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  1. #11
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lange View Post
    Contrast used in a contact often differs from the actual grade required for a print.
    I've seen the same, prints generally take more.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #12
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    Precisely, Mark.

    In my opinion, contacts are really only useful for quickly evaluating what you've got on the roll. 35mm contacts are less helpful because they're so small as to hardly even provide you an idea of what you've truly got. I prefer to make 4x6 mini prints on cheap rc paper, or make a good scan of the neg to evaluate frames that I think might be worth taking to 11x16/16x20/20x24" FB. My scanner, a Minolta Scan Multi Pro, can deliver a 25x25" print from 6x6 at 300DPI with no interpolation with the glass holder, so if the neg holds up to that sort of enlargement (which I can preview on my computer) I know i won't have any trouble with it in the darkroom.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  3. #13
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Can you provide a scan of the contact and the enlargement, so we can see what you refer to as tonality?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #14
    David Allen's Avatar
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    Dear OP,

    What you have experienced is quite normal.

    A contact print is the result of direct contact to the photographic paper.

    When you enlarge an image other factors come into play:
    • Progressively lowering of contrast due to enlargement
    • Flare introduced by the lens
    • Individual tones being more apparent due to size of enlargement



    What you need to do is the following:
    • Find a negative where you have a shadow detail on a negative that is almost clear (i.e. it only has flare caused by your lens and any possible chemical fogging) and which will look almost as clear as the rebates (area that was not part of the image where the manufacturer's frame numbers/make of film is printed) but has slightly more visually density.
    • Use this area of the negative to find your minimum black time (this involves doing a test print where you give this area successively more exposure until any extra exposure shows no increase in the density of the black). Then you will know what is the minimum exposure required to achieve a full black on your print.
    • Using this exposure time do a series of tests at differing grades to find out what grade of paper will, at this exposure required to achieve a full black, give you bright highlights.
    • You now know what grade of paper you need to replicate the tonality you saw in the contact prints. This is the grade of paper you need to use in the future.
    • If, after these tests you find that your dark shadows are always too black, this will indicate that you need to give at least one more stop exposure to render the dark shadows with sufficient detail.
    • If, after these tests you find that you always need to use Grade V (the norm being between Grade II to III), this will indicate that you need to give at least 40% more development time.
    • If, after these tests you find that you always need to use Grade IV (the norm being between Grade II to III), this will indicate that you need to give at least 20% more development time.
    • If, after these tests you find that you always need to use Grade I (the norm being between Grade II to III), this will indicate that you need to give at least 20% less development time.
    • If, after these tests you find that you always need to use Grade 0 (the norm being between Grade II to III), this will indicate that you need to give at least 40% less development time.


    If anything is not clear, please send me a PM with full details of how you are working from exposure/film used, processing regime and which photographer's work you admire.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  5. #15
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Allen View Post
    Dear OP,

    What you have experienced is quite normal.

    A contact print is the result of direct contact to the photographic paper.

    When you enlarge an image other factors come into play:
    • Progressively lowering of contrast due to enlargement
    • Flare introduced by the lens
    • Individual tones being more apparent due to size of enlargement



    What you need to do is the following:
    • Find a negative where you have a shadow detail on a negative that is almost clear (i.e. it only has flare caused by your lens and any possible chemical fogging) and which will look almost as clear as the rebates (area that was not part of the image where the manufacturer's frame numbers/make of film is printed) but has slightly more visually density.
    • Use this area of the negative to find your minimum black time (this involves doing a test print where you give this area successively more exposure until any extra exposure shows no increase in the density of the black). Then you will know what is the minimum exposure required to achieve a full black on your print.
    • Using this exposure time do a series of tests at differing grades to find out what grade of paper will, at this exposure required to achieve a full black, give you bright highlights.
    • You now know what grade of paper you need to replicate the tonality you saw in the contact prints. This is the grade of paper you need to use in the future.
    • If, after these tests you find that your dark shadows are always too black, this will indicate that you need to give at least one more stop exposure to render the dark shadows with sufficient detail.
    • If, after these tests you find that you always need to use Grade V (the norm being between Grade II to III), this will indicate that you need to give at least 40% more development time.
    • If, after these tests you find that you always need to use Grade IV (the norm being between Grade II to III), this will indicate that you need to give at least 20% more development time.
    • If, after these tests you find that you always need to use Grade I (the norm being between Grade II to III), this will indicate that you need to give at least 20% less development time.
    • If, after these tests you find that you always need to use Grade 0 (the norm being between Grade II to III), this will indicate that you need to give at least 40% less development time.


    If anything is not clear, please send me a PM with full details of how you are working from exposure/film used, processing regime and which photographer's work you admire.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
    David, with all due respect, please note the OP states a Beginner question. I think this reply may be confusing at this stage. Let's try and find out what he means by tonality.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #16
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    Every time light passes through glass, there is some degradation of the image. Many years ago, I gave up and just bought larger cameras so that all prints are contact prints.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  7. #17
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybertrash View Post
    I was wondering, could this be due to too much enlargement, could I be pushing the limits of a handheld 125ASA 35mm negative? It should be noted that both prints were made on the same type of paper and both with a grade 2 "filter" (using a dichro head, so no filtration at all really).
    By "no filter at all really" do you mean you didn't dial any filtration and relied on the papers grade two default, or you dialed grade two for the contact print? If you didn't dial any filtration, you need to. If you did dial up the filtration, then maybe you need to add contrast as you enlarge. I sometimes find I need to add half to a full grade of contrast to get 8x10's to look close to my contacts from 35mm negs.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    David, with all due respect, please note the OP states a Beginner question. I think this reply may be confusing at this stage. Let's try and find out what he means by tonality.

    I thought he expressed it very well in his original post - what he exactly means by tonality.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #19
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    To kind of distill down what David said:
    1. Bump up your printing filtration a grade or so when you enlarge. Depending on the image, a grade 3 may give you the "pop" you're looking for if the contact sheet looks good at a grade 2.
    2. If your print only has dark shades of gray but no blacks, your print is underexposed. Expose long enough that you have some spot in the print go to maximum black.

  10. #20
    polyglot's Avatar
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    In addition to the above suggestion to consider the cleanliness of your enlarger lens, there's an annoying effect wherein increasing the size of a print reduces the apparent contrast even if the contrast has not changed at all (i.e. the same tonal range is represented).

    The problem is that our eyes are very good at auto-adjusting to absolute light levels so we don't really perceive the actual magnitude of the tonal range. Instead, we perceive the rate of change of brightness, i.e. the slope of density with respect to position. You've made an 8x enlargement, which means that the gradient present on the paper is 8x shallower than it is in the contact print.

    Making a larger print have as much impact as a smaller print generally requires you to bump up the contrast a little, which of course is a problem because the paper will no longer have enough tonal range. Assuming you fit the tonal range that you care about into the smaller print, it's not going to fit in the larger print. You may want to think about dodging & burning or masking in order to compress the total dynamic range of the image while maintaining high local contrast, i.e. the gradient present on the print: it will bring the print more impact from steeper gradients, more sparkle, etc, without loss of detail in highlights and shadows.

    Of course once you have the dodge/burn/mask etc techniques mastered and apply them to the small print, it may look even better.

    An 8x enlargement from FP4 should provide sufficient quality if it's well-processed. Grain is likely to be visible though so you lose a little smoothness from that: a matter of taste.

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