Properly developed negatives
Can anyone point me to a web site that has pics of properly developed B&W negs, against over and underdeveloped ones please. Funny I cant find one, either the google imps are at it again or the brain has got fogged over.
Thanks Matt, but i'm still none the wiser !, having only ever developed 2 films and one turning out with a purple tint, im not very good at judging, this one is now kind of all the same shade of grey throughout, allthough I can see a picture on each frame, and the words in clear black ilford delta 400 pro on them. I used the correct dev etc, all fresh, and stuck to the times religiously.temp was ok too, so I dont know what I have done I was kind of hoping to see pics of the negs as you would hold them up but these too me look like their lit up. probably wrong again arent I. Oh well back to the grindstone.
Thanks again Matt.
I thought those were great illustrations, but I know what you mean. There are too many variables here, from film loading to washing, and you will save time if you avoid speculation and just get another roll out and keep notes on what you do.
The answer is somewhere in your process, and I know the feeling: gimme printable negs now! But I never find anything on a goose-chase. There is a flaw in your process somewhere (or more than one, usually with me) and the only way to find it is to start at the start. Sorry if this is not definitive. If Matt's link is of no help, shoot another roll, see what happens.
That page was good. Pity the pictures are a little small. But to help you understand a bit further:
Originally Posted by momo
1. Exposure controls shadow detail.
2. Development controls highlight detail.
Hence proper exposure means you should be able to see shadow details (ie black hair, dark clothes, etc) CLEARLY on a negative, regardless of development.
Proper development means you should be able to see highlight details (ie white clothes, whitwashed walls, etc) CLEARLY on a negative, without having them blown out (ie completely black on a negative with no discernible texture)
Hence, when you have proper exposure and overdevelopment, your shadow detail will be ok (ie you can see the strands of hair clearly in the negs, assuming the person had black hair) but your negs will be very "thick" because the highlights are overblown and thus there may be large of thick black where you would have expected some detail.
For proper exposure but underdeveloped, your hair detail will still be there, you will see some highlight detail, but your negs will be thin, ie the white shirt will not be dark enough on the neg.
Insufficient exposure and overdevelopment will give loss of shadow detail (ie you will see a smudge in the hair instead of the individual strands) and thick dark patches (for the white shirt). This is also referred to as "push processing".
Insufficient exposure and underdevelopment is the worst crime. You have no shadow detail (hair is is a patch on the neg) and weak highlights.
Of course, proper exposure + proper development is the best-- shadow detail is good, highlights are not blown out.
Hope this helps you understand the pictures and illustrations in the link.
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I have this from Kodak F5 publication. Hope it will help.
Thanks guys, I don't know why but I always expected the sprocket holes as I call them to be absolutely clear, with perfect little pictures inside clearly defined and see through borders on negatives, well why not!!, my hameg test neg is like that!!. Maybe I am expecting too much. Its very annoying when I put that in the enlarger, expose and print, and it comes out A1. I have never held or seen a properly exposed and developed B&W neg in my hands so I can't judge in real time and real life, if that makes sense.
This is a good article. An old rule of thumb was that if you put the negative flat on a newspaper, you should barely be able to read the print through the densest areas. That doesn't address things like contrast, which the article does, but it still is a reasonable quick test.
Originally Posted by MattKing
For me, a properly exposed and developed neg is one that prints properly on a #2 paper for the minimum exposure in the enlarger which, through clear film,produces the maximum black thepaper and film developer can produce--not necessarilly one that looks a certain way on the light box.
As for the purple tint, try refixing and rewashing the negs. Oh, and in lieu of a fancy light box, just go to your word processing program, open a blank page, and use that as a standard for viewing your negs. Keep at it. You' soon get the hang of it.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
If you don't know what a properly exposed neg looks like, the page linked to above does show you!
The film base should be clear, but may have a slight color tint. This is normal and should not worry you.
If the film rebate is anything but clear with crisp black lettering, it has been inadvertently exposed to light somewhere in your process or your chemistry is suspect to be bad, really bad (but you said it was all fresh so let's eliminate that).
The part of your negative that holds the shadow details should have vaguely identifiable tones and details, with emulsion density slightly thicker than film base clear.
The part of your negative that holds the highlight details should look pretty dense, almost opaque, but you should still be able to see through it.
It's that simple, and the 'correctly exposed, correctly developed' frame in the article linked to above clearly shows this. That is how your negative should look. Like I said, don't worry if you have a slight purple tint to your negative. It's OK. It will still print or scan just fine.
What you should worry about is if the color of the film base is so thick that it obscures the shadow details and lends any actual film density to the rebate of the film. The film base should definitely be clear.
If you have a milky looking residue on the emulsion, the negative hasn't been fixed long enough. Usually that can be helped by soaking the film in water and re-fixing. Then go through the washing regimen again to wash out the fixer.
Hold up your negative towards (not directly against) a sun-lit window and compare it with the correctly exposed/developed negative in the article.
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