prints come out too dark : LUSENET : Darkroom Technique : One Thread

I am new to printing and am using a saunders 4500 enlarger with a color head. I am using ilford multigrade paper and split filtration. My pictures are very if looking at them through sunglasses. My negatives are sometimes great and othertimes thin, but the results always seems to be that my pics are too dark... murkey if you know what i mean. even my test strips seem to be dark from the beginning on. I may not be using my enlarger properly, or maybe some mystery exists that i am not aware of.....

-- Dennis (, June 19, 2002


What enlarger lens aperature are you using? If 5.6, try 8 or 11. You are obviously over exposing the paper - I assume that you are trying shorter and shorter exposure times and that isn't working. Even with a thin negative you should be able to produce an acceptable print by lessening your exposure. It is also possible that you have a light leak in your enlarger or your safelights are exposing your paper. There are specific procedures you can find on the web to test for these problems.

By the way, I would never use Ilford paper, unless I wanted really flat, dull prints. Try Oriental or another brand of paper.

Why are you using split filtration if you haven't been able to produce a decent basic print? You are creating too many variables for yourself.

Good luck,

Philip Tilton

-- philip tilton (, August 19, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ