small exposure time for printing

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by lovritos, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. lovritos

    lovritos Member

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    hello there
    i am new to the forum so i hope my thread is in the right place ;-)

    i set up my darkroom for the first time. i prepared my chemicals and tried to make my first prints.
    the thing is, that i get very small exposure time. i did my test print and the exposure i can get is 5sec, using the smallest apperture available on the lens (f/16) and a number 3 (out of 5) contrast filter.
    is this supposed to be normal? (the negative is developed before on a lab and it looks correctly exposed).

    does it have to do with the developer?
    i use PQ universal. it says 1+9 for 5 litres, so i mixed 50ml of the condensed solution to prepare 500ml of working solution.
    this seems right, isnt it?
    maybe i mixed the developer wrong and created a very strong solution?
    does the solution affect the exposure time needed or is irrelevant?
    i am not really sure about the temperature since i tried to adjust room temp at 20 oC and work. you think a temperature mistake can cause the issue?

    pelase let me know what you think and/or send me a link if a similar thread has been opened before.

    thanx in advance
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber
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    The developer strength is OK, it's possible your negative is too thin, underdeveloped and/or underexposed, Also what enlarger and what wattage bulb ?

    Ian
     
  3. sterioma

    sterioma Subscriber

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    Great to hear that you have started wet printing! It's the best part of photography in my opinion.

    What size of paper are you using? The closer the lens is to the paper, the less time it takes to properly expose it.

    The developer should not have a major impact on development time.
     
  4. jim10219

    jim10219 Member
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    You're not the first person with this issue. Generally it's not a problem unless you're trying to dodge and burn or do some other kind of manipulation where you need more time. If you do need more time, you might consider trying a weaker bulb, or if you have a filter slot above the negative carrier, you might try a neutral density filter or some other type of filter to cut down on the amount of light (I use a sheet of semi-opaque plastic I cut out from a container for this). You could also attach a standard neutral density filter to the enlarging lens. Or use a longer focal length enlarging lens which would cause you to have to raise the head higher and thus decrease the amount of light hitting the paper.
     
  5. glbeas

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    Your problem is with the exposure, are you makng a very small print? If not your enlarger may have an overpowered bulb in it. If its a standard screw base you can get enlarger bulbs different wattages or your type of bulb may come in different outputs for the type. If all else fails a dimmer can be put in line to cut the power but be aware this will redden the light and have an effect on filtration for color printing and possibly variable contrast printing.
    Some people opt to use a neutral density filter to reduce the light.
    You didnt state what enlarger you have and how its set up, this will have a bearing n what you can do to solve your problem.
     
  6. glbeas

    glbeas Subscriber
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    Actually a longer focal length lens will have little effect on the brightness at the same projected size, what will make a difference in longer lenses often has a smaller minimum aperture than a wide lens and allow you to stop down a stop or two more. It also affords more working space under the enlarger.
     
  7. OP
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    lovritos

    lovritos Member

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    hello
    thanx for all the info

    the enlarger is meopta axomat 5 and the lamp says 230v,100w
    you are right about the small print. i have some 20x25cm papers and no money at the time so i cut one in 4 pieces and try to print w/borders so the actual print is almost 10x7cm. the enlarger is at the lowest possible height. i guess i should look for a smaller lamp or neutral filters..
     
  8. OP
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    lovritos

    lovritos Member

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    thanx again for the info!
    it may have been simple, but never crossed my mind ;-)
     
  9. Peter Schrager

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    Zone VI workshop book...by fred picker
    Learn to make a proper negative and minimum time for maximum black with your enlarger
    EASY AFTERWARDS
     
  10. Saganich

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    There is an inverse square relationship between distance and light intensity, so if your 2x closer the light intensity is 4x greater. In terms of figuring out time: new time T2 = T1(distance2^2/distance1^2). If your T1 is 5 seconds exposure at a d1 of 6 inches the new time at 12 inches would be 20 s. 2x greater distance = 4x more time. Does it work in real life? I agree magnification would take care of variables other than just distance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  11. koraks

    koraks Member

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    A 10x7cm print from 35mm with a 100W bulb and (presumably) a 50mm enlarger lens will indeed result in dramatically short print exposure times, especially with today's rather fast variable contrast papers. If you want to change this, try a weaker/lower power bulb if you can find one (which will be difficult as you'd need something like a 25W bulb...)
     
  12. MattKing

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    This is true, assuming you don't change the lens.
    With enlargers, it probably works best to use magnification as the important variable when you are evaluating brightness at the easel.
    If possible, adding some sort of neutral density filter between the bulb and the negative is probably the best solution.
     
  13. pentaxuser

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    It looks like you did everything correctly and that 5 secs may indeed be correct for such a small print. 10x7cm is very small. If it is your intention to print that small for the foreseeable future then you might want to consider a smaller wattage bulb but if not then I'd stick with everything as it is. I'd not be concerned about lack of time for dodging and burning. Unless you have phenomenal skills at dodging and burning then 10x7cm prints will be nearly impossible to apply D&B successfully

    The good news is that even 13x18cm prints will require considerably longer print times. Fred Picker's book is fine but it isn't going to help your problem here in my opinion

    pentaxuser
     
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  15. Bill Burk

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    If you are good with electrical wiring, you could wire a special enlarger socket that runs the electricity in series to a switchable light socket outside the darkroom. In that light socket you could put another 100W light bulb. Then when your enlarger is on, the specially wired socket will deliver reduced voltage to the light in the enlarger. If you short the outside socket, then all the electricity goes to the enlarger for when you need brighter light.
     
  16. dances_w_clouds

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    When I acquired a Beseler 45 MX it was doing the same. What I did was add a Resistrol with it which was hard to find. The control was really helpful for smaller prints. Now I mostly do 4x5 negs for lith printing so I am glad I have control over the strength of the light. I find the slow and low to work out great for getting the midtones on my printing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  17. koraks

    koraks Member

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    Have you tried this yourself? Seems to me that you'd get two bulbs that barely glow by putting them in series; will there be any significant light output? If so, it will be lacking in blue.
     
  18. jim10219

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    You're right. I didn't think that all of the way through.

    But I did have another idea, that would be fairly cheap, easy to do, but slightly annoying. You could install a high voltage, high amperage diode in series with the light bulb. That would act like a half wave rectifier (minus the smoothing capacitor) and cut the power in half. It would also cause the light bulb to flicker (the means by which it loses half it's power). But it would be effective and wouldn't cost you much or be too hard to build, and wouldn't change the color of the light. You'd just have to make sure you get a big enough diode to handle the load, solder it inline with the bulb somewhere, and wrap it in some shrink wrap or something so you don't accidentally expose yourself to line level voltage. Or better yet, install one into a cheap power strip, that way everything stays safely housed and you don't have to permanently alter your enlarger. Or house it all in a project box so you can install a switch to disconnect the diode so you don't have to deal with the flickering while focusing or figuring out your dodge or burn points...

    This idea has gotten me excited! I might have to try it when I get some free time!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  19. koraks

    koraks Member

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    I think it would though. The warmup time of a bulb is somewhere around 20 ms.
     
  20. Michael Firstlight

    Michael Firstlight Subscriber
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    Why not simply use a neutral density filter (or gel) to get longer exposure times where needed?

    Mike
     
  21. OP
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    lovritos

    lovritos Member

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    hey guys
    thnx again, really happy to see so many and fast answers! seems you have somhting like a community here ;-)
    i printed at 13x19cm and i had f/16 and 14sec exposure. i will think about getting a smaller lamp or an ND filter (not really sure which will be aesier to find) for bigger exposure bc i dont see my self printing bigger for now. but bigger exposure would be nice cause i would like to experiment a little with masks.
     
  22. jim10219

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    Yeah. I got carried away again. It's pretty much going to have the same effect as a dimmer switch. I'm not an incandescent light bulb expert, and am not familiar with their properties such as warm up times and what not, but I do know dimmer switches tend to warm the light as you dim the light, and they operate by cutting off part of the AC signal, so I would expect the diode to have a similar effect.

    Boo! I guess I'm just having one of those days where my fingers are faster than my brain!

    I probably shouldn't even mention my next idea of installing a small fan just off center of the enlarger lens and paint the blades black so that the bulb runs full time and the light is momentarily blocked by the blades. Of course, it's would have to be one of those fans where the blades are proportionally wider at the edge compared to the center so that you're not exposing one side of the image longer than the other due to the increase in proportional surface area as you extend beyond the pivoting center of the fan. It would probably just blow the paper around anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  23. koraks

    koraks Member

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    I like your fan idea, very creative! Although an ND filter would probably be the easiest fix.
     
  24. Bill Burk

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    It's an idea I saw in a very old photo magazine. Even so, you are right, it will affect the color of the light which probably won't be very good - especially for multigrade papers.

    I personally use an 0.60 Neutral Density filter (2 stops) to reduce intensity of my enlarger and if I were to buy another, I'd go for 0.90 (3 stops) because two stops is never enough.
     
  25. OP
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    lovritos

    lovritos Member

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    you use the ND filter together with the filter for the contrast?
     
  26. RalphLambrecht

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    reading the responses,you,ve got good advise so far, You are correct to question this.a more appropriate exposure time is around 20s for an 8x10 print 5s are to short to do any print manipulation.How did you determine your current exposure time and how is the contrast? a highe grade filter will need more exposure. Is the paper fresh or could it be fogged? Your dev concentration is unlikely the problem but throw in an ice cube or two and see if that helps.
     
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