Elephant Palm

Mick Fagan
Posts: 80
Joined: 24 Sep 2015, 21:20
Location: Melbourne

Re: Elephant Palm

Postby Mick Fagan » 14 Mar 2017, 15:38

Barry Kirsten wrote:
Are either or both of you developing by inspection in trays?

I don't, Mick. The main reason is that with my eyes and the safelight I use, I don't seem to be able to reliably see subtle changes in density. Probably age-related, but that's life . As to the safelight, I made my own consisting of a dozen 5mm LEDs having a very defined spectral response. Absolutely safe, but not designed for DBI as they do not present a diffuse illumination (Looking through a film I'm conscious of the 12 points of light, which makes identifying tonal changes difficult). As a general safelight, though, it's brilliant.

I have to say that I've never been a fan of DBI, probably because previous attempts with panchromatic film have required a diabolical green safelight which was impossible to see anything with. I much prefer to control everything (exposure, chemistry, temperature, time) hoping for absolutely predictable results. It sometimes works :D .

Barry, I know pretty much where you are coming from, going there, doing that!

I have been thinking about LED illumination for the darkroom, but I have a plethora of safelight filters that will probably see me out.

On another note, I have been a bit interested in having an infrared light and using infrared goggles in the darkroom. I have had some medical issues resulting in my hands having very little, to almost no feeling. This has made some things a little hard, holding sheet film is really a bit of an issue, although I have a work around. That said, if I misplace a sheet of film by letting it slip out of my hands because I don't know I have let it slip, finding it on a smooth surface (melamine) like my enlarger board, is a bit of a hit and miss affair.

During the Olympic games in Melbourne, my grandfather worked at the MCG, which was the track and field arena. He was allowed to have 1 hour either before or after his shift to walk around. He wasn't allowed to sit in an empty seat, but he could take pictures. He saved up money and purchased enough film to take one roll of film a day, which he did. We lived in Richmond and he walked to the MCG, which for those who don't know, is about 3km from the house.

When he came home, he and I went to the bathroom where some ruby paper was placed around a small lamp, then, with me sitting in the bath and he sitting on a chair, we see-saw developed each roll of film every evening. With my young eyes, I quickly became his eyes and knew when the cheap orthochromatic film was developed enough. That was my introduction to photography, been doing photography on and off ever since.

Negs were then cut up, (6x9) placed in a contact printing frame and contact prints were made. Some days I was allowed to help with exposing the contact prints, if it was a cloudy bright day, I walked with the little contact box held on top of my head, to the back fence and back. If it was sunny, I walked to the clothesline and back. It was really something to see those head prints come to life, I remember running with a wet print through the house to show my mother and grandmother and being horrified to see the print start to break apart from my arm swinging effort; such is life.


Posts: 64
Joined: 21 Mar 2015, 17:20

Re: Elephant Palm

Postby Bazz8 » 14 Mar 2017, 17:10

Mick,when I first started to use x-ray film the popular dev was Rodinal or equivalent at 1:100, I got reasonable results
But thin negs. Another x-ray film I am using is Kodak R-minn Mammogram film single sided. I ran out of Rodinal through shooting 200 prints of all over the shop exposures :shock:
So Late last year I decided to work out a proper BTZS file using step wedge and the 2,4,8,10,16Minute exposure and entering this into my ExpoDev software.
Much to my surprise the LC29 at 1:100 was equal to Rodinal perhaps a little more density, so I upped by 1mm until 14mm seemed to give me nice negatives which Contact print very well.
I too have seen the thin negs and resulting prints (although the number of scanned speculative prints) oh when I print the neg this is how it would come out :shock: I am coming to the conclusion if it's not on the neg you can not get the image in the print.
I then did another file for the Fuji HRT Green which when developed looks a blue neg,
So LC29 is worth a shot.
Since I posted the shot yesterday I have done another 4 Leafs and found two flash shots which are of my Grandkids this has worked out reasonable.

Mick Fagan
Posts: 80
Joined: 24 Sep 2015, 21:20
Location: Melbourne

Re: Elephant Palm

Postby Mick Fagan » 15 Mar 2017, 08:40

Bazz, 200 prints, the mind boggles; must have been unsettling if exposures were all over the place.

Until I sold my business 4½ years ago, I had a couple of Stouffer step wedges, one in ½ stops, the other in 1/3 stops. I used to read them with my Gossen Profi-six meter using the fibre optic extension accessory which I picked up for a song about 30 years ago at an auction. Have thought about picking up one of their uncalibrated 4x5" step wedges ever since, I may look at doing so a bit more closely now.

As the Profi-six has 1/3 stop markings and uses a needle, one can quite easily see just how close, or maybe not so close each film is to correct exposure and developing.

I had never heard of the ExpoDev software, before you mentioned it. Found some stuff on Youtube, very interesting bit of software. I can see how it would be useful if you are using orthochromatic X/ray film for the first time, or any orthochromatic graphic arts film after being brought up on panchromatic film, very different, yet not so different. Also, of course, very useful with normal panchromatic film

I too, rather unfortunately, came to the same conclusion about prints from thin negatives, yonks ago. I agree, if it is not on the negative, you cannot print what isn't there.

Very recently I had two young people in my darkroom for an introduction into B&W printing. Both were amazed at the density of my negatives, compared to their see through negatives. It would seem that many newcomers to film photography, do not quite understand the inability of anyone to make a half reasonable print from a thin negative. Their scanned images looked terrific on their tablets, but came up rather badly when we tried to make a print from one of them. I sort of got the message that their motto is that a more dense negative is a bad thing, as one starts to see visible grain when converted to an electronic format.

Having very recently acquired a film scanner and now with an extremely basic knowledge of B&W film scanning, I can understand a little bit more, why people seem to gravitate to thinner negatives, if they never, or seldom print that is.


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