Enlarging with Filters - Contrast Grades

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Neil Poulsen, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Neil Poulsen

    Neil Poulsen Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I've enlarged with condenser heads, but the half-tep contrast differences were just too large. I would frequently need something in between to get what I needed.

    Has anyone experimented with adding additional filters for more subtle discrimination between filter grades? If so, what did you observe?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,091
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is were you use other technique, like water bath development, two bath development, De Beeers/Dexktol-Selectol/D72-D52, flashing, etc.

    Although these techniques are far more important fith fixed grade papers they are also useful for fine tuning with Variable Contrast papers. Don't forget Split grade printing as well.

    Ian
     
  3. RobC

    RobC Member

    Messages:
    3,911
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Have been playing with Ilford Bromophen recently. The instructions say it develops to completion after n minutes. But it seems to me that some extra development also puts some more contrast in the print and infact the print starts to block up if you leave it for too long. So depending on your developer and paper, print time is also one controlling factor for contrast control.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2008
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,091
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Rob, you could also add temperature, dilution etc.

    With Chlorobromide papers you can alter the contrast by pushing and pulling a print, slight over exposure and under development will decrease the contrast, and increase the warmth, or as you suggest very slight under exposure and longer than normal development will icrease the contrast a fraction and produce colder, blacker tones.

    This doesn't work particularly well with bromide papers, where underdevelopment gives poor/flat tones.

    iaN
     
  5. RobC

    RobC Member

    Messages:
    3,911
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm hoping there will be more on this in the jacobson book which I have ordered. Thats why I wanted an older book written when more people were using these techniques.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,091
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,482
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You indicate "filter grades" so I presume you are using multigrade paper. The so called "Split Grade" printing technique lets you get any intermediate grade. Its only limited by the precision of you timer.
     
  8. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,813
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    split grade - you expose for part of the time with one filter, then expose with another filter.

    Jon
     
  9. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,044
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If this is consistently a problem, maybe pull your film a 1/2 to 1 stop, or cut film development time or dilution maybe 5%. If you're talking about a certain negative, they pretty much covered everything else. Maybe flashing would help.
     
  10. RobC

    RobC Member

    Messages:
    3,911
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks, turns out I downloaded it sometime before but never got round to reading it and forgot I had it.
     
  11. Neil Poulsen

    Neil Poulsen Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    One reason I'm asking, is because it's a little difficult to change filters with the Aristo head that I'd like to use. So, additional filters would be much preferable.
     
  12. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,813
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    Under-the-lens filters are best for split-grade filtering.

    Jon
     
  13. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You could add CC magenta or yellow filters in the appropriate amount to the pack.
     
  14. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Why is that?
     
  15. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,813
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    Only because you can change them very easily and quickly, which would be slower/cumbersome if you have to use a filter drawer.

    Jon
     
  16. jfish

    jfish Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Split contrast printing will give you that mid grade, like a #1 1/4 by giving half the exposure on a grade 1 and the other half 1 1/2.

    You can do this with any combination of filters, and it WILL make a difference which you do first...subtle but it does make a visible difference.
     
  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I use AGFA CC filters in the filter drawer, so I can set any filtration I want.

    But most of the time I use graded paper, and adjust the contrast through processing. :wink:
     
  18. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    7,076
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Basin and Range Province
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I print split grade, and use a color head. Feels a little obtuse at first, but becomes very fast and intuitive after a while. I tend not to think in filter grades anymore, (the idea of grades sort of goes away) but in any combination of hard and soft exposures. Want just a tenth more soft contrast in the highlights? Set it on the clock.

    The thing to keep in mind is that the soft setting builds exposure across the range (with uber low contrast), while the hard exposure tends to expose from dmax up to the lower mid tones. This is why many people expose and evaluate the soft filter first, find the setting that offers a subtle graduation of highlights, and then print hard to add the range without screwing the highlights up.