Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 72,423   Posts: 1,596,717   Online: 919
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    5

    Printing Problem: Developers and papers

    Hi,

    So, I just recently set up a darkroom for the first time. I did some darkroom work in school, but I never really knew the details of the chemicals and papers, so I'm in the process of learning all that now.

    I've started printing, using Ilford RC pearl paper, and Kodak Polymax T developer, and I haven't been able to get any good prints. Everything comes out a hazy grey-brown color. I checked the paper, it's fine. I tried adjusting the contrast w/ filters, but that didn't help.

    So, I thought that maybe there was a problem with the developer I was using. Does anyone know anything about Polymax T? Does it not work well with Ilford papers?

    Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    13,100
    Images
    60
    Hi, and welcome to APUG.

    I use Ilford RC pearl paper and Kodak Polymax T developer regularly, and it works well for me.

    The developer has an "expiry date" imprinted on the bottle. It is near the top "shoulder". I've found that it lasts well past that date, but there is a limit to that I'm sure.

    How do you know that the paper is "fine"? Have you tried it in some other developer?

    Is it MGIV RC paper? I ask because if it is MGIII RC paper, it is very old, and most likely almost unusable.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3
    trotkiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    København, Danmark
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    140
    Images
    6
    "Have you done a safe light test?" and "How light tight is your darkroom?" are the first 2 questions that come to mind for me.

    What temp/dilution are you using the Polymax at? Is your water temp less than 18 C/64.5 F?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    5
    The paper is MGIV RC. What I meant by 'fine' was that the paper wasn't exposed to light or anything like that. When I put it in the developer it stays white.

    I haven't done a safe light test, what is that? The room is light tight as far as I can tell. I can't see anything when the safe-lights are on and there are no cracks of light.

    I have no idea what my temp/dilution is. When I mixed the developer I did 112 ml of developer and 1000 ml of water, but I didn't check the temperature. Is temperature an important factor when diluting developer?

    Like I said, I'm pretty much a beginner, so I really don't know any of this stuff.
    Last edited by BSAP; 10-31-2011 at 06:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Live Free or Die
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,606
    Images
    91
    How long are you leaving the paper in the developer?
    What are the negs like, for example, can you read a news paper through them, with only the darkest parts of the neg obscuring the type? (good) Or, light with no really dark areas? etc.?
    Are the negs in focus?
    If the negs are sharp, and reasonably exposed, then most likely the problem is somewhere in your printing technique, or the set up.

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    13,100
    Images
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by BSAP View Post
    The paper is MGIV RC. What I meant by 'fine' was that the paper wasn't exposed to light or anything like that. When I put it in the developer it stays white.

    I haven't done a safe light test, what is that? The room is light tight as far as I can tell. I can't see anything when the safe-lights are on and there are no cracks of light.

    I have no idea what my temp/dilution is. When I mixed the developer I did 112 ml of developer and 1000 ml of water, but I didn't check the temperature. Is temperature an important factor when diluting developer?

    Like I said, I'm pretty much a beginner, so I really don't know any of this stuff.
    Responding in sequence...

    1) Take a small piece of the paper and expose it to room light. Then turn off the lights (leaving the safelight on) and develop the paper for two minutes, followed by stop bath or water rinse and then fixer. When fixing is complete, is the paper black? If not, either paper or developer (or both) aren't working properly.

    2) Here is a link giving Ilford's suggested safelight test procedure: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/applications/page.asp?n=148. A safelight test will, however, only reveal something useful if your paper and developer are capable of doing their job.

    3) Your developer dilution appears correct (1 part concentrate + 9 parts water). The temperature you work at is also important, within a reasonable range. If the developer is very cold (less than 18 C/64.5 F as trotkiller mentioned) it doesn't work very well.

    Were you able to check the expiration date of your developer? And with respect to your paper, does the label on the back indicate that it was manufactured by Ilford Imaging, or Harman Technology? If it says Ilford Imaging, it is quite old.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  7. #7
    trotkiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    København, Danmark
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    140
    Images
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Were you able to check the expiration date of your developer? And with respect to your paper, does the label on the back indicate that it was manufactured by Ilford Imaging, or Harman Technology? If it says Ilford Imaging, it is quite old.
    The OP did post that his/her developer has an exp date of 2013 but then he/she deleted it when they edited the above post.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    5
    The label says "Made in England by Ilford Imaging." I knew the paper was old when I got it, it was given to me by the guy I bought my Enlarger from, but I was told that RC paper lasts awhile. Would the age of the paper be causing my printing problems?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Live Free or Die
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,606
    Images
    91
    That it's RC doesn't add or detract from its longevity compared to fiber papers, for example, I've used MG paper stored in some pretty bad conditions that worked fine. But Matt's test would be worthwhile. A test for fogging would be good too, cut a sheet in half. Develop and fix one piece, and only fix the other. If the paper isn't fogged, they should match very closely.

    I haven't worked with the Polymax developer, but most developers need 1 to 2 minutes to get the paper to it's full black, so if you are processing shorter than that, the processing time could be a cause of your results.

    If you see stains occuring after the print has been in the fix, then you may be working with bad fixer.

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    13,100
    Images
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by BSAP View Post
    The label says "Made in England by Ilford Imaging." I knew the paper was old when I got it, it was given to me by the guy I bought my Enlarger from, but I was told that RC paper lasts awhile. Would the age of the paper be causing my printing problems?
    The problem might very well be due to the age of the paper (Ilford Harman took over from Ilford Imaging in February 2005). Any problems would be compounded if the paper was stored in adverse conditions (high heat and/or high humidity).

    Simon Galley is a director of Ilford Harman who posts here on APUG regularly. If you send him an APUG private message ("PM") with the emulsion number of the paper and a request, most likely he will be able to get back to you with a production date. He has been known to send other good things as well (hint: include your mailing address and a description of your current darkroom experience).

    My suggestion would be to get some new paper and try again - Polymax T is a very good choice with Ilford papers.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin