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  1. #1
    dec
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    darkroom beginner with problems(ye think?)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ive got a problem regarding my developing contact sheets and i dont think its opperator error now that i tried a few tests.the contacts came out very gray with no true black.i exposed paper alone(as a test) for 2secs intrvals and 30 sec intervals up to 1min 30 secs and the paper comes out gray .i believe ive got the chemicals down regards to mix ,temp and time but still this gray result and no black..any help ? please and thanks ,,declan

  2. #2
    Dietmar Wolf's Avatar
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    You believe. Could you please tell us specific, what chemicals, how old, how did you mix them?

    What paper, how old?

    Thank you.

  3. #3

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    If you take a sheet of paper from the box and develop it directly, without exposing it, does it come out gray or white?

    If white, check to make sure that your safelight is safe, and your darkroom is dark by laying a sheet of paper on your easel with a metal object on the paper - a coin, pair of scissors, whatever. Leave it for 5 mins or so (do not expose) then develop the paper - if you see the outline of the object, then you either have a light leak or your safelight isn't.

  4. #4
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I think you have some beginners trouble with the forums as well:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum237/...-problems.html

    You probably used variable contrast paper: what filter are you using?
    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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  5. #5
    gainer's Avatar
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    If you used a developer designed for paper and developed for 2 minutes, you should get a good black. Cut up a piece of paper for test strips. Throw one in the developer with room lights on. It's GOT to turn black in less than 2 minutes or there's something wrong with the developer.

    Tell us what developer you are using for the paper.
    Gadget Gainer

  6. #6
    Akki14's Avatar
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    What f-stop do you have the lens set at? You need it fairly bright to expose the paper and I've found contact proof sheets always seem to take longer or need brighter light to expose it correctly.

  7. #7

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    A proof sheet shouldn't require any more light than any of the negatives would if they were in the enlarger, with the enlarger at the same height used for the proof sheet. That is, put an empty carrier in, adjust the height to produce an 8x10, focus the lens using the edge of the carrier. In this configuration, a proper exposure for the proof sheet will give you the proper exposure for an 8x10, or at least it should be very close.
    If you mostly do smaller prints, then you'd need to reduce the light some for the enlargement.
    As for the original problem, 1 1/2 minutes of exposure should be plenty, unless the enlarger produces very little light. I agree that a good first step would be a developer test using a completely fogged test sheet. If that works, then it would be helpful to know what enlarger, lens, etc. Especially if it has a color head. For example, in the case of a color head, what filtration is set, if any?

  8. #8

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    Definitely need more info on what dec actually did. Grayness could be many things. But it sounds like the developer needs to be figured out. What paper are you using. what about just exposing the paper to room light and seeing what happens? I can't really help you without knowing more.

  9. #9

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    Dear Dec,

    PM me your address and I will send you the ILFORD Photo MULTIGRADE printing manual, it helps when you are starting out.

    Simon ILFORD photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  10. #10
    DBP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon R Galley View Post
    Dear Dec,

    PM me your address and I will send you the ILFORD Photo MULTIGRADE printing manual, it helps when you are starting out.

    Simon ILFORD photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
    And this is why we love Ilford.

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