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Beginning printing
Old 06-12-2019   #15
randy stewart
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 121
Beginning printing

A few comments:

Do not try to fine tune your print contrast by altering the dilution of your film developer, i.e. negative contrast. VC paper can adjust for any normal variance in negative contrast. Frankly, yours do not look bad at all.

Get a Kodak project pint scale as others have suggested. It will solve your exposure timing issues. Eventually, you'll acquire a sense of what is required. Someone said you start out with these scales and move on soon. How true.

Use VC paper, it's cheaper, easier to process, and is the better material to learn with. Decent timers have gotten overpriced these days, but an easel is a necessary item to do repeatable printing. You Meopta enlarger is pretty good. The Belar lens is okay up 8x10 prints, but considering the bargain prices used lenses go for, a 50mm 2.8 El-Nikkor upgrade should go on the short shopping list.

Always shut your enlarging lens down two stops from widest aperture to print. Projection scale or test strip for timing.

Really, to get this all under your belt in an organized way, you need to get a "how to" book. There are many out there, some good, some not so much. One of the best (long out of print) is by David Vestal, The Art of Black and White Enlarging (Amazon, 4 bucks). Ilford has a series of excellent how to videos linked to its website. Most of the YouTube videos out there are warped by misinformation and incomplete presentations - don't waste your time there, even if some are quite good.
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