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  1. #1

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    too much contrast of too much tonal range?

    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

  2. #2

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    What paper are you using? Pardon my ignorance, but what grade is 140M supposed to be?

  3. #3

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    I don't have this enlarger but the magenta filter setting sounds as if it is for a print at grade 5 or close to 5 whereas if the negative has been properly exposed and processed and it sounds as if it has, then grade 5 is way too much contrast which would fit the description of the print. Try printing with the filter set at grade 2/2.5 and see how that turns out.

    pentaxuser

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Two reasons for not having enough shadow detail or highlight texture in a print:

    1. You have the enlarger set to too great contrast.
    2. The enlarging paper is unable to see the tones in the negative, i.e. the film is incorrectly exposed and developed.

    Or both.

    You should target what your paper is capable of when you shoot and process your film. Start with neutral filtration, adding no magenta and yellow, or equal amounts magenta and yellow.
    Making a decent negative is the starting point. Then you fine tune your printing after you achieved that.
    I recommend more film exposure, and then dial back developing time until you have a negative that prints OK at something roughly equal to Grade 2. That gives you a lot of wiggle room to increase and decrease contrast at the time of printing.

    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
    "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

  5. #5

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    wet

    What I love about wet printing is that you can do test strips. Cut up a sheet of film into narrow trips and try several different filtrations, exposure time, etc.

  6. #6
    cliveh's Avatar
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    What does a print or contact look like with no contrast control and no dodging. That will tell you volumes.
    Last edited by cliveh; 03-01-2014 at 04:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

    “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”

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  7. #7
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    You could burn the snow and dodge the trees.

  8. #8
    JLP
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    What does a print or contact look like with no contrast control and on dodging. That will tell you volumes.
    +1 That is a good starting point.
    _______________
    Jan Pedersen
    http://janlpedersen.com

  9. #9
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Contrast is a challenging subject to understand.

    Adding Magenta reduces the range of what prints, so try printing with no filters; 0,0,0.

    I've attached a diagram that hopefully helps you understand better.

    The black "line" represents a "normal" film curve. The red lines represent the range the paper can print. (Just FYI it is normal, as is shown, not to print the whole film curve.)

    0,0,0 is normally the middle of the print grade range.

    Starting from 0,0,0 and adding 140 magenta, as you did, when using VC paper brings the red lines quite a bit closer together. That means less highlight and shadow detail prints than "normal".

    Starting from 0,0,0 and adding 140 yellow when using VC paper moves the red lines quite a bit further apart. That means more highlight and shadow detail prints than "normal".
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails a.jpg  
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

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

  10. #10

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    Thanks. I am going to try a zero magenta and then try adding some yellow and just experiment. I had been told (apparently incorrectly) that the yellow has little effect. I see that this is not good advice. The negative looked pretty good with plenty of detail so I am thinking it must be the filter amount. I'll try again. Thanks!

    Alexis

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