Farmer's Reducer for film?greenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread
I have few too dense negatives difficult to print. Can I use normal farmer's reducer? Is it safe too use diluted?.
-- Antti J. Hyvdrinen (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 19, 1999
Yes, you can use Farmer's reducer on silver-based negatives, but be careful: You must not leave the negative in the reducer until it looks right, because the reducer continues to work a while when the negative is already in the water bath again. I would recommend not using too strong a solution.
If the negative is unique, consider duplicating it. Also, practice on a scrap negative.
Proceed as follows:
1) Presoak the negative in water. 2) Dip it into the reducer for a short while, then put it in water again. 3) Wait for a minute or so. 4) Repeat 2) and 3) until the negative looks right.
There is one more thing to consider: The reducer will also reduce the thin areas. If the negative is only difficult to print because exposure times are long, but it is otherwise OK, I would recommend living with the long exposures and not reducing the negative.
-- Thomas Wollstein (email@example.com), August 19, 1999.
Alternatively, look at proportional or superproportional reducers. Farmers reducer used with solution A and B mixed together is a cutting reducer i.e., it reduces densities equally across high and low density areas. This means (unless you overexposed the neg badly) you risk losing your critical shadow densities. I've heard that you can use solution A followed by solution B and that gives you a proportional reducer i.e., the reduction is proportional to the density values, so high densities are reduced more than low densities and you get a lower contrast range. Alternatively, you can use a super proportional reducer which affects the highlight densities a lot more which means you will get an even lower contrast range. Photographers formulary has this stuff. Hope this helps. DJ
-- N Dhananjay (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 20, 1999.
I read that a dilute Farmer's reducer is the cheapest proportional reducer.
-- Thomas Wollstein (email@example.com), August 20, 1999.
Antii, Unless you have very valuable negatives, don't bother. You will end up with no density in the shadow areas and still too much density in the highlight areas. Just re-shoot and learn from the experience. Negative reduction is possible but very hard to achieve tyhe desired results. So don't waste the time doing it unless you are very practiced in the darkroom. I can do it but I'm also very good in the darkroom and it doesn't always come out right anyway. So just go out and shoot the stuff again and learn from your mistakes. James
-- james (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 21, 1999.
James, so how does one learn unless they try it? In fact, non-valuable negatives are the best ones to try and learn on.
-- Terry Carraway (TCarraway@compuserve.com), August 23, 1999.
Terry, to answer your question, bleaching with ferricyanide is not the answer to the dilema unless you are very precise and accomplished in the darkroom. It is not something to use to overcome a problem with exposure. It is however "very unpredictable." Ferricyanide acts on all the silver equally. Therefore the shadow densities get eaten up before any appreciable density changes occur in the highlight areas of the neg. What you end up with is a negative that has no density in the shadows and still the same densities in the highlight areas so it just gets worse. If you have a 4 or 5 stop "overly dense" negative that is already 2 or 3 stops overexposed, then and only then will you have a chance to modify your negative in a positive manner. So with this in mind I hope you see the efficacy of my statement to the question. By all means have at it and try reducing with Farmers Reducer. But don't expect an improvement in the neg. It will have nice blacks but no detail in the blacks. James
-- lumberjack (email@example.com), August 26, 1999.
The talk was about using proportional reducers to help fix these negatives. And you advice was you might be able to do it because you were so good in the darkroom, but mere mortals couldn't do it.
I was just trying to point out that just saying don't do it because you aren't skilled enough isn't helpful.
Maybe Farmer's Reducer isn't the best thing to use, so what is? And the way people learn is by doing. If the neagtives are too dense to print well, you don't lose anything be practicing on them, or if you want to learn, you can intentionally over expose some film and practice on it.
-- Terry Carraway (TCarraway@compuserve.com), August 26, 1999.
I'm trying to keep the inexperienced from trying to fix a mistake on an important piece of film. I am experienced in the darkroom yes. And I still get uneven results with reducers. It is not a good way to fix mistakes. I want the new photographers/printers to refine their exposure techniques so they don't have to resort to such extreme methods in the first place. If they want to experiment with reducing negatives and prints then by all means do it. That's how I learned but it should never become a crutch. Even with proportional reducers there is to much chance of reducing your shadows to nothing. Jmaes
-- james (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 27, 1999.