Switching Enlarger - serious Frustration, help!

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Fabian, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Fabian

    Fabian Member

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    I'm printing on a Durst M305, with the Ilford Multigrade Filters. When I look at a negative I guess the gradiation I will need, and I am generally right or very close.
    My exposure is correct most of the time, and very constant, as is my developing. I do produce good negatives, which print on grade 2. My development is near what Kodak says. So everything seems to be alright.
    BUT: I have inherited a Fujimoto G70 with a color head. As I plan to start shooting medium format, I wanted to start using it. I took a negative, and printed it on grade 2 on the old enlarger. Everything was as expected.
    I then wanted to do a similar print on the Fujimoto. I expected it to be a bit softer as I am switching from a condenser to a diffusing system. I have never made a print with a colorhead. I thought it might need more exposing... I looked up some values, which allowed me to calculate an ilford filter (of course I mean the color a filter has) into Y and M, without having to alter the exposure time a lot. Y-41 M-32. It is impossible to set it that exactly, but at least I was close.
    The outcome was very disappointing and unexpected.

    Dullness... pure dullness. I would expect the same negative in the Durst M301 printed on grade 1 or less, would look like this. How much is the difference between condenser and diffusion?
    Does this sound normal to you?
    Could the filters inside the head be broken?
    Should I switch the lamp?
    Are my values wrong? I googled it, and found very similar values.

    What could I check?
    I am really confused, and can't think of anything to do.

    The two tests, were printed on the same size, on two sheets out of the same box of paper. Also developed in the same developer, and so on...
    I would really like to do all my 35mm work on the Fujimoto, so that I would not have to switch enlarger all the time.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    The old lab rats who taught me darkroom said that the difference between a condensor and a diffusion enlarger with the same neg was about one grade of paper.
    Check to ensure the filters are going into place shifting them in and out of the light path with no neg in the carrier. If they are changing color, o.k. Then: are you sure the ilford filter settings are correct for the Fujimoto? Some machines use Agfa filtration settings, iirc.
     
  3. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Published VC filter settings for color heads are often very far off (or heads are very far off from the published settings). It seems you have found the settings for grade 1 for your enlarger. Increase Y and decrease M until you get to grade 2.

    You want to find what works for _you_.

    I am assuming every else about the enlarger looks OK: the color of the light changes when you change the filter settings etc.
     
  4. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    Shouldn't one decrease Y and/or increase M to raise the contrast? IIRC, increasing Magenta increases contrast, while increasing Yellow reduces contrast.

    Mike
     
  5. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I use this enlarger and it can be confusing at first if you are not used to a color head (I know I wasn't). First, Ilford publishes a list of "suggested" filter settings for color heads here as a starting point (use the Kodak settings on the right side of the third page, it's the closest to the Fujimoto). Second, when I purchased the enlarger, I took an afternoon to print several grade tests: I took several negatives I was confident of the contrast grade and using my test strip maker, made strips of different contrast levels for the negative on the same paper. From there, I chose several negatives of different contrast levels and printed until I got the grade I wanted, recording the settings. It took 3-4 hours but I now know what my particular machine needs to get contrast grade X (yours' might be different). You must do some testing in order to know for certain how your machine will react. You can check the filters' workings by removing the condenser head and changing the filter settings, you should be able to see the filters moving in the slot where the light flows into the head. Lastly, if you are going to use the diffuser, it will be at least 1-1.5 grades different than a contrast head but I think you get a nicer tonality and it lessens dust marks.

    Leave the C dial at 0, increase M (while decreasing Y) to raise contrast and increase Y (while decreasing M) to decrease contrast. It is important to note that there is not a 1:1 relationship in the M and Y settings: grade 1 has Y74:M10 for me, while grade 5 has Y0:M200.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I have good results with Ilford paper and the Ilford published dual filter settings. If you are trying to match what your condenser enlarger does, you should try
    24Y/42M or 17Y/53M. If you would like your 'baseline' to be at 41Y/32M then increase negative development 15-20%.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The published numbers are generally bollixed. That's what got me started split printing. I'd never go back. Ever.
     
  8. Fabian

    Fabian Member

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    I was just worried, that it would be difficult to switch back again, if i did the development harder/longer. I don't really want to do that (The problem in printing, which I fight the most with is controlling highlights anyhow).
    increasing magenta and decreasing yellow makes the print look harder. got that. But how to control the density? Is there any formula how to calculate this? I'm thinking, very naively, about something like: if Y and M values added equal a particular number (lets say Y32 and M43 = 55 and on the other hand M32 and Y42 = 55) then the density is the same. This is not true, as becomes very clear, looking at the published settings. But is there such a rule?

    What happens when i turn the C-knob around?

    Lastly I was thinking of the following:
    1. Set both enlargers up side by side (this is not comfortable but doable in my darkroom)
    2. Set them, so that the print size would be the same. Focus of course, then remove the negative. Put a white sheet of paper under the enlarger.
    3. Equip the Durst with a filter. Let's say 1.
    4. Fondle with M and Y on the Fujimoto around till the color looks the same.
    5. Do a test print.

    I do own two 50mm enlarging lenses, but one is a componon-s, which I love and want to use. The other one is a rodenstock-something, I inherited along with the Fujimoto. Both go down to F2.8. Is this comparable, or not? This is the only possibile set up, I could come up with, to compare side by side.
    Also the amount of light both emit seems to be in the same league. (at least when the Fujimoto is set to Low).
    Is this a bad idea? Is this undoable just looking at it? Or would it get me rather close?

    Sorry for my english, I hope you understood what I mean.
    I am happy to hear that my problem does not sound very strange.
    Thanks for all the answers I have got so far.

    Color changes when I turn the knobs. I might take a look inside it though.

    My source for the value is this: http://www.blende7.at/datenblaetter/ilford/handbuch.pdf on page six, there are the values. "Doppelfilter-methode" is "dualfiltration-method" , The first chart just says to use Kodak-values for the Fujimoto.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2008
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Thats fine, nothing wrong with managing the contrast during printing.


    Cyan is not 'seen' by the paper, so it shouldn't do much.

    You tried both the "Kodak" and "Durst" charts listed by Ilford. If you Fujimoto is different from both of those and you problem is that the Y and M combinations don't all give the same middle gray, you can tweak them by adding or subtracting the same amount if Y and M to make it print lighter or darker. There is no real formula, these combined Y & M charts are based on empirical data.


    Best to base any conclusions and changes to the combined Y&M printing chart on results from a 21 step transmission wedge.

    Getting a good printing chart for your color head is certainly possible, it will just take some trial and error.

    Check out pages starting from 31 in Steve Anchell's book: "Calibrating Variable Contrast Papers"

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Pb0K_fN-wSkC&printsec=frontcover

    Here is another resource:
    http://www.butzi.net/articles/vcce.htm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2008
  10. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    I seem to remember working with this enlarger once : the light chamber was invertable : diffusion at one end,condenser at the other.
    It may be worth checking your machine..you can expect "punchier" contrast from the condenser setting.
     
  11. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    even with enlargers that are the "same" (model type). times vary.

    we have 11 workstations at our school. I ran a test last year , using the same negative, same fstop, same paper, same developer, same exposure times, none of the prints look alike. Equipment varies for a wide variety of reasons. Don" t give up just because everything wasn't the same.
     
  12. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I have a colour head on my DeVere but don't use the colours

    Instead I still use the Ilford under the lens filter set

    Also - it makes Split Grade printing very easy - no messsing with dials and risk disturbing the head alignment - just gently slide in and out filters from the carrier

    Martin