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Thread: Your processes

  1. #11
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    If the borders of your print are also mucky grey then your safelight isn't, your darkroom isn't or your paper is old.

    If your whites are white but the blacks are weak then you may not giving be enough exposure (try giving 4x more time). You could be using wrong, over-diluted or expired developer.

    Other causes of low contrast: Using too low a contrast filter (2 1/2 is normal); low contrast negative; dirty enlarger lens; using a large negative carrier for a small negative and letting a lot of light through around the negative.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  2. #12
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightbringer View Post
    I'm very new to enlarging (I tried doing a print a week ago, which came out with mediocre results ... not bad for a first effort but not stellar either), and I was wondering what all of you do?

    I did some searching on the internet but I still don't have a really clear picture of the process and workflow when it comes to making a print. I was wondering if some of the kind souls here at APUG would care to share how they go about making prints?

    What I did:
    1) Make a test strip in intervals of 3 second exposures at f4 on a Pentax f1.8 50mm enlarger lens
    2) Processed and dried the test strip
    3) Picked the interval I thought looked best
    4) Processed and dried that picture
    I've never seen a Pentax enlarger lens, or any enlarger lens with an f/1.8 maximum aperture.

    Is there any chance you are actually using a camera lens which is not optimized for close focus, flat field work?
    Last edited by MattKing; 08-11-2011 at 06:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    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

  3. #13
    eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    I've never seen a Pentax enlarger lens, or any enlarger lens with an f/1.8 maximum aperture.

    Is there any chance you are actually using a camera lens which is not optimized for close focus, flat fiel work?
    That caught my eye, too. It must be a camera lens.

  4. #14

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    I got a chance to pull out my enlarger, looking at the writing around the lens ...

    Asahi Opt. Co.
    Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55

  5. #15
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightbringer View Post
    I got a chance to pull out my enlarger, looking at the writing around the lens ...

    Asahi Opt. Co.
    Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55

    Does it look like this, with a focusing helical?

    http://mars.bellstek.net/lens/090/00.htm
    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

  6. #16

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    The lens is more valuable as a camera lens than an enlarger lens, I think. Super-Takumars are fine camera lenses.

    Lenses that are optimized for enlarging are available used in excellent condition for a song.

  7. #17
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightbringer View Post
    I'm very new to enlarging (I tried doing a print a week ago, which came out with mediocre results ... not bad for a first effort but not stellar either), and I was wondering what all of you do?

    I did some searching on the internet but I still don't have a really clear picture of the process and workflow when it comes to making a print. I was wondering if some of the kind souls here at APUG would care to share how they go about making prints?

    What I did:
    1) Make a test strip in intervals of 3 second exposures at f4 on a Pentax f1.8 50mm enlarger lens
    2) Processed and dried the test strip
    3) Picked the interval I thought looked best
    4) Processed and dried that picture
    Well, I thought it was a "kind" act when I published this article over a year ago on my site, specifically for people who cannot avail themselves of printed material, academia, or workshops. It seems that a more than cursory search of the internet or these forums, would have surely brought it to your attention. Or perhaps the series of introductory technique articles I have written and illustrated simply aren't clear enough.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanstarr
    1. focus with a piece of the same printing paper under the focuser.
    2. set aperture to optimum setting (f5.6-8 for my APO lenses, f8-11 for my other ones)
    3. primary test strip for density
    4. secondary test stip for contrast
    5. third test stip at chosen density and contrast across vital areas
    (blow-dry strip if necessary to see dry-down results)
    6. make work print at chosen settings
    7. make final prints with adjustments, burning and dodging if necessary
    8. after prints are dry, bleach and tone.
    9. when all is done, spotting, sign print and store in archival sleeve and box.
    10. unsuccessfully try to sell print, but usually end up giving away as a present or have it sit in the box for years to come.
    #10 you just got to love it.

  9. #19
    Katie's Avatar
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    THANKS BEN! Great read!!!!

    Great information ...
    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    Well, I thought it was a "kind" act when I published this article over a year ago on my site, specifically for people who cannot avail themselves of printed material, academia, or workshops. It seems that a more than cursory search of the internet or these forums, would have surely brought it to your attention. Or perhaps the series of introductory technique articles I have written and illustrated simply aren't clear enough.

  10. #20
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Hi,

    It is a lot of trial and error. In general, I would say to use fresh paper and chemistry, and to find an aperture that will give you a time somewhere between 10 and 40 seconds, and to get your ballpark time first, and then get your ballpark contrast. When first learning, don't change time and contrast in one swoop. Change one factor at a time until you get the hang of it.

    As you get better, you'll realize which times are "normal" for "normal" negatives, and know how to deviate simply by looking at a neg.

    Other than that, before you get started, just brush up on the basic theory behind enlarging, so you aren't just taking shots in the dark.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

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