Please help. Insufficient color filtration.

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Konalog

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Enlarger is a Saunders/LPL 670 MLX (c7700MX), purchased essentially unused except as a floor model. Problem is that the native dichroic filters (even with M, Y set to max values) offer insufficient filtration, leaving a M, Y cast on the print.

My work around has been to tape color gels over the entry to the light mixer. Sometimes, even a whole gel isn't enough, and I may need a second. But at that point, unusual color shifts start to happen. It's frustrating, time consuming, and starting to deter me from the hobby I love.

Ultimately, I'm usually able to print most negatives, but some are impossible. I've followed advices from similar posts - opened the head to confirm all filters move properly; mixing box interior is pure white; no light leaking into the room and off the walls. Using fresh arista chemistry and Fuji CA paper. Cinestill C41.

Some remaining theories include:
1) light source: is it putting out an abnormal wavelength? It's 100W/20V. Should I bother trying to replace it?
2) light leaking around filters? They appear to filter most of the light.
3) some subtle specs on the filters. Could these be randomly deflecting light about?
4) Is it ever necessary to replace dichroic filters?
5) the cinestill c41 is questionable. But even lab processed color film still has this issue.

Thank you for your help. I'd hate to drop all this b/c of some elusive technical issue.
 

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MattKing

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Welcome to Photrio - from an owner of both an LPL 7700MX Dichroic Enlarger and an LPL 7700 VCCE Dichroic Enlarger.
The correct bulb for both light sources is a 100W/12V bulb, not a 100W/20V bulb.
Are you using your enlarger with the LPL power supply designed for it?
Also, I don't understand what you mean by a M, Y cast. Normally, a combination of excess Magenta and yellow tields red.
 

koraks

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5) the cinestill c41 is questionable. But even lab processed color film still has this issue.

Could you please post:
* examples of affected prints with a remaining color cast after filtering as best you can
* if possible a scan of a test strip with 'normal' filtration like 40Y 30M or so (isn't very critical; just to get an impression)
* the type and age of film(s) you use to print from
* example negatives as photographed on a light box (or otherwise scanned as positives; not digitally adjusted/inverted scans as those would be meaningless in this context)

Have you been in the position to print your negatives (or have them printed by someone else) on a different enlarger?

In short, let's start by excluding the possibility that there's something odd going on with the negatives.

It's rather uncommon to have an enlarger with filters that work a little bit. Just to try that out: do you see a visible difference when going from neutral (0Y, 0M) to e.g. 0Y 30M and then to 0Y and maximum M?

4) Is it ever necessary to replace dichroic filters?

Usually not, unless they are actually damaged. Visual inspection would be helpful in this case.
 
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Konalog

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Welcome to Photrio - from an owner of both an LPL 7700MX Dichroic Enlarger and an LPL 7700 VCCE Dichroic Enlarger.
The correct bulb for both light sources is a 100W/12V bulb, not a 100W/20V bulb.
Are you using your enlarger with the LPL power supply designed for it?
Also, I don't understand what you mean by a M, Y cast. Normally, a combination of excess Magenta and yellow tields red.

Thank you for the comment. Apologies - it was a typo on the bulb. I also have 100W/12V. Yes, I'm using the original power brick (back shown).

Cast: so when I make a print w/ M around 40ish, there is a huge M cast to the print. If I print w/ M maxed out at 170, there is still a mild M cast. Similar w/ yellow although I have sometimes gotten a barely decent print w/ Y maxed at 200.

I will make some test strips using these 2 settings and post.
 

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Konalog

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Could you please post:
* examples of affected prints with a remaining color cast after filtering as best you can
* if possible a scan of a test strip with 'normal' filtration like 40Y 30M or so (isn't very critical; just to get an impression)
* the type and age of film(s) you use to print from
* example negatives as photographed on a light box (or otherwise scanned as positives; not digitally adjusted/inverted scans as those would be meaningless in this context)

Have you been in the position to print your negatives (or have them printed by someone else) on a different enlarger?

In short, let's start by excluding the possibility that there's something odd going on with the negatives.

It's rather uncommon to have an enlarger with filters that work a little bit. Just to try that out: do you see a visible difference when going from neutral (0Y, 0M) to e.g. 0Y 30M and then to 0Y and maximum M?



Usually not, unless they are actually damaged. Visual inspection would be helpful in this case.

Thank you for your comment. Yes, I will make test strips using best possible color balance, and using "normal" M/Y settings. Will post this evening.

I haven't attempted using an alternative Enlarger, but the issue at hand occurs with both home, and lab processed films. I typically use portra or ektar. Will post some viewbox shots this evening.

With the color head open and bulb on, I am able to see a very obvious and (apparently) appropriate color change when adjusting the filter dials. Could it be the fuji paper?
 

ic-racer

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The last generation of Durst enlargers included a supplemental RED filter for such cases. In your case, a similar RED filter somewhere in the light path would be of benefit.
Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 10.17.39 AM.png
 

koraks

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I typically use portra or ektar.

I would expect no such problems with these films, especially if the mode of development apparently doesn't make a difference.

Could it be the fuji paper?

Possibly, but in my experience, when Fuji paper goes off, it does so with unclean whites. I.e. unexposed borders become a pale yellow with a slight greenish cast. On Kodak Endura this used to be more greenish. But overall color balancing would still be mostly OK (with a correction for the cast, which is generally well within the available filter range) unless the paper was really off.

How do you develop your prints? The persistent cast issue does ring a bell with me when I had developer that was way off spec. Especially when using Fuji Developer Replenisher without starter and without proper seasoning, I would have dramatic magenta casts that would disappear once the developer was properly seasoned.
 

pentaxuser

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The last generation of Durst enlargers included a supplemental RED filter for such cases. In your case, a similar RED filter somewhere in the light path would be of benefit. View attachment 321886

Yes but isn't the key question: why should the OP need M at max? Is there any reason why max m + supplement should ever be needed except in very exceptional circumstances. The OP seems to have a M cast throughout


pentaxuser
 
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Konalog

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The last generation of Durst enlargers included a supplemental RED filter for such cases. In your case, a similar RED filter somewhere in the light path would be of benefit. View attachment 321886

Very, very interesting. Perhaps it would be marginally easier using a red filter rather than both M, and Y. I wonder how often the red filter was required.

But why would this be happening with all my rolls of portra and ektar? Has there been some recent dramatic change in kodak films such that they're no longer compatible with standard enlargers? The notion that such a change could have been quietly enacted by kodak to the profound frustration of confused hobby printers sounds nearly criminal.
 
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Konalog

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I would expect no such problems with these films, especially if the mode of development apparently doesn't make a difference.



Possibly, but in my experience, when Fuji paper goes off, it does so with unclean whites. I.e. unexposed borders become a pale yellow with a slight greenish cast. On Kodak Endura this used to be more greenish. But overall color balancing would still be mostly OK (with a correction for the cast, which is generally well within the available filter range) unless the paper was really off.

How do you develop your prints? The persistent cast issue does ring a bell with me when I had developer that was way off spec. Especially when using Fuji Developer Replenisher without starter and without proper seasoning, I would have dramatic magenta casts that would disappear once the developer was properly seasoned.

The fuji paper is fresh, and the effect is consistent w/ matte, luster, etc.

I manually process my prints using a jobo drum and fresh Arista chemistry. The Arista directions don't make mention of a starter, replenisher, seasoning, etc (although I know those are used with kodak chemistry in minilabs).
 

koraks

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I think it's safe to assume the Arista chemistry doesn't require a starter etc. I assume you've excluded any possibility of a mixing error.

I'm sure someone in the US would be willing to print a couple of your negatives with their enlarger to verify that the negatives are indeed in order. Would that be a valid idea? I'd be willing to do this, but I'm in Europe and I don't know if it would be worthwhile for you to wait until the negatives make it here so I can do the test.
 
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Konalog

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Yes but isn't the key question: why should the OP need M at max? Is there any reason why max m + supplement should ever be needed except in very exceptional circumstances. The OP seems to have a M cast throughout


pentaxuser

Correct. I shouldnt have to be doing this.
 
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Konalog

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I think it's safe to assume the Arista chemistry doesn't require a starter etc. I assume you've excluded any possibility of a mixing error.

I'm sure someone in the US would be willing to print a couple of your negatives with their enlarger to verify that the negatives are indeed in order. Would that be a valid idea? I'd be willing to do this, but I'm in Europe and I don't know if it would be worthwhile for you to wait until the negatives make it here so I can do the test.

Thank you very much for the kind offer. I may consider it, but I suspect you would be able to print them perfectly. Again, this issue happens with all color negative stocks regardless of whether they were processed in a lab or at home. So I think the possibility of the error originating in the negatives would be very remote.
 

4season

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4) Is it ever necessary to replace dichroic filters?

AFAIK, dichroic filters do not fade. Mine developed cracks in the glass, but this didn't seem to affect their performance.

What about Cyan; when Y and M are maxed, where is C typically set? Wondering if this is too high and not moving as it should when you adjust the enlarger's controls.

Also, how does the mixing chamber look: Is there any significant discoloration?
 
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Konalog

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AFAIK, dichroic filters do not fade. Mine developed cracks in the glass, but this didn't seem to affect their performance.

What about Cyan; when Y and M are maxed, where is C typically set? Wondering if this is too high and not moving as it should when you adjust the enlarger's controls.

Also, how does the mixing chamber look: Is there any significant discoloration?

Cyan is always kept at 0, and I've confirmed everything moves properly when I adjust the dials. Mixing chamber is clean white inside.
 

koraks

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Say, you don't have a fogging issue with a green LED somewhere in your darkroom, do you? It wouldn't be the first time something silly like that would result in muck gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. Your darkroom is absolutely pitch dark? Nothing at all visible after accomodating your eyes to it for 10 minutes?
 
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Konalog

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Say, you don't have a fogging issue with a green LED somewhere in your darkroom, do you? It wouldn't be the first time something silly like that would result in muck gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. Your darkroom is absolutely pitch dark? Nothing at all visible after accomodating your eyes to it for 10 minutes?

Good thought, but no definitely not. The problem persisted despite recently moving (including whole new darkroom). Also, the unexposed parts of the paper remain a nice, clean white, so not exposed.
 

DREW WILEY

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There should be absolutely no need for supplementary gel filters. Besides the troubleshooting hints in above posts, it's possible your film exposure or development itself is way out of whack.
 
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Konalog

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$1000.00 (U.S.) to the first responder who can solve this problem. This is not a joke. If you can't solve this, I'm getting a new enlarger. Seriously, I'll venmo you within 24 hours.

Test strip settings are as follows:

1) M = 170 (max), Y = 200 (max), C = 0. PLUS: 10M gel and 1/2 of a 10 Y gel (see pic) taped to the mixing box entry aparture.

2) Exactly as above, but with the M, and Y filter settings decreased to M = 160, and Y = 190. Gels unchanged. Not kidding.

3) Gels removed. M = 30, Y = 40. Like a "normal" color head would use.

The 3rd pic is a cell image through the viewfinder.

If you suggest this might have something to do with the negative, or power source to the bulb, or light leak in the room, you are disqualified.

I've literally wasted 100's of hours, ?# sheets of paper, money, energy, etc on this God awful Saunders/LPL 670 MXL.
 

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Konalog

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Could you please post:
* examples of affected prints with a remaining color cast after filtering as best you can
* if possible a scan of a test strip with 'normal' filtration like 40Y 30M or so (isn't very critical; just to get an impression)
* the type and age of film(s) you use to print from
* example negatives as photographed on a light box (or otherwise scanned as positives; not digitally adjusted/inverted scans as those would be meaningless in this context)

Have you been in the position to print your negatives (or have them printed by someone else) on a different enlarger?

In short, let's start by excluding the possibility that there's something odd going on with the negatives.

It's rather uncommon to have an enlarger with filters that work a little bit. Just to try that out: do you see a visible difference when going from neutral (0Y, 0M) to e.g. 0Y 30M and then to 0Y and maximum M?



Usually not, unless they are actually damaged. Visual inspection would be helpful in this case.

Please see my most recent comment in this thread.
 
OP
OP

Konalog

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There should be absolutely no need for supplementary gel filters. Besides the troubleshooting hints in above posts, it's possible your film exposure or development itself is way out of whack.

Please see my most recent comment in this thread.
 
OP
OP

Konalog

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Say, you don't have a fogging issue with a green LED somewhere in your darkroom, do you? It wouldn't be the first time something silly like that would result in muck gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. Your darkroom is absolutely pitch dark? Nothing at all visible after accomodating your eyes to it for 10 minutes?

Please see my most recent comment in this thread.
 
OP
OP

Konalog

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AFAIK, dichroic filters do not fade. Mine developed cracks in the glass, but this didn't seem to affect their performance.

What about Cyan; when Y and M are maxed, where is C typically set? Wondering if this is too high and not moving as it should when you adjust the enlarger's controls.

Also, how does the mixing chamber look: Is there any significant discoloration?

Please see my most recent comment in this thread.
 
OP
OP

Konalog

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I would expect no such problems with these films, especially if the mode of development apparently doesn't make a difference.



Possibly, but in my experience, when Fuji paper goes off, it does so with unclean whites. I.e. unexposed borders become a pale yellow with a slight greenish cast. On Kodak Endura this used to be more greenish. But overall color balancing would still be mostly OK (with a correction for the cast, which is generally well within the available filter range) unless the paper was really off.

How do you develop your prints? The persistent cast issue does ring a bell with me when I had developer that was way off spec. Especially when using Fuji Developer Replenisher without starter and without proper seasoning, I would have dramatic magenta casts that would disappear once the developer was properly seasoned.

Please see my most recent comment in this thread.
 
OP
OP

Konalog

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Welcome to Photrio - from an owner of both an LPL 7700MX Dichroic Enlarger and an LPL 7700 VCCE Dichroic Enlarger.
The correct bulb for both light sources is a 100W/12V bulb, not a 100W/20V bulb.
Are you using your enlarger with the LPL power supply designed for it?
Also, I don't understand what you mean by a M, Y cast. Normally, a combination of excess Magenta and yellow tields red.

Please see my most recent comment in this thread.
 
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