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  1. #51

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    May 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlop
    Hi everyone!

    I just recently returned to darkroom printing and experience some problem with my negs which was OK for scanning on Epson 4990 - they seem to be too low in contrast and printing them even with highest contrast filter (Ilford below lens set) or highest magenta setting at DeVere 504 Dichromat head gives me too low contrast. If I got it right split grade printing isn't recommended for low contrast negs? Any other possible way to increase contrast?

    Ahh the joys of the digital age...poor negs for printing. Sorry, not being mean, its just funny to me.

    You can start several ways, although I'm not sure you'll get back the needed contrast. First, try straight print developer...undiluted, with your #5 filter and see if that helps. You can always selenium tone (1:3) the negs for added contrast. There used to be a product called Chromium Intensifier made by Kodak that would also help. Maybe the Photographers Formulary makes a version. If so, try that first before the selenium. Maybe a combination of all 3 will get you what you need.

    Good luck

  2. #52
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Another way to intensify a negative is to bleach and then redevelop in a staining developer. This process can be repeated, with the stain building up with each repetition (though there comes a point where grain growth from the repetition can overcome any benefit of the intensification).

    Any other method than selenium toner should be tried before that step; once you've selenium toned the image, it's impervious to most other intensification processes (because the silver selenide layer on the image silver particles doesn't react with common image bleaches).
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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