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[PRINT] My first print ON MY OWN
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:57 am    Post subject: [PRINT] My first print ON MY OWN Reply with quote

Whew... just came back in the studio after my first darkroom session here at home!
Exciting and stressing at the same time, because I was doing a lot of things for the first time (like mixing chemicals) and I was unsure that I could seal the room against the light perfectly. Also I was worried by the high temperatures.
I made a lot of mistakes, part by my own fault, part by wrong information that I received. For instance, I was told that the enlarger's white light on a multigrade paper would roughly correspond to a contrast 2 filter. How wrong! I wasted 2-3 sheets of paper to realize that it wasn't so.
Things I learned:

1- it's good to prepare chemicals immediately before the session, but it's NOT good if you have to mix powder. That requires water temperature around 35-40 and once you did that, it takes hours, in the summer, to have it reach room temperature Confused

2- you can never have too many bottles

3- you can never have too much paper

4- when you use multigrade paper, never use it without a filter in the box. Leave filter 2 in there all the time, and change it if needed with a different value.

5- when temperature of developer is 23 or more, the blacks in the picture surface in record time. Very difficult to control them. I need to find a way around the problem - how to cool the liquids?

6- the shower handle (with many holes) is so much better to wash prints than the simple tap opening. Note to self: when you will build a real darkroom, have two taps, or even better three. One of them with the shower handle.

7- I need a water tap filter. I could not imagine how much dirt comes from the tap. You may think does not really matter. No, it hurts the prints. That dirt lies on the emulsion surface and prevents the chemicals to act. So in the print you find those "nice" white little dots.

8- with black and white prints, it really pays to have invested in a good camera and great lenses. The quality really surfaces. I can look with an enlarging lens over my 18x24 cm print and see endless detail inside. Wow. And this from a 24x36 negative. Imagine from a 6x6 cm one!

9- all things are more difficult without a tutor at your side! Especially how to "read" the test strips and figure out the best formula without wasting a whole batch of paper...

Ok so here's my first print "on my own":
It is not perfect (the stairway needs some strategical burning), but I am happy with it Very Happy
I managed to obtain a wide range of greys, and some pure black and white. Smile
Printing a photo is so much satisfaction!! It makes you feel the image "more yours"... don't know if this makes sense to you...

Technical data:

film: T-Max 400
camera: Contax RX
lens: Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 3.4/35-70 (examining my print I can really see now what killer lens this one is)
film developer: T-Max
paper: Ilford RC IV Multigrade "pearl"
enlarger: 8 sec exposure, contrast set to 2,5
paper developer: Ilford multigrade



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Last edited by Orio on Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:29 pm; edited 3 times in total


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats the tonal range is impressive!
What size did you print?


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

poilu wrote:
Congrats the tonal range is impressive!
What size did you print?


Thanks Smile The paper of the print is 24x18 cm. (9,46 x 7,09 inches)
(but the surface impressed is smaller)


Last edited by Orio on Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:45 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOWWWW!!! Shocked


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katastrofo wrote:
WOWWWW!!! Shocked


thanks Smile
film can still be an emotion (at least for me) Smile


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes, I'm afraid it will be some time before I get another DSLR. Film is all I think about anymore. Hope to see more of these simply grand efforts
of yours!

And yes, that Vario-Sonnar is a killer lens!


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katastrofo wrote:
Film is all I think about anymore.


As soon as I finish the bottle of tmax developer, I am going to try your B&W film Smile


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Katastrofo wrote:
Film is all I think about anymore.


As soon as I finish the bottle of tmax developer, I am going to try your B&W film Smile


Great! Smile I think you will like it, and if you do, I can send more. I placed
an order to Freestyle yesterday, much more Portra in both 120 and 35,
and I'm going to try the Efke 50 BW film, has a high silver content and I
like what I've seen with this film. Also ordered some Astia 100F in 120,
just to see what it does.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy Cow, Orio! This is superb. I mean REALLY a nice print.
The tonal range is tremendous, with beautiful delineations of
the shades of grey. I can imagine the feeling of the "real thing"
in your hands after your work of processing and printing.
I have no doubt that it must be a very visceral, tactile experience.

Kastraphoto wrote: Oh yes, I'm afraid it will be some time
before I get another DSLR. Film is all I think about anymore.
Hope to see more of these simply grand efforts of yours!


I fully agree with your opinion of Orio's work. Also, I have
tried numerous times to be comfortable with digital, but I
have once again turned back to film. I even sold the VERY
nice Sigma SD-14 in order to finance a medium format lens.
There are some opinions that film is expensive, but it really
isn't if you factor the cost of film and processing against the
cost of a top-of-the-line digital camera. That equates to a LOT
of film and processing, AND a film camera doesn't go
"out of style" after just a year or two like a digital camera.
And of course even 35mm film can equate to the best "35mm"
digital image; they both are just about the same to overall
quality, but film includes the feeling of using all the considerations
needed to try to get a fine image.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Orio, what a nice result!.
It reminds me the time when I was at the military service. My best friend there was the photographer at the General Comandancy, and I spent most of my spare time there helping him in developing the B&W films he took for the military family parties. When you said "the blacks in the picture surface in record time" took me back to such memories of watching the picture appearing... It was 35 years ago and it seems the process hasn't changed a lot since them Wink

Thanks for bringing me back so nice memories Smile

Regards,

Jes.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impressive....Nice work.

Maybe next logic step for many of us.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: My first print ON MY OWN Reply with quote

CONGRATULATIONS!

It seems odd that someone as gifted has never made prints alone... I started 'wet' back in the 1950's!

Vis a vis the temperature dilemma, I used a cool water bath to stand the bottles / trays in to promote more rapid cooling. I also had some double walled trays where one could put hot or cold water in to the area between the walls to moderate the temperature in the inner tray?

Now you are going to enter the wonderful world of hard v soft papers, resin coated v plain, multigrade, high contrast developers, and all the other stuff that Photoshop and Inkjets have rescued us from lol

Doug



Orio wrote:
Whew... just came back in the studio after my first darkroom session here at home!
-


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blimey we are a bunch of antiques! lol

I have resurrected my trusty EOS 1-N RS and suddenly... a BRIGHT viewfinder, no blackout when shooting, real (19mm) wide angle available, 10FPS and a weapon of mass destruction in its own right!

Not sure if I will go back to 'wet' though as no room anymore, the smell, the allergies and the all round laziness...lol

I have just bought a Sony (Konica) scanner that can do an entire roll (35mm or APS) in a few short minutes, so that's my next adventure...

Doug.

Laurence wrote:
Holy Cow, Orio! This is superb. I mean REALLY a nice print.
The tonal range is tremendous, with beautiful delineations of
the shades of grey. I can imagine the feeling of the "real thing"
in your hands after your work of processing and printing.
I have no doubt that it must be a very visceral, tactile experience.

Kastraphoto wrote: Oh yes, I'm afraid it will be some time
before I get another DSLR. Film is all I think about anymore.
Hope to see more of these simply grand efforts of yours!


I fully agree with your opinion of Orio's work. Also, I have
tried numerous times to be comfortable with digital, but I
have once again turned back to film. I even sold the VERY
nice Sigma SD-14 in order to finance a medium format lens.
There are some opinions that film is expensive, but it really
isn't if you factor the cost of film and processing against the
cost of a top-of-the-line digital camera. That equates to a LOT
of film and processing, AND a film camera doesn't go
"out of style" after just a year or two like a digital camera.
And of course even 35mm film can equate to the best "35mm"
digital image; they both are just about the same to overall
quality, but film includes the feeling of using all the considerations
needed to try to get a fine image.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent. A+


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio, this is an excellent print!!

Honestly! I guess in all the time I printed b&w photos myself (in 1991/92), I have never or perhaps only one or two times achieved such a good result.

Well done, my friend!


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: My first print ON MY OWN Reply with quote

nemesis101 wrote:

Now you are going to enter the wonderful world of hard v soft papers, resin coated v plain, multigrade, high contrast developers, and all the other stuff that Photoshop and Inkjets have rescued us from lol


Laughing
But I tell you something: after having seen the blurred, lifeless colour prints that the lab made for the Palio contests after my expensive 5DMkII files, I don't think I am willing to go printing anymore with my colour files. My B&W negative print is so sharp that you can cut yourself if you handle it improperly Wink Do I really want to pay again for having that colour broth? I don't think so. So either I would use a professional printing service (and pay accordingly), or my digital files are going to stay digital and only end up on 10x15 cm prints for souvenir.
Printing with colour film gives similar problem, but at least with colour film you can do slides and project them on the wall for a great effect.
I was really let down by my colour prints from the 5DMkII, as much as I am excited by the quality of the film B&W prints.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:
Orio, this is an excellent print!!

Honestly! I guess in all the time I printed b&w photos myself (in 1991/92), I have never or perhaps only one or two times achieved such a good result.

Exactly what I though !

Orio, you really are gifted and you will now master the photographic process from A to Z. Great job !


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, the print is really superb. You really got it right.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jieffe wrote:
LucisPictor wrote:
Orio, this is an excellent print!!

Honestly! I guess in all the time I printed b&w photos myself (in 1991/92), I have never or perhaps only one or two times achieved such a good result.

Exactly what I though !

Orio, you really are gifted and you will now master the photographic process from A to Z. Great job !


naplam wrote:
Wow, the print is really superb. You really got it right.


guys, you make me blush Embarassed thanks!
your words give me an incentive to keep working.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really your first go?! Shocked

You have a great career ahead of you! First class result.

If you can't keep the solution cool enough you can always dilute it further which will slow it down.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xpres wrote:
Really your first go?! Shocked
You have a great career ahead of you! First class result.
If you can't keep the solution cool enough you can always dilute it further which will slow it down.


Thanks!
(for the kind words and for the advice)


PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really nice results Orio. Even if you didn't get the results you did, its still enjoyable to do.

You have got me thinking. I believe my cousin still has his darkroom set up but hasn't used it in a couple of years. I have to look into this. I shouldn't look at these posts.

Stupidly I gave away almost all of my developing stuff when I went digital. I hadn't used it in many years. I did find my water filter and some old useless chemicals in the crawl space over my shop. I have to go back and see what is really there.


PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio, I think you are a natural Wink


PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GrahamNR17 wrote:
Orio, I think you are a natural Wink


thanks Smile if a pro says this then it must mean something Cool


PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
GrahamNR17 wrote:
Orio, I think you are a natural Wink


thanks Smile if a pro says this then it must mean something Cool


Once I was maybe, but not for a long time. I am in awe, you are a good photographer AND a good printer. I was a good printer and a shit photographer Laughing Laughing Laughing