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  1. #1

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    Is there a way to go beyond grade 5 on multi-grade paper?

    I have a nice but thin neg that I'm trying to print.

    Since it was severely under exposed, the dynamic range in the image simply isn't there. Using grade 5 and some dodging, I got close to what I want but I would like a bit more contrast. Other than selenium toning to bring little more density in shadow area, is there anything I can else I can do to get more contrast out of this image? I'd rather not intensify the neg... so I'm looking for a method I can employ on printing side.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Yes, process the multigrade paper in high-contrast (Lithography) developer.

  3. #3
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    Is there a way to go beyond grade 5 on multi-grade paper?

    Find a higher contrast developer. You can also work with clever dodging and burning in order to increase black levels in 'smart' areas, as well as finding brighter whites by dodging.
    Finally, you could try lith printing, which is able to give you much higher contrast levels.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #4
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Maybe try contact printing it twice, using paper, emulsion to emulsion. You will probably start to loose quite a bit of detail in shadows.

    You could also copy the image using a high contrast film/ developer combo, and print that. Enlarge onto high contrast litho film, and print that too.

  5. #5

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    I didn't think of using a different developer. I currently have Dektol only. I understand increase in hydroquinone adds to contrast. I wonder if this is possible? I don't know enough photo chemistry but I know Dektol had hydroquinone as a component already. I happen to have a small jar of it thinking I'd start mixing my own.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  6. #6
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    You can bleach the print in select areas with a swab to brighten it up.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  7. #7
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Is there a way to go beyond grade 5 on multi-grade paper?

    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    I didn't think of using a different developer. I currently have Dektol only. I understand increase in hydroquinone adds to contrast. I wonder if this is possible? I don't know enough photo chemistry but I know Dektol had hydroquinone as a component already. I happen to have a small jar of it thinking I'd start mixing my own.
    Adjusting your developer to get more out of your print is common, and something printers would do to find 'half grades' with graded paper.
    I use LPD, for example, and the difference between 1+1 and replenished is big.

    Jon's suggestion on selective bleaching is also good, to extract more range from the tones in the negative.

    If you normally print using diffusion enlarger, you can also try a condenser head enlarger. That will give a bit more contrast.

    Finally, check which paper yields the maximum contrast at G5 filtration or max magenta.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #8

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    If you think that selenium toner will not produce enough intensification you can try using a chromium intensifier on the negative. I would suggest that you read up on this process before you try it. If the negative has been improperly fixed or washed there could be problems.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. #9
    Patrick Robert James's Avatar
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    For printing I have found the paper with the most contrast is Ilford MGIV. You may try a 47b filter with the paper you are already using which, depending on the paper, could give you just a little more ooomph. You could also try to find some old graded paper. Agfa made papers up to grade 6, but they probably will have lost some contrast by now. You don't say what paper you are using, but Kentmere for example will never reach grade 5 which could be your problem.

    Overall the best thing to do I think is to overprint it a little and gently bleach back the highlights. This will more closely resemble a normal print than using a high contrast or lith developer since the bleach won't affect the shadows much. A high contrast developer will tend to completely dump the shadows. Bleaching may shift the tones a little toward the warm side in the highlights.

    If this doesn't work for you, you may try intensifying the neg (even though you state you don't want to). There are many methods for this but the easiest ones are Selenium toning, Sepia toning, or bleaching and redeveloping in a staining developer like PMK or Pyrocat. If you are almost there with a straight print this could put you over the top. I have saved more than a few images doing this.


    Hope that helps.

  10. #10
    piu58's Avatar
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    You can come to considerably more contrasty prints when you
    - use high concentrated paper developer. Try 1+4.
    - longer development time, try 3 minutes
    - max. magenta filtering PLUS a grade 5 sheet filter
    - selenium toning.
    All that may be combined.
    ---
    Uwe Pilz

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