Please help me pin down this problem
Have a look at these three prints, the top one printed last week (not so saturated in real life), the bottom two last night:
The first two have the same settings (105M / 95Y, 7 seconds)
The bottom one is 60M / 50Y, 7 seconds
Why are the first two strikingly different?
After I made the first print I removed my lamp and put it back in (see this thread for why) - both prints use the same lamp. My Blix was new and my dev had been replenished. Paper is Endura and chemistry is Kodak replenisher.
After printing the second one I attempted to filter out the cast, not a bad attempt for a guess under artificial light. But what's going on here? The whites on the borders of the second two are also a little yellow - like the difference between milk and cream.
Something disturbed inside the enlarger?
I'm not saying that this is certainly your problem, but the second print shows under development. Are you sure the dev hasn't expired or that the temp was not way down? It really does look more like a chem related problem rather than filtration/exposure.
It's defiantly a chemical problem somewhere. If you think about it they have all been masked, in an easel, to give you a white border. Therefore filtration will have no affect on the white border it’s not getting any light. So for the border to be affected it must be a chemical problem. Check the temp of the chemical as well.
Thanks. I'm going to mix some fresh developer and try again.
Steve. Not really relevant to solving your problem but what I find striking is how little effect on the overall look a drop of 45 M&Y has had. It shows the range that Kodak paper will tolerate and still look about right. From my experience of Fuji a difference of as little as 10 units gives the print a radically different look. 1st and 3rd might contend with each other depending on the viewer's attitude towards colour, especially skin tones. They'd never compare if this was Fuji paper in my experience.
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I've found the Kodak paper is very tolerant and easy to fine tune as +/- 10 or 5 units makes subtle differences. I'd read before that Fuji paper was narrower in tolerance, needing just 1 or 2 units for Kodak's 5 or 10. At the moment I'm very happy with Endura and Edge is also nice (but thinner). Toward the end of last year there were rumours of Endura's demise and talk of Fuji coming back in sheet form (via a 3rd party). I hope the Kodak papers continue as switching to Fuji will inevitably mean changing my habits and having a steady hand on the colour dials.
The second picture above shows almost no Blue or Green exposure or development. I cannot tell which. It resembles a photo exposed through a very strong red filter such as used when focusing an enlarger. The top and bottom prints differ substantially. The top one is the only one that looks "normal" to me. The bottom one looks very low in contrast and desaturated, as if it were underdeveloped.
I'm going to mix fresh developer tomorrow and try a new print. Hopefully, I'll be able to blame the dev for the 2nd and 3rd prints.
I'm starting to suspect there might be a mechanical rather than chemical cause at play here.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
I just turned on the enlarger, set 105M / 95Y and the light is bright red. When I swing the red filter under the lens, I cannot tell the difference.
If I dial 60M / 50Y, the image looks more like what I'm used to seeing when I print.
The back of the Kodak paper box, incidentally, recommends a starting filtration of 65M 55Y.
Too late in the day to experiment now, I'll report back tomorrow after changing the developer.
Reporting back. I mixed new developer, checked temperature (32C) and waited a good 5 minutes before printing to let my eyes adjust so I could check for light leaks. Here's the results (not so saturated in real life):
Top: original print made last week (105M, 95Y)
Bottom right: print made this morning (105M, 95Y)
Bottom left: print made this morning (70M, 55Y) (borders are bright white)
I then changed my bulb to a new one that arrived yesterday and the pattern was the same.
I decided to try a B&W print:
Top: print made a few months ago (170M, 0Y)
Bottom: print made today (170M, 0Y)
So, in sum, prints made in B&W seem consistent. In colour, I have a shift of around -30M, -40Y. I've been printing Superia 800 on this enlarger for over a month using a starting base of 100M, 90Y. Now that seems to have shifted to 70M, 55Y. Next I'm going to open a new box of paper and try a sheet. After that I'll look inside the enlarger head to see if there's anything obviously wrong (anyone have a scanned user's manual for a LPL C7700?).