BW prints from Dichroic Enlarger?

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Photo Chemist

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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this. I would like to do both B&W and color prints. Is it possible, and smart, to use a color enlarger for both BW and Color work? Or not? What is best way to go about this?

Obviously, I'm at the very beginning of my printing journey - and appreciate any help you can offer!
 
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Yes, a dichro will work great for B&W. With variable contrast B&W papers adjusting the contrast with the color filtration will require a little trial and error. A good starting point, in general, is to begin with a filter combination of 0 Yellow and 0 Magenta (don't use Cyan), and see how the contrast resolves. If you need more contrast from this point, add magenta, if you need less contrast, add yellow.
 

fjpod

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I've been doing it for years. Can't imagine going back to drawer filters. I look at the contrast of my negatives. If they are a bit drab, I might start at a 3 or 4 setting. If they look high contrast I might start at 2. By the numbers I mean the dichroic equivalent. Charts are available online, i think from Kodak. I always use dual filtration as this keeps exposure times more constant throughout. Great for split grade printing. Have fun.
 

AgX

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Back then it was the usual way to go if one wanted to do both, colour and b&w.
.
Some modular built enlargers in addition yielded the feature to substitute the 3-colour head by a dedicated varicontrast head (basically a 1-channel dichro head) or by a classic head with a opalized bulb and without mixing chamber (to yield more directed lighting) and in few cases even by a point light lamp (for most directed lighting).
 

chip j

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I assume a dichroic head would work w/graded papers, too, w/the filters out of the way?
 

koraks

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Some people say that with a dichroic head you won't be able to get the extreme grades on VC paper. I don't bother and just use a color head anyway; it has proven adequate for me. And yes, graded papers expose fine with all filters set to zero.
 
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this. I would like to do both B&W and color prints. Is it possible, and smart, to use a color enlarger for both BW and Color work? Or not? What is best way to go about this?

Obviously, I'm at the very beginning of my printing journey - and appreciate any help you can offer!
color enlargers with dichroic filters are perfect for B&W prints after a little bit of calibration to find out what filtration to use for any specific print contrast. BY THE WAY,under-the-lens-filters work well too.
 
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Thank you, everyone! I am continually amazed at the collective knowledge on this forum. I don't know where I would go - or what I would do - without this place. Thank you!
 

Sirius Glass

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I only print my black & white with a Dichroic enlarger.
 

Dali

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This is the only enlarger type I used for the last 30 years.
 
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Some people say that with a dichroic head you won't be able to get the extreme grades on VC paper. I don't bother and just use a color head anyway; it has proven adequate for me. And yes, graded papers expose fine with all filters set to zero.
I get from 0-5+ with mine easily but, needed the extreme grades, means the negatives are suboptimal to begin with.
 
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