Very long paper exposure times
Yesterday I tried to test my Durst M 600 with a 35mm negative to enlarge of size 20x25cm.
Enlarging lens: Schneider Kreuznach @f/8 50mm.
Paper: MCP 312
Without filter: Paper speed is ISO 400 require 20.2 sec(f-stop printing).
With Grade 3 filter: Paper speed is ISO 160 require 64 sec(approximately).
Paper: Adox Vario Classic
With Grade 3 filter: Paper speed is ISO 40 require 256 sec(approximately).
Filter was placed under the lens.
Paper Developer: ECO 4812 Moersch.
Question: Is it normal to have such a long exposure times for paper.
ive had some exposure times between 15-35 minutes hehehe. Dont worry about exposure times if the times you use get you where you need to be.
"Its my profession to hijack time" ~ Stephen Frizza.
With a small 75W enalarger bulb these times don't seem very very long, but it depends hugely on the negative and whether you are printing full-frame or just a portion of course.
You could check the bulb to see if it is heavily blackened and almost about to blow. Also, if it is a low power bulb can the enlarger cope with a 150W or 200W bulb as a replacement? If you are using some sort of halogen colour-head then those times do seem long but, again, check the condition of the bulb envelope and filament.
The times aren't long at all, I printed couple of pics yesterday from 35mm film on Durst 670 at f/8 - 11 on different 20x30 papers and had times between 25 and 80 seconds. I have to mention that the paper is outdated by about 6 - 7 years and still works not bad at all.
I tried to print full-frame. I have no idea whether this enlarger takes 150W bulbs.
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It depends on the negative density and the paper speed, obviously. If it helps soothe at all, I have printing times with the Leitz V35 enlarger (75W halogen) between 45 and 120 seconds usually. I like to be in that range as it makes my dodging and burning more consistent.
I think Stephen said it best. Don't worry about it. Just do. And don't be afraid of using your enlarging lens at a little bit larger apertures. While some difference can be found, if the picture is good, contrast is good, then the extra resolution you get at two to three stops down from maximum aperture isn't going to do much for how your print is appreciated, especially at the size you're currently printing. Just have fun, print a lot, and enjoy the ride. Think, in the grand scheme of things, how little time a couple of minutes is.
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
There are only two things I worry about with long exposure times:
1) Heat buckling the film.
Depending on the type of enlarger and whether your heat filters are in place, the longer the light is hitting the film, the greater the chance the film will buckle and move out of the zone of focus, causing blurry enlargements. Altering your ƒ-stop or using a glass negative carrier can counteract this tendency but you should still remember that more time might mean more heat. Certain types of cold light and/or diffusion enlargers won't have this problem so much. My Beseler does buckle the film, even with the heat filter in place. My Omega doesn't do it so much but I still have to think about it.
The other problem is that, the longer the exposure, the more chance there is for the enlarger to vibrate or get bumped, causing a blurry image.
Depending on the construction of your building, where the darkroom is located and how well your equipment is set up, even a truck driving by could cause vibration that could be noticed in a big enlargement. If you're a klutz like me, how many times have you accidentally whacked your head against the enlarger while working? Do that while you're making an exposure and it will cause a problem. I live right next to an airport runway and about a half-mile from some railroad tracks; both sources of vibration. Although my darkroom is in the basement, mostly immune from these sources of vibration, I still have noticed it when a big plane lands or when a truck drives by.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't use long exposure times. Sometimes you have to. I'm only mentioning the fact that, the longer the exposure, the greater the chance of problems. That's why I try to keep my exposure times under a minute. If I can get them down to 30 seconds, even better.
Actually I consider around 20 seconds the exposure I like to have. It allows a little dodging if needed, although that could be worked around with two exposures. When I first tried to make small prints on my return to B&W darkroom work I was getting times in the 5 to 10 second range and ended up buying a neutral density filter. With some timers it's difficult to make very small adjustments in exposure when the times are very short. Over a minute can be a test of the patience, but I wouldn't think much about it until it got up to four or five.
Now if I were trying to make a production run of 250 prints by tomorrow morning, yeah, 55 second exposures would be annoying (but if I ever agree to do that, please deliver me to the old folks home!)
My M601 will take either the PH211 (75W) or the PH212 (150W) bulb. The 150 will speed up exposure times.
Nevertheless, I was underestimating Fomapan 400(EI 200) with Rodinal 1+50(25mins with 3 inversion @every fifth minute) for a while.
I was amazed by the tones when printed on MCP 312...I am curious how it will look on Adox Vario Classic.