Thanks for your usual response, Ian.
We had an interesting discussion of this matter a few
Originally Posted by Richard Jepsen
weeks ago. In a nut shell some very good evidence was
found indicating that developing to completion was actually
developing for maximum contrast. To up contrast; least
possible exposure and extended development; maybe
five minutes. That method may be your easiest fix.
Two or three tries should decide it.
Curious as to how it turns out. What paper? Dan
Under expose about 20% and over develop about 50% to increase contrast on graded papers.
Bring Joy to the world with Art!
And why not VC as well? Dan
Originally Posted by DODDATO
Let's try again.
You can't "push" paper like you can with film. Film emulsions are not fully developed when you get normal contrast, and there is more room to go, that's why you can "push" and boost contrast. On the other hand, paper emulsions are designed to be processed all the way, to completion. Extending development beyond completion doesn't increase contrast, but can actually reduce contrast by elevating fog. There is no or little room to push any further. Without going to some nonstandard chemicals, the room to increase contrast from what can be had with Dektol 1+1 or 1+2 is limited. On the other hand, there is some room to "pull" to soften contrast, although this comes with the image hue change (usually the hue becomes warmer).
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
"Let's try again. You can't "push" paper like you can with film."
I'm quite sure everybody will agree.
"... the room to increase contrast from what can be had with
Dektol 1+1 or 1+2 is limited."
Maybe eke out a 1/2 grade. That's all that is hoped for.
"On the other hand, there is some room to "pull" to soften contrast,..."
That is consistent with my statement that development to
completion is development for max or near max contrast. Not
to be confused with maximum black. Max black occurs prior
to max contrast. Pulling can maintain max black and at
the same time lower contrast. Dan
Uhhh, yeah, there certainly are limits to this. That wasn't the original question. The original question asked if about a half grade increase could be gained. Speaking for only myself, my reply was based on first-hand empirical experience. In others words, I've done it many times, up or down a half grade that is. Got the original knowledge from Mr. Adams in "The Print". Believe he was very fond of dektol and used it extensively. Seeing as how "The Print" was last revised in 1982 or 1983, this is not new knowledge nor technique.
Originally Posted by Ryuji
Another trick you can use in conjunction with all other suggestions is to print with a very blue light, now you might think putting a colored filter in front of the light path will increase your exposure. Not as much as you might think. Graded paper produces more contrast with blue light and less contrat than usual with green light.
Without opening a can of worms you can always develop your negatives with a variation of Semi-Stand development.
Alex and Dan,
Well, half a grade can be small or large. On top of what can be had with Dektol 1+1 standard development? One half grade is a bit more than what you can do by changing this. With some paper I can't get any increase of contrast above standard development. But it may be somewhat paper dependent.
But at the same time, half grade boost can be had with print developer with some benzotriazole, and then use selenium or polysulfide toner until shadow deepsns. That'll give half grade increase.
Anyway, this is going to an endless loop, so I'll stop.
If there's any addition to this thread at a later time, I will add it to this page:
As it was mentioned earlier, I would suggest selenium toning the negative. That is usually good for a half grade increase, perhaps as much as a whole grade -- and it will protect the negative in the long term.
This way, you can stay with your present print development routine.
On a different tack...have you run a safelight test in your darkroom? If you are experiencing any safelight fogging, taking care of that might be all you need to do. I run a safelight test for our university darkroom every once and a while and post the results -- our darkroom is not very "safe" (paper out for 3 minutes in the brightest areas run the risk of fogging slightly), but we compromise on that in order to safely run a darkroom of 19 enlarger stations. Advanced students tend to pick the enlargers in the darker corners of the darkroom.
Good luck, you have gotten several interesting and potentially useful replies!