Hi,

I've just got my darkroom set up (Meopta Axomat 5 35MM enlarger with a Nikkor EL 50mm f/2.8 lens - using f/8 for printing) and i've been doing some test prints over the past month or so. I'm mostly happy with them so far, but they do seem to be excessivley grainy for the film type used (i've so far developed prints from 100 TMAX and Neopan 400). I wouldn't expect to see so much grain on a print from a well exposed daylight shot on TMAX 100 or Neopan 400 for that matter, but even at 7x5 i can see grain quite prominantly, mainly on soft areas like skin and skies.

Now i have nothing against grain, but it does seem a bit excessive for the films used. It's quite visible at 7x5 even on the TMAX 100 shots.

I'm printing on Kentmere VC Select and developing in Ilford Multigrade for 1:15

What affects grain in prints? The paper, the chemical temperature, the lens aperture etc? My cellar is very cold, although i keep an eye on the dev temperature whilst i'm printing.

Or is it more likely i messed up developing the negatives? They look fine, seem to have nice density and decent exposure (they were taken using a Nikon F80). I can see the grain 'pop' up when i focus on the enlarger and look through my focus finder. They were all developed at 20 degrees in HC-110 (B) using Kodak's agitation scheme.

Thanks