When enlarging b&w 35mm film in the darkroom, I cannot get a decent print unless I use a 0 or 1 grade filter. If I use no filter, the print turns out nearly completely black (even at exposure times of less than 1 sec).
Also, even with the 0 or 1 grade filter, my exposure times have to be extremely short (2-3 seconds), which doesn't allow time for dodging. My aperture is already on the smallest possible setting (F16). However with these settings (lowest aperature, short exposure (2-3 sec) and a 0 filter, most of the prints look pretty decent - nice contrast, good range of grays.
The problem of the short exposure time is exacerbated with the size of the print is small (4x6 in) - however, in all cases I seem to need to use the 0 or 1 filter.
Any suggestions on what I could be doing wrong? I have tried several different brands and types of VC paper, and the results are more or less the same.
Photo of a sample negative attached. I am adding four pictures below showing a negative and a print of two different photographs. They both required a 0 grade filter and exposure time of 2-3 seconds at the smallest aperture for a 4x6in print.