For contrast... Lens filters or Enlarger filters?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jim17x, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Jim17x

    Jim17x Member

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    Sorry for this "Photography 101" question.. My 110mm lens on my RZ67 seems to lack contrast so i always shoot with a yellow filter and meter one stop down and print the negs straight without contrast filters and i love the results! My question is.. Can i get the same results by using contrast filters when printing? I would like to remove the lens filter so i can have the extra stop but i dont want to diminish the print because im very happy with the way things are now. I shoot only slower speed film and hand hold the RZ67 so you know how much that extra stop will mean to me..
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If you are lacking contrast on negative, you should perhaps develop more. Try developing 20% longer time and see if you like that better. Yellow filter will give you more contrast only in certain situations and not by much.

    Yes, you can bump up the contrast when you print but it works differently from using filters when you shoot.

    When you use filter when you shoot, you attenuate certain color onto your B&W film. In other words, your film sees less light on certain color. You aren't really changing contrast but if you are looking at sky or anything blue for example, it gets darker so it sort of looks that way for that color only. It's a bit more complex than that but I'm making it simple for explanation purpose.

    When you use filter when printing, you take whatever the film recorded and manipulate the contrast. It no longer involves color.

    My suggestion would be to get rid of the filter when shooting UNLESS you want that effect and develop a bit longer. Then try printing straight with #2 filter or no filter at all.
     
  3. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    From previous discussions you were using Adox CHS25. Looking on their site, they suggest it already responds similarly to light yellow filter. Maybe you can help matters by using a UV or Skylight filter. Maybe that's all you need.

    Personally, when I shoot slow film, I use a tripod. I regret the times I cheat and handhold because those shots are frequently unsharp beyond my tolerance.

    As tkamiya says, at the camera you have the last chance to modify different colors to become lighter or darker tones than they would be if you left them unfiltered.

    It's possible to shoot color negative and then convert to black and white later. Here on APUG the easy way to do that is considered repulsive. It could be done purely analog. Photographers used to be able to buy panchromatic black and white paper. Now a fun idea might be to experiment with making internegatives from color slides.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Using a yellow filter is no guarantee that a negative will have more contrast. How a color filter effects a negative depends on the predominant colors of the subject. You need to be familar with the color wheel. The color opposite yellow on the wheel is blue and so blues will be darkened. Whereas those adjecent to yellow will be lightened. Therefore a yellow filter darkens the sky making any clouds stand out. But a green filter will lighten foliage and open shadows outdoors.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2012
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe you don't know how filters are used in an enlarger. Read this: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/2006130201152306.pdf
     
  6. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    If you're talking about something like sky/cloud contrast, I'd use an on-camera filter. I want it on my negative. Darkroom filters would be used for tweaking.
    I also agree with Bill about a tripod. Without knowing what you shoot (there may be a reason you must hand hold), a tripod/cable release can be your best friend. If a shot is worth taking, it's worth taking the time to get the best image you can.
     
  7. Dismayed

    Dismayed Member

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    Nothing that you do with the enlarger will help if the details are not on the negative. So keep using on-camera filters when warranted (yellow = minus blue, so skies won't blow out).
     
  8. Jim17x

    Jim17x Member

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    I think i should just invest in a new tripod.. I have vintage tripod that extends to 7ft and is extremely heavy and i dont like carrying it around. I seen Ansel using the same tripod in an older photo with a large format camera on it, i do get excellent images when i use it and lock the mirror up. What would a decent lightweight used tripod go for? I would like to keep the cost under $300.
     
  9. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    If having something lighter and easier to carry will mean you'll be more likely to use it, I can recommend Manfrotto's 190 tripods. Most if my work is done on a 475, but I have a 190(xprob) which comes out when I'm hiking or travelling. Despite its small size, I quite confidently use it with my 4x5 in situations where taking the big 475 isn't practical. I was always nervous using this combination until I hiked with a well seasoned photographer who used the same camera and tripod as I had, what a great confidence builder!
     
  10. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    That tripod probably weighs 5-6 pounds, at least you won't "forget" to use it.

    Linhof made some light aluminum (2-3 pounds) tripods that are a good compromise. You should be able to get one for around $100. These don't stand up 7 feet, but are not terribly difficult to tote. Good luck on the hunt.