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Printer Attic Posts

Announcement: #PrintParteh

Although I write about a lot of topics related to analog photography in general, ranging from equipment to film tests, this blog is called Printer Attic. One of the goals of this blog is to spread the love, art and skill of making prints in the darkroom. On the initiative of avid printer @DrMarsRover, we are hosting the #PrintParteh. This month, a printing party will take place online March 2018. The schedule is very simple: March 5, 2018 – March 25, 2018: Print and share your story, your test strips, contact prints, you name it. We want to see your…

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Tripod review: Gitzo GT4543LS and Arca Swiss P0

It’s a tool I can’t do without and one that I carry on almost every trip. Maybe you’ve guessed it: a tripod. This three legged, underrated accessory fulfills a simple yet essential task for many photographers. It supports the camera and keeps it in a fixed position and orientation during exposure. Independent of your choice of subject, a good tripod needs to be sturdy, damp vibrations quickly and be portable. After I started shooting large format film, I noticed that the tripod I used wasn’t working out well with the new camera and the longer exposure times. It showed drift…

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Determining the effective speed and development time

When you shoot film you have to be an artist and a technician at the same time. Before you open the shutter there are composition, creative use of contrasts and colours, and trickery with lights to be concerned with. After that come the concerns about aperture, shutter speed and film reciprocity behaviour. And then, in the end, there is film development. What developer do you use? At what dilution? And then, for how long do I leave it in? Should I agitate or not? If so, how often? In this article, I will be taking you away from the manuals…

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Processing 4×5 one sheet at a time

As soon as you start testing film, you quickly find out that using conventional small tank development is very wasteful. I currently use a Patterson tank with a MOD54 insert that allows me to process up to six sheets at a time. Unfortunately, this requires 1 L of chemistry for each of the three baths for the films to be completely covered. If I am to use this, I will end using an entire bottles of developer and fixer on just one film test. With this in mind I started looking for alternative methods for processing single sheets at lower…

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2 years old!

Hurrah! Happy birthday to me?! Yes, two years ago I published the first real post on this blog and I have been publishing articles related to analog photography on a not-so-regular schedule ever since. When I started out I was planning on making it only about making wet prints, then I did some on film and then the entire plan derailed with a camera review, book reviews, home made dark cloths and some brainy stuff. Nevertheless, it has been a fun ride so far and I hope you will excuse my lack of focus to one topic completely. What’s up…

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A custom made dark cloth

Focusing a view camera in bright daylight can be as much as a pain as in low light conditions, when light directly hits the ground glass. The lower contrast that it causes, makes the image on the ground glass hard to see and focusing a pain. A good dark cloth is in my opinion not a luxury, but a necessity. There are probably plenty people that disagree with this statement, however. Some prefer no dark cloth at all, or use a black t-shirt instead. If you are in the market for a dedicated dark cloth there are currently three popular…

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The developer decomposed – Part 1: Developing agents

You only need to open up a search engine and look for any film-developer combination, to find that there are as many preferences for specific combinations as there are people using them. Some prefer a pronounced grain and harsh contrast, while others want smooth gradation and tonality combined with minimal grain. Some may get away with a ‘thin’ negative, while others need considerable density for their further processing. But what is it that makes all these developers give different results, while the basic principles are the same? In this three part series on developers, I will cover the principles of…

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Bag review: F-Stop Ajna

Camera bags. We all have (at least) one and there are always reasons to complain. I started out with a Lowepro Flipside 200, which soon became too small to fit my gear. It also was not watertight and didn’t come with a rain cover. Living in the Netherlands, I ended up remedying that by adding a Osprey XS rain cover as a backup. Then came the Domke F-2 Original. I had been eyeing this bag ever since I started. I looks the part in my opinion, gives quick access to cameras and lenses, and doesn’t scream ‘camera bag !’ to…

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Spreadsheets for photography and printing

I am a nerd. So, I said it. To ease the workflow I sometimes spend some time creating Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that aid in the field and in the darkroom. Below you will find an overview of the spreadsheets that are available. It will be regularly updated. If you find bugs or errors, let me know, so that I can fix it! Print margins I use a four bladed printing easle (Photon beard) that allows free choice of print margins. This spreadsheet aids in determining the right margins so that the print is aligned in the right corner, while maintaining…

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My first steps in large format photography

For years I have been saying that I will either buy or build my own large format camera, but the total cost of a 4×5 system consisting of camera and enlarger always put me off. Until now. A few weeks ago, I acquired a Toyo 45A in very good condition which came with a Rodenstock Sironar-N 150 mm lens and a few sheet film holders. About a week later, I picked up a complete Durst Laborator L1200 in Amsterdam and two weeks after that I made the first prints of my first ever 4×5 sheets. In this post, I will…

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