View Full Version : Enlarger Settings for b&w Paper

Colin D
12-Dec-2016, 20:42
My laptop has chucked a wobbly so while it is getting cla'd I'm doing some b&w paper printing which I am not that familiar with but get a great buzz out of when I get something to work.

I use an LPL6700 enlarger which works fine. Paper I use is Ilford Multifrade IV RC Deluxe. Currently I have the head set at Y 49 & M 23 which is for 1.5 Grade paper.

If I have a high contrast neg what changes to the settings should I make to get a reasonable print? Once I had some literature on this but can't find it. Or is it the paper that needs to match the neg?


Nodda Duma
12-Dec-2016, 20:57
If you have high contrast you'll want to tone it down by using a lower grade setting. So 1.5 might be good.

In any case there's a fold up instruction sheet in the Ilford box which will have the proper valuesfor different grades.

If not, since you have access to the internet (judging by your ability to post here):


12-Dec-2016, 22:25
You don't have to split the Y & M settings... If you look at a set of MG below the lens filters, you will see that they are either yellow or magenta, so if you are using a colorhead you would use more yellow for less printing contrast, or more magenta for greater printing contrast, so just using one of those colors will be fine...

On my US based system (1-100 scale, with my head), no filter produces #2 with deeper blacks (with a quartz lamp), about 10M is #2 with a lesser range, 25M=#2 1/2, 40M =#3, 60M=#3 1/2 etc, but for less contrast, 15Y= #1 1/2, 25Y=#1, etc... The euro system is different but with some tests comparing with a set of filters, you should be able to tell the difference quickly and come up with your own settings visually by looking at the color to get you in the ballpark...

Adding the 2 colors are going to form ND that will slow your exposure time and is not needed (unless the exposure is too short)... For your lower contrast, add more & more yellow... Take notes of exposure times + filter settings... A few test strips and you are on your way...

Steve K

Colin D
12-Dec-2016, 22:45
Thanks to both of you, the addition of colours and their impact was what I was wondering. I have high and low contrast negs to think about. It's probably the Ilford instructions I was thinking of which I can't find.

Laptop is used for scanning, iPad for doing this and not much else. Actually not having the laptop has forced me to revert to printing which has re-awakened me to the more primitive but more satisfying disciplines of LF.


12-Dec-2016, 22:50
What lab rat said. I hope you meant multigrade. The charts I remember varied the m/y ratio to keep the exposure constant, but basically more yellow-less contrast, more magenta-more contrast

13-Dec-2016, 01:56
I just do what LabRat does: dial in more yellow for lower contrast prints (high contrast negatives) or dial in more magenta for the opposite. I use the ilford guides to choose contrast and adjust exposure times for the filtration. I just started using a color analyzer to measure the contrast and then pick a suitable grade based on the contrast range of the negative and to establish a base exposure with the filtration applied. It gets me in the ballpark in one go.

Colin D
16-Dec-2016, 13:53
Cheers for the info everyone, working in the dark again is invigorating, results ok, but a bit more practice needed to get it right. Dialling the M & Y numbers according to contrast is what I wanted.