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  1. #11

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    I never had my contact print match enlargement in terms of tonal range and contrast AND the over-all impression of the image. I have so many negatives that look great on my tiny 35mm contact prints but not so when enlarged to 8x10.

    To me, print size has much to do with how the prints look. Even going from 8x10 to 11x14 which is only 2x the difference, I have to make minute adjustment to look just right. Going from contact print to 8x10, the difference is much larger.

    Maybe this is more of an experience thing but with tiny prints, everything looks great to my eyes.

    I understand ic-racer's comment on flair but since there are no lens with no flair, isn't it true that it WILL be there with any lens and it's just a matter of degrees? Compared to contact sheet which has nothing between the neg and paper, I can sort of understand there may be some degradation.

    I speak from about 1.5 year of experience so I may be way off though.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #12
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    I have both heads, but in this case it's a condenser. I'm going to try increasing the contrast and fresh developer. I have a micromega focuser, and will make sure it's in focus. I don't think the lens or a light leak is the problem. Thanks for the hints and I'll post an update later today.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  3. #13
    artonpaper's Avatar
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    My printing experience indicates that enlargements sometimes require a bit more contrast. Also viewing your contacted image without the black around it may change your perception of the image. However, it should be possible to make the contact and enlargement match. As a commercial printer at one time, I had many a client that demanded it.

  4. #14
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I'd definitely recommend using different contrast filters (or filter combinations) for the foreground and the sky.

    I'd suggest working first to nail down the sky, and then adjust to get the foreground right.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #15
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    OK, I've replaced the original scanned enlargement with another scan where I turned off all the automatic fixing, which I should have figured out how to do in the first place. This scan closely resembles the 8x10 enlargement. You can see that there is more than just a little bit of tweaking involved. As I said before, I'm used to tweaking the enlargement so it looks like the contact, but I've never seen a difference between the contact and the enlargement as dramatic as this example. I tried changing the filters, but I didn't go as high as a #4 (a number 2 1/2 was in the enlarger for both the contact and the enlargement). I'm going to try that, but it will now be tomorrow.
    Thanks for all your suggestions, and I apologize for the original scan of the enlargement. I did mention it was much muddier than the scan showed, but that's not the same as actually seeing it. Both scans are in the technical gallery.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  6. #16
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    I spent a frustrating few hours on this one photo today, with some success. I recently changed from negative holders in my Durst L1000 to glass on both sides and figured out (today, after re-reading the suggestions here) I should be masking the negative. That helped somewhat, as did upping the filter to a number 5 for the sky and a 2 1/2 for the ground. I did try pre-flashing the paper on one enlargement, and I believe that helped as well. In any case, I believe I have the picture out of the mud and into the tweaking range. At least a dozen wasted sheets, but I'm stubborn and will continue till I get it as close as I can. In other words, more wasted sheets to come, but it's progressing in the right direction. I'll post the ultimate print when I'm finished. Thanks for all your suggestions! At least I'm learning something!
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  7. #17
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    I finally got a print I'm happy with. I think it's the best I can do with that negative. It's posted in the technical gallery, along with a description of what I ended up doing. Thanks for the suggestions!
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  8. #18
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnywalker View Post
    I should be masking the negative.
    Yes, yes, yes! Depending on the size of your bellows, the size of the mixing box, coverage of the lens, coating on the lens, etc. big un-masked areas can have massive effects. It can be as bad as shining a white flashlight on the paper while your are trying to make a fine print

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