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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    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.
    Will be even less contrast. I've already tried this with enlarger's head and with Ilford Multigrade filters as well. No miracles

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlop
    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

    Well, it seems that you have eliminated about everything else. Do you have access to a densitometer? I would be happy to read the density range of one of your camera negatives if you are willing to check this as a possible source of your problem. If getting to the bottom of this is important to you, you can message me and I will give you a mailing address.

    Detail in highlights does not equate to the required density in highlights. Nor does it equate to the optimum density range required from the negative.

    One more thing, who and where gave you the information on the developer dilution and times that you are using? I checked the Kodak site and it appears to me that they recommend 45 ml minimum of developer per roll of film. This seems to me that you are not using the required chemistry nor are you developing in the manner that they recommend. That is if I read their information correctly.,

    Of course you can keep chasing the printing side of things.

  3. #23
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Well... the only technical thing left that I can think of is the filter...

    Switch the enlarger on with no filtration and white paper on the baseboard. Dial in the magenta and see if the light changes colour and becomes deeper magenta as you dial more in. If you see no colour change (or very slight change for part of the dialing-in) it may be that the filters are toast or are not moving in to the light path properly. Check the yellow and Cyan too while you are at it.

    If you have not already done so, I would suggest making two prints with as similar highlight values as possible: one with maximum magenta and one with no filtration - getting the sky in one of the scans you linked to the same might be a good starting point. The one without will be Grade 2 as others have mentioned. If there is little or no difference in the shadows then it looks like your filters are dead or are not moving in to the light path fully. If dead, you are in for a shock when you find out the cost of new dichroic filters .

    The final test would be to borrow some Ilford or Kodak VC filters and try the Grade 5 one sitting on top of the negative (assuming the enlarger does not have a proper filter drawer).

    Cheers, Bob.

    [EDIT *** Ah - sorry: missed your post saying you already tried VC filters... I am at a loss... I think it more or less has to come down to low contrast negs. Try a new roll of film but this time use the manufacturer's recommended time, temperature and agitation method rather than the semi-stand you seem to have used this time (I assume you did agitate from time to time?) - this should work as a benchmark.]

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Well, it seems that you have eliminated about everything else. Do you have access to a densitometer? I would be happy to read the density range of one of your camera negatives if you are willing to check this as a possible source of your problem. If getting to the bottom of this is important to you, you can message me and I will give you a mailing address.

    Detail in highlights does not equate to the required density in highlights. Nor does it equate to the optimum density range required from the negative.

    One more thing, who and where gave you the information on the developer dilution and times that you are using? I checked the Kodak site and it appears to me that they recommend 45 ml minimum of developer per roll of film. This seems to me that you are not using the required chemistry nor are you developing in the manner that they recommend. That is if I read their information correctly.,
    Hi Donald,

    I'd be happy send you a stripe of negatives for density measurement. I'll send you a PM in few minutes

    But you haven't red my message carefully - I mentioned 20ml of concentrate which is about 100 ml of developer (1:4), so, my method complies with Kodak's requirements.
    Time was choosen by "try and error" method from few test films and this developing works quite well for scanning negatives

  5. #25
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Back to basics:

    You mentioned that you cannot get "contrast" ... that there are neither "white" whites or "black" blacks ... everything is an intermediate shade of grey.

    CAN you get a "black" - completely BLACK, black? Try a piece of the paper in question - exposed to ambient room light for a half-hour or so, and immerse it in the subject developer. It *should* turn *absolutely black*. If it does not, if it is still grey after an hour or so, try a sample of paper from a different lot.
    If both remain "grey", your chemistry is shot. If only one sample does, the paper in that lot is shot.

    If both turn "black" in a reasonable length of time, try masking one-half of another sample to ambient light and 'way overexpose the other half. If the unexposed half is white, and the exposed half is solid black, either you do NOT have enough negative contrast (no matter how they scan), or something weird is happening with the enlarger/ filters. Try placing one of the gelatin filters over a contact print, in ambient light. If you still cannot get decent contrast after "playing" with the exposure ... you have to have a uniquely sensitive scanner that will correct for unusually thin negatives.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #26
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    One other "weird" thought, just crossed my consciousness... What color is the surface of the paper you are using, in ambient light?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #27

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    Since you haven't done printing for some years is it possible that you are pulling your prints too soon? This would prevent them from achieving sufficient contrast. Prints need to continue to develop for 2 to 3 times the length of time it takes for the image to appear.

  8. #28

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    are you printing on the right side of the paper?

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Back to basics:

    You mentioned that you cannot get "contrast" ... that there are neither "white" whites or "black" blacks ... everything is an intermediate shade of grey.

    CAN you get a "black" - completely BLACK, black? .....

    ...... either you do NOT have enough negative contrast (no matter how they scan), or something weird is happening with the enlarger/ filters. Try placing one of the gelatin filters over a contact print, in ambient light. If you still cannot get decent contrast after "playing" with the exposure ... you have to have a uniquely sensitive scanner that will correct for unusually thin negatives.
    Yes, I can get pure black when I'm exposing paper to clear light and if I'm partially masking paper (say, masked part wasn't exposed to the light at all) - it's white)

    Negatives are not contrast as I mentioned before but this is the whole point - you have negative with all details in all extremes and control contrastness during printing. Negative, in this case, just an information storage - you've got everything from the scene and deside later what you wish to do with it. But I don't have unique scanner it's mid-range Epson 4990 and I'm getting not bad results with it. As I said before I don't beleive that average scanner can produce better results than higher than average enlarger


    So, paper is OK, enlarger is OK too. Negatives ... I'd assume they are OK accordingly to scans. Look like I'm doing something wrong. Underexposure option from my very first message?

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Koch
    Since you haven't done printing for some years is it possible that you are pulling your prints too soon? This would prevent them from achieving sufficient contrast. Prints need to continue to develop for 2 to 3 times the length of time it takes for the image to appear.
    I'm developing, as recommended by Ilford for Ilford Multigrade developer and RC papers, for a time between 1' and 1'30" (end of session when developer is weakened) to avoid under- or overdeveloping

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