Oriental Seagull Contrast Settings

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Peter Schrager

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Kevin- how long have you used Ilford for? Or actually how long have you been printing with FB papers? The Ilford papers probably have the longest scale of any current photo paper (VC) You will find that Oriental has a slightly different curve than Ilford. It will usually push the values up a notch. The best way to find out is to either get a stouffer step wedge and calibrate the paper for your enlarger or short of that take a negative with full density and and make some test prints with the different filters. Since this is analogue photography you can get immediate feedback when actually working with the materials. After your first 100 sheet box of paper you should have a pretty good handle on what filters to use. $60 is not alot of money for a tutorial.
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Tom Stanworth

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quicker still would be to use the ilford settings. Yes the contrast will be different (a little over a half grade less contrasty on the Oriental from my experience), but unless you need to hop from one paper to the other seamlesly, this is irrlevant. I use a number of very different papers and have a rough 'switch over' factor for contrast and exposure adjustments which gets me close. I use one RC paper for all proofing and then make the adjustments when going to FB. I personally do not understand the need to 'calbrate' ones enlarger for particular papers unless using a contrast and exposure meter. After all you either do test strips or test prints and decide to adjust from there until it looks right - who cares what grade you actually dialed in. I have used one set of figures for dialing contrast into my colour head for years, regardless of the paper. After all as papers have different curves, you cannot simply say this grade on paper 1 is the same as this on paper 2 as ther are other differences.

In answer to your question, ilford filters will give you all the grades you are going to get from that paper and with good spacing, although you will not be able to go as hard with the oriental. I far prefer the oriental in all respects.

Tom
 
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Kevin Caulfield

Kevin Caulfield

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Thanks, Peter and Tom. I've only printed a few sheets on the Oriental, and was using the Ilford Grade 2 setting, and thought it seemed a tad soft, so that explains it.
 

Tom Stanworth

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The paper is actually physically softer (which you would see if you exposed the same neg onto seagul and Ilford with NO filter). If you 'calibrated' your enlarger to take this into account, you gain no more actual contrast from the paper, all you do (crudely explained) is rename grade 3 setting, 'grade 2' (assuming it is a grade less contrasty) but you are still dialing in (or using a more contrasty filter) more contrast than when using ilford! I simply go one grade harder whe using seaqul and adjust from there. If you use a colour head, the only worthwhile thing I would suggest doing is figuring out your 1/4 grade settings. That is worth doing, tho 1/4 grade is nothing a change in dev time and exposure cannot bring about, but it gives a neat fix. I guesstimated my 1/4 grade settings and tehy seem pretty accurate in terms of spacing and speed.
 
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