soft border when using easel
Old 10-27-2019   #1
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Savid is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Denmark
Posts: 17
soft border when using easel

Hi all,

I have spent part of my weekend developing photos in my improvised bathroom/darkroom (for the second time ever) but I have now stumbled upon a - to me - curious problem I hope you wise internet-friends can help me solve.

When developing "smaller" papers of 13x18 cm and 9x13 cm my pictures come out with one or more soft borders as seen in these photos:

soft border by Søren Davidsen, on Flickr

I have used the same easel for all pictures, and the borders of bigger paper sizes (18x24 cm) all come out okay:

border okay by Søren Davidsen, on Flickr

I use a Leica Focomat V35, Ilford Multigrade developer, Ilfostop and Tetanal superfine plus. IMy first thought was that the age of the paper could be a factor as I got it with the enlarger and do not know its age; this problem occurs across different papersizes from different batches that have all been stored dark and in light-tight plastic bags (in the back of a closet where the sunshine never comes)

Any suggestions as to what could be causing this?
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Old 10-27-2019   #2
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retinax is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,156
Expose a sheet of this paper to room light and develop it, that will tell you if it's the paper. Actually, better expose it under the enlarger in steps, but with the head further up, because if it somehow lost sensitivity but not completely, it might still turn an even black with generous room light exposure.
The other possibilities are that somehow it wasn't properly covered/agitated in developer, or the enlarger vignettes at these low magnifications. You could eliminate the latter by printing at this size on a sheet of different/larger paper. But it should also be visible just looking at the projected image.
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Old 10-27-2019   #3
Larry H-L
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Larry H-L is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 635
I too suspect an enlarger vignetting problem, something is blocking or cutting off the light's path to the paper. It also appears that some sort of reflected light is fogging the edges of the paper, a gray halo seems evident.
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Old 10-27-2019   #4
Ronald M
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Ronald M is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,562
Paper edges curled up and not getting under developer/fix.

Hold edges down, more agitation l/r & up/down alternate
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