Exposure time and tone
So I continue my journey in the darkroom...
I was making tiny prints to see if I could get a tone I like. 2.5X3.5" from a 35mm negative.
I'm using strong LPD 1:1 and the exposure was 6s at f/8.
Once in the developer it came up very fast at about 8s or so.
I went ahead and developed for 2 min although I was thinking it only needed 1 min.
I was printing on Fomatone MG classic 133 and it was very neutral.
Selenium seemed to tone well but bleach/tone didn't (with lots of washing after fix and after bleach).
Does the amount of exposure effect how well it tones?
Does developing longer than necessary (with this combo) cause it to go neutral like that?
Of course I'll experiment, but like to have an understanding so I can adjust variables as I go.
Excluding toners, generally speaking less development (by time or dilution) gives a warmer colour and the colour proceeds to more neutral/cool (depending on the paper characteristics) as development continues.
What Michael says is my experience too. But remember, you must have a minimum of time to acheive thorough saturation and then even development.
I never dev a print for less than 2 min, usually LPD 1:2. I would use 1:1 only if I wanted a denser black and experienced fog with longer time. (To me this would be a very thin negative).
However, I generally use contrast adjustment to alter "blackness" in the shadows (I use Ilford MG Warmtone), and keep development time a constant. For acheiving different "tonal" qualities, you might try different paper/toner combinations, rather than varying development degree (either by dilution or time).
Ansel A once said that as developer becomes weaker (or if more dilute from the start), increasing time will yield the same results (up to when chemical fogging might occur). I never tested this.
Going off your comment about Ansel, is there a multiplier that can be used (roughly) of development time vs. shadows first appearing?
If they show in 8s I would say development would be shorter than if it was at 20s. A factor of 5 or 6 would mean about a min for the 8s and about 2min for the 20s.
Oh and it was warm in the darkroom/laundry room but I didn't take the dev temp.
google for factorial printing which will give you the development times as the developer gets weaker, or find a copy of the print and find the information located there.
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About the toning part: A sulfide toner using bleach will tone less the darker the print is, because it is a 'top down' type of developer that is most intense in the highlights. That's not necessarily a quality of the toner itself, but that's how the bleach works; the highlights bleach out first.
Therefore, if you want similar toning effect in a darker print with few highlights, you must bleach it longer than a lighter print.
Selenium, on the other hand, is a 'bottom up' type of toner, which works to convert the developed silver to silver selenide, and is most effective in the areas of a print that has the most silver density, so it starts to show visible change in the shadows first. Leave the print in for enough time, and eventually the print will be toned to completion, though.
Those are the toning variables.
Regarding print development, I used to use 2 minutes for 8x10 prints, 2m30s for 11x14, and 3m for 16x20, but have changed to 2m30s for 8x10, 3m20s for 11x14, and 4m for 16x20. I find that the extra time helps compensate for a move to a larger size print. But why I use constant times is simply because it's easier for me to get what I want that way. It also helps me identify if there is a problem with my paper.
I use replenished Ethol LPD, which has the approximate working strength of LPD 1+2, but obviously the left over bromides and such act as restrainers, so the behavior and tonality is a little different. Shadows are a bit more open, and the highlights take on this really beautiful radiance that I love.
The nice thing about replenished LPD is that it never goes weak, if replenished properly. It maintains its activity, and goes and goes and goes. The energizer bunny comes to mind.
(I still haven't tried using your trick with super strength lith developer, but some day I will).
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Yes, there is a factor which varies with each paper/developer combination.
Originally Posted by ann
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The Foma warm ttone papers are very responsive to tonal change with increased exposure and short development times, I sometimes cut the times to a bare minimum 45 seconds quite typically. I take care to make sure the prints get even development.
Here's an example (bottom of the page)
Thanks for the comments. This is a brand new mix of the lpd powder version. Tonight I'll play with closing down a stop or two and shortening development and see how that goes.
Ian I'm glad you chimed in because the i'm using is your it-8. It took awhile to get the yellow out but I made sure. I definitely saw some increase in blacks after toning so I went a grade lower on the contrast filter and that worked but I wasn't really getting any olive.
Thomas. Yea I plan to try the strong lith with enlarging here pretty soon . I had only done it with contact ambrotypes. I was even going to do it tonight but will probably work on some of these suggestions.
Actually that reminds me of my mgwt spelling issue with lith. I happened to be on the Ilford site and for regular development they recommended 10s exposure for all their papers. I'm wondering if my long exposures with my diy light setup caused issues...
I plan to try those contact prints again using an enlarger light now that I have one.