View Full Version : Contrast & The Beseler 67C
I've been using the Beseler 67c Dichro for my bathroom darkroom setup. It's been a very cool experience so far, and pulling traditional prints from my negatives is gratifying.
This enlarger has the color knobs, meant for color prints, but can be used like contrast filters. The booklet in the manual I have have the equivalent filters 1-3.
Last night I was printing up some photos from a roll of Pan F Plus and I was having a bit of trouble with the contrastiness of the negs. I had a rough time of keeping shadow detail, and having anything at all in the highlights.
Could anyone familiar with this enlarger enlighten me on how I can lower the contrast? Perhaps using the cyan knob? I dunno. Some guidance would be appreciated.
As I recall Pan F is inherently contrasty and you will have to reduce your developing time to control it. It's been a while, I could be wrong =~P
I've printed a couple of Pan F prints before, but they weren't as contrasty. Maybe because back then I used HC110 as opposed to D67 for the negs - I don't know.
Next time I set things up (probably on Monday) I'll try longer exposure times.
Won't less development give you the lower contrast that you are looking for? If the shadow details were ok, by giving more exposure (lower iso), you may just increase negative density and grain and have negs that are even more difficult to print than before.
I must've confused development and exposure times, sorry.
Seeing what's being developed in my bathtub is tricky. I've been using fibre based paper, and the image starts coming in at around 40 seconds, and it's pretty much all there (I think) around 70-80 seconds. Hmm.
Here are the numbers I'm using on a Beseler 23C II with a Colorhead...
These are the numbers I use with Ilford paper...
0...162 Yel...0 Mag
00...90 Yel....0 Mag
1/2...78 Yel....5 Mag
1...68 Yel...10 Mag
1 1/2...49 Yel...23 Mag
2...41 Yel...32 Mag
2 1/2...32 Yel...42 Mag
3...23 Yel...56 Mag
3 1/2...15 Yel...75 Mag
4.....6 Yel...102 Mag
4 1/2.....0 Yel...150 Mag
I normally have my lens aperture set at f/11 and set the enlarger timer to start seeing an image around the two minute mark based on a three minute developing time for fiber based paper...40 seconds for fiber based paper seems very fast and should result in higher contrast...Ilford instructions will ask for a three minute developing time for fiber paper...if you use this time they indicate, you should have more consistent prints with a full range of tones possible depending on the neg...
Start with no filter, aperture at f/8 or 11, test strip, develop for 3 minutes then adjust after that...also allow for a -10% adjustment for print drydown as the wet print will darken when it dries...watch your whites with little detail and your blacks they should come in...
The colorhead contrast suggestions in the booklet are quite different (!).
I've mainly been using ƒ8 for some reason, I'm not sure why. I'll try going up to 11.
As for the development time, I've been using a more generic developer that my local pro shop has and I've been using the recommended dilution. Perhaps Ilford paper developer is much different.
This is kind of frustrating given the amount of time it takes me to set up my bathroom darkroom, so it' makes on the fly experimentation a drag. However my wife and I are thinking of moving into a 2 bed / 2 bath apartment which would allow me to make a semi-permanent darkroom/
Development time for the prints? I thought you were never supposed to "snatch" prints. Aperture of enlarging lens won't make a difference in contrast, surely? Stopping down further probably won't improve sharpness either, I read in a few books that 2 or 3 stops down from max aperture is best sharpness. I did some 9x12.5 prints at different aperture settings to test and my CE-Rokkor 50/2.8 seems to follow that rule (best sharpness at f5.6 or f8, can't really tell the difference).
When I was buying my enlarger, I almost bought a colour-head model. I opted to get a normal old-fashioned B&W head model instead (a Durst M609), because I was told that not only is it difficult to accurately calibrate the colour values to a contrast grade, and they can wander quite a lot depending on temp and age etc (even the paper you're printing on to)., but that you simply don't have the range of contrast control compared to a book of Ilford MG filters.
My book of filters goes from 00 to 5, I think. Is it possible to set your enlarger to white light only and borrow somebody's filters? I assume even a colour-head still has a filter drawer.
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