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Thread: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

  1. #1

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    Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    Hi all,

    I know there might be plenty of discussions on this topic. I am using semi-stand development for all negatives 810 and smaller. But don't have a big enough tray for developing 11x14 film, and I don't have a dark room. Is there a way I could get the same sharp film using Rotary development?

    Many thanks.

    Cheers,

    Max

  2. #2

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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    This is a perennial question - the simple answer is yes, especially if you are contact printing in carbon transfer. Semi-stand has its uses as a means of contrast control, but in general it's an extended technique, not a regular one. There's a huge amount of noise & not a lot of light on the question of whether continuous agitation makes a difference to sharpness & to be honest I've never seen sufficient evidence/ well controlled studies to make any judgement either way. Rotary processing in a Jobo or similar is very, very consistent & makes life much easier, especially if you are processing a lot of film on a regular basis - at least in my experience.

  3. #3

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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    A simple rotary developing for 11x14 films is to use a uniroller with a 11x14 print drum.

  4. #4
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    ++1 for what interneg wrote.

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    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    IMO, development method will not significantly alter the sharpness that you will see in a carbon print.. And especially when other factors have a far more significant affect on sharpness (camera/shutter vibration and film flatness).

    The other significant factor is UV light source. A set of UV flourescent bulbs will not produce as sharp of a carbon print as a single merc vapor lamp or other high intensity UV bulb. This is due to the diffused light of the flourescent bulbs and the relatively thick emulsion of the carbon tissue. However, if the viewing distance is far enough, even the difference between the two may not be significant to an individual carbon printer.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    IMO, development method will not significantly alter the sharpness that you will see in a carbon print.. And especially when other factors have a far more significant affect on sharpness (camera/shutter vibration and film flatness).

    The other significant factor is UV light source. A set of UV flourescent bulbs will not produce as sharp of a carbon print as a single merc vapor lamp or other high intensity UV bulb. This is due to the diffused light of the flourescent bulbs and the relatively thick emulsion of the carbon tissue. However, if the viewing distance is far enough, even the difference between the two may not be significant to an individual carbon printer.
    Vaughn interesting point, would you say this difference would hold true for a pt pd print or gum as well?

  7. #7

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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    Let's get some terminology straight.
    Sharpness is going to be controlled by your lens, used within the optimal aperture range and magnification range.
    The camera's focus is also critical to sharpness. The film must lie flat within the depth of focus of your lens. In other words, the film has to be flatly held at the film plane and the film plane must be properly positioned in the camera.
    Maximum sharpness will also require proper exposure.
    Film development can not control sharpness or density. Only exposure can control density. Development controls contrast (as does the lighting ratio) but, if you over develop to increase contrast you will also increase grain size. So, as a general rule, if you don't want added grain size, keep the film wet time as short as possible.

    How you process can also have an effect, you don't want to over or under agitate as that will effect contrast.

  8. #8

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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    Since he mentions semistand development as his preferred approach, maybe Max's question refers (also) to edge effects.

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    Vaughn interesting point, would you say this difference would hold true for a pt pd print or gum as well?
    I have not seen significant difference in sharpness in Pt/pd when using a bank of florescents or my merc vapor lamp. No emulsion with pt/pd, so no extra thickness for the light to scatter within the sensitized coating.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed on developing sharp negatives for carbon printing

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    Since he mentions semistand development as his preferred approach, maybe Max's question refers (also) to edge effects.
    Gawd help me, but I've never been able to get edge effect through development. How am I missing it?

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