Durst Lab 1000 and contact sheets etc

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connie2

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Hi

I tried using a recently acquired durst lab 1000 and on aperture 5.6 (the largest it will go to with a 2.5 filter under the lens tried doing a contact print using test strip of 2 secs and tried again with 1 sec as well. The safelight have is a photax filter c which is behind be suspended from ceiling about 2-3 ft from enlarger, I have taped of all the light leakages from the enlarger but the prints still don't look great i.e. very dark - almost muddy looking. The lens using is a Nikon

I am using Ilford Multigrade RC IV paper, a nova tank with Ilford multigrade developer. The prints are coming out too overexposed as when i use the Leica Focomat to do the same thing different result much lighter. Not sure if the enlarger is at fault or something else?
 
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connie2

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Any suggestion on how to check the safelight?
 

Anon Ymous

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I cut a strip of paper and place it at a reasonable distance from the safelight. I put most of it under a book, turn on the safelight and start counting. Every 30'' I pull some of the paper and mark the end of the unexposed part with a pen. After 5'-6' or so, I develop, stop, fix the paper and check densities. Some of the strip has to be under the book until the end, you need some totally unexposed paper as a point of reference. At some point you may notice that it has become very slightly grey, just a tiny bit darker than white. You can check the marks (pen) to see what the time is there. It is also good to know what the distance is between the paper and the safelight. By changing the distance, you get different times. We can get very technical, but let's just say that by doubling the distance, you get 4x more time allowed.

EDIT: Turn off the safelight after the 5-6 minutes mentioned above. Process paper in absolute darkness.
 
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connie2

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my darkroom is about 8-10ft long by 4-5 wide - at the end of a garage
 

Anon Ymous

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my darkroom is about 8-10ft long by 4-5 wide - at the end of a garage

If space is a problem, maybe you can dim the safelight.

Another factor would be the power of the lamp in the safelight. 15W is the usual.

If your safelight has some kind of filter, it might have changed over time and "leak" at undesirable wavelengths.

The color of the safelight is obviously important. You said that you use Ilford's MG IV RC. That's very good and it can be used with a variety of safelights, not necessarily red/orange. I use yellow-green darkroom lamps, at a safe distance without any problems.

EDIT: 2-3 ft from the enlarger is a tad too close IMHO. I test for fogging from 1,5m (5ft).
 
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connie2

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Space is a premium sadly. The safelight is a Photax c in the ceiling i would say it is more 3-4 feet behind me. Checked bulb this am and is a 15w
 

Bob-D659

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Switch to a 7 watt bulb. The min distance to paper for a 15 watt bulb behind a Kodak OC filter is 4 feet.

Muddy looking prints can come from overexposing the paper and pulling it from the developer way too early.
 
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connie2

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just measured distance from Photax dome C safelight to middle of easel it is 5ft. Darkroom is 9ft by 5ft. Developed at 60secs, stop 10 secs fix 2mins.
 

Martin Aislabie

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Connie, I don't point my safelight at the workbench but at an adjacent wall - so all the light is reflected.

It gives me almost shadowless illumination and reduces the risk of Safelight Fogging.

When printing Contact Sheets, stop your lens down to at least f11 ~ f16

A powerful Enlarger like yours is going to easily over expose the paper otherwise, as the timer will not be able to do short enough times.

Martin :smile:
 
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connie2

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cheers Martin good to hear from you. The safelight is suspecned from ceiling
 

BobNewYork

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If your contact sheets are muddy, (and for contact sheets the lens aperture will have no bearing on quality) I'd do the safelight test first. Safelight fog = muddy. If not that then do the minimum exposure for maximum black through clear film and use this exposure for your contacts. If they're still muddy, (or not what you want in any other way) then exposure and processing need adjustment.

Bob H
 
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connie2

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Thank you will try that at the weekend. When you say safelight test do you mean the one suggested on page one of this thread?
 

BobNewYork

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Thank you will try that at the weekend. When you say safelight test do you mean the one suggested on page one of this thread?

That's the one. It's amazing how much difference in your prints there is between a safe safelight and an unsafe one.

Bob H
 
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