Kentmere Art Classic - Contrast(s)

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John McCallum

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I recently bought a new packet of Kentmere Art Classic to try for the first time. Unfortunately have been really struggling with it. Admittedly I tend to like a fairly contrasty image, but on Grade V been getting flat uninspiring results with the paper. The blacks just aren't black .... maybe this is the intent and design of it's purpose(?)
I wondering if anyone knows if it is normal?
 

Les McLean

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John

Art Classic is a single grade paper about 2 to 2.5 which is the reason for the flat prints if you would normally print the image on grade V. You need to produce a negative of higher contrast. You can increase the contrast of single graded paper in a number of ways but I am just leaving home for a few days on a photographic trip and have'nt got the time to describe them at present, will do when I return.
 

noseoil

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John, do you have access to a step wedge? If so, try a test exposure at your "normal" exposure and development time and see how it prints compared to your paper of choice. If you already have a test film which has worked for you, try printing on the new stock and see where zones I & VIII fall. This is the easiest way I know of sounding the depths of a new film-paper combination.

The Stouffer step wedge really is a wonderful tool to have in the darkroom. The information from just one exposure is fascinating to see on a print. I don't know of a simpler, better, more comprehensive test of any film and paper, without a densitometer.
 

Leon

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John McCallum said:
... Admittedly I tend to like a fairly contrasty image, but on Grade V been getting flat uninspiring results with the paper.

this reads like you have been using it with contrast filters or settings? is that right?
 
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John McCallum

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Thank you very much for the responses. All filled in a gap for me.

Les, thanks for the enlightenment, this explains a great deal. Somehow I missed that labelling and made an assumption. I do normally vary my contrast filtering considerably, depending upon the neg and the look I'm after (quite right Leon). But I guess my tastes are often towards the higher contrast image. I think the image I chose to print on the Classic was not the correct choice, and my methods could stand to be adjusted to get the right result on this paper!

noiseoil I haven't tried the Stouffer step wedge, but sounds pretty interesting. Is it a filter of some kind? The neg I chose to print has a fairly high proportion of highlight as can be seen here (there was a url link here which no longer exists) , the rock and foreground of which I did print at grade 4 1/2 to give the effect I wanted (actually too dense in this representation, but you might get the idea).

But as I mentioned, found it difficult to replicate on the Kentmere Classic.
 
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