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  1. #11

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    Tongs unfortunately won't work for me right now. I've got one of those racks that puts one tray on top of another and getting a 16x20 sheet in there with tongs could be tricky. I'll work on cleanliness and hope that fixes the problem. It just seems odd that for so many years I think I only had this problem onece or twice with my Portriga/Dektol printing and the other day with Foma/Ilford it was such a problem. I guess printing is not like riding a bike, you do forget if you don't do it for a while. I'll give it another shot in a week or two and hopefully be neater.

    I really am very strict in my style for some reason. I never crop (photo is as framed when shooting) and print with a black border. The white border of the paper is part of the photo to me, as is the non glossy surface. I want the image to seem part of the paper, I guess it goes back to my vandyke/ gum printing days. So I need nice clean borders. Tossing a 4 dollar sheet of paper may seem absurd to some of you but it's my aesthetic choice and I hope you can see it that way.

  2. #12
    CPorter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLee View Post
    Also now that I have Selenium toned the prints am I SOL as far as getting rid of the stains?
    According to Schaefer, "selenium is a test for residual fixer in the print; if brown stains form the print has not been adequately fixed." And he also indicates that the stains cannot be removed.

  3. #13

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    I should have mentioned the stains were visible when the prints were in the fixer.

  4. #14

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    CLee,

    I develop in Amidol and use nitrile gloves instead of tongs. I'm left handed, but my procedure is to put a glove on my left hand. If I'm proofing negatives, I will lay out 8 sheets of exposed paper on the enlarger baseboard in pairs of two with the emulsions facing out. I grab two sheets with my right hand and place them in the developer tray. I agitate the prints with my gloved, left hand and move them directly to the fix (no stop bath). I then rock the fix tray with my right hand for a few seconds, reset the developing timer and grab two more prints with my right hand to place in the developer tray. Once all 8 prints are in the fix, I agitate them with my gloved left hand and move them to my print washer. Then I remove the glove and toss it.
    John Bowen

  5. #15
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    I've sometimes stained prints when pulling them from the developer with contaminated fingers. It's not a matter of these prints becoming pressure sensitive in the developer; the stain flows as the developer flows down the print. Warm toned papers seem particularly susceptible to this. Also, fingers contaminated with fixer while handling prints after washing has eventually caused faded fingerprints. Washing and drying hands after touching fixer has eliminated these problems.

  6. #16
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Hello Jim, I have never seen any stains that flowed, so there seems to be more than one cause. From what I have seen and understood, paper loses its sensitivity to pressure before the end of the developing time, so staining that happens when removing the paper from the developer would be from a different source than pressure.

    I was in the habit of gripping the 16x10 sheets very tightly as I flip it over in the developing tray -- and this was in the days when I spent all summer (6+ months) working with my hands in the woods, and printed in the darkroom all winter...so my grip was a bit stronger than it is now.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  7. #17
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I use Foma Classic MG paper for lith printing and for prints that I intend to sepia then gold tone for the salmon color. I have had no problem while lith printing with this paper, but it seems to be incredibly sensitive to contamination when used with my regular developer (Ilford PQ.) The stain is never on the first print but is on subsequent prints, and shows as a diagonal band that corresponds with how the developer flows across the print when I pick it up with my fingers to drain. I believe that my fingers get contaminated when taking the first print from the fixer, which is then carried onto the next print when I pick it up out of the developer tray to drain, even if I rinse and dry my hand. If I use tongs or pick the print up in such a way that developer does not flow across the print surface it is fine. I also only notice it with the Foma paper, not with Ilford WT paper. So, dedicated tongs with this paper is the solution for me. I probably should just get back in the habit of using tongs for all printing...


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  8. #18

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    I keep a small bucket full of water in my sink to one side of the trays. If I have to use my hands in a tray, a quick immersion and brisk rub underwater followed by a towel keeps my prints from being fingerprinted; that is when I don't use tongs.

    If you get into the habit of rinsing your hands regularly (and dumping and refilling the bucket on occasion), it keeps cross contamination down to a minimum.

    At least it works for me...

  9. #19

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    I've managed to get these types of stains on my prints as well. Without fail, they have been caused by developer contaminated fingers (or whatever) going into the fix. If you catch them before the print is toned, and they are confined to the white borders of the print, they can be cleaned up with some potassium ferricyanide bleach applied to the affected area with a cotton swab or something similar. It is necessary to re-fix the print after this treatment to clear the silver halides left behind.

    There's something else to be learned from this. If there was ever any doubt about the efficacy of using an acid stop bath between developer and fixer, this is it. Any active developing agents carried over to the fixer will cause a stain. Acid stop prevents this completely.

  10. #20

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    I use tongs as well but I still get my fingers in the chenistry. I have lots of mechanics shop towels in my dr as they have less lint than terrycloth or paper towels. Any little thing to do less spoting!

    Mike

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