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Thread: ultrafine multigrade filter set

  1. #21

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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    Ive been trying to figure out what to do to get a consistent process going... i can go through the motions but there is something missing that the filters are supposed to be fixing..

    i remember, a consistent filtration standard. With papers chagning themselves so much, and so many versions/generations of the same thing on the market still,, id just like to be able to have a reliable means of control

  2. #22

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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    There was never a filtration standard, nor were grades of paper ever standard. Everything was arbitrary. Filter sets for variable contrast paper also changed over time, as did the papers. Even if they had not, gel/dyed filters fade with use/age, and lightbulbs change. There were no constants.

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    Colorheads with dichroic coated filters are much more consistent than sheet filters because they do not fade. Very old or routinely overheated dichroic filters can spall off some of their coating and lose strength in that manner, but they do not fade per se.
    But I fully agree with Michael. Even specifying "grades" with respect to VC papers is anachronistic, since there are few graded papers even left, and VC papers represent a contrast continuum instead. "Variable" says it all.

  4. #24

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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    Quote Originally Posted by Torquemada View Post
    With papers chagning themselves so much, and so many versions/generations of the same thing on the market still,, id just like to be able to have a reliable means of control
    Test. Every negative, every print. Every time.

    Put in the grade 2 filter (or set the colour head to Y/M filters to G2). Set the print exposure to get D-max of the paper in the darkest shadows, or (at the vey least) the film rebate.

    (Note: make sure you're using the recommended paper developer, it's fresh, and you're developing for the recommended time. I've seen posts where people use ID-11 for prints because that's all they have and they wonder why things don't turn out like the picture on the box.)

    Examine the print whites and highlights: if there is no base-white in the print or the print lacks contrast overall, increase the filtration to G3. If the print contrast is too high then decrease the grade.

    Rinse and repeat until you get a good straight base print. Work out from this what localised exposure manipulation it may need.

    Note that if you consistently cannot get good base prints because the negative contrast is too low or too high (ie, you need G-1 or G6) then adjust your film development to suit.

  5. #25

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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughan View Post
    Test. Every negative, every print. Every time. ...
    Note that if you consistently cannot get good base prints because the negative contrast is too low or too high (ie, you need G-1 or G6) then adjust your film development to suit.
    This.

    The only thing I do differently than Vaughan is to base my print exposures on a highlight value. I make a test strip at my starting contrast setting, find the exposure that gives me the desired value for a textured highlight and then make a straight print at that exposure.

    If the midtones and blacks are not where I want them, then I change contrast settings accordingly and make another test strip. I'll do this a couple of times, maybe, before I get close to the right contrast. At that point, the creative manipulations start: dodging and burning (often at different contrast settings), bleaching, etc., etc.

    It may sound like a lot of wasted time making all those test strips and prints, but it's not. In reality, especially as you gain experience, you'll achieve your end goals more quickly and waste less paper. Every good printer I know uses some kind of test strip or exposure meter to determine a base exposure and then some other method to determine ballpark contrast. Some use contrast ring-arounds with split printing techniques, others just make another test strip at the new, estimated contrast, etc. Whatever; it really doesn't matter as long as you have something that works and lets you approach each individual print with a clear strategy.

    Best,

    Doremus

  6. #26

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    Jul 2023
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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    This.

    The only thing I do differently than Vaughan is to base my print exposures on a highlight value. I make a test strip at my starting contrast setting, find the exposure that gives me the desired value for a textured highlight and then make a straight print at that exposure.

    If the midtones and blacks are not where I want them, then I change contrast settings accordingly and make another test strip. I'll do this a couple of times, maybe, before I get close to the right contrast. At that point, the creative manipulations start: dodging and burning (often at different contrast settings), bleaching, etc., etc.

    It may sound like a lot of wasted time making all those test strips and prints, but it's not. In reality, especially as you gain experience, you'll achieve your end goals more quickly and waste less paper. Every good printer I know uses some kind of test strip or exposure meter to determine a base exposure and then some other method to determine ballpark contrast. Some use contrast ring-arounds with split printing techniques, others just make another test strip at the new, estimated contrast, etc. Whatever; it really doesn't matter as long as you have something that works and lets you approach each individual print with a clear strategy.

    Best,

    Doremus
    One of the things i wanted to start trying next year to get some better results was split grade, hence the filter set..

    I have thought about those meter things that you put on the easel and take readins on the projected image, but from what little i have READ, they are more set up for fiber based paper.

  7. #27
    Nicholas O. Lindan
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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    Quote Originally Posted by Torquemada View Post
    ...from what little i have READ, [enlarging meters] are more set up for fiber based paper.
    Enlarging meters work the same with RC or FB - there is no difference.
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
    f-Stop Timers & Enlarging meters http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  8. #28

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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    You can “split grade” with your dichroic head or any filter set.

    Quote Originally Posted by Torquemada View Post
    One of the things i wanted to start trying next year to get some better results was split grade, hence the filter set..

    I have thought about those meter things that you put on the easel and take readins on the projected image, but from what little i have READ, they are more set up for fiber based paper.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Jul 2023
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    92

    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    Quote Originally Posted by nolindan View Post
    Enlarging meters work the same with RC or FB - there is no difference.
    teh only only ive actually gotten useful information on is pre programmed with about 100 paper types, dark room lab? and the presets are going by label either ilford RC or Fiber Base names..

    and im not sure if its been updated to multi grade 5 yet

  10. #30

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    Re: ultrafine multigrade filter set

    Quote Originally Posted by Torquemada View Post
    One of the things i wanted to start trying next year to get some better results was split grade, hence the filter set..

    I have thought about those meter things that you put on the easel and take readins on the projected image, but from what little i have READ, they are more set up for fiber based paper.
    One of the advantages of split-grade printing is that you can achieve intermediate contrast grades with a filter set. For example, you can get to, say grade 2.75 with split-grade printing, whereas the filter give you only #2.5 and #3. If you have a dichroic head, however, the contrast range is continuously variable within the extremes.

    Where split-grade printing really shines is being able to dodge and burn at different contrast settings. For overall print exposure, using split-grade techniques with two exposures through different filters is no different than finding the corresponding single filtration. I prefer to use a single, intermediate filtration for base print exposure, but then will change the filtration to one of the extremes for burning. If I have to dodge at a different contrast setting than my base exposure, then I'll move to more complicated two-filter approach to the whole print, but that doesn't happen all that often.

    As for enlarging exposure meters. I've never found the need for one. A couple of strips of paper and you're good to go. Plus, test strips give you actual visual information about highlight separation that no meter ever will. I don't know if I've spent more on paper using test strips over the years than I would have if I had purchased an enlarging meter, nor if the meter would have saved paper or not after the first straight print was made. I rather think it wouldn't have, though... Still, I love low-tech and testing exposure with the very materials I'll be printing on. Now metering for film; that's a different thing altogether...

    Best,

    Doremus

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