Using VC filters for exposure/printing

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by BetterSense, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I use VC RC paper for negatives and for printing. My greatest "issue" is that the negatives are very high/strange contrast. I have heard suggestions to use a green filter (I don't have one or I would try), and preflashing paper, which I am starting to try. But since this is VC paper, could you possibly use the lowest contrast enlarging filter either as an exposure filter, or while printing? Do you use variable-contrast filters when exposing paper-to-paper contacts?
     
  2. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    The VC filters change the color of the exposing light so they should work equally well for contacts, (from film or paper negs) and enlarging. When you talk about using them as an exposure filter do you mean in the camera?
    VC paper has two emulsions - a low and a high contrast. The high contrast is sensitive to blue light and the low contrast emulsion to green. The relative amounts of green and blue cause the equivalent relative exposure to the low and high contrast emulsions. Overall it becomes a "blend" of exposure between the high & low contrast. The recommendation to use a green filter was due to the inherently high contrast of your paper negs. Yellow filters can be considered "minus blue" for VC printing.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Bob H
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    A glass Green filter on the camera might be sharper than the '00' VC filter over the camera lens, but both should have the same effect when exposing VC paper negatives.
    It would work the same as a conventional negative contact.
    Also, you can also try graded paper for your 'paper negatives' as perhaps there is a lot of blue light in your scenes, causing your paper negatives to be very contrasty. Graded paper in the camera would be more controllable. But VC paper for the prints is a good idea.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  4. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I've used grade 2 paper as negatives exclusively for the last few years; that, combined with a bit of preflashing and a controlled development have permitted negatives of acceptable contrast to be contact printed with good results.

    I've heard, but not tried, that using low-contrast filters on VC paper will help lower the contrast, but you lose lots of speed, making the paper negative effectively much slower than just using graded paper in the first place.

    I also use RC paper for negatives, as I don't get any noticable paper texture on the resulting contact prints, due to the paper's plastic coating.

    For prints, VC fiber paper is a good choice, offering a great surface finish and control of contrast.

    ~Joe
     
  5. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Also, if you use a filter in camera, the colour translation of the scene into the black and white paper negative is altered. While a paper negative to paper print is only concerned with shades of white/black, a paper negative acts as ortho film. A strong yellow filter, if perfect, would let no green or blue light reach the paper and no image would form. A green filter may give a low contrast image but only of green things.
     
  6. Tom Miller

    Tom Miller Member

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    Take Joe's advice and use grade 2 paper.

    The differences in contrast and sensitivity among VC papers varies widely and it would require testing each to see how it works for you. I use Foma Variant 312 with good results; but others I've tried just don't do it.

    I've also tested yellow filters with contrasty paper and had good success lowering the contrast; but the length of exposure increased by 3 stops or 8 times, which made using these papers too much of a pain to use practically.