I recently got my darkroom set up again, and yesterday I decided to make some prints from a 35mm roll of FP-4+ I shot recently. First I made a contact sheet and noticed a shot with some great tones that I decided to print. I put the negative in my enlarger (I use a diffuser head with a Schneider Componon 50mm) and made a 9"x12" print (there were some borders, but the image covered almost the entire paper). When I developed the print I noticed that the tonality that caught my attention on the contact sheet was completely absent from the final print. On the contact sheet there was beatiful separation of shadows and highlights, and very smooth tones alltogether, whereas on the print everything looked kind of muddy and flat. some parts of the subject almost melted into the background.
I was wondering, could this be due to too much enlargement, could I be pushing the limits of a handheld 125ASA 35mm negative? It should be noted that both prints were made on the same type of paper and both with a grade 2 "filter" (using a dichro head, so no filtration at all really).
This doesn't sound correct. Are you sure both contact print and enlargement were made from the same filtered lightsource?