Question about Ilford contrast filters and Kodak VC paper

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by jp80874, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I have a couple of 50 sheet boxes of 11x14 Kodak Polymax Variable Contrast Fiber paper and about 30 sheets of 16x20 left over from my 4x5 dial in contrast diffusion Saunders 4550XLG/VCCE Enlarger. I would like to print these papers on my Durst 138 converted to 12x12 Aristo cold light head using 8x10 T Max 400 negatives developed in Rollo Pyro. I only have Ilford 6” contrast filters for this enlarger.

    Can I use these filters on the Kodak paper? If so do I need to make any allowances for the difference in brands? I would hate to buy a new set of filters that I won’t be using after the paper runs out.

    Thank you for your advice.

    John Powers
     
  2. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The six inch filters are designed for above the negative use...not below the lens. So it is probably going to take stretching them a bit to get them to cover the negative considering the cold light head covers the entire negative.
     
  4. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    John,

    You're playing with a lot of variables here, but here's Anchell's closest match from his Variable Contrast Printing Manual. This is for an Omega D5XL with Ilford MG filters, condenser head, Zone VI Developer 1+7, and Polymax Fiber paper.

    Ilford filter # = approximate grade
    5 = med-low grade 4
    4 = high-med grade 3
    no filter = grade 2
    3 = high-med grade 1
    2 = med-low grade 1
    1 = low grade 0
    0 = grade 00

    You'll have to adjust for your light source color and for diffusion vs the condenser head on the D5, but these will give you approximate relative settings to go by. Paper contrast grades were determined using a step wedge.

    Remind me to bring the Anchell VC Printing Manual next time we meet up. Also, email me about some blue/green gels for split filter printing. I can probably set you up with some for your enlarger.

    Lee
     
  5. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Thanks Bob. That being the case I imagine I won't even notice the difference since I adjust contrast if needed according to test strips.

    John Powers
     
  6. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Donald,

    Thanks but, the six inch Ilford filters have been working fine below the 300mm lens since last September on many 50 sheet boxes of 16x20 Kentmere VC paper. The light coming through the lens illuminates a little more than the three inch filter would cover. That is why I went to six inch. I just wanted to use up some left over Polymax before the embedded developer that was discussed earlier kicks in and spoils the paper.

    John Powers
     
  7. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Thanks Lee. I appreciate the offer, but I think it will be easier for me just to make eye adjustments from the step tests. After 40 years of wild ass guesses in sales it is what feels comfortable.

    John
     
  8. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Ilford filters work better with Kodak paper than the Kodak ones do. Is there any way to mount the filters above the lens on this enlarger? Like, in a filter drawer?
    VC filters work better with condenser heads than with cold lights, but they'll still work. Dean
     
  9. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Dean,

    There is no existing arrangement to mount the filter above the lens. The cold light head rests on top of a wooden box that tapers down to the bellows. At the top of the box is a glass and below that a frame for the double glass 8x10 negative holder. The bottom of the tapering box connects to the bellows. There is a metal frame at the bottom of the bellows that holds the lens. I have attached a one gallon metal alcohol can painted flat black to the lens. The top wide side of the can has a hole for the lens. The lens flange holds the can in place. It ain't purdy, but it works. The bottom wide side of the can has a hole for the light to pass through to the easel. The end of the can toward me is cut out. I have a six inch filter holder from an Omega D series. I select a filter, put it in the frame and slide it under the lens. The filter frame rests on the bottom wide side of the can. The light coming through the lens covers about 65-70% of the filter.

    To put the filter above the lens I would have to cut into the tapering box and build a frame to hold the filter holder. The top of the bellows is much larger than the filter holder so I am concerned that I would be cutting off much of the light presently going through to the lens. That is how I see it, but I am open and grateful for ideas that will make it better.

    Thanks,

    John Powers