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Thread: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

  1. #1
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    Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    I am getting into large format and printing at the moment. I am going to do contact prints with some X-ray film. Now, the cheapest paper I can find available in NYC is some multi contrast resin coated paper from Oriental Seagull (or something like that).

    Though, as far as I've been reading, you are supposed to use that kind of paper with an enlarger, because a filter is used to determine the grade of the paper.


    If I am understanding that correctly, how will the multi contrast paper react without a filter when I am contact printing?


    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Scott Walker's Avatar
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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    It will work like a graded paper and your light source will determine what grade it will be

  3. #3
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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    Ah. Well, I am going to use a regular bulb from a lamp. Does a table for Watt/Grade exist (or perhaps that question needs another thread)?

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    You can put filters between your bulb and the paper to control contrast. I don't know about Oriental but Ilford MG paper is about a grade 2 with no filter.

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    I often use the same VC papers for contact printing as enlargement. No special tricks are
    needed.

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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    Okay, by the quick replies (thank you!!), it seems it'll be alright whatever I do. Obviously I'll probably need to do several prints to get everything right though.

    By the way, does MG, MC, VC and VG all mean the same?

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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbryld View Post
    Ah. Well, I am going to use a regular bulb from a lamp. Does a table for Watt/Grade exist (or perhaps that question needs another thread)?

    Or could someone just tell me if the grade is higher the stronger the bulb, or if it is the opposite?

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    VC papers have their contrast engineered to be sensitive to the COLOR of the light. There
    is a low contrast emulsion which is sensitive to yellow or green light, and a high contrast
    layer sensitive to magenta or blue. If you have a colorhead on your enlarger this is easy to
    dial in. If you are using a lightbulb, you could use a colored studio "gel" holder to safely
    space a sheet of colored polyester a distance from the light, or simply handhold it over the
    contact frame. Often you need a certain amt of high-contrast light, and a certain amt of
    low-contrast, determined by trial and error. It's called "split printing" and is actually quite
    easy once you have a little practice. In my experience the Oriental VC paper would be closer to Gr3 unfiltered, but it depends on just how "warm" your lightbulb is. The warmer
    or more yellow (lower K color temp), the lower the contrast.

  9. #9
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    Grades have nothing to do with the "strength", or intensity of the bulb – which will only affect the speed of your printing (say 10 compared to 20 seconds total exposure). Grading is by contrast (i.e., contrast grades). Grading varies according to the type (wavelength) of light projected upon it, at least with VC papers. Most incandescent style enlargers rely on separate filters (yellows –> transmitting blues, and magentas –> transmitting greens) to achieve a contrast grade from hard (5) to soft (1), correspondingly.

    I believe a VC paper exposed to all wavelengths of light from an incandesent bulb without filtration will give you something like the equivalent of grade 2 contrast, which used to be considered neutral. Single grade papers, which you are unlikely to find as RC, will simply produce the contrast grade advertised, no matter the character of the light.

  10. #10

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    Re: Multi contrast paper - contact printing?

    I'm confused on why you don't want an enlarger? Space?

    Where in Dk are you located? Come visit, and I'll proberly be able to give you an enlarger to take back home...

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