View Full Version : VC Filters vs. Dichro Color Head

brian steinberger
22-Aug-2007, 17:59
I have a beseler 45s dichro head, so I am used to dialing in my filtration. But lately, I've been doing more and more split-filter printing, and dialing the extreme contrast changes into the head between exposures is a bit of an inconvenience.

I was thinking of buying a set of Ilford VC filters to use. They seem very easy, straight forward. Everything I print is on Ilford paper anyway. The advertisement states that exposure for filters 0-3 is the same, and exposure for 4-5 is double. That seems so simple, and would be great for constant exposure when changing grades.

I'm looking for suggestions, comments, anything. Anyone else have a dichro head with all the dials on 0 printing through VC filters? Or anyone else doing alot of split-filter printing with any suggestions?

Don Wallace
23-Aug-2007, 06:38
Brian, I don't quite understand. Why is dialing in extreme contrast changes with a dichroic head more inconvenient than changing VC filters? I would think it was the other way around.

23-Aug-2007, 06:50
I much prefer a colour head to changing filters. It's fairly easy to just spin the dials all the way.

If I was going to use filters I'd get a green and blue Rosco lighting filter.

If you're spilt filtering I've no idea how Ilford's speed matching would help you.

brian steinberger
23-Aug-2007, 14:22
I'm not split filter printing all the time. And when I'm not, it'd be nice to have constant highlight exposure between grades. I have Ilfords recommendations for M+Y to create constant contrast, but find it to be inaccuate for my head. I guess I need to calibrate my dichro head to get constant highlight exposure through contrast changes. The thought of a set of filters that you could change and exposure stays the same sounds very simple to me. Any quality issues with under the lens filters?

ronald moravec
28-Aug-2007, 10:05
The Ilford filters will not give you consistent whites grade to grade. They give the same middle grey grade to grade.

This is a big help to those who print matching middle grey ( like NOBODY ) and no benefit at all to those who print to matching highlights.

If I find the contrast too low with #2, I make a print with #3 and 10 % more exposure. Then I get a decent starting point.

No filters match highlites. You need to work something out. Maybe it can`t be done, but I never tried. Just add more time as I go up, less as I go down.

Gary L. Quay
3-Sep-2007, 21:06
Something that may be an issue here, for "inconvenience" regarding split filter printing, is touching the head. I print mostly with a Chromega these days, but I get the heebie-geebies when I have to change the settings during a print. I really don't like touching the head. Any movement of the head can ruin the print. I don't do much split filtering, but when I do, I hold filters under the lens. They seem to be optically pure enough to do It. Lately, however, I've been working hard on metering and film developing technique, so that I won't have to do any split filtering.

Steve Kefford
4-Sep-2007, 04:40
Something that may be an issue here, for "inconvenience" regarding split filter printing, is touching the head.....

This is important, and for this reason, the under the lens filters offer the best solution.

Some further considerations:

Using filters gives a standard, wheras the colour head does not. The recommended settings are just suggestions, and effects vary from one enlarger to another.

The effect of the filters and the colour head do change with time, and the seperate filters are easily replaced.

In-between gardes are much easier with a colour head as settings are continuous.