Color Head Filter Settings for VC Papers

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by RedSun, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    It seems there are different settings for various papers and enlargers. I remember Omega says to set 100M for Kodak VC grade #3. But it is 55M for Ilford grade #3 with a Saunders 4550 enlarger. Am I missing something?
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Normally each paper maker gives instructions with the paper for both single and dual filtration and for sets of enlarger groups which gets you close but bear in mind that dual filtration will not give exactly equal exposure times for each grade. You can calibrate for each grade using single filtration but this requires a bit of time.

    You can also check Ralph's Lambrecht's site "Darkroom Magic" where he gives compensating exposures in fractions of a stop for Ilford and Agfa paper to retain the highlight zones of either VII or VIII8.

    Using Ilford filters will give you the same exposure time for grades up to 3.5 and then for grades 4 &5 you need twice the exposure. This makes things simpler as it removes the complication of allowing for different groups of enlargers.

    Do the Ilford filters ensure that the key highlight zone of ZVII or ZVIII remain the same? I don't know but don't worry as my post will only be the first of many on the subject so much more info will emerge


    pentaxuser
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Packages of paper list which filter settings to use for each grade. They are usually divided into several types of color heads and filters. For example from ILford Multigrade Papers: Durst (Max 170M), Durst (Max 130M), Kodak, Meopta
    where
    Durst includes Durst, Dunco, Kaisar, Kienzle, Leitz and Lupa
    Kodak includes Kodak, Advena, Beseler, Chromega, De Vere, Fujimoto, IFF, Jobl, LPL, Omega, Paterson, Simmard, Vivtar
    Meopta includes Meopta
     
  4. randyB

    randyB Member

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    Are you expecting all papers to respond to the light equally? No, they don't, never have. Each VC paper is unique in the way it "sees" the contrast light. Plus enlarger light can vary quite a bit, ei: age of bulb, age of filters, dust on the filters, etc. You just have to make adjustments.
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I just use the Ilford settings as the starting point for all papers.
    Makes things much easier.
     
  6. litody

    litody Member

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    As suggested above, the paper box should contain the filtration settings for your enlarger. All very well in theory but my experience is that the figures are usually ballpark at best. And if someone has been fiddling with the enlarger internals then all bets are off.
    Best policy is either to use a VC head with a single dial (which is in good working order which you won't know until you get it) otherwise use ilford filters, above or below lens.
    Ilford filters are speed matched to print density 0.3 on ilford MGIV which is around zone 7 or 8. But even that is a wooly concept because paper loses contrast over time and the speed point moves as well.
    Or you could try and calibrate your settings but that is a real PITA and paper still loses contrast over time.
    So to make life really simple get a set of ilford filters.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Y'all are forgetting that he was asking about using a Dichro head with built-in color filtration as opposed to using below-the-lens "grade x" filters. There are a number of sources out there that list recommended starting filter packs for b/w contrast grades. The beauty of having a dichro head on your enlarger is that if you need Grade 3 3/4, you can dial that in, and you're not limited to just 3, 3.5 or 4.
     
  8. litody

    litody Member

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    yes but that is purely theoretical unless backed up with accurate calibration. Now lets see if you can tell him how to accurately calibrate his enlarger Y+M settings to get even spacing between grade changes and with a fixed speed point. These are things that ilford filters do out of the box.
    And a 1/4 grade change is easily obtainable by altering developer strength if you really need to.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2012
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The filter settings listed by Ilford work very well with Omega and Durst dichroic heads. No reason not to use them if you are using Ilford paper.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Why do you care?

    I am asking this because the only reason to try to match colour head settings to contrast "grades" is that it gives you a rough guide to how one might obtain similar prints from different enlargers of the same or similar negatives.

    If your intention is to use the same enlarger for all your work, then the printed guides will give some guidance on how much change in contrast will result from certain changes in settings, but otherwise it is the photographer's judgement, perception and preferences that will determine that photographer's chosen settings.

    And as for the so-called "speed-matching" filter settings, they too are rough guides, and only really close if the tone used by the manufacturer to develop them is the same tone as the one the photographer wishes to match.
     
  11. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Also different colour heads/different enlargers have different values. Some enlargers use 'Kodak'values such as Dunco and LPL, others use Durst values and Leitz for the V35 had a value all to itself at one time, but now it seems they are using the Kodak figures.
     
  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Who peed in your cornflakes and why are you taking it out on me? You'd have to do as much testing to accurately, repeatably yield that quarter stop with altering developer strength, which would never be as consistent as changing the filtration, because as developers get used and as they age, the impact of altering dilution changes. And as far as changing filtration is concerned, if grade 3 is 50M, grade 3.5 is 75M and grade 4 is 120M, then you can derive a reasonable working approximation of grade 3 1/4 from the logarithmic scale. It ain't rocket science, it's simple math. But in the long run, what does it matter that it's precisely grade 3 1/4? If you need more contrast than grade 3, and less than 3.5, dial in 60M (using my above hypothetical example), and if you don't like that, tweak it up or down a few CCs. Unlike color printing, a tweak in filtration finer than a quarter grade isn't going to yield a discernable difference anyway. Maybe your densitometer can tell the difference, but it's highly unlikely that your eye will.
     
  13. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    The definitive test for your situation is to calibrate your process with a projected step wedge. I use it to figure how old paper responds.

    Print 170 (or your max) M then 30 less to 140 then once you are down to 110M, start going down in 15M steps to zero, then start winding in 15M Y untilo 110, then wind in 30 steps to 170Y. Prints do not need to be large. Mine with a 6x6 step wedge end up a bit more than 2.5" square, projected with a lot of bellows extension. write filtration in back with pencil. Process all at once for say 2'. Read the number of steps from all black to all white, and figure out what fitration gave what responses, Build a table. The next step is to add back in neutral density to give constant expsoure times with some selected image tone.

    I learned all of this from a post written on this site by the usuer 'noseoil' about 5-7 years ago.
     
  14. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I ignore all the alleged grade values and complicated nonsense associated with it. With my enlargers
    plain white light prints most VC papers at a decent mid-range, about like Grade 3. If you want more
    contrast, dial in some M, if you want less, use Y. Some papers will not obtain a good DMax unless
    you expose both emulsion layers a little. Then you can learn how to split-print using different filter
    values selectively. I just run simple test strips, and tweak the colorhead if necessary by simple
    visual evaluation after I dry down the strip.
     
  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    OP, Paul Butzi has a detailed and quite complex article on the subject, the link to which I found many years ago on APUG but I can't recall the URL. If you want to get into the subject, do a google or maybe search APUG.

    Just be prepared to read it several times to get an understanding.

    pentaxuser
     
  16. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Did some digging and found this thread. I want to use a Beseler Dichro head (23cIII) for Ilford and Kodak VC paper.

    I found this on Ilford's site. From what I can see, I can choose "single" (Y or M) or "dual" (Y and M) filtration. Both will accomplish the necessary contrast change, but "dual" will have the benefit of making exposure settings closer to constant when changing contrast setting.

    Do I understand this correctly?

    Any suggestions for Kodak paper? If not, I'll just try the Ilford settings and see where that takes me.
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    There used to be charts available online with filter settings for both Kodak and Ilford papers. Frankly, if memory serves, they really weren't too far different until you got into the extreme ends of the filtration spectrum (trying to hit grade 00 or 5+), so I'd start with the Ilford recommendations and if you don't like what you get, tweak. That's one of the great benefits of using a dichro head - you can set in-between grades and aren't locked in to only Grade 3 or 4- if you need 3 1/4, you can get it by adding just a few more CCs of magenta over the Grade 3 recommendation.
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    no, but keep in mind that here is an ISO standard for paper grades but no standard for filter numbers.an ISO grade 3 and a number 3 filter have little in common. it is best to calibrate your color enlarger to the standard ISO grades ala Paul Butzi's method or mine.You'll find the former on the web and get the latter fupon emailrequest to rlambrec@ymail.com