As others have said, if you reduce the variables you'll be better off. I did the following in the beginning and it works: buy an inexpensive shutter tester to make sure your camera is exposing correctly (along w/ verifying that you have an accurate meter). Shoot a test roll on a day when there is "good light", meaning maybe early morning or late afternoon. Shoot Tri-X at ISO 400, or 200 if you use a yellow filter as I do, and develop it in D76. That's an excellent, flexible, time tested combination to begin with, or end up with for that matter. After 3 or 4 weeks throw it out. I'm finding that even w/ proper storage my D76 gets a little strange after more than that. Use distilled water to avoid additional variables. Follow the directions exactly for mixing and developing it, and use gentle agitations w/ your development regime. All this will give you good negs, and then see how things print from that. Pay close attention to what a properly exposed and developed negative is supposed to look like. The links below helped me in the beginning. In other words, start from scratch and keep it simple.
Make sure you've followed all the basics in the darkroom. Is your safe light "safe"? Is the darkroom free from stray light? Does the enlarger leak a ton of light? Does it have the right bulb in it? Etc.
Last edited by momus; 12-26-2013 at 10:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.