposure and development. You want to get the most shadow detail you can without blocked up highlights. Maybe I can post an example later.
It's doubtful that it's the water. You don't mention anything about your darkroom method so its impossible to tell what's wrong. Expose and develop a roll of film using the box instructions for exposure and development. Forget anything like the zone system. Then tell us the details and the results.
the concert pic was developed in hc110 dil. h (1+63 - half of dil.b -therefor doubling the development time gives approximatively the correct time), for around 30 minutes, because it was exposed at 1600asa, agitation: 3x every 3 minutes.
i think the picture looks fine, pretty much as i wanted it to be... ok there are some minor flaws, like the face is a bit too dark and there could some more detail in the chest area. but those are only in the digital one, they are fixed in the real print.
i'm only wondering why i have to use such a high grade under those circumstances: hard concert light, push processing... everything that gives a lot of contrast usually. and i would expect to use a lower gradation than normal under those circumstances.
and why would developing longer help my dark tones? since the zones 1,2,3... pretty much stay the same, even during extended development. my highlights are fine, only the dark tones at low gradation trouble me.
and my enlarging lens is a rodagon 1:4 80mm
and i just checked, i'm sorry, i confused the dilutions. i use H not E.
for one thing, cutting the dilution in half does not yield a 1:1 time ratio increase - I'm not sure what the exact factor is, but it is probably at least 1.25:1. When your negative already has such a contrast range as it does in a concert photo, it is more likely to work well printed contrasty, because the tonal ranges are not continuous - they're in peaks and valleys. You've got a bunch of tones in the blown-out highlights, past Zone 9. Then nothing. Drop down about three or four zones to zone 6, and you pick up density ranges again, to about Zone 4. Then you've got nothing until Zone 2, then nothing again. Because of the peaky nature of the lighting, trying to print at a lower contrast grade is going to make the image look really bleah, because it won't reproduce what's in the negative. You're trying to put information on the print that is just missing altogether from the negative.
I was taught that from 1 to 5, 3 is normal 2 is soft and 4 is hard. 1 and 5 are extreme. PE, what you said sounds very familiar; fact or myth?
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My times with Tri X are 6 min 15 seconds with dilution B. The attached image is made from a Tri X negative developed as indicated and printed on grade two. To answer your earlier question of how to develop a print at grade one or two, increase the density range of your negatives. That means increasing time, agitation, temperature or decreasing the developer dilution.
Originally Posted by phritz phantom
Last edited by Donald Miller; 12-21-2006 at 06:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I suggested more time because I use reduced agitation, and for me, the first variable I would change would be the time. However, increasing the frequency of agitation, leaving the time the same is also a sound suggestion. I guess there are as many methods as there are photographers, and in the end, the results are what matters most. I think that the best suggestion I can offer phritz is to only change one variable at a time in order to avoid confusion about how the results were obtained. And take lots of notes so you don't forget what you did when you finally do get results that you were trying for.
Originally Posted by Robert Hall
When the chips are down,
The buffalo is empty!!!
This is the way I learned it too.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Likely you are using a diffusion enlarger AND a VC paper.
Originally Posted by phritz phantom
Your specific combination may be working against good
contrast at normal grade. Your dial or knob may read
4 or 5 but you may actually be printing lower. Your
negatives may be ball-park grade 2 for a genuine
grade 2 paper and provide good blacks.
I've seen one set of VC curves where grade
differentiation did not occure untill dark gray
Try a Graded paper; they differ also. Don't forget
the diffuse light source. Maybe Grade 3? Dan
sounds interesting. i was thinking about trying to rule out the enlarger.
Originally Posted by dancqu
i do have a pack of maco "expo g" paper, which is grade 2. so i'd have to use a different enlarger, only using white light (without the filter box) won't be enough?