Is there any chance that you have the paper in upside down (i.e. with emulsion side down, rather than up)? The emulsion side is a bit more "shiny" when observed (briefly) under safelight, at a slight angle.

Alternatively, is there a problem with your Patterson proof printer? Does it have foam, and is it in good enough shape to ensure that when the glass is lowered, there is good firm contact between the negatives (in sleeves) and the emulsion side of the paper?

You should standardise on one developing time that is near the mid range for the developer and paper you use, and then adjust the f/stop and time of exposure to get the results you want. I usually try for something like a 10 second exposure time. It seems to me that if you are having to use f/2.8 then something isn't normal.

Have fun!


PS - I usually contact print through the sleeves too. When you say the contact prints are really blurry, are you saying that details like the frame numbers are blurry, or is it just the image details themselves?