Color Balance Newbie Problem

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by kb3lms, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Need a little help with a color balance problem when printing. I have a picture with dull yellow flowers in it, however the flowers are printing out orange and the entire print has an "orangey" cast to it. My current filter pack is 55Y/55M/0C. Paper is Kodak Edge and the film is Kodak 400. The density seems right. What change do I need to move the flowers towards the yellow? This is my first color cast like this - normally it's been magenta or cyan but not a mix.

    Thanks!
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Try one correction at a time so you can see the changes.

    View each test print under appropriate lighting, preferably in the same lighting it will hang in.

    Adding yellow will move the print toward blue. Probably the way you need to go first.

    Adding magenta will move the print toward green.
     
  3. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    These thing are frustrating. If you print color a lot, you develop a feel fo making the corrections. Unfortunately, you lose it when you've been away from color printing for just a couple of months. The rule is to add filters of the color you have in excess. Orange would red plus yellow, or yellow plus a bit of magenta. For a small to moderate orange shift I would start with adding 10M + 20Y, but I haven't do this for a while. Keep the previous print handy so you can see the effect of your change.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    To make a neg-pos print more yellow, remove yellow from the filter pack. Remember, with a negative, things are BACKWARDS from the intuitive direction.

    PE
     
  5. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    When I was starting out, colour balances that were too "red" appeared a bit orange to me. So I would suggest adding equal amounts of yellow and magenta filtration first.
     
  7. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Difficult to know how much to alter without seeing the print. But I think I'd try a new setting of 65Y/65M/0C and then slowly move back if it's too much. Remember that by adding red you will make the print lighter, so you'll need to adjust your time.
     
  8. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Thank you for the suggestions, I may be able to try tonight - tomorrow for sure. Incidentally, I did have a chance to scan the negative last night and the colors seem to be correct on the scan, i.e. the dull yellow flowers are dull yellow. So, there doesn't appear to be a basic problem with the negative which I had not checked before.

    I noticed on a scrap of paper from the roll that the paper surface is pink or, I guess, magenta. (before processing) Why is this? Is it for color correction as in they add magenta filtration to correct for a magenta color cast that the response of the paper would have otherwise? Also noticed that Fuji CA is blue, not what I would call cyan, but light blue.

    Thanks for the link, too. I grabbed a copy of that document and found a corresponding one for Edge, http://www.kodak.com/global/plugins/acrobat/en/business/retailPhoto/products/papers/e7020.pdf
     
  9. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    That is my understanding too. The overcoat I beleive is used to adjust the spectral response of the paper. I have RA-4 supra III that is light green towards cyan, and portra B&W ra-4 that is light purple.

    Scour for an old Kodak Darkroom Dataguide from the mid 80's if you can find one. There is a great ring around poster of a dancer stretched in pose against a neutral backdrop, with all sorts of colur varations , and how to filter to get to where it should be, as well as a strip of exposures an the adjustment in exposure to get where you want to be.

    The other big help to me, a sporadic colour printer, are the Kodak print viewing filter set. You get 6 cards with three windows of filtration with 10, 20 and 40CC of filtration density, for red, cyan, yellow, blue, green and magenta. It is handy to sort out colour casts.

    The other handy tool if you make a habit of shooting a grey card on a roll for each liting situation is a publication called the Ektacolour filter finder kit. It's key is a transparent piece of 4x5 film with a set of filter varaiations that you overprint the grey card portion of the negative onto. You use a desnity spot reference to pick the exposure sorrection, and look for which of the 100 or so littel sqaures is actually grey without colour cast. Unicolour made such a slide as well.
     
  10. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    I know, mentioning photoshop is not quite kosher here, but why not use it as a learning tool?

    Now that you have scanned the negative, you can do a simple training exercise. Load the photo into the photoshop, add 3 adjustment "photo filter" layers on top of the image for cyan, magenta and yellow. Now, try to recreate the colors you are seeing on the print by enabling/disabling the adjustment layers and playing around with the strength of the filters.
    This should give you an idea which color(s) you have too much of and so you can add them to the filter pack in your next darkroom session.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Kodak color paper is dull magenta to cyan in color before processing for 2 reasons. The colors are there as acutance dyes to improve sharpness just as antihalation is used in films. The dyes also trim the speeds so that each batch of paper has the same speed as the last batch.

    PE
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I'd echo Mike Wilde's suggestion of the Kodak print viewing filter set. My wife could spot the correction straight away although I was never so sure but for spotting and obvious casts it should work even if your slight cast spotting is like mine - not so well developed :D:

    When you use it make sure you flick the filters in front of the print quickly to prevent your eyes accommodating the change. A good ring-around set of pictures showig the effect of plus and minus CC filters that usually appear in colour printing books is also useful.

    Until you get skilled in correcting colour casts then working by "guess and by God" as they say is very frustrating. Tools are helpful or a good colour analyser which once set up correctly does the hard work for you.

    The other thing I'd get is either a table showing exposure factor changes when adding or substracting Y and M to enable you to recalculate exposure or a calculator dial. Durst for instance made one for its dichroic head. Once you have the right base exposure for density then any filter changes are dialled in to arrive at the new exposure.

    Best of luck

    pentaxuser
     
  13. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    If you get the full print viewing kit it includes a table for filter factor changes as pack adjustments are made.
     
  14. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    I have a Kodak Color Print Viewing Filter Kit on the shelf above my monitor between my film scanners. I use it when editing color pictures with Picture Window Pro to get hints about what direction to shift the color. Just as applicable there as in the darkroom.
     
  15. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Sounds like a good idea on the Color Print Viewing Filter Kit. I'll start running one of those down.
     
  16. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    And the answer is.....

    75M+68Y @ 7.1 sec f/8 nailed it.

    75M+75Y put it in the ballpark but a little cyan. Kodak's datasheet gives 40M+40Y as the starting point but that was really red.

    Thank you to everyone for your suggestions.
     
  17. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Final Thought

    Doesn't color negative film shift red when it gets too old?
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    There are a fair number of variables that affect this.

    My norm is closer to 60m/60y.

    Filter packs differ, Kodak vs. Durst etcetera.

    When film processing differs a bit it can change the filter pack needed.

    In my experience, Pro-Labs are very consistent in matching the C-41 standard, "my" local Mini-Labs a bit less so.

    My own processing has become very reliable and predictable, but that came with some practice over the course of time. That doesn't mean my process would match a test strip perfectly, it also does not mean there have been any failures of the C-41 process, just adjustments at the enlarger.
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The colour temperature of your light source might be unusual.
     
  20. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Coluor paper (at least most Kodak) looses red speed as it ages. I have some that need at least 105Y+80M to just start to come into balance.

    The colour of the base of the c-41 film also varies from film brand to brand, and has an effect on the final pack of filtraton you need.