View Full Version : Got my filters in

23-Nov-2012, 10:41
today... I'm hoping to jump back into the DR this evening.

It's a Ilford Multigrade Filter Set.

I'm assuming that 00 creates less contrast than lets say a 5?

Also, another question if I may. Since I'm not printing anything that will be hung in a gallery, do I have to do test strips from the same paper stock, that I might use for an 8x10 or so?

Can I use contact RC paper, if I have RC enlarging paper to use for test strips to determine exposure settings?

I took out my 150 watt light, and now have a 45 watt light in, which is giving me exposure times around 30 seconds to 45, which I like, because I now have time to D/B some.

23-Nov-2012, 10:45
As for the filter question, yes 00 is the soft end, 5 being the contrasty end. Do you have to do test strips? That is totally up to you, everyone seems to have a different process. I always do as it saves me paper in the end, but it's up to you. I'm not sure I understand the RC question, but if you are asking if you can use RC for test strips to ultimately print on Fiber based paper, the answer is no. They are totally different in a number of ways.


23-Nov-2012, 10:48
Thanks Bill.

Yeah, that's what I was asking. That if I used my Contact paper, which isn't RC paper, could I use the settings that come from that test and apply it to my RC prints.


Now that I think about it, my Contact Paper Is RC paper. BTW, I am doing test strips on all my work ;)

Can't wait to try out these filters. I'm also assuming that when one uses a filter, one should consider expanding the exposure time by a weeeee bit to allow for the filter, as you would when using filters when shooting film?

Man, I'm totally hooked on this darkroom work now... I'm having a hard time, getting out of there, to do my day to day digital editing now... grrrrrr

Oh wait. One more question... I do I keep my Fiber prints from curling once dried out? I figure after they would get back to their natural moisture content, the would lay flat. My RC prints are fine. Just my Ilford Multigrade 5x7's are curled.

23-Nov-2012, 11:11
It depends. Assuming a "good" negative with "normal" contrast, do your initial test strips with a #2 filter in. Even though the paper is already a #2 (pretty much) without a filter, you times will already take in to account the filter. With a typical bulb (150 watt-ish) you need roughly the same exposure times for a #1 -> #3. #4 -> #5 and #0 -> #00 need typically double the time as they greatly reduce wavelengths that the paper is sensitive to. All of this will begin to be second nature before long. Have fun with it!

23-Nov-2012, 11:14
Btw, as to the test strip question, always use the same paper for your test strip as you are printing on. There may be exceptions that you find along the way (i.e. my times for paper x and y are almost always identical) but as a rule of thumb, use the same paper. You can't go wrong that way. It's also a good idea to do a test strip if you have to move to a new box of paper as there can be differences between batches and it's better to use a bit of time and small amount of paper than waste time and a whole sheet of paper.


John Olsen
26-Nov-2012, 17:52
On the curling question: Ilford MG will curl pretty painfully while drying. I let it air dry until it starts to curl, then put it in a blotter book. Or, once the surface is dry to the touch, flip it face down on a non-linty surafce (in the sun if possible). I set up a space heater in a spare bedroom and let it dry for a couple of hours at least.

As for the RC vs FB question: RC contact sheets and test prints will give you a pretty accurate idea of what you need to do for the final FB prints. There will be a little exposure time and contrast difference, but you can use the RC to get a useful ballpark recipe for your final prints.

And yes, do test strips until you get a good print value in your most important areas. It seems like a waste of time, but patience pays off.

26-Nov-2012, 22:55
I would test the RC vs FB theory. It may be close with some papers, but it can be completely different, especially if the papers are from different vendors, etc. I have printed the same image on both with the times being double / half of each other. It can't hurt to test. Develop a workflow, hone it, then stick to it. It can be tempting to cut corners sometimes but it almost never pays off when printing.


27-Nov-2012, 09:20
Different papers can have very different characteristics, or very similar. There are some products in the photo world that are manufactured to be similar with others (for example films that mimic Kodak Tri-X). Others are like apples vs. oranges.

One example is Kodak Polycontrast II RC and Ilford MG IV RC. In my experience these have very similar exposure (speed) and contrast characteristics.

Another example is Kodak Polycontrast II RC (using a grade 2 filter) and Agfa Brovira FB Grade 2, which in my experience had very different behaviors. Test strips made on the Kodak paper were not useful to make prints on Brovira.