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Thread: Who is using a Heiland splitgrade system

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Naples,FL
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    Who is using a Heiland splitgrade system

    When I purchased my DeVere 5108 Dichroic enlarger, it came with the Heiland electronic GmbH Splitgrade system. I have never tried to use it and don’t really even understand it. Are any of you using it and is it worth the effort?

    I am printing on Ilford multi grade fiber paper and I use the color head to control the contrast. Does the system use the color filters from DeVere, or do you have to somehow use specific filters from Heiland.

    It wants to control my safelight also, not sure why? I use a big Thomas super safelight that takes about ten minutes to come up to brightness, so I don’t want this thing turning it on and off.

    If anyone has any real world experience with one of these, I would appreciate your thoughts.

    I apologize in advance if this thread belongs in darkroom equipment...

    www.timeandlight.com

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Glasgow
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    Re: Who is using a Heiland splitgrade system

    Is this the halogen or LED Splitgrade?

    The halogen Splitgrade system essentially uses full yellow or full magenta output & meters/ analyses/ times those two exposures to match up with your specific paper. Most of the retrofits use a motorised system that flicks between the two filters, with a blank panel between them that acts as a shutter. The safelight shut-off is something that most enlarger control systems that analyse the neg do, in order to minimise the effect of the safelight (the sensor is sensitive to wavelengths that the paper isn't). The LED system uses RGB LEDs and makes green & red exposures, with the red as a built-in safelight - along with the option to get a 'white' light output & a colour mix controller. Split-grade has strengths and weaknesses - if you are fairly production oriented, work mainly with one or two paper/ chemical combinations & don't mind having to work your dodges & burns around the low & high contrast exposures, you can refine it to fit your procedures & potentially largely eliminate test strips - however, it is not a magical solution, nor does it do anything that an appropriately chosen single filter value & single exposure would do (unless you dodge & burn differently on both low & high contrast exposures) - it isn't the very expensive panacea that some claim it is.

  3. #3

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    Re: Who is using a Heiland splitgrade system

    Thanks interneg, that was the kind of response I was hoping for. This is an older splitgrade for the halogen bulbs, I don’t have an led setup. The guy I purchased the equipment from, indicated it was some kind of miracle machine, as in no wasted paper. I found that hard to believe.

    The information on the safelight makes sense now, that’s another reason I will probably never use this thing. I have to do my part to keep Ilford in business anyway


    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    Is this the halogen or LED Splitgrade?

    The halogen Splitgrade system essentially uses full yellow or full magenta output & meters/ analyses/ times those two exposures to match up with your specific paper. Most of the retrofits use a motorised system that flicks between the two filters, with a blank panel between them that acts as a shutter. The safelight shut-off is something that most enlarger control systems that analyse the neg do, in order to minimise the effect of the safelight (the sensor is sensitive to wavelengths that the paper isn't). The LED system uses RGB LEDs and makes green & red exposures, with the red as a built-in safelight - along with the option to get a 'white' light output & a colour mix controller. Split-grade has strengths and weaknesses - if you are fairly production oriented, work mainly with one or two paper/ chemical combinations & don't mind having to work your dodges & burns around the low & high contrast exposures, you can refine it to fit your procedures & potentially largely eliminate test strips - however, it is not a magical solution, nor does it do anything that an appropriately chosen single filter value & single exposure would do (unless you dodge & burn differently on both low & high contrast exposures) - it isn't the very expensive panacea that some claim it is.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Re: Who is using a Heiland splitgrade system

    Quote Originally Posted by John Brady View Post
    The guy I purchased the equipment from, indicated it was some kind of miracle machine, as in no wasted paper. I found that hard to believe.
    Once you get it tweaked for your particular processing procedures/ exposure preferences, it can get you to your first good print very fast - but it won't substitute for your judgement or interpretative tastes. I'd update the firmware, download the manual and at least give it a go. If you are using Multigrade Classic & Multigrade developer, you can probably just plug & play.

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