What have I Done Wrong

Ian-Barber

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I guess storing paper in the fridge is probably a good idea then, not sure her indoors will agree though. I have been storing it the loft where my darkroom is but I can tell you its been pretty hot up there recently. I might have to think of somewhere else. Probably in the wardrobe if I can find a space around all her shoes and bags :)
 

Ian Grant

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Definitely don't store in a loft, that'll shorten its keeping time. Ground floor as close to the ground is the coolest place, that's how I keep film here in Turkey. (weathers worse than the UK today, raining). A dry garage would be OK as well.

Ian
 

David M

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I wonder if the clue lies in "...½ a box." Who knows how it had been treated while it was open?
 

martin-f5

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as always it depends, I never ever stored paper in the fridge. Last weekend I took some sheets ADOX MC110, which is a multigrade fb paper, and made some photographs.
Checking for exposing values I took the index value I measured in 2010, I know this 'cause I've noted it on the package.
It's 8 years old and stored in my basement where it has not more than 17°C during the whole year.
I also had AGFA Provira paper from 1960 and could use it very well, Ian I think you have one sheet :)
But I also bought some packages on flee markets and they are only grey an dull.

But well it's easy to check, make a simple test print a you see what you get.

Don't pay too much for old paper, you'll waste too much time for it.
 

Ian-Barber

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I think I have finally got the root cause of the low contrast and long exposure times I have been getting.
The safelight I was using had a 15w incandecent bulb but this died on me.

Incandescent bulbs are near impossible to find now in local shops so I changed it for one of the new LED types (3w) but it appears it was to bright and must have been fogging the paper.

I managed to get a 15w tungsten one from a friend after spending 1 hour looking through all his drawers in the shed.

There must be a conversion chart somewhere for Tungsten -> LED equivalents.

My test strip times are now in the region of 6 - 9 seconds and the contrast is there at last.
So far I have just done 3 test strips on 3 separate negatives and all look good so far. Later I will do an full print and see how it looks compared to before.
 

Ian-Barber

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All this lumens stuff confuses me. From what I can work out, the original 15w bulb needs to be 114 lumens I think in a bayonet fitting for the safelight. Not easy to find

This is the safelight I have
s-l1600-1.jpg
 

David M

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The filter on the safelight should take care of any changes of hue in the LED substitutes, but it would be worth doing the usual test with a strip of paper. We did establish that the problem was having the safelight too close, rather than too bright, per se. A brighter lamp, placed at a proper distance might give better working conditions. If the spectrum is right, a darkroom can be remarkably bright, although the specialist fittings seem pretty expensive for occasional use. I'm surprised to find that you can still get the old red darkroom bulbs.
 
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