View Full Version : YACP - Yet Another Contact Print Question

Tim Povlick
26-Sep-2012, 12:53
Hello to the Group.

I'd like to ask opinions / help on question of contact printing that is similar to a current discussion. It's to different so I can't merge (hi-jack) the other thread.

The objective is to take landscape photos - 8x10 and be able to contact print without dodging / burning using "contact speed" silver chloride emulsion (Foma Fomalux / Lodima?).

"Expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights"

To keep it simple, was hoping to use Windisch Pyrocatechin to make a very flat / printable image. A TMY negative shows good shadow and the clouds in sky are easily visible. Tray developed, little agitation for 5 minutes at 75F. Overall the negative looks good except more base fog then I would like to see. I had a feeling the flat looking negative was also due to base fog. Reading the two bibles on Darkroom work, one mentioned the possibly that base fog may make Catechin negatives look low contrast then they are in actuality.

Contact print, it was not possible to keep the clouds and shadows both (Foma Fomalux).

Possible Fixes :

Use a "pota" developer (this is really painful due to hard to mix and 1 hour of life)

Filters at camera - Consider using full size filters, such as red / orange?

_ .. --

26-Sep-2012, 13:13
If you want the clouds to look dramatic, you really should use filters rather than try developer magic. it's the analog equivalent of fixing it in photoshop if you depend on darkroom work for something that could be done at the time of capture.

tmy/tmy2 film should be able to do absolutely anything you want and is quite versatile at every step in the process. I haven't tried that particular developer. If it's a staining developer, is that fog "general stain" perhaps? I use pmk and pyrocathd and with pmk the original instructions are to steep it in the developer after it's fixed to increase the stain, but it only increases the general stain not the image stain, so I don't bother with that step. If the windisch is like that, skip re-use of the developer.

Daniel Stone
26-Sep-2012, 14:36

As JP has stated, if you want clouds to stand out more from the sky, you'll need to filter. Usually a #2 yellow will help with cutting blue/haze out of the scene, but sometimes an orange filter will be necessary to get that "pop" and separation of clouds/sky. A polarizer can help too(depending on angle mostly), unless you're shooting with your back to the sun/into the sun.

I have been using Pyrocat-HD with TMY-2 in 120, and have been loving the results. I'm sure the same would go for 8x10.

hope all's well with you!

26-Sep-2012, 16:05
Filters such as yellow/orange/red will darken their opposite color (blue) provided there is blue in the sky to begin with. They are of limited use for overcast skies. I photograph the landscape quite a bit and use 8x10 and contact print almost exclusively. I have been using pyrocat hd for several years with great success and most of my negatives require very little dodging and burning. I develop in homemade pvc tubes using a very weak dilution and minimal agitation. There is a lengthy discussion here:


as well as a lengthy thread on apug linked from the second post.

The objectives listed in your post are certainly attainable with pyrocat and some regimen of minimal agitation with dilute developer, regardless of the contrast range in your scene.
You might also do a search for water bath development for lodima which is another effective way to control contrast with silver chloride papers.

Good Luck.

Tim Povlick
26-Sep-2012, 20:08
Many thanks for the excellent advice.

JP - Yes I think there was some general stain as you say, that is the correct term. Thanks for pointing this out as it helps in solving the puzzle. I will skip the re-use developer after fix.

Dan - I will try the pyrocat-HD, having certainly read a lot of posts out here of people liking it. For negatives to be scanned I really like the FA-1027 from Formulatory. With the Pyro-HD, I can have my cake and eat it too - print the contact prints as well as scan them with that fancy pants drum scanner. {I am well, thanks and I trust same for you}

Tim - Thanks for the info on the filters. Out here in So. Cal, when there are clouds (not the marine layer) they are often nice billow-ie puffs. Will try the Orn / Yel filters as well as the polarizer (when applicable). The minimal agitation is a great tip and I'll give that a go. Also the PVC tubes is a realy good idea since tray developing is difficult in my setup. Normally I use the Jobo 3005 or 3010. And I greatly appreciate the link and info about the water bath for Lodima. I hadn't heard of that for paper. I have a bunch of Lodima but am saving it till the front end of this workflow is figured out.

I'll drum scan the same negative for contact printing and see how it prints (digitally) at 8x10 with a regular ink jet printer. I am curious if from handheld viewing distance will my eyes be able to see the difference between that and a contact print. Will give the Pyro-HD a try for sure. Would also like to try Burton's 195 developer. On Tech Pan, B-195 seemed to work as well as Technidol. So it has to really control contrast.

My Best Regards!