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Thread: Black out!!!

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    Bullseye's Avatar
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    Black out!!!

    Ok I have a problem,

    I tried to print a photo, the first time I done it the paper was totaly black, but I could just about make out what the image was suppose to be, so I increased the exposure time from 3 secs to 5 secs tried again but the image was even darker!

    The chemistry had cooled down a bit in the time it took to do the 2nd exposure, so I tried again, this time touching nothing on the enlarger, but warming the chemistry up a bit, but it was exactly the same as the 2nd exposure (the 5 sec one) I used the chemisty mixture ratio as provided in a reply to my chemistry question in the colour chem forum on here...


    Is it possible that since RA-4 is reversal paper, that, because I increased the exposure time that it had appreared darker?


    Thanks in advance.


    ~John~

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    Too much exposure yields a darker print, not lighter. You need to reduce your exposure time, or stop the lens down some.

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    Since your paper is almost black with such short exposures and you are just starting out, let me ask a few questions to make sure the cause of the problems is elsewhere.

    Since color print material is panchromatic, it cannot be exposed or processed under normal black & white safelights. Are you printing and processing in total darkness? (Including taking the paper out of the box and putting it in the easel.)

    Some just learning to print put the paper in the easel then turn the enlarger on to compose and focus. Then they make another exposure on top of that and the paper just comes out black. Composing and focusing should be done on a scrap piece of identical photo paper used only for that purpose.

    I've seen so many novice printers make these two mistakes that even though they seem obvious things to avoid, it is always one of the first things to ask and eliminate as a cause.

    After that, I'd ask what f-stop are you setting for the exposure? Try starting at a middle aperture like f/8. Ideally, you'll want to have a long enough exposure to burn and dodge accurately if you wish. With color, I like to print around 15 seconds and adjust the f/stop to get there. With black-and-white, I'd rather be out around 40 seconds or so.

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    Bullseye's Avatar
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    I didn't turn the light on until the photo was in the drum and the drum was securely sealed up, I'm working in complete darkness.... I was using f4...

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    If you are using R4, a reversal paper, increasing exposure lightens jsut like slide film. Black wouldindicate no exposure. white woldindicate fogged paper (after propcessing ) You may need ot radically increase your exposure make a test strip steping across the paper 5, 10 15 20 seconds . You should see some change in density. Try fogging a piece of paperin room light to rule out bad paper or chemistry.

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    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Wasn't Kodak's reversal paper called R3000? Is there such a thing as R4 reversal paper? I haven't printed on other than Ilfochrome/Cibachrome for prints from slides in decades so I'm out of the loop on that.

    I just assumed the OP was using RA-4 paper (e.g., Endura, etc.,) for prints from negatives. Yea or nay?

    Edit: I see from the other threads that you are using c-41 film chemicals, Tetenal RA-4 kit, and presumably Fuji Crystal Archive paper, so printing from negatives. If so, the paper wouldn't lighten with exposure. It will darken with more exposure.
    Last edited by smieglitz; 07-08-2010 at 02:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
    Ok I have a problem,

    I tried to print a photo, the first time I done it the paper was totaly black, but I could just about make out what the image was suppose to be, so I increased the exposure time from 3 secs to 5 secs tried again but the image was even darker!

    The chemistry had cooled down a bit in the time it took to do the 2nd exposure, so I tried again, this time touching nothing on the enlarger, but warming the chemistry up a bit, but it was exactly the same as the 2nd exposure (the 5 sec one) I used the chemisty mixture ratio as provided in a reply to my chemistry question in the colour chem forum on here...


    Is it possible that since RA-4 is reversal paper, that, because I increased the exposure time that it had appreared darker?


    Thanks in advance.


    ~John~
    RA4 is not a reversal paper. It is a standard neg - pos colour paper. Kodak's reversal process, i.e. making prints from transparencies was known as R3.

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    Bullseye's Avatar
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    Ok guys and gals,

    I tried 1 sec exposure @ f/8 and added 20 magenta and 20 cyan (becuase the print was still dark and green) I referred to my ilford print book, now the image is somewhere in the ballpark, I need to tone the yellows down a tad and I think it will be pretty much there!


    Thank you for all your help and suggestions.


    ~John~

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    Do you have a Kodak Viewing Filter Kit (Cat No. 150 0735) ?

    Not essential, but I found one helps to nail the colour filtration down to within a few units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
    I tried to print a photo, the first time I done it the paper was totaly black, but I could just about make out what the image was suppose to be, so I increased the exposure time from 3 secs to 5 secs tried again but the image was even darker!
    Whoa!! Regardless of what caused your paper to be dark, this needs addressing. This is what would have been graded as "GCE" in my Navy nuke school: Gross Conceptual Error. That the picture was too dark, and you reasoned that you needed to increase time to lighten it illustrates a GCE of enormous magnitude in negative-to-negative printing.

    You really, really need to learn the most fundamental basics of negative photography before you go any farther with color printing, or even black and white printing. Attempting color printing, or any printing from negative material to negative material, not even knowing that more exposure yields a darker print is absurd. Put down your tools for a while, get a basic photo text, and read the parts about negatives and about printing, so you understand at least a little bit before wasting your time and money and learning nothing.

    ...that is only if you want to learn how to print negatives.

    "Photography" by London and Upton, or "Black and White Photography" by Henry Horenstein are two very classic texts that I recommend.

    If you read a book, you have got more knowledge, and much, much, much better-quality knowledge, in a few short hours than you have with months or years of asking a question here and there on the Internet and blindly ruining paper in your darkroom.

    P.S. Do you like working with one second and three second exposures? I sure don't! If you stop and think logically and practically about why they might not be so good, and I am sure you will come up with plenty of good answers...but this will all be covered in one of those two books I suggested.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 07-08-2010 at 07:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    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."

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