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  1. #1
    Shiny's Avatar
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    Over agitation? or...

    Lately i have been dissapointed with the sharpness of my negatives. I seem to be getting 'fluffy' edges and poor resolution. I have been developing all my films in a Jobo CPE2 for some time now (the older version with the slow setting) and im wondering if this is the problem. Some of my older negs from before the Jobo are incredibly sharp... but other things may have changed, i moved house?! I almost always use Delta 100 and Perceptol at the moment, but had similar results with ID11.

    Thanks
    Jim

  2. #2

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    My set up is pretty much like yours - Jobo, FP4, ID-11 (1+2). I love the sheet and roll negs from this set up. Did some 120's yesterday and felt well pleased with sharpness.
    Is your problem in camera (or eyes)?
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience several years ago. My search for sharper negatives led me to Barry Thornton's "Edge of Darkness." I implemented most of his recommendations for sharper negatives, including aperture of taking lens, ALWAYS using a tripod, cable release and mirror lock up, film developer, agitation method, enlarger alignment, focusing, etc. I think all of the factors contribute to sharper negatives, but I believe my biggest problem was using the Jobo on the fastest (recommended) setting.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

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    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  4. #4
    Shiny's Avatar
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    i don't notice so much with 120's, but my 35's are definately not so good - i hope its not my eyes, ears and hips have already gone!

    I dont think its the camera - same one as ever, Olympus OM-2. Im going to give the old hand method a go again - and do a jobo/hand comparison, if you will..

    cheers
    jim

  5. #5

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    It might just be the eyes; we all get older. Perhaps if you borrowed a friends auto-focus camera, did the tripod & cable release/self-timer thing. It might answer one question you have.

  6. #6

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    Sad to say, but probably the least likely cause is processing.
    For me it's been combination of eyes and getting lazy about mechanics. I've gotten really careful about focusing, and holding the camera or using a tripod, and sharpness has improved.

  7. #7
    Shiny's Avatar
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    I don't really think it's the eyes (im only 30!, the ears and hips were just bad luck, but connected) it's obvious whats in-focus and what's not in the prints - it's just edge definition is very poor.

    Im not all that keen on lugging around too much stuff with dodgy hips, so i normally only take a tripod and MF if im going out to get something specific, some of the sharpest shots i've got in the past have been handheld, maybe that was just luck though!

    Some time ago i moved to a Diffuser enlarger from a Condenser, i assumed this was the problem so i set up the old enlarger again and did some comparisons - slight improvement but obviously not the problem.

    My last 2 rolls were somewhat dense, i may have over developed slightly - i usually do this stuff late after work when my brain may not be functioning all that well!

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Jim, time to start with the basics again. Film speed, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, tripod, cable release, development, print. One thing I did to get sharper images was to go to a heavy tripod way back when, but is sounds like this isn't an option for you at this point. Next best thing is shutter speed, no movemnet from a fast shutter, but d.o.f. comes into play as a consequence. A bag with rocks on the bottom of your tripod may help to dampen vibration. I'm still convinced that a block of concrete with a heavy ball head attached, would be the best tripod but it does have some drawbacks.

    About development, I don't use a machine, ever. Since I'm a hobbyist and have time, I've gone to minimal agitation or stand development and will never go back now. I use pyrocat-hd, which may not be available to you, but rodinal is a great option as well at 1:100. The increase in sharpness from slow development and increased dilution must be seen to be appreciated. It is a huge leap, which I would say rivals the change from hand-held to a good tripod. If you take a bit of time to read about slower agitation in the forums, you may decide to give it a try.

    Back to basics! Best, tim

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
    My last 2 rolls were somewhat dense, i may have over developed slightly - i usually do this stuff late after work when my brain may not be functioning all that well!Jim
    There's your answer right there. Over exposure and/or over development will both contribute to less sharpness and resolution. So maybe the Jobo is partially to blame. Constant agitation doesn't lead directly to over development, but it does speed up development.

  10. #10
    Shiny's Avatar
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    cheers for all the advice, i have a few ideas to try. I think my developing has probably got a bit slack lately, i'll leave the jobo to 12X16 prints for the moment and try to refine my process slightly.

    Jim

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