Question about ilford VC filters

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by brian steinberger, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    I'm looking into purchasing a set of Ilford VC filters for my enlarger. I have a filter drawer above the lens that measures 2 3/4" x 2 3/4".

    Question is, is it better to have the filter placed above the lens, or below? The filter set for below the lens looks pretty nice and easy to use. But if necessary, I could always by the 6x6" filter set and cut them down to fit my filter drawer, though I wouldn't have the nice plastic handles that the below the lens kit offers. Suggestions?
     
  2. Erik L

    Erik L Subscriber

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    Either way is OK I think

    Some may say to not put anything below the lens, others disagree. I use 6x6 above the lens. If you cut down the filters for your size filter drawer you will end up with 2 sets of filters for the price of 1:smile:
    regards
    Erik
     
  3. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Having no obstruction between the lens and the paper is a better scenario--how much better IDK, but optically speaking, I've always read it's better to have the filter above the lens.
     
  4. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    To save anyone the bother of trimming 6" filters to 2.75", just send them to me. I'll gladly return two sets of 2.75" filters to you, and keep the two sets for me.
     
  5. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    If you use split filtering for Variable Contrast printing it would probably be easier to use the below the lens filters, depending on your enlarger.

    Jon
     
  6. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Jon,

    I so alot of split filter printing. Do you use the below the lens filter kit? Any comments?
     
  7. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    When I did split filter printing on a Beseler 23CIIXL, I just placed the my unframed gelatin filters on the below the lens filter holder. But I did always want a set of those Ilford framed filters. Now I use a dial-in filtration Saunders VCCE enlarger, but rarely do split filter any more (except to dodge shadow areas with a no. 5 filter held in hand).

    Jon
     
  8. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Above the lens in a filter drawer is preferred. Why unnecessarily introduce something into the optical path? Makes no sense most of the time. Ilford filters are available in the 3x3 inch size at considerably less cost than the 6x6 inch filters.
     
  9. radiantdarkroom

    radiantdarkroom Member

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    Above the film is preferred(not just above the lens). You will be blessed with sharper images.
     
  10. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    If you have a filter drawer you ought to be able to change the filters for spilt contrast printing out any problems . I have older Dupont and Kodak filter with a filter holder for below the lens as well as new 6X6 Iflord filters that I just put in the variable condenser housing of my D3 above the lens, the below filters are more likely to show dust. My below the lens filter holder is also too small for some of my long lens such as a 135 or 162mm.
     
  11. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear All,

    In my opinion above the lens sets are preferable, but the below lens set is neat and quicker especially if you are split grade printing, its also less liable to damage. Wet fingers and filters do not mix.

    As an FYI we have value promo item that should still be in stock in retailers in the USA which was a set of 6 x 6 filters and Multigrade paper in the same box for a very good price.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  12. rob champagne

    rob champagne Member

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    I have both above and below sets.

    The below sets will not affect print quality. i.e. they are just as good as above the lens filters. But, and its a big but, the unit that fixes to your lens does just that and depending on your lens it may obstruct the open up / close down lever. It can make changing aperture difficult, The unit will not fit on larger diameter lens such as those for 4x5 unless the max aperture is really small and hence the lens barrel is small diameter. Then if those under the lens filters get scratched or finger marks (chemicals) or dusty then they will affect image quality. None of these things are potential problems on above the lens filters on diffusion enlargers where the filter is above the mixing box. Scratches could be a problem on condenser enlargers depending where the filter draw sits. Also if you are printing 35mm on a 4x5 enlarger and are using a recessed lens board, the unit may not fit.
    If your enlarger has a filter draw I would use above the lens filters for the above reasons. But if no filter draw then below works fine. Just take very good care of the filters. And check the unit will fit your lens before you buy it.
     
  13. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    One more opinion - I would use them above, then not to worry about perfect condition over time. They aren't that hard to scratch.
    Also, I bought an extra filter drawer for my Aristo unit (V54 lamp) on an Omega D2 (6" filters), so I can swap out the filters during split printing more quickly and easily.
    Simon is right about the deal, it is a good one if you can find it.
     
  14. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I've never seen an enlarger with a filter drawer between the lens and the negative. Every one I've ever seen has the filter drawer above the negative.
     
  15. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    My preference is to use the filters above the lens. While the filters will not degrade the image, use will degrade the filters. My Ilford set is full of scratches after a few years of normal use. I print using split-grade filtration. That means shuffling the filters around in the dark and that means they get handled a lot. I wouldn't want to put them in front of my lens but they're still fine for using in the filter drawer.
     
  16. konakoa

    konakoa Member

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    I'll be in the minority to say below the lens. I have two sets; above and below the lens. I used both, and I can say with confidence that there is absolutely no difference between the two. I prefer the below the lens set as it's much easier to work with. Besides, I have to use under the lens for my 4x5 enlarger. :smile: Scratches and dust aren't a problem - just keep the filters in the case when you're not using them.