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  1. #11
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Experimentation is good.

    Starting at normal is good.

    At each grade experiment with exposure.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  2. #12

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    Read a book on darkroom printing, or take a course.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesMorris View Post
    Read a book on darkroom printing, or take a course.
    When I see posts like this and ones that say read the negative or print by AA, I can't help thinking they are not very useful to the original poster. If someone has a problem in their photographic processing or technique and they post as such on APUG, then the least we can do is provide advice to get them to the next stage. Telling them to read a book or study XY or Z is a cop out.

    “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

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesMorris View Post
    Read a book on darkroom printing, or take a course.
    Excellent advice and whether you take a course or read a book you will probably come across a good piece of advice which is to print the neg with the full range of grades from 0-5. See which grade makes the best print then look closely at the neg again and after a few attempts at this you will very quickly be able to work out what each neg requires in terms of grade.

    My experience is that with a scene of normal range and normal light conditions and exposed at box speed and processed according to the manufacturer's instructions the neg will print at between 2.5/ 3.5.

    This is what the manufacturer of the film and developer intended to be the case and for the sake of its sales of film and developer it has to work. If it didn't then we would not have to bother about the future of analogue. It would have been: Analogue photography RIP a long time ago

    pentaxuser

  5. #15

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    I think the advice here has been very good, especially about first making a contact print, then using a test strip, and not using any filtration to start with. That, of course, is what will be stressed in a book or a course.
    Last edited by momus; 03-01-2014 at 06:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16

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    Sorry, double post. I'd better read a book :}

  7. #17
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    The enlarging paper has a chart to show what contrast 140M is. It's pretty high in contrast and I hardly ever need that much magenta. Set it to zero and increase or decrease contrast as needed.

  8. #18
    jcc
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    The magenta filter will cut your contrast on paper, as people have already noted. If the range of the film is too great for the paper to handle, you can try split filtration. Assuming you're using multigrade paper, test the highlights with 00 or -1 (or whatever your lowest contrast filter is; usually yellow) and choose the shortest time that gives you the detail that you want from the brightest highlights; test the shadows with 5 or 5+ (or whatever you highest contrast filter is; usually magenta/red) and choose the longest time that gives you the detail that you want from the darkest shadows. Make the final print using the corresponding times with the proper filter—so expose the same paper twice with each filter. All the gray values in between those two should fall into place. Tweak it from there if it still doesn't please you.

    Disclaimer: This is not the end all be all—there are lots of ways to print. This is just how I would deal with it, as I'm sure others have their own ways.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fralexis View Post
    I developed a 4x5 Arista 200. It looks like a good negative on the lightbox with plenty of texture in both the shadows and the highlights. It is a scene of a winter graveyard with snow and dark trees in the background and headstones in the mid ground.

    When I print, the background trees are very dark and the snow completely blown out with no texture. I had exposed at f11 with a magenta filter set at 140 on a Beseler Dicro 45S. The time was 12 seconds. Perhaps I need to print with no magenta. To get everything correct maybe I would need to do extensive bring and dodging. I am not good at that and isolating the headstones would be really difficult for me. Can it be that the tonal range is simply too great to make a decent print? Thanks!

    Alexis
    Alexis,

    With all due respect, it seems that you do not fully understand how variable contrast paper works with your dichroic head. Your 140M setting is the MOST contrasty you can get, and you complain about too much contrast...

    Although it does seem a bit flippant just to say, "read a book or take a course," literacy is a wonderful thing, and there is much information easily available about this topic (including the instruction sheet that came with your paper ) to get you going with your filter settings and contrast. You will, however, have to read, digest and understand the information first.

    Start here:

    http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/...0201152306.pdf

    Good luck,

    Doremus

  10. #20

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    You may also want to think about using the Dual Filtration method indicated by your papers instruction sheet. This uses a mixture of M and Y and usually results in more even exposure times between the grades.

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