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  1. #21

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    I learned to print on grade 1 for the longest tonal range. Makes sense & works for me. I don't like the idea of going to grade 3 just to get a decent black.
    You could try leaving the print in the dev for longer as that will affect the blacks more than the mids & whites.

  2. #22
    Petzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Interestingly enough, I have never seen this mentioned before on APUG, but at one time, most paper manufacturers suggested the use of grade 3 as the standard for enlarging due to the flare encountered when enlarging negatives.

    And, they suggested going up in contrast grade as magnification increased.

    Has anyone else heard of this from way back when?
    I remember when I used graded paper, e.g. Agfa, that the grade 3 was titled "normal", while grade 2 was named "special", so there has got to be something to this story.

    Grade 1 was "soft" and 4 was "hard" of course.
    If you're not taking your camera...there's no reason to travel. --APUG member bgilwee

  3. #23

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    i wrecked my brains how i could explain what i am talking about. and finally found some prints from yesterday night, which were meant to be thrown away, that could maybe explain it. mushy blacks could mean a lot.

    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...eststrip01.jpg
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...eststrip02.jpg

    the first one was done at grade 3,5 or 4. and the second one at grade 1 or 2.
    sorry, i can't remember exactely. and they were not exposed for the same amount of light.
    plus, to make things worse, it was taken at night.
    but i think it shows the mushiness that i always get when i print with lower gradation. there's no way i could get a tone like in the first one using a lower grade than 3.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    This is the way I learned it too.
    As I learned it, it was to keep the grain of small negs from being obnoxious. The more contrast inthe negative, the more grain. High or low contrast paper have about the same grain.

    The attached photo is of Alicia Delarocha (sp?) taken around 1970 when she was a guest of the Norfolk Symphony, now known as the Virginia Symphony. It could have been developed in one of several developers. I didn't keep that kind of record. I do know that I used 1/60 at f/2.8 for all my pictures. The paper grade is of no consequence here because this jpg was scanned from the original negative. The picture doesn't prove a lot, but it does show what is possible. It might have been more enlightening if I had scanned a print from that negative. If anyone wants, I will do that next time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DeLarocha-Stanger.jpg  
    Gadget Gainer

  5. #25

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    It looks to me like the shadoes in these images were underexposed. If you look at the grade 1 print, you can still see blacks in the shadows cast by the rocks on the shore.

    I think your best bet would to do some film testing to determine your film E.I. and development time. www.viewcamera.com has a free article describing a simple way to test your film/paper combination. it is aimed at LF photographers, but if you shoot roll film, I'm sure you can easily adapt it.

    Testing your film is somewhat tedious, but well worth the effort.



    Quote Originally Posted by phritz phantom View Post
    i wrecked my brains how i could explain what i am talking about. and finally found some prints from yesterday night, which were meant to be thrown away, that could maybe explain it. mushy blacks could mean a lot.

    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...eststrip01.jpg
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...eststrip02.jpg

    the first one was done at grade 3,5 or 4. and the second one at grade 1 or 2.
    sorry, i can't remember exactely. and they were not exposed for the same amount of light.
    plus, to make things worse, it was taken at night.
    but i think it shows the mushiness that i always get when i print with lower gradation. there's no way i could get a tone like in the first one using a lower grade than 3.

  6. #26
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    [quote=Photo Engineer;

    Has anyone else heard of this from way back when?[/quote]

    No, I have never heard of this before. My instructors and fellow photographers worked hard to produce negatives that printed their
    best on grade 2. All of my large format are printed on grade 2 Dupont or Medalist
    papers. The simple fact is that I never heard or read of it, but I could have missed that information along the trail. To be honest, it kind of makes good
    sense.

    Charlie...............................
    Last edited by Charles Webb; 12-21-2006 at 10:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Interestingly enough, I have never seen this mentioned before on APUG, but at one time, most paper manufacturers suggested the use of grade 3 as the standard for enlarging due to the flare encountered when enlarging negatives.

    And, they suggested going up in contrast grade as magnification increased.

    Has anyone else heard of this from way back when?
    I've seen quite a few people recommending G3 as a standard for 35mm. I've developped negatives for G2 and noticed that they would always look a bit better on G2.5-G3 so now I'll be targetting my negs for G3 (i.e. to avoid the occasional blown highlights).

    I'm not sure how to put it in words that make sense, but my impression was that the gradations of 35mm were not as well perceptually defined.

    Let's say for example that you have side light on a face so that there is a transition from bright to dark. Well, in 35mm the intermediary tones are not as well separated as in 120 for the same paper contrast, printed at the same size.

    This would be consistent with your statement about magnification: the more a picture is magnified, the more contrast it needs for an observer to perceive gradations. Logically, an 8x10 contact that prints on G1 could help a G2 when enlarged at 20x24, for example.

    I'm not sure if that is purely perceptual, though, or whether some physics of enlargement come into play (light scattering, etc). A test could be to make two prints of different sizes on the same grade of paper, and view them at separate distances so that they look the same dimensions to a fixed observer.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    ...And, they suggested going up in contrast grade as magnification increased.

    Has anyone else heard of this from way back when?
    Yes, increasing contrast with higher magnification is a rule of thumb I am familiar with but not the "normal grade" for printing.....

    As always the test is the final print you are trying to achieve and taming all the variables, the negative being the most critical. I recommend familiarising yourself with the "minimax" test for your particular film and paper. Determine the minimum exposure time to get maximum black through film base at a desired magnification and make a several prints from a roll at this time. The result of this print will tell you all you need to know about changing exposure or development. I suspect you may be underexposing and perhaps underdeveloping.

    I routinely make terrific looking prints at grade 1/2 through 1 1/2 on Agfa MCC (now defunct). Recently moved to Ilford Warmtone and it seems to need at least one higher grade to get the same look and feel as the Agfa. It also needs at least twice the time due to silver content. Also tried Tetenal rumoured to be similar to Agfa MCC but it runs to black too quickly for my taste. I was printing grade 0 and still getting hard blacks too soon.

    Anyway, my advice is reduce the variables to only one film, paper, developers and master that. My path was trix (and fp4), xtol, Agfa MCC and Neutol plus but each to their own.

  9. #29
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    From personal experience I have to tell you your results are exactly as I'd expect, I've spent the last 35 years shooting rock concerts. Tri-X is definately not the best choice of film, I found HP5 to be slightly better pusher.

    However Ilfords release of XP1 a few years ago brought a far higher degree of control and quality particlularly when push processed in C41 chemistry retaining far greater tonality. XP2 push processes just as well, and prints on about Grade 2 Ilford RC.

    Ian

    Quote Originally Posted by phritz phantom View Post
    '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.

  10. #30
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by phritz phantom View Post
    sounds interesting. i was thinking about trying to rule out the enlarger.
    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?
    You can use the same enlarger, just set all the filters to zero. Graded papers are less finicky than VC, not more!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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