lørdag 30. april 2016

More on paper negatives

As you might know I used some time a few days ago to do a few tests on some B&W darkroom paper, just to have an idea how light sensitive they really are. This is something you just have to test from paper to paper, and also depends a bit on the age of the paper. New RC papers seem to be rather fast, while others are slow as heck. When you got some old RC paper, and also a few boxes of totally unknown baryte paper from eastern europe, the only way to determine light sensitiveness will be to run a simple test. 

Using B&W paper instead of the usual film inside a camera will give you a different result. Paper will not render colors in the same way as the film, just because it's more sensitive to other spectrums of light than film is. Not that there's a huge difference, but it's definitely visible. 
Another thing which is a bit challenging is to manage the contrast you get when using paper instead of film. You will get a high contrast, but some say it's possible to lower it with the use of filters and such. I have not bothered to go down that road, as I'm just doing this for fun sometimes. 
Details seems to be more easily washed out when using paper, and I find it especially to happen in the highlight areas of the photo. Typically dead and white skies, and white areas appear with very low detail levels. In these snaps I measured and exposed to try get details in the shadow areas, and I'm quite happy with the results in that respect. The sky is totally washed out though. In all the snaps from this day. Next time I test paper I will try to see if it's possible to get more details up there, but I must say I doubt I can have both highlights and shadows details inside the same photo, as the ability to record a huge number of EV's (large span) is a lot better on film than on a paper. 
I have done this before, on some old Agfa Brovira paper. The very thin and fine old paper from back in the 70's some time. I got a feeling that paper had a bit more span than the two papers I tested a couple of days ago. I will do a few more tests soon, just to determine if that's actually the case, or if I was a bit more lucky (or maybe exposed a bit different) last time I fumbled around in this area.

And please bear over with me... there's a whole lot of examples here, and they are all just that. Examples taken just outside my doorstep, just because I ran in and out of the darkroom with each and every negative to have them developed just seconds after they were shot. 

Ilford RC paper. Not very impressed with the results I got with these, but a lot of the trouble could be related to scanning issues. The negatives looked quite good, even though they were clearly the ones most prone to high contrast issues. 

Another one on the Ilford RC paper. Not very different to the last one, as you see. The shadow details is not the worst I've ever seen from a paper negative, but the highlight details really suck. 

This is the baryte paper from Fotokemika, the EMAKS 883 kind of thing. Very matte, nice surface on this paper. Grade 2, if you wonder... nice grain I think, and maybe a little bit better than the Ilford paper when it comes to highlight details. 

Another snap from the EMAKS 883 kind of thing. A bit of extreme stuff here in the shadows, as you see. More contrast than the last snap. 

Ilford paper, as you might see. This is not bad, actually. At least if you look a bit away from that very white and boring sky. That said, I have to say that this day did not exactly have the best looking sky to snap. Boring light, as it happens.

The barn next door. Snapped on Ilford RC paper. It's actually quite OK, I think. 

This was just a test to see if I could get some details on them mountains over there. If you look quite closely you can still see the snowy mountain top differ a tiny bit from the sky above. Not by much, but you still can see the line. Else the tones are a bit crappy, me thinks. 

Not that it's anything to put up on the wall or anything, but this one was probably the one I'm most satisfied with of all the test snaps I did this day. The shadows looks great, as it happens, and the highlights are not sticking out like a sour thumb. It's the upper corner of the garden, and a place I got some work to do... as you might see. The last couple of winters has been a bit rough to the infrastructure up there... I think this was Ilford paper, but I will have to check the facts of that when I can get hold of the original negative some time over the weekend.

Nothing much to say about this. Just posted it to have you see the jib boom I have been scraping and sanding the last few days. It belongs to my boat, and are to be re-fitted quite soon, I hope. 

Paper negative test inside the house. Camera supported on the table, snapping towards a few of my Bob Dylan books and stuff. There might be a couple of Rolling Stones books in that pile as well, I would think. Blown highlights, as you see. I think this was the EMAKS 883 paper.

Definitely EMAKS 883 paper from Fotokemika. This is not extremely bad, either. You still see that the highlights are a bit washed out...

2 kommentarer:

  1. You been busy! Great post Roy - again, very helpful for those of us who haven't tried this sort of thing. I think you have it right - the one of your garden is probably the top of the pile in my eyes too. But definitely the later ones are getting better, with some good blacks and shadow detail and a decent range of mid-tones. As you say, it looks like you need to choose your subject carefully to make this work.

    And yep, that garden looks a bit, well, in need of some attention shall we say. Like my own :) Our garden always looks it's best around September-time, just when the weather starts to close in and then we end up indoors for the next 6 months. But you have to try...

    I like your turntable - keeping it analogue there too I see! Quite right too.

    1. I'm glad you noticed my old turntable, Michael :) Rega Planar 3 from England, bought in 1990 but still good as gold. I have changed the needle a few times, but everything else is as delivered back then.
      The garden... well, as today was the first day with something close to useable temperature for anything else than sitting inside throwing wood into the fireplace I have actually been outside to get started. I have just thrown away a couple of wheelbarrows of old plant stuff from last year. Things that went under the snow before they even lost the green color, as it happens over here. I hope to have it all look a bit better in a few days. It will probably never look real good, but definitely better than it does right now :)
      Have a nice day my friend!


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