View Full Version : Harman Positive Paper - error, will robinson

Richard Rankin
19-Aug-2011, 13:29
I bought some of this (RC luster), loaded it, shot it, developed it and got 4 nice clean white sheets of expensive wet paper... I've never used positive paper before and wasn't sure which side was the emulsion, so loaded them how I thought it went.

Since this is positive paper, does white after dev-fix-wash mean that I totally super-over-exposed all 4 sheets a la light leak, OR does it mean that I loaded the paper backwards, and shot the base? I'm thinking the former. But my capacity for error is legion, so I'm open to other idiotic things I might have done.

Thanks, Richard

Bob Salomon
19-Aug-2011, 13:34
When you aren't sure:
film and paper curl towards the emulsion side.
Lick the tip of your finger and lightly touch a corner of the paper or film. The sticky side is the emulsion.

Kimberly Anderson
19-Aug-2011, 14:18
What did you rate it at? It's probably ASA 6-ish...maybe 12.

Richard Rankin
19-Aug-2011, 14:50
What did you rate it at? It's probably ASA 6-ish...maybe 12.

I read the info sheet right before the exposures, and I think I used 3. But I suspect that when I did an in camera pre-flash, the lens wasn't tightened and had a leak around it.

19-Aug-2011, 15:50
all WHITE----that's super fogging for reversal, right....did you try developing a scrap right out of the box to see what it should look like unexposed? I never tried the stuff myself, but I do reversals almost exclusively with film....

19-Aug-2011, 17:20
Sounds overexposed to me. Its very high contrast so is often white or black with minimal grey tones. Maybe try less of a preflash. I was preflashing with a 2 sheets of yupo over the lens to difuse the light, maybe some normal paper will work, or fixed out resin coated photopaper. My memory sayes a zone 3 exposure for the preflash. I need to spend some time with it again, but too busy at the moment.

Maris Rusis
19-Aug-2011, 17:45
Unexposed Harman DPP develops to black. A backward loaded sheet will come out black one side and white the other after processing.

A starting point for exposure tests in my skylight studio is EI = 3. The EI for other illuminants like tungsten or flourescent is probably less. For portraits I use an orange filter (nominally 1.5 stops) and set EI = 0.6 on my incident light meter. Harman DPP is orthochromatic and without filtration gives downright ugly skin tones.

Preflash is essential for taming this very contrasty material. I give 0.8 sec at f16 under a 4x5 enlarger fitted with a 150mm lens 80cm above the base board and with a 150watt bulb in the lamphouse. I calculate the actual preflash exposure is about 5 lux.seconds worth of tungsten light.

Exposure and preflash are exacting challenges. Even a 10% variation gives obviously different results.

23-Aug-2011, 09:42
I've been using the Harman FB glossy finish direct positive paper for a few months now. I love this paper, it has the classic Ilford FB Glossy finish and double-weight paper feel.

As Maris indicated, a preflash is essential to getting good tonal range and adequate shadow detail. But I give it much less preflash than my grade 2 paper negatives would receive; about half as much.

After much testing, I've arrived at a personal working Exposure Index for this paper at ISO 1.6 under daylight illumination only. This is under the conditions of using Ilford PQ paper developer diluted 1+15 or 1+20.

I haven't calibrated this paper for artificial lighting, and so I make sure that when metering the scene, whether in direct daylight or indoors using illumination through an open window, that the meter only sees the daylight and not artificial lighting. I suspect for artificial lighting the ISO would have to be rated much lower.

I like using my light meter with this paper and, having a workable Exposure Index, I can transfer the recommended exposure times from the meter directly to my camera's shutter without any further fuss or calculation.

I've noticed that it is essential to use fresh paper developer with this medium. Unlike paper negatives, whose tonal range and contrast can be somewhat controlled by an extended development in dilute or used developer, less than fresh developer used with the Harman results in the black shadow tones being very washed out lighter gray, and also streaky or mottled in appearance.

Also, as others have indicated, unexposed paper developed in good, fresh developer should result in a rich, black-toned sheet. Any additional exposure will serve to lighten the tone on the paper wherever the exposure is received. And, unexposed (or exposed) paper "developed" in exhausted or too weak developer will also result in a white sheet of paper.

Here's an example that I captured and processed yesterday, using my DIY 8x10 nested box camera, 150mm f.l., 50mm diameter binocular objective lens as a makeshift camera lens. In closeup mode the lens was operating at around 250mm, exposure from indirect daylight was around 3 minutes. Also, the lens was stopped down to around 10mm aperture (f/25), resulting in the edges being very fuzzy, good for portraits, perhaps, but does explain why the manikin's head and feet are out of focus.


This is great paper, especially the FB version which, after receiving the proper archival processing, can be ready for display as is.


23-Aug-2011, 09:48
Same camera as above, with different lens, a longer f.l. meniscus stopped down to 3mm aperture, giving a focal ratio of around f/120 or so.

This was in heavy, direct sunlight. The 8x10 box camera can't extend open far enough to permit close-up perspectives with this long lens, and so a wider view of the manikin is the result. Exposure time was 25 seconds.



23-Aug-2011, 09:58
When you aren't sure:
film and paper curl towards the emulsion side.
Lick the tip of your finger and lightly touch a corner of the paper or film. The sticky side is the emulsion.

My experience is that Freestyle's grade 2 RC paper, which I use for in-camera paper negatives, curls away from the emulsion side, while most FB paper's I've tried, including the Harman direct positive FB paper, curls toward the emulsion side.

This is important to consider if using the RC grade 2 paper in large format box cameras, like I frequently do, because with a lens-based camera having the center of the paper pop out away from the film plane, due to the paper's natural curl, can result in less than optimal focus in the center of the image. For pinhole cameras it's a non-issue, of course.

This is another reason why I like this Harman FB paper for 8x10, because the center of the paper curls back toward the rear of the film plane, keeping the paper nice and flat in the film holder.