Too much contrast... : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Hi everybody, i'm a novice in developing and obviously a little frustrated, i shot with Delta 400, i then develop the film with Ilfosol 1/9, i'm following the company instruction and timing, but everything come out with too much contrast.Perhaps using Xtol may help? Anyone can give me with some advice? Thanks in advance.(sorry for my bad english)

-- Stefano Ravizza (, March 23, 2001


Did you check the temperature ? You may reduce the contrast by reduce the developmemt time. you need to try a few times to get things right

-- martin tai (, March 23, 2001.

The time of most developers that manufacturers put on their packages are just a starting point. If you have to much contrast, do a clip test and pull the film at about 20% under what they are saying. You might have to go down 25% or 30% on the next part of the clips but you will have to be the judge of this. If your temperature was at where it was supposed to be, your clip tests will tell you what your "normal" developing time will be. I would stick with Ilfosol 1:9 for now. In doing clip tests, shoot a roll of your Delta on a scene that has deep shadows and good sunlight. The whole roll should be shot for this scene and when you are ready to develop your clip tests, take about 5-6 frames off in the dark and start as your first clip test at -20%. Typically this is called pulling your film but your highlights are being processed to long (as per recommended by the manufacturer) so you need to determine a new time. Testing, whether it is a new emulsion or a new developer is part of our life... Cheers, Scott

-- Scott Walton (, March 23, 2001.

Both answers above are correct. Check the developer temperture at the start and end of processing. Even if you start at the correct temperture, you may find that you are several degrees warmer (since excessive contrast is the problem, I doubt that your temperture is dropping) at the end of the processing cycle. This means that you will have to shorten your processing time, or better control your temperture. It is also possible that your temperture is correct and that the time is simply to long for your exposure. This is why consistency is very, very importent in processing film.

You have not discussed your subject, or how many rolls of film you have processed. You have just found a very contrasty subject.

-- Ed Farmer (, March 23, 2001.

I use Delta 400 rated at ei320 & developed in XTOL 1:1 at 20% less than Kodaks'recomendation.

-- Robert Orofino (, March 23, 2001.

Robert Orofino's suggestions are exactly as I handle my film processing. The contrast is perfect for grade 2 printing. I purchased and tried Ilfosol and found it very contrasty. I suggest that you make sure that your temperature is accurate. It has been my experience with development times over 10 minutes that the temperature of the chemical will change up to 4 degrees. If the desired temperature is 70 degree F I will start at 68F. The temperature of your hands on a SS tank will increase the temperature during the process. Also, agitation is a big factor in agitation. Too often and too vigorous will enhance contrast.

-- Robert Bedwell (, March 24, 2001.

I just processed some Delta 400 in Ilfotec DD-X last night at the recommended time and temp and it was perfect. I also did the same last week with XTOL with the same results...and almost no visible grain. I have not used either of these two developers before, but now find them to be so good that they will be used regularly. Try it.

-- Todd Frederick (, March 24, 2001.

Thanks everybody, i will try more and follow your advices. best regards Stefano

-- Stefano Ravizza (, March 24, 2001.

Too much contrast is caused by overdeveloping. Assuming that your temperature is properly maintained, the problem could be that you actually believed what Ilford stated on the data sheet, a common error. I masured the real speed of Delta 400 at 250. If you expose it at 400, it will be 2/3 stop underexposed. Ilford's stated time actually 'pushes' the film to achieve the stated EI of 400. This will make a noticable contrast increase of nearly one 'grade.' There is a new formulation of Delta 400 that I will test as soon as I can buy it in 4X5. I suspect that Ilford may have increased the real speed, like they did with Delta 100 some time ago. At least this time, they are letting us know that it has been changed. For a novice, without a densitometer and such, I recommend that you simply divide the stated film speed by half and reduce your devleopment time accordingly. Sometimes you will have to go to a grade 3, but that can be an advantage for 35mm.

-- Michael D Fraser (, March 25, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ