Mystery solved. It was a fogging issue but not in the darkroom. Long story short I was taking the camera apart to put a VC filter behind the lens and I must have somehow not got the bellows back 100% right. As a matter or deduction I took the bellows out and back in again making sure everything was as it should be and the fogging went away. I was thinking it might be a film holder leaking light but I am glad that was not the case. Unfortunately my grade 2 paper wont be here for a couple days so I will just have to wait to continue. Using the VC paper today was a good first exposure to the process and I actually got decent results. I will be interested to see how the graded papers look as compared to the Ilford MG RC paper. In case anyone is interested I rated my Ilford MG RC paper at ASA 10 and took exposures out in the bright sun with a large contrast between my highlights and shadows (about 7 stops) and my highlights did not completely blow out but my midtones were muddy as I expected. In my case I ended up getting the best result at 1 second at f/45 on a 150mm standard lens (4x5). I used Dektol at 1:9 for my developer at 68F/20C. I will forge ahead later this week and see how things go. In my case I either work in the studio doing fine art subjects or outside doing landscapes or architecture. My plan is to pick one paper and nail down the exposure characteristics for each scenario.


Thanks!