Multigrade filter holder

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by DrPablo, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    What sort of device is available to hold the Ilford 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch multigrade filters on an Omega D2? I've been holding them with my fingers, but I'd prefer to have a holder of some sort. B+H has some kind of filter holder for the D2, but its dimensions / compatibility aren't mentioned.

    Also, can I use a red #29 filter as a safe filter for positioning the paper?
     
  2. percepts

    percepts Member

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    I don't think there is one. Ilford make an under the lens filter set which comes with a holder unit which clamps to the lens barrel. But they are smaller than 3.5 inches. I think your filters are designed to fit into a filter drawer.
     
  3. John Simmons

    John Simmons Member

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  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear DrPablo,

    The March/April 2003 edition of Photo Techniques magazine had an article by William Schneider on building your own filter drawer for an Omega D-2 with a cold light. I believe the design will work just as well with the normal condenser head. In essence, the drawer was made using materials from the local hardware store and it was held snug to the head using springs that attached to the thumbscrews that hold the condensers in place.

    Neal Wydra
     
  5. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The red 29 or even a 25 should work well as a safe filter. The 29 blocks light shorter than 600nm, and the 25, 580nm. Most Multigrade paper has little response above 560 nm.
     
  6. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    My Omega B8, a junior D2, has provision for
    an under lens filter. Years ago I knew the reason
    for that under lens filter and now can't remember.
    Someone jog my memory.

    BTW, if you use Graded papers you can skip the
    Multigrade filters and employ brighter darkroom
    lighting. Graded is blue only sensitive. Dan
     
  7. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    You know, I have the little under-the-lens attachment for these smaller Kodak filters (which I don't care for very much). I could actually just cut the 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 filters to fit that.
     
  8. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Old thread revival alert....

    So up until now, I had been using the small Ilford 3x3 filters in the black frames below the lens, not an issue with any of my enlarging lenses and I keep them fairly close the front. Since I am using a D2 cold light head on my 45MXT, I leave it set closest to the neg most of the time as I mainly print from 6x6, 6x12 and 4x5 negs.

    Now I have a rather large 150mm Apo-N that will no longer allow me to swing the filter holder in place. So what I have gone and done is taken a spare Cokin P filter holder used normally for things like split grads and simply thread it on the 67mm front of the lens and then slide in Ilford Multi-grade 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 filters in gently, works great and I only had to trim a little bit off the filters so that they slide in with no binding.

    Just an idea if anyone needs one.
     
  9. tim k

    tim k Member

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    Good idea
     
  10. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Seems that would pretty much degrade all the precision inherent to the 150 Apo to begin with.
    No filter drawer above the neg carrier? Or no actual colorhead - so much easier!
     
  11. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Better to slide one of the large-sized Multigrade filters on top of the condensers (or other handy place, after the heat-filter but before the neg) maybe? The underlens-filter set use a more rigid material and seem to have a less delicate surface than the tray filters.

    I'm using the underlens filters even for a diffusion head now, but only with an MF enlarger and a 90mm lens. In the past, with a De Vere 504 I have used the colour filtration in the head to get round the sheet-filter problem.

    EDIT: Then I realised that there is probably no separate, easily accessible area under a cold-light head and above the neg-carrier on a D2. Presumably the bulb is one that gives a sufficient spectrum of light for the filters to do their job so it would be handy to have a way to do it without having to lift the head off every time. Could a self-made drawer be added to the tube that would usually have the condensers inside? - And then use the larger size of Multigrade filters, cut to fit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2012
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Whever I do have to use filters under the lens for projection (other than as a contact printing light
    source), I only use the best camera-quality glass filters available. But this is fairly simple because I
    do split printing with blue and green, and not variable M vs Y - when I do that, I use a colorhead.
    Identical results can be achieved either way.
     
  13. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    For the Omega users who may also search this thread in the future, here's the official Omega D-series under-the-lens 3½x3½-inch filter holder (#429-027). (At least as long as this B&H link is good...)

    Omega Under-the-Lens Filter Holder with Red Safety Filter for D5-XL and D2 Enlargers

    I have a nice used one of these I got from KHBPhotografix for a heck of a lot less than the listed price in the above link. I use it in place of my VCL4500 variable-contrast head when I need something brighter and must revert to a single-tube V54 lamp. Works well for my purposes using the standard Ilford under-the-lens kit.

    Ken
     
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  15. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I have a source for a complete working 500H head, I am tempted...

    When I print 4x5 on my 45MXT with the Aristo Cold light, the light source has to be nearly touching the glass carrier to get even illumination. So there is not much room in there to engineer a 6" MG filter drawer..in fact there is none as it is recessed. The other big problem with that is that if you split grade like I do, you are pretty much assured to stir up dust that will land on the glass carrier as you go back and forth swapping filters out.

    I am pretty sure the 3x3 under lens filters are just as thin as the 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 and Ilford does state on the box that they can be used under the lens. The filters sit perfectly flat in the Cokin holder, FYI. I also did a test awhile back at 11x14 with my regular Rodagon 150 with and without the filter in front, no difference in overall image sharpness..

    Maybe when I print 20 x 24 I will test it again with the new filters and see what comes up. While this is a great craft, there is just not a lot out there for pro level printers in terms of cold light splitgrade, kinda stinks....

    If anyone has a viable solution for me to print cold light split grade without putting MG filters under the lens, I am all ears...

    Otherwise:

    Ctein in "Post Exposure" has this to say: "According to my tests, this makes no difference. I set up a high resolution test target with my 55mm Computar lens at optimum aperture and examined the projected aeriel image with no filter under the lens, with modern thin filters under the lens and older cast-plastic filters under the lens. In all cases, I could see a clean 320 lp/mm in the center of the field and more than 280 lp/mm at the corners. I could not convince myself that I saw any degradation in image quality with the filters in place, no matter how hard I looked. As long as your VC filters are not scratched enough to create serious flare, I can see no reason for avoiding below-the-lens filters."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2012
  16. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Gotta disagree with my friend Ctein there. And I think I have done at least as much testing relative
    to this subject as he has. But one does not need a full range of multicontrast filters. All you need is
    tricolor blue and green, provided you have a sufficiently strong light source. Otherwise, actual colorheads for popular 4x5 enlargers are selling for peanuts right now, even entire enlargers equipped with them. That's all you need.
     
  17. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I hear ya, I am not exactly a fan of putting plastic in front of a Apo-N I paid $900 for either, but I am also not a fan of tossing a great closed loop system like my StopClock Vario, sensor and V54 head out the window. Like I said, I will do a test, maybe today even. But I am also very interested in this new setup, it could pretty much solve it instead of juggling filters by hand or in a color head.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/112673-new-vc-diffusion-lamp-house.html

    I know the color head is an option, but there is a reason why many prefer VC heads or just using the MG filters, we are more the artist type than the number cruncher type and prefer to keep it that way...
     
  18. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    OK, quick question about my options:

    If I opt for a color head, what would be the best one to get for my 45MX for multi-contrast, splitgrade printing, Beseler / Minolta 45A, Beseler Dichro 45 or 45S and what are the differences?
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    A dichroic head for split contrast printing? You are going to twist those knobs all the way back and forth twice for each exposure? Even on the systems with buttons, the lamp has to be on to make the change in many cases (though you could put the lens cap on). Maybe I missed something, but didn't you just post that you have been using under the lens filters with no problems and devised a holder for the bigger filters?

    I, however, did the same thing. That is, I devised a large Cokin style under-the-lens filter holder to fit my 300mm lens, then gave that up for a dichroic head. However, the reason had nothing to do with the filters. It was that my coldlight head was uneven.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2012
  20. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Well, yeah, the 3.5 x 3.5's are working fine and I would just assume not mess with it, but then I catch flak from Drew Wiley and he makes it sound like I am putting hair gel on my Apo Rodagons....effing maddening man.

    It's easy right now, it works, the light is even, closed loop StopClock Vario works great. I just wish we still had Multigrade / VC heads to buy new or there were enough used in good shape to not fret over it. I think at some point, this is going to bite Ilford in the ass in terms of serious printers looking for serious hardware to use with their fine papers...

    These guys, Ilford, Beseler, RH Designs, Modern Enlargerlamps, etc....they might want to get on the same page at some point and carry this all forward a bit better than they are...

    I just found this thread in which you give insight, maybe I will give this idea storm a break for a bit and just print...
     
  21. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Is it possible to get hold of some Cokin-P sized rigid optical sheets in 'very yellow' (I suppose 200cc?) and 'very magenta', probably from a movie supplies place? Long ago I was a customer of SRB in the UK, but there are certainly more options in the US. There is nothing magic about the manufacturer's filter material after all. These higher quality filters would be flatter, easier to clean, optically much better and be more robust in use than the gel multigrade filters, and should work fine for split-contrast printing. You could even buy a third one which might look like Grade-3, or so, to simplify the 'average' print.
     
  22. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    They might have to be filed down a bit as to not be stiff to get in and out like they normally are. The ones I have are fitting really flat and I might even tape a stiffener at one end to help them remain that way. Like I said I am going to run some tests at 20x24 with 8x10 test strips and see. If I can not detect any difference, I will just use them until I have both the time and room to completely swap out systems to something like an LPL 4500 VCCE.

    For amateur printers, much of what is out there is ok. But for pros who need perfectly consistent results in a production atmosphere, this craft is truly half-assed.
     
  23. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    You might find optical-grade resin filters as noted in the previous post, but they need more careful handling than glass. Sinar had the best ones, and you might be able to find a set now that many
    studios have gone digital. But really, most ordinary colorheads are a piece of cake to work. If you can make your own coffee in the morning you can figure these out. And certain so-called VC heads are simply colorheads with either the cyan or red filter removed and the feeback circuitry recalibrated. I'd avoid the Beseler/Minolta. It's a weak flashtube system that might lead to unpredictable results when dodging/burning. Split
    printing just takes a little practice, if that route appeals to you. I can practically do it asleep. It can
    be done with red and blue filters somewhat more efficiently than yellow and magenta, but either way
    works.
     
  24. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I'm trying to figure it out Drew, for sure. I am on the lookout for a clean used Beseler 45S color head for what they normally go for $150-$250, but no luck so far. The questions I have about that setup is how hot does it run and how diffuse is it compared to my cold light head, any fan vibration issues, etc? And what are the differences between the 45 and the 45S color heads besides the latter being a mechanical type?

    It will work fine with my StopClock Vario as when the light sensor is disconnected, the Vario works like the regular StopClock.

    Anyone else know of any other downsides to using the 45S over my cold light head and below lens filters?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  25. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I can't think of anything major. You might have to make your own printing Y/M table (though the Ilford provided tables for Durst and Omega work fine for me, I would hope the info provided for the Beseler head was just as good).

    You can never go wrong getting more darkroom supplies. I have multiple 'spare' 4x5 and 8x10 heads and power supplies.
     
  26. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Your own eyes no good? What you see and what you do with what you see is what makes a photographer. Other wise one just 'takes pictures.'