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Showing posts from July, 2015

DPP for Color Slide Printing

I have been playing around with Direct Positive Paper (DPP) since Ilford has restarted production. I wanted to see how the paper would work for color slide printing. I started with a slide I used in a earlier post.

I started with a test strip as normal. I had to remind myself that a dark section required a longer exposure which is the opposite from normal paper. I settled on f11 at 22 seconds for the following result. I developed and fixed the print normally as any other print.

One can see the reputation of the paper being very contrasty. The whites are blown out and the shadows are blocked. Because of the red color in the slide I thought that the lack of red sensitivity was part of the reason for some of the contrast problems. Red would appear as blacker. I reckoned that a magenta filter might shift the white sandstone darker. I used a .50 cibachrome magenta filter and increased  the exposure a full stop to 45 seconds. This improved the local contrast in the white areas somewhat.


Enlarger Lenses

The journey through the darkroom continues. My recent upgrades to make 16"x20" prints has been very satisfying and illuminating. During my first printing work at this scale I became aware that the focus at the edge of the print was not as clear as at the center. Prior to this scale of printing I had not noticed. This is for two reasons 1) My biggest prints were 12x16" prints, 2) I used fast modern papers in this size. When you move up to larger prints you need longer exposures for the same f-stop and my first 16x20" paper was some old Negra Portrene which is a slower emulsion than the modern Ilford paper that I used in the past. Consequently the dual panorama print referenced above was printed at f5.6 at 16" and 32". This lead to the observation of softness at the edge.
If one zooms into the upper photo at lower right corner and the lower middle, one can easily see the softness expressed at the edge of the lens. The lens I use is a 75mm f3.5 lens from an …

Direct Positive Paper

Recently Ilford re-introduced its direct positive paper offerings. After some difficulties in its Swiss plant they apparently recreated the formula and re-started production in Mobberley England. It is available in 4x5 through to 16x20 sizes on doubleweight FB paper. Imago also makes a similar product in RC base. It is considerably more expense it seems at 100 euros vs 75 euros for 25 sheets of 8x10 at the Macodirect website.

I bought a box of 8x10 paper from Silverprint ad it arrived yesterday. I cut and trimmed the paper to fit my much underused 4x5 MPP view camera. This I did under my normal red safelight. It isn't too easy as 4x5 film is slightly smaller than 4"x5", the paper is thicker, and has a distinct curl that interferes with the dark slide. This was especially true when I tried putting the dark slide back after my first exposure. It meant I had to take the camera back to my darkroom and remove it under a safelight.

I took a single scene in my living room which…

Old Paper: Agfa

Perhaps a little too encouraged by my experience with the Negra Portrene paper I purchased more 16x20" paper this time from Agfa and was assured by the seller it had been frozen in a professional lab. A partial open envelope of 10 sheets of VC FB paper and an unopened box of VC RC paper.

Of course I cut the FB paper down first into 8x10 pieces and test strips and proceeded to print some photos from our recent trip to Cornwall. I was disappointed as even on the test strip it was obvious the paper was badly fogged. The best print I show below. The border which shows as gray should be white. I had recently made up some potassium ferrocyanide solution and tried touching up the white areas to redeem the photo but it still lacks contrast and is dull. Also the fogging was mottled and inconsistent. So much for refrigerated paper.

I next did the same with the RC paper, It too suffered from fogging. The following was the best print I got from it. Developing with BZT added did not help noti…

Cape Cornwall to Sennen Cove: A walk and some prints.

Recently Vicki and I spent a few days in Cornwall taking in the sights. We walked the five miles from Cape Cornwall to Sennen Cove on a lovely day. I took along my Mamiya 645 Pro and some black and white and color film. The interchangeable backs may frustrate my wife at times but saves me from having to choose between color and black and white.. I started out with Ilford HP4+ and ended up with Fomapan 100.

My recent project to make my enlarger capable of printing up to 16x20" prints led me to think of a fitting print for the fantastic scenery we encountered. I thought of two panoramas one from the end and another the start of the journey to remember it by. I took the landscape view in mind and did some simple math using 1/2" borders. The width of the printed area would be 20" minus 1" or a 19" image. The height would accommodate both prints and so I divided the 16" by 2 and subtracted the 1/2" borders to give me 7". A 7x19" print was a stran…