I'm using a Kaiser with multigrade head and a Kienzle T67/69 with digital color head.
I'm aware of the problem, that i can't expect to obtain a real grade 5 with a color head (or even 4, at least not with every paper). But as mentioned, even with white light (no filtration) i only get about grade 0.5, and just about grade 2 with full magenta, which definitely should not be the case with fresh paper.
Well, it's not like you are using a bargain or compact colorhead with limited controls.
One thing I do now that I didn't do before is develop for a full 3 minutes in Dektol 1+2.
-I used to develop 1 1/2 minutes...
Also make sure you give enough exposure to result in several choices of black.
-The scale gives you 21 steps, so any overexposure will simply give you more information.
OK 7-8 clearly distinguishable steps. Plenty of development.
How many of those steps would you want to use? If the last few dark steps are so close together that you wouldn't want your shadows plunged into them... Maybe you shouldn't count them.
Are you getting a full range of tones with you results, albeit at Grade 2, e.g. are shadows muddy at all. If your tones look good it would seem the developer may be ok. I breifly had an LPL enlarger with the multigrade head which appeared fine, but I also could not get beyond @ grade 2 at the maximum setting.
Also, are your bulbs ok, a spent halogen bulb won't bring any joy.
Regards, Mark Walker.
Hard to tell, but i wouldn't say that the darkest or lightest steps are too close together. If i center the exposure around step 11, i get three to four nicely graduated steps before max. black as well as towards paper white, using full magenta filtration.
Originally Posted by Bill Burk
I will wait until i have the Dektol mixed, and might try to find someone who can borrow me an Ilford MG filter set to make some comparative test.
Tones look good, as far as i can tell. But as the problem is exactly the same with both enlargers, i don't think it's an enlarger issue at the moment. And as i said: white light results in grade 0.5 (+/- a little) which shouln't be the case even if the magenta filtration is too weak.
Originally Posted by chimneyfinder
I'd keep an eye out for a CC 40 or CC 50 Magenta filter. That would be a good thing to throw in the drawer if you have one... That way you can use the colorhead + magenta to get the full range (instead of sometimes using MG filters and other times using colorhead - which I would find frustrating)
Originally Posted by mcilroy
Sure, if it really turns out to be a color head issue, i will have to look for some permanent and convenient solution. The MG Filters would just be interesting for some comparisons (full magenta compared to #5 Filter, full Yellow compared to #0 and no filtration compared to #2).
On what basis have you concluded that without filtration you are only getting 0.5 grade? Without filtration of any kind most papers and certainly Ilford will give you grade 2.
As you say that your developer is fine and presumably your exposure is correct and paper is fresh, I wonder if your conclusions from your step wedge is wrong or is it a question of a different set of perceptions about what each grade looks like.
There is no way that unfiltered MG paper should be grade 0.5. A grade 0.5 print from a properly exposed neg should be very soft and grey looking and without any real blacks and yet you say that the blacks are OK?
I am very puzzled
In my first post of this thread i mentioned this article:
Sure, without a refection densitometer it is hard to tell exactly which grade one actually gets. But as far as i understood it, counting the number of clearly distinguishable steps between max black and paper white will at least tell me the grade within a reasonable amount of accuracy.
Using no filtration, I counted 9-10 steps, which according to the article corresponds to 1.35-1.50 log ER or roughly grade 0.5 (1.40 log ER).
And prints do indeed look too soft, but getting real black is of course just a question of exposure time with any negative and grade, when we ignore highlight exposure.
In this recent thread we discussed how you need a scale that reaches 150 or 170 to dial in Magenta for high grades - use the most you can get. OP in this thread could only go up to 100.
I don't exactly know how to measure the density of a magenta filter, but I took a #4 filter and put it under the green dot on my densitometer, it measured over 2.50
So I think a CC 100 Magenta would be awesome to add...
I also think this may be a matter of interpretation. The standards are based on a specific range, somewhere like 4 to 96%... and mcilroy, you're using eyeball to interpret. So you could be counting a higher number than technically getting.