BW amount of M and Y filtration?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by crumpet8, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Hey,

    So I’ve recently swapped to a colour head and am wondering about different filtration and contrasts etc.

    E.g. I’ve read some people only use yellow or magenta, not both.

    Also, is there a difference in using a lot of filtration (e.g. 75M 60Y) vs. say 30M 10Y, or is there a cancellation/negation of the filtration so that you end up with the same contrast?

    In this case, is contrast the be all and end all that decides your grey tone depth? Or will heavy yellow stretch out by greys whilst magenta tries to hold the Dmax/min?

    My recent prints that I tried to print so that they had a similiar look were made with 40y no magenta, 40y 30m and 40y 50m (for slightly more contrast than 40y 30m). There was obviously some differences in my neg density/contrast but nothing huge so these setting were used over a set of ten prints or so.
     
  2. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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  4. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    Look at the tables on page 3 of the document. They tell you which filter settings achieve specific contrast grades. There is no reason to be using any other settings.

    Using dual filtration (mix of Y and M) means longer exposure times than just using a single color. The advantage is that your exposure times stay fairly consistent when changing grades.
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Ah, so choosing between single or dual filtration is just to do with the exposure times and how much they change? Would a neg with wide density values have different tones with 5e two filtration systems?
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Here are some of the prints by the way :smile:
     

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  7. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    Have you got experience with using Ilford multigrade filters (the type that sit above or below the lens and in half grade steps) before you started using a colour head? All you are doing is matching (or getting close to) the contrast you would get with the multigrade filters by using the figures for the filtration in the colour head. If you use both magenta and yellow at the same time the exposures are longer but stay more constant across the contrast range. If you use just magenta OR yellow then the exposures do not stay constant so you will have to work out the exposure time every time you change the contrast. You can achieve the same result in terms of contrast whether you use either single filtration or dual filtration.
     
  8. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    Nice prints!
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Thanks. And thanks for the confirmation on the single and dual :smile: yep, the last enlarger I used had built in filters, can’t remember what type it was now unfortunately. But it was just a dial from minus something up to 5.


    I’ve been told that if one thinks about a scale of black to white the magenta works from the outside inwards and the yellow works from the inside out.

    But if contrast level (single or dual filtered) is the be all and end all when it comes to tones, then combining yellow and magenta wouldn’t help ensure the greys have nice range/tonality? Or for example if I made a print with full contrast (130m 0y) and a second print with 130m and say 80y would the middle greys print better whilst still holding a black and white point?
     
  10. mshchem

    mshchem Member

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  11. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    If you take a negative of an average contrast scene it will usually print at grade 2 (on a condenser enlarger) or grade 3 (on a diffuser enlarger) and give you a full range of tones. If you take that same negative but now make 2 more prints at extremes of contrast, grade 0 and grade 5 you will see what the effect of altering the contrast is. This is well illustrated in many books. The very soft grade 0 print will probably look muddy like a pencil drawing and lack "punch" and the very hard print at grade 5 will have become "chalk and soot" (black and white with little in between).

    Some people advocate "split-grade" printing which is making 2 exposures onto the same sheet of paper, one exposure at grade 0 and another at grade 5. Depending on the ratio of the different times for the exposures at grade 0 and grade 5 you can then achieve any grade in between. In fact, it is also possible to achieve any grade with a single exposure when using a colour head with continuously variable filtration. Personally, I don't use split grade printing per se but I do sometimes burn in part of the photograph at a different grade from the rest of the print.

    Here are 2 of my photographs, one is printed at grade 2 (a bit too soft) and the other at grade 5 (too hard). The best photograph is somewhere between those grades, maybe around 2.5 or 3.


    and another pair at grade 3 and grade 4

     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Really like that boat/city photo, great clouds that day! I’ve split grade printed some difficult negs previously, but find I don’t do it much these days. Same as you I’ll burn with high or low contrast rather than making the entire print split grade.

    Good example with the neg with average contrast. Is there a quick way to tell if you have enough contrast so as to retain a nice black and white point, but also maximise tonal range through the middle? Right now I pretty much just use a starting point based on how I want to print and previous experience with similiar looking negs and then adjust contrast from there if necessary.

    Is it for exMple better to print with a slightly lower contrast and then dodge and burn your way to a brighter white and deeper black? Obviously this wouldn’t work with each scene, but theoretically....
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you get three darkroom printers in a room, there is a good chance that they will have three different preffered approaches to printing.
    However, if they are reasonably experienced, each of them can probably succeed in the exercise of using someone else's preferred approach to achieve a good result.
    In most cases, my preference is to concentrate on the mid-tones, because for most photos that is where the important stuff is. I adjust contrast and exposure in order to achieve mid-tones that look the way I want them to. I then use burning and dodging, plus localized control of contrast, to adjust the appearance of the highlights and shadows.
    That sounds more complex than it usually is, because in most cases when the mid-tones are right, the shadows and highlights are close.
    Some people confuse contrast with the range of tones. Good contrast doesn't mean good blacks and good whites and everything in between. Good contrast means appropriate differentiation in the scene between adjacent items and tones.
    Here is an example where my midtone-centric approach worked well - the tree bark and the shadows fell just about where they should:

    Boundary Bay-53b-2015-02-16-2-res.jpg
     
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  15. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Keep in mind that you will be using a subtractive method, that is the more of either yellow or magenta, then the less of your exposure lighting of, in the same order blue or green.

    "Or for example if I made a print with full contrast (130m 0y) and a second print with 130m and say 80y would the middle greys print better whilst still holding a black and white point?"

    The 130 m would take away all the green light; The 130m and 80y would take away all the green and ?half the blue. So you have a similar print needing ?twice the exposure time, because you still have no green and now only ?half the blue.
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Read the instructions with the multi grade paper. Most offer single filter and Y+M combinations for the complete range. I generally have had better results with Y+M although generally the one filter work well over most of the range.
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    exposure times are never consistent at different grades; there is just no way.
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Thanks Matt! Great print, excellent tones :smile: I think I’ll try reprint some photos with lower contrast with some higher contrast burning. I have that picnic table picture that is nice in both variants so maybe combining the two will produce an even nicer result. Do you dodge/burn in every print? Not talking so much about general gradients or burning in corners to even out light distribution, but more “local” burning on subjects.
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Thanks, I’m more interested in how this affects tones in prints as opposed to the time differences that occur.
     
  20. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Over a hundred cc of either is like dropping an H-bombs. Unless your negs are terribly overexposed or underexp, even 10 cc should produce a visible difference on VC paper.
     
  21. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    As regards tones, this is what I am saying; once you filter out light, you cannot put it back with a second filter.
    The tones will be defined by the colour and amount of light you do not filter out.
    Also with a colour head there is no real need to try to stick to grades in whole or half sizes. You can do "just a bit"
    Combining green and blue light in one exposure can always be replicated in two separate exposures.
    The grade that can be replicated with white light can be a combination of yellow and magenta filters either singly or together as well.
    At the end of the day one unit of blue will do what it does and one unit of green will do what it does. How you deliver it is immaterial to the effect.
     
  22. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I used a Beseler Dichro 45S color head for multigrade printing for years. After I discovered split grade printing, I don't use my color head to change contrast. I bought a set of Ilford MG under the lens filter. I only use 2 filters in the set which are only the grade 0 and grade 5 filter. Check out this link.
    https://www.ilfordphoto.com/split-grade-printing/?___store=ilford_brochure
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Ah ok, so the filters don’t mix and make a different colour that then filters out different light. Instead it’s just both acting at the same time but acting the same as if I split grade printed?
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Interesting that you split grade all the time. I find the extra test strips annoying/slow I guess, but I haven’t printed with that technique for an extended period of time. Maybe I should give it a go! Interested to hear how many others print split grade all the time.

    I’m regards to tonality, do you find making a split print with day contrast 4 instead of 5 stretches out the middle greys if we’re to print to the same black point?
     
  25. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Not quite.
    Suppose for example one were to use max yellow and max magenta at the same time or separately. In the first instance you would get no exposure because you have simultaneously removed all blue and all green light. In the second instance You would have a (roughly) Number two grade, half green light in the first exposure and half blue light in the second exposure.
    That is an extreme example. most of the time the combination is the same as separate (although not for enlargers with a variable timer like a Zone VI)
     
  26. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    My Zone VI is broken and only prints all blue or all green, so I am forced to split grade with that enlarger. I have a chart that equates a percentage time of exposure of each colour to a particular grade of paper. but when fine tuning if I want a bit more contrast I give a bit more time with blue or vice versa. If the whites are too grey a bit less green. If you think about what each colour does you can intuit the effect. My other enlargers are yellow/magenta and I generally use Ilford's combinations to keep times similar between grade changes
    using 4 instead of 5 means that your whites will be a bit greyer because you are giving the paper an extra shot of green light, so yes your greys will be stretched out, but no different than if you had put that bit of green light into your green only selection (or yellow which is minus blue)
     
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