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Old 4th October 2018, 05:23 AM
lieven lieven is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Default too fast development

I'm pretty new to film photography. My first prints were very greyish. Then i reduced the developing from 1 minute, normally , to just 8 seconds... Then i get a more or less descent print out of it. But in only 8 seconds i have no real blacks and still bit grey. I also can't dodge and burn , because of the very limited time i get to develop my photo.

Furthermore i completely darkened my room . Even put the safelight off. What could be the reason i have to develop so short? If i do a proper exposure of 60 seconds in the enlarger with the light , i get black photos..

more settings: Aperture lens F 11 to f22. Ilford multigrade black and white i 've put the filter on the enlarger. the magenta filter to 60.
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Old 4th October 2018, 07:22 PM
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Bob Bob is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: London(ish)
Posts: 2,355

Hi and welcome to the forum.

I assume by 8 seconds "developing" time you mean "exposure" time under the enlarger? As you say, 8s is very short and you should be aiming for a range of between perhaps 15 and 40 seconds (very approximately).

Firstly, make sure you are developing the print in the developer for 2 to 3 minutes and are agitating it gently - it depends on the paper and developer you are using, but time in the developer for paper is not critical above a certain miniumum time so just use the time recommended by the paper manufacturer.

If you are getting grey prints then, assuming it is fresh paper and the developer is also fresh, then either your negatives are badly exposed and/or developed or you are printing with the wrong contrast and need to increase the contrast. If you normally scan your negatives and they display on your screen with good highlight and shadow detail without too much manipulation then the negatives themselves are probably OK.

As for the short exposure time, I would first check that the correct lamp is in the enlarger - it may be too powerful. Also, what size print are you making - a smaller print means the enlarger head is closer to the paper and so the light is brighter.

You may need to put some neutral density material between the light and the negative to reduce the light output. If your enlarger has a filter drawer then that is the simplest place - put it above your contrast filter. Just get the cheapest you can find on ebay etc - it is not in the image path so does not need to be optically perfect.

There are videos on ebay aimed at people starting out at printing that should help (avoid the more advanced ones - you do not need any complications at this point).

I expect you will get a lot more suggestions below .

Good luck, and have fun - Bob.
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Old 4th October 2018, 08:37 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Glasgow, Scotland.
Posts: 2,314

Problems like this can be difficult to diagnose when we canít see your darkroom setup and your procedures. From what you say, however, I would guess that your negatives are under exposed. They would then be very Ďthiní, allowing too much light to reach the printing paper. In my experience, this is quite a common problem. It can arise from a faulty exposure meter, incorrect use of the meter, or a faulty shutter in the camera. It would be good to see an example of your negatives if you could post them here. As Bob said, the size of print you are making will also affect the print exposure time. Very small prints can lead to very short exposure times.

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Old 4th October 2018, 10:55 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Daventry, Northants
Posts: 7,884

Hi lieven and welcome to FADU. I can only repeat the suggestion I made on Photrio where my name is pentaxuser see my last post on Photrio.

I have the impression that you may feel that the current help on Photrio is not getting you to a solution. If this is the case then I suggest you decide to stick with us here where you may receive less answers but more helpful answers which might get you to the solution quicker.More answers are not necessarily better answers

You have already seen a post here that suggests your negatives are underexposed and I suspect this is correct but we need to see the negative here to be sure.

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