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Thread: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

  1. #1

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    Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    Does anyone know if Ilford's multi-contrast filter set would match the results I get with my old Kodak Polycontrast filter set? Specifically, I need to know if Ilford's No. 0 contrast filter would give me the same results as Kodak's No. 0 Polycontrast filter. I use the Kodak filter to absorb the heavy blue light coming out of my old cold light head. It gives me fairly good normal contrast, but it's scratched and smudged.
    I'd like to replace it with a set of new Ilford filters, but in online product photos, Ilford's No. 0 filter doesn't look very yellow to me. But that might be just the way it looks on computer screen.
    Could someone using Ilford's filters advise me on this?
    I sent an email to Ilford, but have not heard back from them.

  2. #2

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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    Ben, I don't know that you'll get exactly the same. However, the color of the Ilford filters was changed many years ago, at which time they explained that the significantly paler color of the new filters was a result of engineering but that they would produce the same results, on Ilford papers, as the previous ones, with the addition of the 00 filter at the low end. They also said that the new set, except for the extremes (00, and, I think, 4 1/2 and 5) would produce the same print average exposure without changing time or aperture; the extremes require 2x the exposure.

    That said, I wonder why you need a 0 filter to compensate for your cold light head. Unless it's just the blue tube of a VC head, i.e., if it's a single-tube coldlight head, the old recommendation was a 40Y CC filter to get to grade 2. I use to use one at the negative stage, with contrast filters beneath the lens. It worked fine. when I started up again a few years ago, I decided, somewhat arbitrarily, not to bother with it and to tune my neg development to using just the straight cold light. My reasoning was that it appeared impossible to buy a single 40CC filter any longer and that I couldn't afford a full set of 6" filters, if I could find one. I figured mine had faded anyway. I did some initial tests with and without, and gave the nod to shorter exposures. Printing variables are always challenging. I find that I can get achieve the control and results I want, even if I may make a few more adjustments. For instance, I need about 22% more exposure with a 1 1/2 than a 2 filter, all else being equal, to maintain a lightish Zone VIII.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  3. #3

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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    Hi Philip -- Yes, I know the recommendation is the 40Y cc filter, but I found that the Kodak Polycontrast 0 filter works well for my methods. Without it, just using the old Aristo head (not the newer V54) alone (with VC paper), is like printing with a built-in high-contrast filter. For me at least, I can't see where the 40Y would give me any better normal contrast than what I'm getting from the Kodak No. 0. It tames the blue light coming out of that head pretty well, at least to my eyes. But I guess I should try a 40Y and compare the two.
    I hadn't realized that Ilford had changed the color of their contrast filters. Was looking at purchasing a set of Ilford's 6-inch-square filters, but hesitated when I noticed the filter colors in product photos.

  4. #4

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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    I don't recall when the change was made; someone else will. Probably in the lat3 1980s or early 1990s.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  5. #5

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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    As a follow up to my original post, I see that 40Y cc filters from B&H are hundreds of dollars! Looks like I’ll be sticking with my Kodak Polycontrast No. 0 yellow filter to conquer the blue light from my Aristo.

  6. #6

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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    ben, get the rosco filters. they are cheap and since you'll put it above the negative, it doesnt have to be optically perfect. i installed mine on the diffuser right under my cold light.

  7. #7

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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    Paul, which Roscoe filter do you use? B&H shows a bunch of different yellow ones.

  8. #8

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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    click on the color patch on the rosco site for the tech specs. this filter also comes in a 15ycc

    https://us.rosco.com/en/products/fil...olor-30-yellow

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...er_Yellow.html

  9. #9

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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    Thanks, Paul. I appreciate the info.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ilford's multi-contrast filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Calwell View Post
    Does anyone know if Ilford's multi-contrast filter set would match the results I get with my old Kodak Polycontrast filter set? Specifically, I need to know if Ilford's No. 0 contrast filter would give me the same results as Kodak's No. 0 Polycontrast filter. I use the Kodak filter to absorb the heavy blue light coming out of my old cold light head. It gives me fairly good normal contrast, but it's scratched and smudged.
    I'd like to replace it with a set of new Ilford filters, but in online product photos, Ilford's No. 0 filter doesn't look very yellow to me. But that might be just the way it looks on computer screen.
    Could someone using Ilford's filters advise me on this?
    I sent an email to Ilford, but have not heard back from them.
    I use a Rosco Yellow 4530 filter with my old cold light head.

    Click image for larger version. 

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