Starting Color Pack for Crystal Archive C

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by dslater, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. dslater

    dslater Member

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    I just got some Fuji Crystal Archive "C" to try my hand at color printing. Everything I have read says the box should contain a sheet with a recommended starting filter pack. The box has no such sheet and I can't find anything on the outside.
    Any ideas on what I should use as a starting point for my standard negative?

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    there is no starting point. Correct colour balance will change with every neg you put in the enlarger any one enlarger will differ from the next. If you've not done this before then I'd recommend starting at 50 magenta, 50 Yellow and 0 Cyan. Do a test strip of 3 - 5 sec.s per exposed strip (just like b&w) and find the best density. Once you have the density you can then start adjusting the filter pack to achieve colour balance. As you deviate from the 50, 50, 0 filter pack you may need to adjust the length of the exposure to compensate for the difference in filter density.
     
  3. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    If the information about the sheet with a suggested starting point is from books, magazines, or perhaps even online references, it's probably just dated. I've only been doing color enlarging for about a year and a half, so I'm not personally familiar with materials from decades past, but my understanding is that there was much more variation from one emulsion batch to another than there is today, so manufacturers used to perform tests and provide suggested starting points for the benefit of users, so that if a user had a color analyzer or used the same film consistently, that user would know how much to adjust filtration for a new batch of paper. With less batch-to-batch variability in paper, there's less need for this today. You will, however, have to deal with film-to-film variability, particularly if you don't consistently use the same brand and type of film.

    On another matter, there are a lot of tools and techniques to help you nail down a good filtration setting for color printing. One technique I use is to print a series of tests with different settings on a single sheet of paper. I've got a test-print easel with eight removable blocks, so I can fit eight exposures on an 8x10 sheet. I use two for fine-tuning exposure and I vary the cyan, magenta, and yellow filtration up and down for the remaining six. I expose the same section of the photo (ideally something with a fairly neutral tone) in each of the eight areas, which makes for easy comparison. With any luck one of the exposures will be exactly right, or it'll be obvious that the correct point lies somewhere predictable (between the starting point and one of the six deviations from it, for instance). With less luck it's sometimes necessary to take a guess and run another test print.
     
  4. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Recommend Kodak Color Print Viewing Filters

    When I started doing colour (this will date me) it was EP-2 process. I still have the viewing filters that I bought to aid in judging where the filtration should be going from way back then. Back then I used filters in a slot under heat absorbing glass in a Beselar 23II, and a gralab 300 to time things.

    In a card packed with the filters it gave a table of the density of each of the filters that might be in a pack. Most yellows were 1.1 as I recall, although you might have up to three yellow filters. The changes in magenta were where the big time variations came in. I would pull out my pocket calculator and if the last print was ok in density, figure out

    Today I have a dichroic omega, so changing the filter pack isn't the pain that it once was, and use a colourstar analyser/timer that can automatically adjust the exposure time as filtration is varied.

    With all these toys, I still use the viewing filters. And I still keep (at least for a few weeks) the screwed up test prints with the filtration and time information recorded on the back. I three ring punch them and insert them into the same binder that I keep my printing log notes in.
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    The starting filter pack varies with different enlargers but generally with no cyan, some magenta and somewhat more yellow filtration. I would shoot the gray card and then making a test strip to get the exposure time about right first. Then I make a few ring around prints. I measure the print with a color densitometer and making the filter adjustment about half of the difference.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    With a normal enlarger using a 35mm negative and the appropriate condenser or diffuser, you should try 50R at 10" about f 5.6 - 11. This is with a well exposed negative.

    Contrary to popular belief (myth), color negative film is speed controlled and daylight balanced just like reversal film, and should use a consistant filter pack from batch to batch with paper. Also, modern papers are speed controlled as well. Ektacolor 70 paper / EP-2 process was the first speed controlled color paper produced.

    Earlier papers varied.

    Both Kodak and Fuji introduced higher green speed in the Endura and CA liines of paper which caused a one-time jog in filtration, but once that took place the speeds were again constant.

    For those of you who have visited me, I have shown you some of the albums of prints made at a fixed filter pack covering over 50 years of photography and the average deviation is about 10R overall. I do all of my proofs with a fixed exposure for just this purpose.

    PE
     
  7. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Hi PE,
    Thanks for the tip - this what I was looking for - a starting point for my first ever color print. The only thing is, I believe my filters are CMY, not RGB. I assume 50R corresponds to a combination of M and Y filtration correct? Would it be 50M + 50Y or something like 25M +25Y?

    BTW for more information, I am printing with a Bessler MX-45 with a condenser head and some color printing filters. I also have an Arista cold light head, but it is an old one with the older bluish bulb in it and I suspect it may not be appropriate for color printing.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Fuji paper and Kodak paper differ substantially in the starting point, but once attained should be fixed.

    50R = 50Y + 50M. I believe that Fuji will probably use about 1/2 of that from recent reports, but I'm not sure. What I gave you is for current Endura.

    PE
     
  9. dslater

    dslater Member

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    PE,
    Thanks for the help - I'll give that a try. One other question, the documentation for the RA-4 developer gives storage times for open tanks (1 week) and for tanks with floating lids ( 8 weeks ). Any idea on the keeping time in full tightly stoppered glass bottles.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    In my expierence if the bottle is really full it'll keep quite a while. The more air space the shorter the time. If you're using drums this isn't an issue. Just make it up in small batches.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have stored RA developer for over 3 months in full bottles. I usually put a nitrogen blanket over the developer if the bottle is partly full.

    PE
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The Kodak site mentions a starting filtration which is pretty close and is clearly helpful for a beginner. I have checked the Fuji site several times and read the pdf file on Crystal Archive and cannot find any such starting filtration.

    As PE has said, Kodak and Fuji paper filtrations are appreciably different. I wonder why Fuji omits to mention a suggested starting filtration?

    pentaxuser
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Fuji might be having trouble getting stable filter packs from batch to batch.

    They went to a new method of emulsion sensitization last year, and I suspect that it may not give stable results. They also have 2 different processes out there for it, and that may compound the problems.

    Kodak also has stabilzed printing between manufacturer films whereas Fuji has not. Therefore both Fuji and Kodak negatives print well with Kodak paper, but Kodak negatives do not print as well with Fuji paper. It is due to the method of spectral sensitization.

    We used to say that the paper was not perfect until it worked with Fuji, Agfa, Kodak and Konica negative films. I have indeed done all of these comparisons with Kodak papers back when I was doing that type of work.

    PE
     
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  15. max_ebb

    max_ebb Member

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    I've been printing color since the early 80's when it was EP2. I don't know about using filter packs, but I've always found any suggested filter values listed on the paper to be totally useless with dichroic heads that I've used. With halogen lamps, I have found that they can vary dramically from one bulb to the next, and they also shift a little bit over time as they get old. It sucks to get a new batch of paper dialed in for certain film types and then have to change to a new lamp in the enlarger.

    You just have to do test strips and get it dialed in. 50Y and 50M is probably a good starting point if you've never printed with that enlarger before. Don't assume that you'll be able to use the same filter pack for every print with the same paper batch and film type, or even on the same roll of film. Sometimes different frames can need different filtering to get the right color balance even if they were shot on the same roll.
     
  16. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Yes - but doesn't that mean they were shot under different lighting conditions and the differences reflect a real difference in the light which you may or may not want to compensate for?

    Dan
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Dan;

    That is my experience. All frames on one roll and indeed over several years should have the same balance if shot in the same illumination.

    PE
     
  18. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Can you elaborate a little more on this? I'm not sure what you mean by "Kodak also has stabilzed printing between manufacturer films" - are you referring to consistency in the film emulsion or the print emulsion?

    Also, what kind of problems can I expect using Kodak film with Fuji paper? After reading this I wishI had bought some Endura paper. I didn't because I read a number of threads where people stated Endura doesn't have nearly as much color saturation as Fuji and that the more saturated version of Endura has quite high constrast.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  19. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are nuanced differences between Endura and CA, but nothing to the extreme some will state.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Dan;

    I have not printed using CA paper. I can merely state two things.

    1. People complain of difficulties printing Kodak films with Fuji paper.

    2. Kodak has worked to make sure all negative films work with Kodak Endura paper.

    This was achieved in the Kodak paper by their unique spectral sensitization that covers a large gamut of film dyes.

    As John Callow says, the papers are otherwise rather more similar than people state. There are no extremes.

    The new Fuji CA paper introduced last year has had several comments here on APUG in which people complain of having to use cyan filtration or filter packs near zero. You may want to look up those posts.

    PE
     
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    My experience has been that Fuji negs print as well on Kodak paper as on Fuji paper. I cannot say how Kodak negs will print on Fuji paper as I have no experience of this combo.

    PE is right to say that some( well me at least)complained of needing filter packs near zero. This goes back a while.

    I complained to Fuji. They examined my prints and I got new paper without any admission of a problem but the new paper did not exhibit this problem.

    What I did notice however was that the filtration pack seemed more critical than I would have expected. I did the same part of a neg with neutral grey in it as 4 prints with slightly different packs and found that as little as 2M ( Durst 605M dichroic head )made the difference between a noticeably magenta cast and the correct neutral.

    I admit that I may not have spotted this unless I had done four 4 x 5 prints on 10x8 paper but I was surprised that as little as 2M made that kind of difference.

    This could have been the case with Kodak paper. I just don't know but my impression is that in the past, filtration with Kodak paper had not been that critical when I used Kodak Supra Endura which is a useful asset. Such fine tolerances between success and failure, so to speak, is not helpful.

    On the other hand, prints that I have got from the local minilab on Fuji CA have been perfect. I suppose that as long as the calibration is spot-on it's fine.

    pentaxuser
     
  22. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've printed a fair amount of Kodak and Fuji neither seemed to me to be noticeably different in sensitivity. One might be 1 or 20 points off of the other, but both produce excellent photographs. Kodak Portra might be slightly better than CA type P for portrait work (subjective opinion) and or really tough negs, and Ultra is about the same as Type C. The palettes are slightly different (really slight) in that kodak is a little ‘earthier’ and or CA is a bit more ‘plastic.’ Overall kodak might be ever so slightly easier or more forgiving and is certainly a better match for NC and 100T films (I don’t shoot VC and I dismantled my darkroom before I could do much with UC films.).

    My last batch of either paper was bought from B&H about this time last year. I may not have used the reformulated CA.

    ymmv
     
  23. max_ebb

    max_ebb Member

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    I'm not sure what the different reasons were, but there's been quite a few times that I've had to use different filter values on different frames from the same roll. I'm sure that some of the times it was from different lighting conditions. I some instances it was aerial photography done in daylight. It could have been from different angles and direction of the sun changing the way the light refracted through the atmosphere (and possibly changing the amount of UV that hit the film). As far as it being something I may or may not want to compensate for, it was a matter of the prints being acceptable. I used to do custom color printing for professional photographers

    Maybe being slightly under or over exposed can cause a little bit of a color shift with some films, or maybe I used a long exposure time with a particularly dark neg instead of opening the aperture another stop, and the long exposure time caused a slight color shift. With studio lighting, there might be a need for slightly different filter values with the same lighting set up and same roll of film but different location. Different surfaces reflect light differently and can cause a different ambient hue.

    When I first started to positive printing, I figured that once I had the filtration dialed in for a batch of paper, I shouldn't have to change it if I wanted the print to match the transparency. It didn't work that way though, I would print one trans and it would match perfectly, then print another trans and it wouldn't match without adjusting the filtration (with both R prints and Cibachromes). It definitely wasn't due to anything in my work flow. My printing was consistent and very repeatable.

    Film and print paper 'see' light (and colors) different than the eyes do.
     
  24. max_ebb

    max_ebb Member

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    It's been several years since I printed on Fuji paper, but I remember that at the time, Fuji paper needed less filtration than Kodak and was more sensitive to small increment changes. It only stands to reason though that if it requires less filtration, then it's going to show more shift with smaller changes. For example, 2M is a 10% change from 20M, but it's only a 4% change from 50M.
     
  25. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Not so
    2 magenta change has the same effect in colour at 50 80 or 20. It is not based as a %.

    A good colour corrector can make 1/2pt colour corrections.
    Magenta is the most noticable colour on a nuetral grey therefore small changes are quite extreme.
    Right now my packs are aroung 30y, 30magenta for a good starting pack with fuji crystal archive.
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Bob;

    The rate of change of color speed with respect to filtration change is also related to the saturation of the dyes formed and the bandwidth of the spectral sensitizing dyes used in the emulsions.

    All of this can be balanced off to give papers that 'move fast' or 'move slowly' with respect to a change in cc filtration.

    Endura is balanced in that respect such that a 0.2 density change in magenta filtration gives a 0.2 speed change in the emulsion. However, at a contrast of 2.5 in the grade 2 paper, this is visually mulitiplied by the dye itself at every density which confounds the evaluation of the change.

    The result, on average, is that even though a 0.2 density change = 0.2 speed change, the 'apparent' color change can be higher than 0.4 density units depending on color and density.

    This is also affected by the film being printed. A high saturation negative film will tend to magnify this change.

    PE