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Thread: Developer with poor sharpness wanted

  1. #1

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    Any suggestions on a developer with poor sharpness. When I use 8x10 for portrait s, the sharpness is too high. It is like looking at my subject's face with a mag nifying glass. Will an old fashioned developer like DK-20 work? Any interesting formulas? I don't mind mixing my own.

  2. #2

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    William, Some of the older developers were a little softer, but not much. You can knock a little sharpness off with one of the so-called "fine grain" developers made for 35mm. However, the best bet will be to use a little diffusion on the taking lens. Try a piece of black panty hose stretched tightly over the front of the lens or do as we used to do and stretch a piece of hose over a hoop used for needlework. You might also try a light film of vaseline on a skylight filter or a piece of clear plastic. Also, you can just buy a diffusion filter. Try a light diffusion at first. It can be overdone. The black panty hose trick knocks the edge off without being too much filtration. The Harrison and Harrison diffusion filters made for the motion picture industry are probably the best, but they are expensive. Slight diffusion gives a nice glow to the skin. Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    I just developed HP-5+ in DK-20 for the first time. The negatives look okay, but the clear film base has a pinkish cast. Is there any relationship between fine grain developers and a pink cast. I heard the DK-20 can cause fogging. The negatives are not fogged, though, just pink.

  4. #4

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    I have read that many use nylon over the lens for a softer look.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 1998

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    Try D-25 or Microdol-X straight.

    Although these won't make particularly soft images, they won't have that blazi ng sharpness of many other developers.

    But I think diffusion when shooting is what's going to be needed, perhaps a So ftar I or Tiffen Soft F/X #1.

  6. #6

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    ...What would be the filter factor for pantyhose???

    I don't recall ever seeing that chart in the books by Steve Simmons or Ansel Adams!


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 1998

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    You could use as Harrison & Harrison Blackdot filter or a Tiffen Blacknet 2 or 3 over the lens or the old "black nylon stocking stretch on an embroidery frame diffuser under the enlarging lens" trick.

  8. #8

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    Dave: The filter factor is about one stop. Divide the ISO by the number of times the hose has been worn, add the number of times washed, subtract number of times bleached and add .25 for any runs in the nylon. Actually it is about one stop, give or take a half. Doug.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 1998

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted

    Just out of curiosity, what lens are you using for portraits? A modern lens (unless it is designed to be soft) will most likely produce undesirable results like revealing pock marks, pores, wrinkles, cracks or meal worms protruding from the skin.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    Developer with poor sharpness wanted


    Look on this board under Portraits, David Clark, earlier in April 2000. The responses there may assist you also.

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