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  1. #11

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    Hi Bob,

    I'm quite familiar with this method but here is the point where the problem comes out:
    Too grey means you need to increase contrast, too blocked up means you need to reduce contrast
    I can not increase contrast as my magenta dial is at maximum position of 160

  2. #12

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    One thing that has not been mentioned is the film negative contrast. It is entirely possible that you have inadequate density range in your camera negative.

    There is no amount of magenta that will take a .55 density range (for instance) camera negative and have it print with anything other then what you have described.

    There is no amount of split printing that will provide the desired result if the camera negative is lacking something approximating the proper density range that matches the exposure scale of the paper. This applies to overly contrasty negatives and also to flat negatives.

  3. #13
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Looking at your options:

    1)Faded magenta filter (enlarger is quite old) but it doesn't look very faded)?
    *Possible, but dichroic filters are very long-life & you should be able to see if the magenta comes in as you add more with the enlarger light on.

    2)Old paper? I've got stock of papers from the guy who sold me the enlarger and he says he didn't print for almost 2 years
    *Also possible, but MGIV has a good shelf life - Ilford data says "up to 2 years" but practice suggests much longer before noticeable deterioration but I guess it depends a lot on how it was stored.

    3)Developer? Should not be old and was sealed
    *If unopened and under a year old should be OK - possibly not if over 2 years old (Agfa datasheet says "at least 12 months").

    4)Paper underexposure?
    *You've done this stuff before so unlikely...

    5) Something wrong with my head or hands? (Don't ask, I'm not going to change anything)
    *No comment!

    Don't suppose you have any of your old negatives around to try? A scanner can handle low contrast negatives easily - your recent negs may be lower in contrast than you think. Unless you can get a handle on it I guess you are going to have to get some fresh paper and developer...


    Good luck, Bob.

  4. #14

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    Hi! Thanks for your replies, people!

    Here is a couple of examples of scanned negatives:
    http://www.hlop.net/gallery.new/d/33...ros100-006.jpg
    http://www.hlop.net/gallery.new/d/33...ros100-003.jpg
    On prints, I'm trying to achieve something similar or bit more contrast but when I'm getting proper blacks, whites are grey and vice versa

    I'm certainly doing something wrong - I've tested paper (exposed without negative half covered) and safelight (two minutes beamed coin at paper) - everything is OK and as suppose to be. Exposed to clear light paper comes out with pure black and pure white areas and there is no trace of coin on safelight exposed paper.

    Also, I've bought some fresh paper and developer (fixer and stopper were fresh from the very beginning). Another, thing I've tried - Ilford multicontrast filters (below lens version). Old paper - Ilford MGIV and Agfa multicontrast. Fresh paper - Agfa multicontrast. Same result.

    Bob F.,
    Do not over-estimate my experience Yes, I've done stuff before but it was really long ago and now I'm lost and accepting any tips for a dummy-beginner

  5. #15

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    In consideration of what you have related, I would examine the camera negative. Does the negative have adequate shadow detail? If it has shadow detail then the exposure is probably adequate to look toward the amount of development that you are giving the film as the source of your problem.

  6. #16

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    Hi Hlop. Your neg scans look just fine.

    Try an exposure with NO filtration. With negs like those you should get an acceptable print. Try some short exposures times. Try 2 secs at a time on one inch strips across an 8X10 sheet. You will have 2,4,6,8,10, secs across the sheet. (5X2 sec exposure on the first strip gives 10 sec.)

    Good luck.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  7. #17

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    One more possibility - have you checked your enlarger bulb to make sure it's the proper type? I have run across folks who could not get a good print, no matter what they did. It turned out that the enlarger had a regular household bulb in it. That just doesn't work. It must be a bulb made for use in enlargers. Good luck.

  8. #18
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    When we eliminate all the things that are impossible, the one remainder, although *highly improbable* must be it.

    What should give you maximum contrast is giving you the exact opposite, minimum. What would happen if...?

    The more I read this, the more I suspect a mix-up between the Magenta and Yellow filters. Try one thing: print using only MAXIMUM Yellow, and see what happens.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennfromwy
    One more possibility - have you checked your enlarger bulb to make sure it's the proper type?
    It has no bulb - there is very specific projector lamp (little light source bulb with reflector) and I'm sure it will be too hard to find different lamp with the same connector type and form of reflector to fit into the socket

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    In consideration of what you have related, I would examine the camera negative.
    Negatives are not contrast - developed for 35 minutes in very diluted (20 ml of T-Max concentrate for 485 ml tank) developer to get all details in shadows and highlights. If you have a look to examples above you can see that they are quite good for scanner. But I really doubt that scanner (especially mid-range like Epson 4990) could do better job than enlarger. I didn't do any post-processing to those scans, except downsizing for a web

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