Some small prints and a note on Fomapan 200

Yesterday I made some prints. Small ones. Firstly, because I like small prints. Secondly, I had made tissue last week and wanted to try it out. Thirdly, I had these negatives sitting here and they weren’t particularly suited for what they were intended to do, so I gave it a shot with carbon transfer. When life gives you lemons, eh? Well, this lemon here I grew all by myself!

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The Big Ugly, part 4: (im)perfect present

Here we are, and this is Now. So far, I have written about the two generations of problematic and/or quasi-successful color enlarger light sources I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. But all that is in the past. This blog is about the current, 3rd generation of the LED color light source for my (t)rusty Durst 138. It incorporates most of the lessons I learned along the way – and brought me some new ones, no doubt.

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The Big Ugly, part 3: proper SMD LEDs, but no cigar (?)

In the previous part of this series, I told about the lessons I learned by trying to use a single RGB COB LED as a light source for both RA4 and B&W enlarging. I took those lessons and gave it another go, this time using a fundamentally different approach. As the title suggests, no cigar yet – although this isn’t really accurate. The second generation device I built was actually used for a year or two before I was sufficiently annoyed by its shortcomings to replace it. So the second generation actually did work – albeit with some caveats.

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The Big Ugly, or building a LED color printing light source. Part 1: the beginnings

Previously, I bashed compound/integrated RGB LEDs such as RGB COB LEDs for the application of a color enlarger for RA4 prints. That was basically a lesson learned the hard way when building a LED-based color enlarger light source. In this series, because one post is probably not going to be enough, I’ll highlight some aspects of the system I’ve built. Or I should say: I’ve built so far, because it’s really just a prototype that will likely never be really finished. Hence the title, The Big Ugly. Because there’s one thing it isn’t, and that’s beautiful. But hey, it works! Sort of. Most of the time. Within reasonable limits. If I’m careful.

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Corn print

Yesterday I made a print that I’m very pleased with. The negative just about perfectly suited my current carbon transfer skillset and as a result, the very first print of the negative is about as good as it’s going to get. Alright, there’s a few minor issues that need ironing out, but the image is quite presentable, I think. Here it is:

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PVC development tubes for sheet film

Warning: again a total lack of originality on my part. The upshot is that apparently I don’t suffer too badly from the not invented here syndrome because I proudly stole reproduced this idea from Tim Layton whom in turn was inspired by Phil Davis and his “Beyond The Zone System” approach. The whole idea is essentially just a hollow tube with two end caps in which you put a single sheet of film, fill ‘er up with developer and agitate in whichever way you fancy. This could be a fancy water bath agitator like in the official BTZS approach, or, as in my case, simply turning the tube over and over like a regular daylight tank, or rolling it on a counter top.

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Beginner’s luck

Well, not an appropriate title, that’s a good start… this post is about carbon transfer printing, which is something I did quite a bit of a few years ago. I don’t think I even had a large format camera back then, so I just used digital negatives instead. And grew very tired of it, very quickly. Well, after making a couple of hundreds of prints (mind-numbingly boring calibration charts as well), that is.

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