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Thread: Film for masking

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Film for masking

    Lith film is not pan for one thing. This makes it useless for color masking and a distinct
    liability when masking pyro negs due to the stain of the original image. It's not particularly
    predicatable batch to batch. Dektol gives a fair amt of residual fog. This approach might
    be acceptable for certain personal uses, but it's a pretty bad starting point for any objective learning of masking skills, esp if one wants to ever get to second base. The key
    to high quality contrast masking is to have a very low contrast dimensionally stable image
    registered with a straight line as far down as possible, and a minimum amt of base and edge fog. Even old time Pan Masking film had a horrible toe to it. It was basically Plus-X
    minus the antihalation layer. With FP4 and TMX and certain very dilute tweaks of HC-110
    you can be properties much closer to ideal, plus use correction filtration relative to color
    response (which in fact is a factor often in even black and white masking).

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Film for masking

    Wayne - there are some distinct tricks for getting good contrast masks for color neg work.
    But before you ever get to that point ... if you haven't already done so, make a master
    neg of something like a MacBeath color chart and gray scale. Do this under exactly correct
    color temp and exposure conditions. This will save you a lot of headaches later on. Then
    use a color temp meter to also determine what settings on your colorhead basically bring
    it to approximately "daylight" as opposed to strongly tungsten warm-balanced. You'd need
    to cool the light. Once you get there, you can add something like a Hoya O (light orange)
    filter under the lens to "see through" the orange mask. If you also want to correct for the
    depressed green sensitivity of pan film also add a Hoya XO or lt yellow-green. This will
    allow your pan film to see the color neg film color-neutral. Quite a different game than
    masking chromes.

  3. #13
    よろしくお願いします! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Film for masking

    I've used tmx 100, fp4, efke 25, and lith film. All of them worked very well.

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Film for masking

    Andrew - none of those films have anything in common. Ekfe 25 is orthopan, so won't separate well with a deep red or magenta mask, and it's very high contrast. Lith films are
    mainly blue sensitive and somewhat green sensitive, so can't objectively balance color film
    at all. Have you ever done color film masking? I've done it for dye transfer, Cibachrome,
    and color neg, plus b&w - up to eight different masks for a single image. I have thousands of dollars of very specialized equip on hand for specialized masking and color sep work, some of it unique. So I'm not guessing.

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Film for masking

    Let me clarify that last post a bit - Lith film is ortho - it's essentially blind to the predominant orange cast of a color neg. And what little color might get thru is only a very
    narrow part of the spectrum (mainly cyan - so the complement, red, is the only category of color in the original scene that get's masked). You'd end up with some very other-wordly
    results if you managed to get past the neutral density issue at all. True pan film, on the
    other hand, can be selectively filtered not only for overall corection, but also for selective
    correction.

  6. #16

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    Re: Film for masking

    This gets confusing. It seems there's more than one way to skin a cat here. Kodak recommends their PAN masking film for contrast reduction, whereas other publications I have read, recommend lith film. And I beleive another Kodak publication recommended lith. Only connection being that they're high contrast.

    Also heard recommendations for lith in B&W contrast reduction as well.

    For a contrast increase, they recommend Speration Negative Film for the interpositive. Which I assume is also PAN as they recommend adding a 60B + 30M, to counter the base tint.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Film for masking

    OK Wayne ... first of all, that Kodak literature is very out of date, and none of those three
    films have been made for a very long time. Their lith film, like most, was ortho, so used only
    for highlt maksing, which is different from contrast masking, though sometimes used in
    conjunction. True pan high contrast masking was done with Tech Pan. So nowadays we need a completely different tool kit as far as films are concerned. More recently Arista APH
    II was available as an excellent Ortho lith film, and it could be adapted for general black and white film masking, but not for general color contrast masking (It was about 75% blue
    sensitive, 25% green, and 0 red). And indeed, once the basic concepts are mastered,
    there are plenty of ways to skin the cat, and that's the fun and creative aspect of this.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Film for masking

    Now to add to the above, Wayne... For color neg maksing you want a very gentle mask
    with a low DMax but good gradation or tone separation the entire range of the original.
    If the mask is not proportional over the whole range, you'll end up with a color shift between the extremes. And too harsh a mask and you'll blow out the high values. With
    Cibachromes sometimes a mask of up to .90 might be used, and with dye transfer all kinds
    of things come into play (and you'll still see these kinds of specs in old literature); but with
    RA4 work from color negs, you want something much softer, and preferably with a straight
    line so that all the values in the original receive equal treatment. You also need neutral
    color response, at least until you learn what deliberate corrections you might want to introduce afterwards. I've made thousands of masks for all kinds of things, but started out
    just as simply as you are. So just try to get to first base first, and see if you like it.

  9. #19

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    Re: Film for masking

    Ha ha. Drew, I think it's safe to say that the literature is VERY, VERY out of date. But provides a little primer for me anyhow. Thanks for all your help. Time to either digest all the information, or start wasting film. Or combination of both. Heh.

  10. #20
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Film for masking

    Masking color neg film was almost unheard of until quite recently. In the
    good ole days if you wanted a snappy print it would be done from chromes onto dye transfer then later Ciba, so almost all the suggestions
    relative to masking were somehow involved with these kinds of things.
    And there were a few nearly hypothetical things published for making color separation negs from color negs. Color negs like Vericolor were supposed to be used for soft portrait images etc. Nowadays we have some exciting new toys like Portra and Ektar which respond well to both
    constrast reduction and contrast increase masking, and RA4 has become
    convenient and affordable, so it's gonna be fun!

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