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Thread: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

  1. #21

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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    That is good to know and thank you for sharing your experience. I feel a little better about all this now. Controlling contrast is not a difficult thing to do of course. I will be testing wtih the film (HP5) and developer (HC110) that i have on hand, even though I know that HP5 is considered to be a lower contrast film. I simply won't know unless I put the time in and try. A friend messaged me last night and said he was going to send me 10 sheets of FP4 to try and compare to the HP5. He seems to think I will probably get better results with FP4.

    Based on everything I have research on salt printing, bullet proof dense negatives and much higher contrast seems to be the going advice.

    I am starting my frist tests this weekend and I will loop back and share some updates when I have something to share based on my first hand experience.

    I appreciate the info.

    Larry



    Quote Originally Posted by j.e.simmons View Post
    I’ve done more albumen than salt printing, but my thoughts would be the same.

    I don’t think you need a more dense negative. More contrast, yes, but not more overall density.

    I think the density idea came from Michael A. Smith’s use of old Super XX film which had fogged. He wrote about using a 300w bulb to print through his negatives on to Azo. I have no idea what UV bulb would be an equivalent, but printing times would be significant. I’ve found my more normal density, but contrasty, negatives to print in much more reasonable times.

  2. #22

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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    What's your favorite developer/time for X-ray? Just starting to get into this process.
    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Double sided X-ray film is made to build contrast with it's two layers, but still can produce normal contrast depending on developer/development...

    Steve K

  3. #23

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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    Hi Drew, I think you quantified the challenge at hand very well. It is sort of ironic that we have such a struggle to create the dense and contrasty negatives that were commonplace during the periods using modern panchromatic films when these printing processes were in their prime. I am starting to get the feeling that FP4 in HC110 may be a good path to pursue. I was hopeful I could use what I have on hand (HP5 and HC110), and I am going to at least test this to see what happens. If I can't get there with what I have, then I will explore other options like FP4, etc.

    Thanks

    Larry
    These processes were in their prime before Panchromatic films were in theirs. Orthochromatic films were used for a great number of these and other alternative process methods. I still have an ortho negative whic is roll film developed commercially, probably in D-23, or D-76. It as a magnificent scale. Straight print on Azo#2

  4. #24

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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    That is good to know and thank you for sharing your experience. I feel a little better about all this now. Controlling contrast is not a difficult thing to do of course. I will be testing wtih the film (HP5) and developer (HC110) that i have on hand, even though I know that HP5 is considered to be a lower contrast film. I simply won't know unless I put the time in and try. A friend messaged me last night and said he was going to send me 10 sheets of FP4 to try and compare to the HP5. He seems to think I will probably get better results with FP4.

    Based on everything I have research on salt printing, bullet proof dense negatives and much higher contrast seems to be the going advice.

    I am starting my frist tests this weekend and I will loop back and share some updates when I have something to share based on my first hand experience.

    I appreciate the info.

    Larry
    Your friend is doing you a favor. and he is correct!

  5. #25
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    HP5 has somewhat of a longer more sweeping toe than FP4, so benefits from some overexposure if deep shadow gradation is needed. And while not being a true thick emulsion film, it is still thicker in that respect than most current films, so will take on a deeper fbf stain when a pyro developer is used than FP4. I particularly like the manner PMK renders lovely "watercolor grain" along with excellent edge acutance with HP5. But you do end up with a lot of extra yellow-green density difficult for UV to print through. Nowadays I prefer TMY400 instead, which is a lot more cooperative in numerous respects, but also has gotten very pricey in 8x10. But having that extra speed is certainly welcome in windy conditions compared to FP4, which I rate at only 50. But by all means, do try HP5 and HC-110 first for its own particular look. It should work fine if the original scene contrast range is moderate, and you boost the negative density via longer development. And sometimes ending up lost in the woods during the learning curve ain't such a bad thing. You discover things you might otherwise overlook. Unfortunately, it might be be the bones of somebody who wandered off in despair back when good ole Super-XX was discontinued. A step at a time.

  6. #26

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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wellman View Post
    What's your favorite developer/time for X-ray? Just starting to get into this process.
    I had good results with developing green sensitive X-ray film in Rodinal 1:50 dilution at around 5 minutes development at 20C. Metered at ISO100. Printed good with cyanotype and with gum pigment. But, wasn't so good with salt when I tried that.

  7. #27
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    FWIW when I occasionally use 8*10 for pure Platinum printing I expose and process in Xtol for normal silver gelatine, if I like the image enough for platinum, I bleach the neg and re-develop in PyrocatHD and print it in platinum. It works but it is a a bit of a hassle, but I do this rarely.

    good luck,

    Best,

    Cor

  8. #28
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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    I have also given a neg a slight bleaching, refix, then selenium toning, to bump up the contrast. But rare.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #29

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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    Read the publication by Ellie Young. I provided a link. She goes into great detail about her process for producing the optimal negative for salt printing using FP4 and a Pyro developer, specifically PMK. I have used her technique and found it works beautifully.

  10. #30
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: How To Create Dense & Contrasty Film Negs For Alt Prints?

    Here is another example of FP4+ in Universal PQ Developer used at paper strength (1:9). I just posted this.

    Development info : 8x10 FP4+ in Ilford Universal PQ Developer 1:9, 67F, 9 minutes in Expert Drum

    The scene has a 4 stop range (or 5 zones, depending on how one counts them). The meter read from 12 to 16. No filter...no need for a more dramatic sky, and I have a liking for the atmospheric distance. Exposed slightly under what might be considered normal (at 4.7)...the negative with the more exposure was used. The shadow the boys were in was very open with some reflected light from the granite.

    The Pt/pd print was made using no contrast agent (native contrast).

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1651120
    Last edited by Vaughn; 15-Jul-2022 at 18:55.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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