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2F/2F

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I have a free day, and a free open lab available for 6 and a half hours today. No large format classes are going on, so I can come in to one of the private developing darkrooms and finally take care of some of my b/w sheet film that has been piling up.

I have about 20 sheets of 5x7 FP4, exposed in January, and 8 sheets of 4x5 FP4 (exposed a few months ago) that I hope to handle today.

A few sheets are marked for plus one, and one marked for minus one. I know how to handle these ones with HC-110. Problem is, pretty much all of the film is marked for stand development. I normally use HC-110 for this, but I am in an experimental mood, and definitely want to use Rodinal for one of my 5x7 shots in particular, and maybe for more. It was a very long exposure in a very high contrast situation. I am having a hard time deciding between dilute D-23 or dilute Rodinal. In you all's experience, which of these has the most extreme compensating effect? I have used both for stand development, but never was that exact about measuring the effects. Both printed well, but both were shot on different films and in differing levels of contrast, so "scientific" comparison is impossible at this point.

So, I am talking about D-23 1:7 vs. Rodinal 1:250. Which one do you think will compensate the most?
 
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2F/2F

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I went ahead and tried the Rodinal 1:250 on that one sheet. It turned out nicely. 500 mL of solution in an 8x10 tray, 19 C at the start, one hour total time, one minute initial agitation, then 30 seconds agitation every 10 minutes.

I used D-23 1:3 on the 8 sheets of 4x5 in a half-gallon Nikkor tank and hangers. They turned out great as well. 12 minutes at 20 C, agitation for the first minute, then 15 seconds every minute up till 12 minutes, then a three minute stand at the end just for good measure.

FP4 is definitely a poor film for long exposures compared to some of the other choices. It is hard to get it to pick up anything in the shadows.
 

pgomena

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Thanks for sharing this information. It's always good to have folks' real experiences with different twists on developers and development.

Peter Gomena
 

PVia

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2F...so you did stand development in a tray? How did it turn out? No mottling or uneveness?
 
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2F/2F

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2F...so you did stand development in a tray? How did it turn out? No mottling or uneveness?

Well.....Funny you should ask. I pulled the masking tape label off of the one side of the holder that had been exposed, set it down, went to do something, and came back and prepared all the solutions. It was an extremely important shot that was impossible to have shot twice, as it was a long exposure (about 25 minutes) of me digging the grave for my 17-year-old cat in my back yard. I was about to hit the lights and begin when I realized that I forget whether I had put the exposed side of the holder face up or face down. I said to myself, "It would be logical if I had put the exposed sheet face down", so I developed that sheet first. The whole hour in the dark, I was hoping that the worst was not true...that I was not spending an hour developing a blank sheet of film...but of course, it was...

Chalk this one up in the stupid view camera mistakes thread. It's a new one for me.

The picture itself came out surprisingly well, considering the exposure situation. It was horribly backlit, and there was almost no light in the foreground. The sun had already gone down. I used ND to slow down the exposure to a workable length. However, in hindsight, I think I used too much. I stacked a one stop and a two stop, and would have done better with one or the other. I was actually afraid that the sky would be so blown out that it might bleed and ruin the rest of the negative. On the neg, however, the sky was restrained quite well, and whatever could be dug out of the thin foreground was dug. You could actually see through the sky's density quite well, just holding the neg up to room lights. It is a bear of a negative for sure. It will be printable, though pt/pd possibilities are what I really had in mind for this one. I'll have to see about that...HA! I may intensify, to tell you the truth (sacrifice some sky in order to pop the foreground, and then mask it out), but I am going to try to print it first. I did not get any of the ghosting human figure (myself) that I wanted, though I did get a few ghosts of shovels and pick axes, so there will be an implied narrative of some sort of suburban backyard burial...and I think there may be some smoothed out grass among the sharp blades. I will see for sure once I get a loupe on it today.

There were no developing issues like the ones you mentioned. However, I did agitate for one minute initially, and then 30 seconds every minute, so it was not a full-on stand development. I also flipped the sheet every agitation cycle (face up to face down, and vice versa.) I have done it before plenty of times, and never had any unevenness. I have not tried to let a sheet stand for an hour.

I think in retrospect, given the same exposure, I would have gone two hours in development, and reduced the agitation cycles to 15 minutes. Punching the foreground a little more would have been worth losing some sky.

P.S. I am going back again today, to spend another 8 hours as Gollum....I still have 16 sheets of 5x7 to go!
 
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Mick Fagan

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Very interesting reading. I have visions of a deep hole, a mound of earth, and, a pick shown being swung near the top of it's arc just above the mound of earth.

It could be titled, "Kitty Litter".

17 years, pretty impressive!

Mick.
 
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2F/2F

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However, I did agitate for one minute initially, and then 30 seconds every minute, so it was not a full-on stand development. I also flipped the sheet every agitation cycle (face up to face down, and vice versa.)

I meant to say "30 seconds every 10 minutes".
 
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2F/2F

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I am taking a break from making contact lith prints for the upcoming print share. I need 30 prints. Boy, is it a hell of a job getting one lith print to look like the next one...and the defects in the old paper are killing me! Over half are rejected due to white spots. I am living with the black spots, however. I am using old Portriga Rapid grade 2 matte. At least I am doing a handful of different prints for the share, so I only only need six good ones. 11 copies attempted, only two are "perfect", and one is "perfect" except for a tiny white spot, which I am going to touch up. Others are rejects because I snatched them too late. I'll see if I can get a scan or digital photo of a good one up soon.
 
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Hey, Keith. Sorry about the cat. Happy for the neg. Glad you had the time to stay in and be creative today.
 
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2F/2F

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Thanks, Chris. She was a surly and vicious bitch, but I loved her, and she was a snuggler at times; mostly later in her life. Euthanasia decided upon due to intestinal cancer with an unsure prognosis that I decided not to treat finally did her in, after a tough life of choosing to live almost entirely outside, getting in constant fights (an abcess here, a missing piece of the ear there...), and being an absolutely ruthless butcher of small animals. Ever seen a cat sitting on its hind legs at the door step looking up at you just chomping on a hummingbird, half of it out one side of the mouth, and half of it out the other? She certainly moved quickly and quietly, even with her short legs and above-average girth...and the bell didn't seem to slow down her "productivity" either. The spot where I buried her was one of her favorite spots on the property; down by the old incinerator, a relic from the days when Los Angeles city did not offer public trash collection.

Here is a quick scan of one of the prints, with all the technical details underneath: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8266378@N05/4183563243/.
 

Jerevan

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30 lith prints? You crazy or somethin'? :D
 

Mick Fagan

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Very interesting picture and interesting reading of the lessons learnt!

87 minutes exposure, who would have thought.

Mick.
 
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