Umkehrentwicklung Fotopapier

nach Rüdiger Hartungs Mitteilung in „facebook“

1 Papierentwickler normal bis etwas höher verdünnt (für schwache Kontraste)
2. Rotes Blutlaugensalz 40 Gramm pro Liter an.
3. Klärbad 90g Natriumsulfit in einem Liter Wasser.
4. Ein Blitzgerät zur Nachbelichtung (oder Lampe)

  1. Fotopapier mit dem Dia 2 bis 3 Blenden überbelichten. Falls das Endergebniss (Positiv) noch zu dunkel ist, noch mehr überbelichten.

2. Erstwicklung. Ausentwickeln. Es entsteht zunächst ein Negativ. Wegen der Überbelichtung ist dies sehr dunkel.
– kurz in Wasser abspülen –

3. Bleichbad. Mindestens 2 Minuten. Es bleibt ein Restbild stehen. Wenn sich absolut nichts mehr tut,
-kurz mit Wasser abspülen-

4. Klärbad. Auch mindestens 2 Minuten. Zum Ende hin wird das Restbild etwas flacher, milchiger.
– in Wasser mit Bild nach oben legen-

5. Nachbelichten. Blitz mit kleinster Leistungstufe und ca 1m Abstand.

(Variante : Wer eine Schwefel/Sephiatonung macht, kann sich die Nachbelichtung und Zweitentwicklung sparen, das erledigt der Schwefeltoner zusammen).

5. Zweitentwicklung im selben Entwickler (wer die etwas besser steuern möchte, kann 1+1 verdünnen).

5. Fixieren, wässern.

Bei Licht Ergebnis beurteilen.

Falls das Positiv zu hart oder zu dicht ist:
(Das Bild muss sehr gut gewässert sein nach dem Fixieren. Fixierreste plus Bleiche frisst Lichter unwiederbringlich weg!)

Nochmals bei Licht in die Bleiche (ggf. stärker verdünnen 1+5) und so lange bleichen, bis die Schatten so sind, wie man sie haben möchte und dann schnell in Wasser und bewegen. Die Lichter werden dann mit sehr stark verdünntem Erstentwickler (1+10) zurück entwickelt. Ggf. wiederholen. Dann nochmals fixieren und wässern.

Geht praktisch schneller, als es hier den Anschein hat.

Reversal processing of photopaper

You need to overexpose the paper up to 3 stops, never underexpose.


Paper developer, normal or thinner than usual

Rotes Blutlaugensalz, 40g/Liter water to bleach

Natriumsulfit, 90g/Liter water to clear

lightsource to flash the paper

Overexpose the photopaper up to 3 stops (if to dark, overexpose more)

Develop fully, paper will be rather dark.

short stop in water

Bleach. Minimum 2 min. When nothing more happens,

short stop in water

Clear. Minimum 2 min. Pic gets milky

Water Stop, put paper in with pic upside.

Flash paper: minimal flash or light. (if you do sepia or sulphur toning you do not need the flashing or the second development, the toner does work without these steps)

Second development, you can thin the developer 1:1.

5. Fix, long Waterbath

If pic isa to dark: In light bleach with 1:5 soluted bleach till the result is good and than stop in water. Again developing of the highlights in thin (1:10) developer, repeat if needed.

Another Fix and waterbath….

(This procedure was published from Rüdiger Hartung (great guy btw) in the facebook group Analoge Fotografie.)

Darkroom – grain !

In my opinion the discussion about grain is very difficult to join.

Of course I´d like a picture without annoying grain, but – I don´t need to look at a 50cm * 50cm print with magnifing glasses to diskuss the grain.

The bigger the print, the longer the viewing distance, the less important is the grain.

If I don´t like it – take a medium format negative for enlargement, take a film with 25 ISO and expose it for 10 Iso, expose for the shadows, use a developer for fine grain and soften the light of the enlarger.

Don´t use a Tri X 400 pushed to 1600 in 35 mm developed in Rodinal with lots of agitation and scan it 😉

Or go digital…

Often you get a lot of problems scanning. The scanner „sees“ often an overlay of multiple film structures, theese structures look like an very big grain, but lastly this is an artefact of the scanning technique. You often won´t see them in enlarger prints.

If you scan, print with the enlarger, take a foto of your negatives, each positive will show very different results.

 But please send in tips and tricks you know about nonetheless, I´d love to know.

Last not Least : There are lots of programms and apps with one goal only :

To impose a realistic grain on digital images 😉

More here

and here :

Darkroom – dust, dust, dust

I´m really trying to keep my workflow clean.

But the everlasting problem in an analog workflow seems to be the dust.

my darkroom is my workshop, too, a small problem 😉

Here the tips and tricks which accumulated over the years :

Kepp your camera inside / back inside clean.

Dry your negatives in an clean environment, best seems to be an bathroom after taking a shower (the shower takes the dust out of the air)

Put the negatives in sleeves

Keep your scanner/enlarger  clean, use moist wipes, antistatic wipes, an airblower.

Be careful with compressed air, it may contain chemicals and it stirs up the dust.

On the negatives use antistatic brushes (e.g. Kinetronics)

If needed use moist wipes (careful !) to clean the negatives

Learn photoshop / lightroom dust removal techniques and patience

And most valuable :
Learn to live with this imperfections

In my poll, I got lots of tips, here are the most valuable remarks :

  • Rodolfo Cardarelli I try to keep everything as clean as possible but it’s just impossible. I do not use ICE or other automatic technologies first of all because increase the length of the scanning and secondly because I want to keep control during the whole process.
    I am afraid repairing by hand on photoshop is the only viable solution, IMHO.

Warren Lilford Scan as soon as your negative is dry, blow the negs down once in the holder, blow down the flatbed top and bottom. a lot of it can be dust sticking to neg while drying or dirty developer to, 90% of stuff on my negs is from developing

Warren Lilford I think over time you learn what works, when i started my own developing the amount of crud on my scans was hideous but its got a lot better.

Andreas Cloos As Rodolfo wrote – try to keep everything as clean as possible (antistatic brush, compressed air) and the rest you gotta remove in Lightroom or Photoshop. Advantage is: the bigger the negative, the less difficult it is to remove the dust,

Carl Hall Hoover or blow the camera out every so often so that you don’t get dust stuck to the film right at the start. When you leave the film to hang do it in a room where there is less dust (ie in the bathroom after the showers been on).

Patryk Burchard I dry my films in „cabinet“ (made from carboard, shower curtain and some other stuff). Before hanging the film I put bowl with boiling water for 3-5 minute for steam to catch dust

Andreas Cloos I dry my film in a bthorrm where we also put our cat’s toilets – which means there is always some dust/hair. Never have it on the negatives, but everytime you open the flatbed scannre you can basically see the dust which is finding it’s place on the scanner glas. So that is where „my dust“ comes from.

Jonathan Gazeley Compressed air or a blower to get the dust off, and then light cloning in PS to remove the bits I missed.

Phil Marshall I use a large garment bag with a light bulb on the bottom. Turn the bulb on and unzip the top of the bag a little. The warm air rises up and takes the dust out with it. Warm it up for ten minutes or so, before putting wet film in. Looks crazy, but works great !

Wetprinting – paper development

Today it was pretty rainy, at last.
The trees are getting brown, loosing leaves, the grass is yellow. So we are happy with the rain.
So I decided to enlarge some negatives.
At first mixing the developer, stopbath and fixer. I used 1 l of each, a little more would be better next time. Dusting the enlarger, wiping all surfaces, putting my lighttight lids on the window.
Than using a antistatic brush on the negative, putting it in the enlarger try (I used one of my 6*6), emulsion side down.
Than I put the paper box ( in this case a pretty old one) on the base plate, adjusting the enlarger to the overall size. Put the box aside, here came the grain loupe, adjusting and adjusting the focus, than stopping down the lens 3 stops.
OK, lights out and red light on.
I took one of a rather old pack of sheets, testprinting with 4,8,12,16,20 seconds. Developed till the image showed, than times ten (15 sec to first image, 2.15 min dev time), short stop bath, 3 min fixing, best result with 8+ seconds, so I used 10 seconds.
New sheet, 10 sec., chemistry cycle, came out too dark.
Nice pic with 8.5 sec, but I left the paper about 8 min in the fixer and that was too long. I got some stipes I otherwise can´t explain.
But – my about 20 year overdue paper (I got it with the enlarger for free, package from 1968 ) seemed to be good.

Your print exposure time is determined by highlight value.
Once your brightest areas of your picture are satisfactory to you, that is your exposure time. 

Shadows are determined by filter number.
(If the highlights need a shorter time, the contrast is to low. If the shadows need the shorter time, contrast is to high.)
Filter or split tone printing or other paper to change the contrast would be the next step.

Than I just for fun took an old x-ray film, put the enlarger to 0.2 sec – and got a nice print. But due to both sides emulsion the x-ray film is extreme sensitive to scratches. Nevertheless – it is really sharp.

But now, after a quick check on time,  I had to clean and tidy up, thats always quite a job.

Have fun !

Tips & Tricks – ipad contact copy

I had a (as I thought) nice idea fot the iPad and my darkroom :

Slideshow, black slide, pic, pic… (as long as needed for the exposure), black slide, stop
while putting a film or photopaper on the screen. A contact copy.

But – the image was out of focus. Very out of focus.

After a long quest I found a probable cause (I think) in a forum.

The display is beneath a glas screen. Here the light gets diffused – and the image gets unsharp…

So :

No more tries.

Wetprinting – Contact sheet

Most photographers tell me to keep a contact sheet for every film I shoot to better evaluate the negatives.
I am on my way.

For contact sheets always have your enlarger at the same place.
For example, move the head all the way up.
Or only illuminate the full baseboard. You want the head to be in a place where you can easily place it any time in the future.

Turn off all regular lights and only have a safelight on. Turn on the enlarger bulb. Open the enlarging lens all the way. Have an empty film carrier in place, focus it so the edges are sharp. (The goal is to have a wide evenly illuminated work area.) Turn off the enlarger bulb. Set your enlarging lens aperture to a medium setting such as f/11. Place 1 sheet of enlarging paper on the baseboard face up. Close your enlarging paper box or envelope securely. Place some negatives that you know are properly exposed on the paper. Place a clean sheet of glass over the negatives and paper so all is flat. Place a black card over most of the paper. Make an exposure with your enlarger timer. Move the card. Make a second exposure of the same duration. Repeat until you have a series of exposed areas (strips).

Develop the paper – Lights on
Examine the strips. You want the first one that is black, not dark grey. Note the exposure time.
Now you have a repeatable standard for your darkroom to use any time you want to make contact sheets. When you use the same paper and fresh developer.
Modified from the original on facebook from  Terry Thomas… the photographer
Atlanta, Georgia USA
And another comment :
In a proper proof, the clear, unexposed edges of the negatives are as black as the areas of print paper between the strips of film. And those areas should be as black as the paper ever gets.
This principle is called „maximum black,“ and it’s extremely important.  If you underexpose your proof sheets, the clear film surrounding your images will appear on the proof as a very dark gray, not a true black.  For a proper proof, the clear film must be printed down to the paper’s maximum black.  An overexposed proof sheet is more difficult to spot, but the vast majority of people err on the side of underexposure.
From :

Wetprinting – old paper

This here is a good source of information :

And a few opinions :

R O: Multigrade developer will work with RC & FB paper. The FB paper will take longer to develop.

T K: The Brovira is worth it’s weight in gold to passionate lith printer! for tips on conventional printing with old papers, see lower part of Unblinking Eye article. I’ve also tried Caffenol with good success…..using Caffenol C-L with lower alkali content.

M K: Can also depend a little on which paper developer, Multigrade is a phenidone based developer and will likely work better with benzotriazole that with potassium bromide.

J M: Potassium Bromide works great for me, I have several boxes of stuff that’s older than I am and it’s got a good look.

M K: It should also be noted that BZT Benzotriazole cools off print color and potassium bromide can warm it up but that the KBr warm tone can be a little greenish depending on paper.

T P: try processing the paper in dectol developer

Printing – Splitgrade

  • Start with a test strip at grade 2.5, right in the middle of the contrast range.
  • The test strip is then exposed in a series of steps.
  • Choose a step on the test strip that has some black areas as well as some detail in the light parts of your image. It’s usually best to go slighter darker if in doubt as to which step to choose.
  • Take the time for the selected step and divide by 2, for example if the 30 second step looks about right this will give you 15 seconds.
  • Do another test strip using this 15 seconds at grade 0 and 15 seconds at grade 5. 
  • In simple terms, the grade 0 low contrast exposure gives you control of the light grey areas in your print. To add more detail in these ‘highlights’ increase the grade 0 exposure time. 
  • To increase the overall print contrast increase the grade to 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2. Be careful to avoid having white patches with no detail in your print. If this happens reduce the contrast again. Obviously if your print looks dull and without any bright areas (assuming it should have bright areas!) then decrease the exposure times until you see some.
  • The high contrast exposure gives you control of the blacks and shadows. Increase this time until you see good blacks or decrease it until you can see some details in the shadows without completely losing your blacks. Be careful not to reduce your blacks to dark grey or your print will look low contrast! I always use grade 5 for the high contrast exposure.

For each exposure you can change the time and grade used giving you an almost infinite variety of possibilities. You can also dodge (selectively reduce the exposure of) parts of the image during each of these 2 basic exposures:

  • To increase shadow detail and separation of the tones in these darker areas dodge these areas during the low contrast exposure.
  • Another way to increase shadow detail is to reduce the grade 5 exposure.
  • To give highlights subtle detail when they appear slightly over printed then dodge these during the low contrast exposure.
  • If highlight (lightest) areas appear flat this is because the contrast is too low or the exposure is too long. Increase the grade or reduce the exposure used for the low contrast exposure.
  • If it is difficult to put detail into the highlights using burning-in then reduce the grade used towards 0 for the basic low contrast exposure and maybe increase the time as well. Be careful not to reduce the overall impact of the print as you do this.
  • If the print needs more contrast increase the grade 5 exposure time, reduce the low contrast time or increase the low contrast grade.

 I also quite often make the foreground more contrasty by dodging the low contrast exposure for this area. I don’t want the viewer of my images to just look straight beyond the foreground to the main centre of interest. The whole picture sits on the foreground and increasing the contrast here gives it a prominent position in the final print.