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  1. #1

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    Film Processing for Albumen Printing

    Hi All.

    I'm planning my first foray into an alternative process soon, and have chosen to try albumen prints using 5x4 negatives. From what I've read, it seems that the negs need to be pretty contrasty to avoid getting flat prints. My prior darkroom experience (many moons ago) was mostly geared around standard processing of the film, and then playing with contrast at the printing stage, although I sometimes pushed HP5. I'd appreciate some guidance on getting the contrast up in the negs.

    In case it's a factor, I should mention that the intended exposure method is contact printing under glass, using one of those UV lamps that are used to check banknotes. I have a choice of two types of film: some Ilford Delta 100, and a full box of Adox CHS 25 ART has just been ordered. I'd rather use the Adox film, since there is more of it (50 sheets compared to 10 or so of the Delta), and because it's cheaper. The only developer I have is HC-110, which I would prefer to stick with. My B&W developing is irregular, and I chose the HC-110 partly because the syrup keeps well in the bottle. I mix directly from the syrup. I use a Combi-Plan tank.

    My initial thought for increasing contrast is to rate the Adox 25 film at 100, and increase development time. If this is on the right track, is two stops okay, and what sort of time (and dilution) would suit?

    Alternatively, is there anything I can do when making the paper that will lift the contrast there? It would be nice if I can aim for a fairly normal contrast on the negs, since I could then use them for other purposes without having to deal with high contrast.

  2. #2
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    I think this thread might be of some use - there is a recipe for Efke/Adox in HC110 in there: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum42/2...n-recipes.html

    If you use this, you will have negatives that will be hard to print as normal silver prints. One way is to make a copy of the normal negative and developing that for the right contrast for albumen. Another is to use a staining developer such as one of the pyro variations.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the pointer, Jerevan - good thread to refer to. I'm a little surprised that the Adox film is being rated slower, since Adox seem to warn against over exposure in their web page for the film.

  4. #4
    juan's Avatar
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    I've tested my albumen prints using BTZS methods and get an ES of 1.45 - normal paper with a cold light head is about 1. I haven't used your film, or HC110 with albumen, but I think I would find a scene that gives a full scale from Zone II or III up to Zone VIII or IX and make some test exposures. I'd rate the film normally, then try developing 20% and 40% more, then print and see what that tells you. I found that some of the conventional wisdom you find online didn't work for me - it was easy for me to develop the film too much and get too much contrast even for albumen.

    Good luck - albumen is a lot of fun.
    juan

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    In zone system terms, your N+2 development time for enlargements should be about N for albumen.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com



 

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