Darkroom beginner - effects of paper dev time + temp

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jeztastic

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Nov 23, 2013
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Hi,

New to the darkroom. At the moment I am using an improvised darkroom at a school. It is hard to get water temp constant - and in a long session obviously the temp will shift. How much impact will this have, or do I just need to use my eyes to adjust the times I leave the print in the dev?

Also, I am working on the principle that longer in the developer will give me deeper blacks and more 'grey' whites. Is this correct?

So to increase contrast (in the developer, I know how to use Ilford Multigrade) do I slightly overexpose with the enlarger, then take the print out of the developer more quickly - as the shadows develop first?

And to increase exposure, but decrease contrast, leave the print in the developer longer? Or does it not make much difference?

Thanks for your help! I have done some reading around this, but nothing has explained it in these simple terms which I need.

Jez
 

Rick A

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There shouldn't be much, if any, noticable difference between 65 and 75 deg (room temp) for paper development. As to D-max and grays, enlarging time determines whites, and contrast determines black.Development should be a constant. You should develope paper the same time duration, and adjust expoure and contrast to acquire the desired image quality.
 
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Like Rick says, development time shouldn't be much different at room temperature. The main thing you need to do is be consistent within a particular session.

Don't make any changes in exposure at all.

Best,

Doremus
 

ic-racer

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If you are just starting out, develop all your prints to completion and use the filters to control contrast.
 

Neal

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Dear Jez,

Welcome to the world of black and white printing! Paper is developed to completion. That is, you leave the paper in the developer until there is essentially no change in the image for a long time. I find that I am confident in complete development between 2 and 3 minutes. Control your contrast using a set of multigrade filters or the filtration controls if you are using a color enlarger. Go here and download the files. They will give you what you need to know, at least in the beginning.

Your attempts to control the image by removing the print at just the right moment will prove frustrating. There is a way to do that called lith printing (here), but it is a more advanced method and it is advised that you learn to print conventionally first.

Enjoy and we hope to hear from you often in the future,

Neal Wydra
 
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jeztastic

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Thanks everyone. I've got good results with VC paper and filters so far, and one session dialing in the filtration controls on the LPL. My worry was that I was leaving the print in the developer for too long, but actually it sounds like the reverse is probably true. So, expose for the whites and filter for the blacks. Useful, thanks again.
 

RalphLambrecht

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I suggest to develop for a fixed time(about2min for RC and 3min for FB)to develop rich blacks. never remove a print prematurely or the contrast will be weak and flat, but overly extended development will create fogand dirty highlights.
 
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