high contrast b/w?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by ben_eriksson, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. Hello, I'd love to get some advice on a few things;

    I was wondering about good techniques to get pretty high-contrast negs,
    particularly blacker blacks (with less shadow detail) while still getting a
    smooth image and without blown bright tones. I was thinking shortening
    developing times might do it?


    Due to my amateurish workflow, when developing a few rolls, after i had used the
    developer I accidentally put in more D-76 instead of fixative, but i discovered
    my mistake within seconds and poured the D-76 back into its canister, but i know
    you're not recommended to re-use developers, and I'm wondering if I could still
    use this developer as would it be unused, seeing as it only was "used" for maybe
    ten seconds?

  2. I guess you mean that you want higher contrast prints from your negatives. Decreasing the dev time will reduce the contrast. Increase the dev time will increase the contrast. It is very difficult to achieve smooth transition in the mid tones with "blacked out" blacks on the negative. Try to get negative that uses all the densities; do not overdevelop for the sake of it. Do the rest during the printing using split grade printing and burn in the areas you want to have darker blacks in. Like this you will have more control and your mid/high tones will be smooth.

    As for mistaking chemicals we have all done it and will do it again. Once I run a set of 8 5x4's doing : fix, dev stop....no good.

    Take care
  3. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Increasing or decreasing development can only affect the highlights not the shadows. Read the 2nd paragraph on this page:
    Zone system
  4. Benjamin,

    to get blacker blacks with less shadow detail in your prints, without affecting the mid-high values, you need to give less exposure to your film, and maintain current development time, if your mid-high values look the way you weant them to. As another poster pointed out, there is a lot you can do at the printing stage as well.

    I think your D-76 is just fine, provided you didn't use a stop bath between first and second development. We all pour from the wrong jug occasionally; don't sweat it.Good luck.

  5. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Giving less exposure affects all values in the film. Giving a one stop less exposure will cause the shadows to be one stop or zone darker but the mid-high values will also be one stop or zone darker.

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