Ilford MC Filters........

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Charles Webb, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    It looks like I am going to have to invest in a set of multicontrast filters. I am guessing since I most likely will be using Ilford papers I should look for Ilford filters. I have been avoiding makeing this purchase since Dupont brought out Varigam papers. I have never liked the look of prints made on multicontrast papers, but I guess now is the time for me to bite the bullet since what I like is but a fuzzy memory. I mean no offense to anyone using or liking multicontrast paper, it simply is a personal thing with me to use and like graded paper. I just was given 500 sheets of Ilford MC paper and want to try to use it. Seems it's just a another one of those things in photography pushing me in a direction I really don't want to go. but any way, is the Ilford
    set of twelve what I need? I will be making a few contact prints and of course some enlargements. About how much cash am I going to have to part with to start using my freebie paper. I have no clue what Multicontrast filters are selling for. I haven't checked ebay since I am not sure I want to buy some one else's scratches and finger prints. Will most likey do so here very shortly, but I thought I would ask here first.

    Thank you for any thoughts!

    Charlie................................
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Charlie,

    Like yourself, i would and do use graded papers; however for my classes we do use MC papers along with the filters and they are Ilford.

    Be prepared for sticker shock when buying retail as a set is going to be costly. If you could find a good conditioned used set it might be a better use since you are only going to be using these until the "free paper" is gone.

    just my .02 worth.
     
  3. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Hey Charlie

    The MGIV is pretty good, nothing at all like the old variable grade rubbish

    ( it also is absolutely NOT ELite ! )

    But Ansco 120 works very well, as does 2 bath.

    And you can get a longer toe than anybody ever talks about, and nice blacks. A very useful paper, with some charm.

    If you're used to using graded papers, you can always cheat and use the stuff unfiltered. A nice rich yellow and magenta filter can carry the load instead of breaking down for the whole kit.

    d
     
  4. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    The full Ilford 6"x6" (above neg) set is about $50, new at B&H. The smaller ones with the below-lens holder is about $75.

    FWIW, I also use Ilford MGIV, and its not bad at all.
     
  5. jvarsoke

    jvarsoke Member

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    Hmm, I got my box of 6x6in for $25 a few years ago at Hunt's in MA.

    BTW: I hear Cachet is Varigam, and that Freestyle had some in stock last Fall.

    -j
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    If you have a blue and green filter or yellow and magenta you could get by with split filter printing to see if you like the results before investing any money.

    JandC has a wonderful graded paper in their Nuance. I am moving at least part way back to graded for myself.
     
  7. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    My Ilford set of filters is very old, I do clean them but they have a few scratches and smudges. Never a problem as they are behind the neg. Charlie, the Ilford MG FB WT is a really good paper. Specially with negs a little long in the toe. My favorite filter is the 2 1/2 processed at 2 1/2 min. (funny how that works out) Anyway they usually start to come up about 45 seconds. I do pre- soak and squegee to swell the paper. I find that negs a bit under (1/3) over processed (14 min) agitation: 3 @ 30 sec then 8 @ 2min 3@ 30 2 @1min seeems to work great for this paper. Good luck with it!!
     
  8. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Wow, Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate all the help! Something I have been putting of for a lot of years, is about to happen. Thomas, you said something I haden't given much thought to, that is placement of the filter.
    I would much rather have the filter behind or above the neg than below the lens. I bet that means I need the 6x6 size rather than the 3 1/2X 3 1/2 size.

    Oh, Oh just had another thought. Thomas your same comment woke me up! Reminded me that perhaps I don't need the filters after all, I have my D 5 Chromega in storage. The color head should handle my filter necessities. I have only used it for printing color negatives, but I am quite sure it will also handle the multigrade paper. Sheesh what a dummy! Well back to the drawing board!

    Thank again everyone!
    Charlie...................................
     
  9. RJS

    RJS Member

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    I too used to use Varigam. It wasn't very good, at best. However, in my opinion, the current Ilford MG IV fiber base paper is superior to any paper I have used - including most of the graded papers that have disappeared. If you learn just a bit about working with it you can do more than was ever possible on graded papers. The tonality is superior, the contrast range possible is greater - all in all it is just a great improvement. And filters under the lens do not have a detectable effect on image quality - both in my opinion and, if you don't trust me, have a look at Ctein's book "Post exposure".
     
  10. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    RJS,
    In my own case, old ideas that I have seen proven many times die very hard with me. Perhaps I am totally wrong in what I believe, but I know it is possible to modify the quality of the light being projected (Penumbra) through an enlarging lens. I am not saying you and Ctein are wrong, but simply I disagree with the theory that another element introduced in the Penumbra has little or no effect on the final image. I admit I have never read Ctein's book, and most likely won't so I will take my silly notions with me to my grave.
    Thank you for giving me something else to consider and I assure you I will consider your information. Right now I am trying to recover from my dumb mistake of believing I needed MC filters when I already own a late model color head enlarger.

    Again I thank everyone for their interest and sharing their information with me!
    Charlie............................