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Old 10th February 2009, 06:53 AM
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Default Thin negatives.

Hi Les,

First the confession. I set up a still life intending to use FP4 Plus to shoot. I metered it all and for some reason loaded Pan F Plus into the camera.

I processed in Prescysol EF but as can be imagined the negatives are thin especially as reciprocity could have kicked in at the taking stage.

Do you have any advice as to how to attempt to print these negatives?

Bill
 
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Old 10th February 2009, 11:12 AM
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Hi Bill, I'm sure that most photographers have, at some time, done exactly the same I know that I have.

Had you used a standard developer rather than a staining developer I'd have suggested that you try to intensify the negative by immersing it for about 9 minutes with continuous agitation in selenium toner diluted 1 part selenium to 3 parts water and at a temperature of 20c. I'm not sure that this will work with a staining developer but I'll speak to Peter Hogan to check it out and post the answer here.

My approach to dealing with your problem is to start with grade 5 paper as the negative lacks contrast. You will need to to be very accurate with exposure for two reasons: clearly the thin negative requires very little exposure before producing total black and of course grade 5 does normally produce high contrast and rich blacks from a well exposed negative. Use quite short exposure times when making your test strip and fully develop the test in normal strength developer. The choice of paper can also make a significant difference to contrast, in my experience Ilford Warmtone is one paper that produces more contrast than most others availabe.

Should this not work try giving less exposure and increasing development, similar to increasing development when increasing the contrast of film. As a guide, refer to the test strip you made for the first suggestion I made above, select an area where the contrast looks acceptable, reduce that exposure by 25% to 35% and increase the development by at least 15 minutes. Yes, this sounds somewhat excessive but I have produced an acceptable print with even more development sometimes up to 30 minutes. Clearly, you can run into safelight or chemical fogging problems but with car it can work for you. I do switch off the safelight when doing this and switch it on briefly at intervals of about 5 minutes to inspect the print. Alternatively, you can use the hand held torch produced by RH Designs.

Adding about 100ml of a 1% solution of benzotiazole to your normal developer will help increase contrast but probably not enough to solve your problem.

You can also use a combination of the above suggestions to solve the problem even using all of the methods to arrive at the result you are after. I have to say that whilst my suggestions are likely to produce an acceptable print they are unlikely to match the print you would have made from a correctly exposed and developed negative.

Best wishes in your endeavours and remember that the time spent and materials used will not be wasted as they are all part of the learning curve needed to improve your print making.
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Old 10th February 2009, 02:46 PM
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Thanks Les.

I will give these suggestions a try.

Bill
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Old 21st February 2009, 12:19 PM
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Bill, as promised I've Selenium toned a Prescysol negative to see if the density/contrast can be increased. I cut an underdeveloped negative in half and placed one part in plain water for 5 minutes. I diluted selenium 1 part sel to 3 parts water at 24c and toned the negative for 9 minutes with continuous agitation. I haven't yet made prints from the two halves of the negative but to my eye it looks as as though there is at least 1/2 to 3/4 grade increase in contrast. I'll make test prints as soon as I can although that will not be until after 13th March as I'm away from home until then.
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Old 24th February 2009, 07:21 AM
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Thanks Les.

I will give that a try as well.

Bill
 
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