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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    I know there are real experts out there who are going to jump all over me for this. But I was taught by a bunch of old lab rats who did down and dirty production printing without a whole lot of analyzers, timers, etc. etc. They learned their craft in the 1930s and 1940s and taught me in the 1960s.

    Put your negative strip in the carrier with a stripe of the clear film between frames in the center of the easel.
    Stop your enlarger lens down to f11.
    Make a test strip of the clear film, using three second intervals.
    Develop the strip normally; fix. Wash. Dry.
    Now find the first exposure patch that is as black as the remainder. That is your baseline exposure. Any part of your actual negative which is clear film will print as black in your print. Make the exposure of your neg at that time and f stop and let us know what you see. KISS.
    John, this technique isn't native to only "old lab rats. I recently returned to the darkroom after a 30 year hiatus. I took a refresher darkroom course at the local university and this technique was shown to me by the teacher, and he's only about 20 years old! The only difference is that I stop the lens down to f8 and expose the paper at 2 second intervals.

    Who says the kids these days aren't learning anything worthwhile?

  2. #22

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    Update!

    I wanted to reprint it last night but after a talk with my neighbor who has a son who studied photography he offered to have him come by and give me some advice. When he arrived he told that i have 2 issues. My first issue was my main light the is directly over my developing trays, it is a Cf bulb that he said glows after its turned off. the second issue is that my developer is no good. the developer i was using was purchased new from a well know dealer and appears to be old. My developer is a very dark yellow and almost like a syrup and should have been more near a clear color. He gave me some ilford developer and i changed the bulb above the trays and i used a 2# filter as Jbruner suggested.

    When i first tried to print the negative before the print was so grainy the you could not understand the name on the monument. I know the print is terrible by your standards but its a start for me. I used f11 for 9 seconds with the 2# filter and the results are below. Please keep in mind that this is the actual first time i printed a negative and was able to have the image clearly visible on the print. The scan of the print is very bad because the actual print is sharp and detailed. The print is nowhere near the negative scan but im very happy that im learning and making a little bit of progress. I chose the 9 second exposure but now i think i should have chosen the 8 second.

    I have already purchased the Tim Rudman book and cant wait for its arrival.
    Thank you to everyone for helping me!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img098.jpg   img099.jpg  

  3. #23

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    Is there a way to post the print in better quaility? The print is sharp and detailed but the post of the scan is terrible.

  4. #24
    CBG
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    Quote Originally Posted by R Smith View Post
    ... I chose the 9 second exposure but now i think i should have chosen the 8 second ...
    Wet prints tend to look lighter than when they are dry. They get darker when dried. It's not a huge amount, but as you can see, it makes a difference.

    So, when you are near a final print time, it's a good idea to quickly dry a test print to see how much "dry down" you're getting. A hair dryer can be handy. Various papers have somewhat different dry down characteristics. There was an article somewhere. Maybe someone will have a URL handy.

    C

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    If your printing black with a 3 second exposure your negative likely isn't overly thick, as a matter of fact it sounds thin.


    I think he nailed it. Your negative is underexposed. Even with effort it'll be hard to print. Do you have a different negative to try? First attempts are hard enough without trying to deal with hard to print negatives.

  6. #26

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    When my kid gets home i will use her digital camera to photograph the print because is so much better that the scan i posted.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post


    I think he nailed it. Your negative is underexposed. Even with effort it'll be hard to print. Do you have a different negative to try? First attempts are hard enough without trying to deal with hard to print negatives.
    That is the only negative that i have.

  8. #28
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Keep doing what you're doing. You're well on your way. Your first print looks better than my first print.

    For what it's worth - Ilford HP5 and Rodinal is a good combination - if you like grain, which I do. I've used Ilford Delta 3200 with Rodinal and to me it's magical. Grain isn't necessarily bad, and you may find that you change your mind about it in the future. The best way to get the least amount of grain is to use a finer grained film rather than a different developer. The TMax 400 and TMax combination is a very good one if you want very little grain for ISO 400 film.

    - Thomas
    "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

  9. #29
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    The Bertilsson speaks with wisdom. Its magic bullets were cast off during the Illumination de Thomas epoch.

  10. #30

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    Glad you've largely solved the problem and the print looks a good effort. Just an opinion but if you look at a shadow area with detail in the test strip which seems to be the doorway, I'd go for no more than 7 secs and possibly 6 secs. The stonework at 6/7 secs still looks good although only you know how the stone work is best represented.

    A decrease of 2/3 secs sounds a lot but it's worth a try. I speak as one who is always tempted to print too darkly and has to resist the urge.

    I am not a fan of HP5+ and Rodinal but then again I am a grain-phobe. Depends on print size which I don't think you mention but if these negs are grainy at 8x10, try 5x7. The reduction makes a big difference IMO and for most viewing purposes, especially if you have a series to be seen 5x7 is a good size and a lot cheaper!

    pentaxuser

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