Darkroom printing advice
Old 06-23-2018   #1
p.giannakis
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Darkroom printing advice

Hi everyone,


I am going to make my first darkroom prints tonight and i am looking for advice.


I will print on ilford multigrade RC deluxe paper and use adox Neutol Eco developer. Can someone give me a starting developing time for this combo. Dilution will be 1+9.


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Old 06-23-2018   #2
presspass
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Are you developing with trays or a slot processor?
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Old 06-23-2018   #3
p.giannakis
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Forgot to mention, it's trays.
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Old 06-23-2018   #4
Deardorff38
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Well.... it depends on the density of your negatives & your exposure & lens aperture....& enlarger height. I've used lots of Neutol & Neutol WA.... aiming for full development in 2 minutes. For a roughly 6x9" print on 8x10 paper.... (my average negatives)....around 18-20 sec at f11 exposure time
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Old 06-23-2018   #5
rangefinderlove123
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I've not heard of different developing times for either tray or slot processing...

I'd stick to 1 minute development for RC.

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Old 06-23-2018   #6
Chriscrawfordphoto
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Virtually all papers and paper developers are designed to be developed for two minutes. Some RC papers used to accelerators built in to make them develop faster, one minute instead of two. I don't know if any still do.

The thing with paper developing is that developing is done to completion, so you do not adjust contrast by adjusting developing time, as you do with film. Instead, you choose a different paper grade (or filter if you use multigrade paper).

Some people also try to 'save' an overexposed print (one that would be too dark) by pulling it early from the developer. Don't do that. You'll get weak blacks. Throw it away and make a new print with a shorter exposure.
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Old 06-23-2018   #7
p.giannakis
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Thanks guys. Much appreciated. I'll give your advice a try.
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Old 06-23-2018   #8
Ko.Fe.
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I'm usually trying to keep it between one and two minutes for RC.
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Old 06-23-2018   #9
p.giannakis
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Does the dilution of the developer play any role in developing time?
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Old 06-23-2018   #10
Moto-Uno
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I tend to a piece of the paper I'm using into 4 or 8 pieces (in the dark) and place them where there's a range of of shades and do test development of times and exposures until I feel I've nailed it . It takes a while , but cuts down on waste and then I record what was the most satisfactory as a good stating point for the future. It's a treat to to see the prints . Have Fun, Peter
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Old 06-23-2018   #11
Erik van Straten
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Gelatin paper takes longer. I never use RC paper. I leave the paper for 3 minutes in the developer. When leaving the paper longer in the developer the blacks become deeper so the print looks contrastier.


Strong diluted developer works softer, but it takes longer to develope the image fully. The best thing is to standardize everything. Gelatin paper is very flexible, you can get all kinds of results, wanted or unwanted. Different developers give different hues to the grey, greenish, bluish or reddish etc.


Good luck! Have fun!



Erik.


Gelatin silver print, split grade printing.


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Old 06-23-2018   #12
ptpdprinter
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A good place to start is reading the instructions. The instruction sheet for Neutol Eco developer at 1:9 at 20C says 70 seconds for PE papers and 100 seconds for FB papers.
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Old 06-23-2018   #13
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Right. Read the instructions on your paper developer and papers you are using. If in doubt, leave the print in the developer another minute or two. It is very difficult to over develop a print because paper is designed to develop to completion, unlike film. Once the image is fully developed on your print, that's it. Erik says he gets deeper blacks by leaving his prints in longer, but he uses fiber paper, as I do. If he has been getting darker blacks by leaving it in longer in the developer, the he may just need to adjust his "normal" development times.

However, it is very easy to over expose the paper to the image, so make sure you do test strips to get your exposure time right. Each negative will probably require a different exposure time. The info below will come in handy.

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/how-t...nd-white-print
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Old 06-23-2018   #14
Erik van Straten
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Yes, every negative has to be printed in it's own way. It is much better after an evening printing to have one reasonable print than thirty six mediocre ones. When making a split grade print, you'll have to find out two exposure times, wich can take easily take ten test strips. Then you are lucky. You also have to anticipate on the drying effect. Fiber paper gets much darker when dry. Printing photo's is a profession, it is very different from picture taking. It is a true graphical art.


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Old 06-23-2018   #15
Deardorff38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
It is much better after an evening printing to have one reasonable print than thirty six mediocre ones. Printing photo's is a profession, it is very different from picture taking. It is a true graphical art.
Erik.
It's a long way down the rabbit hole. & you might find it obsessive....in a good way
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Old 06-24-2018   #16
p.giannakis
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Thanks for the advice everyone, it was more difficult than i thought with loads of beginners mistakes but good fun. Practice makes perfect.


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Old 06-24-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone, it was more difficult than i thought with loads of beginners mistakes but good fun. Practice makes perfect.





Looks pretty good for first time. I still have some of the stuff I did when I first learned to print in the darkroom, when I was a 15 year old high school student. Those prints SUCKED, but I was overjoyed with them. I miss printing, it was messy, smelly, and the chemicals were causing me health problems....but it was FUN.


Practice will help you a lot, too. Even after I'd gotten good enough that my work was being exhibited and selling as art, I still never stopped learning and improving through practice.
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Old 06-24-2018   #18
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Sugeest a large waste basket.

I started out with too small of a waste basket and it got filled up rather quickly!

Have fun with your new darkroom adventure.
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Old 06-24-2018   #19
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Printing is fun. Good to see someone else picking it up. I rarely scan anymore.
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