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Mission wet print begins (Almost)

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by nastypiranha, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    Hello everyone,

    Well it's took awhile but I'm just about ready to do my first B&W wet print. I took your advice and just waiting for my order to arrive later this week.

    x2 Ilford HP5+ 400
    Ilford Multigrade IV RC Paper gloss 8 x 10
    Ilford ID11 Film Developer
    Ilford PQ Universal Print
    Ilford Rapid Fixer

    I already have the stop bath so think I should be ready in the chemical department. So no-doubt I’ll have a few questions about the id-11 when it arrives. So far while I’m waiting I’m playing around with the enlarger (Krokus 66 SL) and grain focuser.

    I've set my timer up for the enlarger to do 5 second exposures for a test strip and my first question I have is about the lighting from the enlarger, My lens in the enlarger is a Schneider Kreuznach Componon-S 4,0/80mm so with mocking testing (8X10 prints) I have the lens set at F22, when it comes to exposing do I want to have the aperture set around f8 ? (Mid range)
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Your test prints will inform you. You want the exposure to be long enough for split timing to not be critical but not so long as to be boring.
  3. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember using F/11 most of the time.
  4. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Just to confuse, I was taught to focus with it wide open, then stop down two clicks...

    Good luck, though, and have fun! See whether you can resist the crack cocaine moment...

  5. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    Good advice. With my set-up, setting the lens at f8 or f11 usually gives me an exposure time of around 15~20 secs which is long enough to make burning and dodging a lot easier. Both these relate to 10x8 prints made on Ilford MGIV rc but it obviously varies with paper type and size. There's nothing wrong with your choice of enlarger lens either - the Componon S lenses are top quality. I've been using 'em for years.
  6. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Here's a tip:
    Cut up a sheet of paper into two inch x five inch strips. Develop & fix & wash & dry one strip unexposed. Expose another for say thirty seconds with the lens wide open, then develop, fix, wash & dry. They show what absolute black and absolute white that you can expect from fresh chemicals with that paper. Get a spiral bound notebook or ringbinder with a punched hole pad. Make that your darkroom journal. Glue both strips on page 1 and keep.

    Next do a safe light safety test. Take some coins in with you, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p and £1. Oh, and maybe some music, too. With the enlarger off and everything nice and light tight, put the safelight on and main light off. Take out another strip of the paper. Leave it on the baseboard untouched for 2 minutes. Then put the £1 coin on the paper. Wait another two minutes. Add the 50p coin. Repeat with every coin at same interval. Wait two minutes after 5p coin then develop the strip. Process. See if area covered by the coins shows any tone less than base white.

    File strip in your journal.

    More help another time.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  7. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    Thank you everyone for your advice and tips, it's very much appreciated :)

    I've just received my order, so first thing I need to do is use up a roll of film to be processed Then its mix the id-11.
  8. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    I did my first print and it turned out not to bad, maybe could of done with a little bit longer but I’m happy enough with it.

    I also decided to see what would happens if I used a colour negative (Boots processed) and well the first image went almost straight to black in the developer but decided to try again and this was the final result:

  9. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    It's very difficult to get anything like a decent image when you print a colour negative onto mono paper. The orange mask leads to odd flat and tonally distorted images. You could try printing at a much harder grade but, honestly, I'd save your efforts for when you print a proper monochrome neg. After all that, you still made your first print which didn't turn out too bad!
  10. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    Thanks Taxor, the above image was just to see why you don't do things. I thought I could read from others how things don't work but thought I’d be better to try then I will have more of a understanding.

    This was my first print (Think it could of done with a bit longer or maybe dodging), This was the afga 200 developed with ilford PQ I did awhile back. But if it's a decent day tomorrow I'll get this roll finished and then get processing with the id-11:

    my first ever print :)
  11. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    That's me finished my HP5 roll, so now time to start mixing up the id-11.
  12. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    1. Excellent.

    2. Not so excellent. That is the job I hated most, mixing chemical solutions from powders.

    Here's another important tip - possibly very important: when pouring powder chemicals into very warm water do not stand with your head over the container of water! Should you make the mistake of doing so, whatever you do next, DO NOT BREATHE. OR SNEEZE.

    Similarly, after you have been stirring the ID-11 for a while after the second powder has been added; with your glass rod, stir the fluid to make it carousel, let it settle and then look to see if there are any undissolved powder grains in the centre, dragged there by centrifugal force. Use the end of your glass mixing rod (a.k.a. substantial thermometer) to mash them up as much as possible. Again as you peer into the solution try not to breathe although you should have no risk of inhaling powder chemicals at that point.

    This is most important if and when mixing fixer from powder. I made that mistake once and ended up ingesting a little powder that made me very uncomfortable for a day or so.

    Don't forget to filter the solution before dilution and use.
  13. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Depends on the strength of the orange masking, taxor, and the tones in the subject and probably the enlarger colour head as well. I have produced very acceptable B&W prints from colour negatives and with the same enlarger & colour head, produced some very odd looking ones where the tonal relationships didn't work despite adjusting the filtration. Cheers, Oly
  14. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    :) I like it. Kamepa (another Forum member) will probably love that! Well done.
  15. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking I might of made a mistake with the id-11 or not I’m unsure. I followed the instructions:

    But i never diluted the developer before using.

    Thank you 0lybacker :D

    I've made a good few mistakes but I guess its the best way to learn. I noticed on my enlarger lens I have a slider for the aperture which was in the f/4 stop and it was overriding the adjusting ring on the lens. so lens was saying f/22 but was really f/4 so when I was stopping to f/11 it was still on f/4. But now I know so hopefully wont be making that mistake again.
  16. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    Aye, 'appen you're reet! - what I should have said is I've never got decent results from colour neg :)
  17. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    You can, np. It's not wrong unless you use the wrong time for full strength developer. ID-11/D76 can be used neat, 1+1 or 1+3 and if your AP posting name is Kamepa, probably something like 1.725 + 24.65 and stand developing in a 90 degree temperature darkroom for one hour. :)

    It's always worth having a play with a new enlarger lens when it is off enlarger to see if it has little tricks like that. You are not the first one to be caught out. :eek: Take encouragement from the fact that any mistakes that you make will have been made by millions of photographers before you.

    Here's another tip. Buy several thermometers, one of which is a certified mercury thermometer - it will be the most expensive. That becomes your 'master' thermo. Take some time with a graduate or two of cold water, a cooling kettle of boiled water, and calibrate your other non-certified mercury & alcohol thermos to the master thermo. Then, keep the master thermo tucked away safely in a drawer somewhere.

    You will inevitably break your thermometers at some time or other, hopefully without any personal injury, and you will have a standard in the master thermo to which the replacement can be checked.

    Controlling time & temperature is another hurdle in your path to good quality negatives. Cheers, Oly
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Beg pardon, Guv! :) Didn't want OP thinking he'd done something wrong. Cheers, Oly
  19. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    This seems to be more a issue with me for the print trays. I've put my trays into a large tray and filled that with temped water and have added two fish tank heaters but think the 25watt ones I have aren’t up to the job, so I'll need to order a 300w or 500watt to try.

    wee update on progress there not great, and as I don't own a scanner so there just a photos of photos.

  20. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Not bad so far! Well done. They are all good prints it seems, excellent for first ever sessions. Keep going.

    Here's another tip but it's a bit more optional. My club in London had a talk by Larry Bartlett years ago. (He was then a printer at the Daily Express, sadly now deceased, and an award winner, IIRC, in his own right but also printed John Downing's famous award-winning image from the 1980s Afghan war)

    Larry's big tip was to use Multigrade dev fairly cold but at 1+6 (dev to water), instead of the standard 1+9 dilution, and to develop to full completion in 3 minutes. He aimed to have his exposure so that maximum black would still be improving through minutes two and three.

    One or two of the guys in the Club were shaking their heads afterwards. I ran some tests at home, as back then, I worked in an unheated darkroom. Except in the depths of winter when I would have to take in an electric fire with the red 'glow' bulb taken out as it was far too bright at 25w.

    I reckon Larry was spot on and my tests appeared to confirm it. He also said for tray developing amateurs who put non-exhausted solutions back in bottles at session end for re-use, that the extra chemicals would pay off with better keeping qualities, slightly higher throughput and slightly better quality maintained through to exhaustion. He was right on that, too.

    The Express darkroom rarely went below 64degF but if it got close to 60, he would start to use a tray heater but only to bump things back up to 64 degs and also for some personal comfort.

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