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Thread: Grey Prints

  1. #11

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    Sorry all, thankyou for your replies so far. I have now posted the four images in the technical gallery. There is an untouched scan a, and developed a, and the same for image b. As can be seen from the scan's whilst the images aren't great and some twenty years old there appears to be no reason as to why I should not be able to replicate this and better via traditional methods. But currently I at a loss as to where to go, and I don't want to end up using the computer.

    Many thanks, in advance.

  2. #12

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    We are all throwing questions at you and are having to home in on possible causes without as yet knowing what you do from putting the neg into the enlarger onwards.

    Tell us in some detail the exact steps you follow and we stand some chance of giving you some decent advice.

    The kind of Q and A the tread is already generating might or might not get you to a solution but I guarantee it will be a slower route than the one I have suggested. For instance you still haven't said whether you use filters and if you do how you decide on what filters.

    That was just a "for instance". Don't simply reply that you do or don't use filters, That gets us back to 100 Q and A posts which is the "slow way" to getting you to a solution.

    Tell us exactly what you did that resulted in a "grey print". A scan that represents what the grey print looks like will help if you can manage one

    pentaxuser

  3. #13
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    First things first: show us a backlit picture of the negative, please. 99% of the time, everything you need to know about a print is there.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  4. #14
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    If the borders are white, then it is not fog. If it is fog, then the problem is rather obvious, either safelight fog or overdevelopment, but if they are not fogged, then the prints have been made with a very low contrast grade. You should increase the grade by at least 2 units. I cannot judge from the prints any more than this. I did not see a negative scan, but they are not very revealing due to the changes that are often made by most scanner software.

    PE

  5. #15

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    I start at inserting the negative and running at test strip, at 4 seconds each strip/slice unfiltered and this has given me variable success by variable it gave me very light strips through each sequence and the longest exposed was a weak mid tonned grey. So given that I decided that as no filtering either the colour head on inserts had been used ( a default grade of two for ilford filters) I decided to use a grade three filter with the Massodax Photometer. I placed the filter in it holder and then placed the photometer in the centre of the projected image to get a film speed index of 6 and an exposure of 32 seconds. Ran this which gave me a lighter grey image of "developed B" . So then I thought ok, it is perhaps to long an exposure so dropped to 25 seconds which produced the developed b you now see in the technical gallery (the "best" image produced so far). There appears to be no safe light fog that I've discovered so far. Dipoter is set for and producing white light, Developer was bought new four months ago, new solution mixed every time I use it today for example when these were produced. In addition to which I developed some paper negatives last week that reached dense black. Grade 3 filter has been used to produce "developed b" today if I go higher then I get more grain, which isn't wanted at this stage. The enlarger lens is stopped down one step from wide open from the beginning.
    Last edited by andyaitken; 07-01-2011 at 06:14 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: amendement

  6. #16
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    Andy;

    You have to get more filtration in there to up contrast to about grade 4 if these prints were made with zero filtration or even with a filtration equivalent to a grade 2. Make sure that the filters are working properly if they are above the lens and set by the enlarger mechanism. My enlarger recommends a 30 Magenta for grade 2 with Ilford MGIV.

    PE

  7. #17

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    PE

    The filters are set above the lens in the Projcetor head below the condenser lens. A filter grade 3 was used to produce developed b. In addition, I have taken out the filter and used the colour grades which in this instance were Yellow 5 and Magenta 40 for Ilford grade 3 which gave me a similar print.

  8. #18
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    What developer are you using, and at what concentration? Are the borders white?

    PE

  9. #19

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    OK It looks as if we can rule out old dev. Have you had any success previously with current paper and other negs or is this the first time you have used your current set of equipment? If so how do you know it is OK?

    As PE has asked: Are the borders of the grey prints white - no hint of grey?Test a piece of paper by taking it straight from box in darkness and dev and fix in darkness. Do not use the safelight. This should be white. If it is then it suggests that the safelight may be unsafe? Tell us about the safelight. Was it previously safe? Try another piece of paper from the box. Have you some other negs to try that you know produced good prints in the past ?

    Choose a neg with a good range of whites to blacks. Do a test strip of exposures. Based on current exposures try at least 5 exposures at 10,15, 20, 25 and 30 secs at whatever f stop you are currently using. Use a part of the neg that has textured whites and textured blacks. Are you getting good whites and blacks as well as greys or is everything still grey?

    If so and as you have used the grade three under lens filter without success, try the dichroic head filters instead. Use the dual filters as per the Ilford recommendations for grade 3 based on the kind of enlarger you have.

    The correct exposure will be more than the correct exposure unfiltered so start at the unfiltered exposure and increase by 5 secs each time.

    You should be beginning to get close to a reasonable print. If it is still grey and low contrast move to grade 4 and try again.

    Do not use your analyser/ meter at all. If the greyness has gone then it points to the analyser/meter being probably faulty if you have eliminated the safelight as a possible problem.

    Have you only just acquired this equipment? Have you been able to produce good prints previously?

    It isn't clear to me what prints you were making before you acquired your current equipment.

    Are you sure that the dev is correctly diluted? Are you using Ilford dev times?


    pentaxuser

  10. #20

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    Ilford PQ Developer 1+9 at 22 degrees. Yes the borders are white, I normally process in developer for a minute as developed b was push any further beyond say 1min 20 secs and borders begin to turn grey also.

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