Which filters to get for split grade printing ?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Jim Fitzgerald, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I have the urge to do some printing with my enlarger. I recently got an Aristo cold light and want to split grade print. I have a Beseler 45 MCRX enlarger if that makes a difference. Which filters should I get? I have read that you can use yellow and magenta only or blue and green. Which is better? Any suggestions of what to buy? Thanks.

    Jim
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Blue / green or yellow/magenta really aren't any difference.

    Yellow blocks all the blue so it's like a green filter

    Magenta all the green so it's like a blue

    OTOH a blue or a green just let their own colour pass so it looks darker. But the paper shouldn't care.


    Roscoe lighting filters are the best deal. A 20x24 sheet is something like $6. I forget the numbers you need but it's been discussed before so should be in the archives.
     
  3. galyons

    galyons Member

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    Hi Jim,
    Which tube is in your Aristo head? It does make a difference. If the lamp is the W54, its spectrum does not require any extra filtration. Just use VC filters 0 & 5. If it is the older Aristo W45 lamp, then you will need to add extra yellow filtration. I believe Aristo recommends CC40Y for soft. Then you can use standard 0 and 5 VC filters that will fit your rig.

    Split grade is the way to go with the older Aristo head. Trying to get to a specific VC grade is a challenge with cold-light. VC paper and filters were designed to respond to the tungsten light color spectrum. So the "grades" are not evenly spaced and exposure times change.

    Both Ilford and Aristo have good information on their sites.

    Cheers,
    Geary
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I use an Ilford standard 6inch set with this light, which was a great combination with Forte Fiber Polygrade V no longer available. It seems to be working ok with Ilford paper too. I do both split and single filtration depending on the image.
    I also use a green and blue filter set(I got from Calumet on recommendation from others in APUG) #389 for the green and #5083 for the blue (the filters are labeled). A 20 x 24 inch piece is about $8 each, a cheap way to start.

    One benefit of the blue green set is the exposures are shorter than the extreme ends of the Ilford set, probably because of the redness in the high end, and the yellowness of the low end (of the Ilford filters) create neutral density against the V54 blue-green Aristo lamp.

    The only issue that I find with using the blue/green only, is that sometimes the green is too flat, for negs which need a bit more separation in the highlights themselves, which are not affected by the blue filter. Then I use a 0 or 1 from the Ilford set for the low end exposure. Also, I recommend buying a second filter tray from Aristo ($50) if you wind up doing a lot of split printing - saves a lot of time swapping filters.
     
  5. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I should have said that it is the older Aristo light. Not the newer W45. I'll check out the sites and archives for further information. been contact printing quite a bit lately but I have some smaller images that are crying from neglect! Time to get busy printing. Thanks for the advice.

    Jim
     
  6. lee

    lee Member

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    jim,

    Aristogrid recommends adding a 20cc yellow filter to the light path for printing with vc papers with the older light I think. When I split filter print I made up a blue and a green. The blue is a 47b blue and the green is a 58 green. Blue is the hard filter and the green is the soft filter. The softest yellow and the hardest magenta will work also.

    lee\c
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2008
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I tested a few Rosco filters and came up with two layers of the #80 blue and #389 green (single). There are quite a few other combos that will work just as well.

    I use the older style cold-light (W-45). The way it influences split grade printing is that near the high contrast end of the spectrum, small changes in blue exposure have big effects. It can be a little harder to zero in on correct exposure in that end of the spectrum, but the contrast range available is identical or nearly identical to that available with the newer bulb.
     
  8. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    The Roscoe filter package is a great deal. You get a whole whack of filters from purple to red. Since you have the W45 light, you probably will have to stick in a bit of yellow filtration.
    Do you have space to place the filter above the negative? I've never used these filters under the lens but I did read an article once in PT magazine. The author tested if there was any difference in quality when the filter was placed above the negative or below the lens. If I remember correctly, the difference wasn't noticeable. I personally feel comfortable placing the filter above the negative.
     
  9. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Thanks for everyone's help. I have gotten a lot of very useful information and I thank everyone for taking the time to give me their take on this.

    Jim