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Negatives a bit flat


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#1 marke

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Posted 27 April 2002 - 09:24 PM

When I look at my negatives that I have developed, they appear a bit flat, and prints from them lack punch. How do I determine the optimum development time?

#2 photoretreat

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Posted 29 April 2002 - 03:15 AM

The look of negatives can sometimes be misleading as some developers produce a flat looking negative but it prints with good contrast.
A test could be to make a print to 25x25cm size on #2.1/2 paper and access the result.
The print should show a rich black and clean whites with a good range of tones between.
If the print fails two factors will effect the result. Density (length of development time) and contrast (agitation during development).
If the negative lacks density increase the time while if the density is OK increase the agitation. Check with the manufacturers instructions.
Another factor is the lighting in the original scene. Flat lighting will produce a flat negative and an increase in paper contrast will compensate.
After any adjustments are made test agin by making another print.
With experience a photographer looking at the negative will be able to access the negative quality, failing this making a print is the best solution.
Richard.

#3 jeff

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 03:10 AM

Can you say 'Zone System'? A thorough study of (the master) Ansel Adams (whose prints adorn my own office) will solve all those trivial 'mechanical' problems. Few will ever match his genius in composition however...




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