ive got a problem regarding my developing contact sheets and i dont think its opperator error now that i tried a few tests.the contacts came out very gray with no true black.i exposed paper alone(as a test) for 2secs intrvals and 30 sec intervals up to 1min 30 secs and the paper comes out gray .i believe ive got the chemicals down regards to mix ,temp and time but still this gray result and no black..any help ? please and thanks ,,declan
Is your developer exhausted? When it is, the consequence is usually greatly reduced contrast with muddy highlights and gray 'blacks'. Try some fresh soup.
edit: BTW, since this is your very first post, welcome!
was this reply from you ?.the ink hadnt dried before i got a reply,thank you..could be the developer as it was belonging to someone else who i bought all this equipment off .will try it thanks
90 Seconds could be a bit short with some combinations of light and paper. Try exposing a strip to room light for a few minutes, then develop. If you still don't get a true black, then it is either the paper or the developer. Try fresh developer next.
Good to see on Apug. I will email those notes I spoke to you about in the morning.
Welcome Declan. I may have misunderstood your post but are you saying you exposed paper to white light( no neg and from the enlarger presumably?) for up to 1.5 mins and it was still grey?
This seems an incredibly long exposure to be still producing grey. I have had a similar problem but never at such long exposure. Mine was the result of paper which had exceeded its useful life.
If fresh developer makes no difference then the next question to ask is: " how old is your paper?"
I first noticed a problem with out of date paper when I noticed that no matter what my analyser said the contrast should be, the prints all came out looking the same irrespective of what grade I had dialled in on the dichroic head of the enlarger. If your prints all look grey no matter what contrast you use then it could be the paper.
If so, I'd throw it away. There may be ways of salvaging it but the dubious reward may not be worth effort involved. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to produce a silk purse from a sow's ear as the saying goes.