Calibrate Color head for VC paper

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What is the best procedure to find proper colorvalues for multicontrast papers? The enlarger in question is a Durst 1000 with a color head. I have a Kodak Control Scale T-14 which I guess can be handy.

I prevously used an Ilford multicontrast head on another enlarger and liked the way it behaved on AGFA MPC 312 RC. There I could simply expose the paper to get good blacks and then adjust the contrast number to control the highlights. I got used to this way of printing. Recently however I used Fotokemika Fineprint L which behaved quite differently with the Ilford multicontrast head. For this paper the avarage gray value remained constant when changing the contrast number while keeping exposure constant (instead of constant shadows with contrast change, which was the case with the AGFA paper) and both the highlights got lighter and shadows got darker when increasing the contrast number and vice versa. If I have understood it correctly, by using a color head I should in theory be able to get both behaviors from either paper with the proper colorvalues of the colorhead, correct?

Which is the "proper way" to operate with mulricontrast paper? Is it to expose for shadows and filter for higlights, expose for middle grays and filter for both low and higlights, or something else?

The reason for moving from the Ilford MC head to a colorhead is not to more precisely control the contrast but to be able to print 4x5" in the Durst 1000 instead of at most 6x9cm in the previous enlarger.

I am gratefull for any hints, tips or pointers to the kind of information I am after.
/Richard (who will become a subscriber when my next paycheck shows up)
 

GeorgesGiralt

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Hi Richard !
You may be able to calibrate your enlarger head for variable contrast papers by using one of the two methods I know of, which are (in order of preference by myself) as described by Ralph Lambrecht and Chris Woodhouse in "way beyond monochrome" (a must have) and the one on Paul Butzi's web site.
The approach are at first look similar but quite different if you look further. The goal is to get dual filtration to get constant exposure through the entire grade range your setup is able to produce.
Owning an L1000 with both the CLS450 and the condenser head, may I suggest you buy below the lens filter kit from Ilford (while still avail) and an RH-Designs analyser Pro which has the virtue of stop printing and a really paper saver facility : the grey scale.
When I get the CLS450 I was unable to get above grade 2 and a half. So I changed all filters in the head, and I'm able to get about grade #3.5 maximal using the dichroic head. It gets better with the Ilford filters... But you may get different results.
 
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Thanks Georges!

The article on Paul Butzi's page was great. Although my T-14 step wedge only covers 2.04 densityrange in steps of 0.15 I should be able to use it together with my E-10 exposure meter to calibrate the colorhead against my paper using Butzi's systematic aproach. I already have multicontrast filters to extend the range of the head to cover my papers full potential. That page was great but I guess I should look up that book as well since it seems great too.

Cheers
Richard
 
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Yiihaaa! Yesterday I made 40 teststrips with my T-14 wedge and with aid from Butzi's description I got my Fotokemika fineprint paper to behave just like the Agfa paper does with the Ilford MC head of our 6x9cm enlarger by using the color head of our 4x5" enlarger. I only had time to make 2 good 10x12 prints from 4x5" negs but ever since I have one of those ear-to-ear smiles glued on my face =oD.

Today I'm gonna pickup Labert&Ralph's Way beyond monochrome and Stroebel's View Camera Technique from the postoffice. It truly feels like christmas!
Thank's again for your help!
 
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