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  1. #31
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    (Simplified) It has a layer sensitive to blue and a layer sensitive to green. By using different color light to expose it you get different steepness of contrast all in one sheet. You can make it be anything from 1 to 5 and everything in-between. With graded paper, you get one grade (2 for example) and that's it.

    The variable contrast paper is usually designed so white light gets you a normal grade result. So you probably won't have to worry about it. Just get the cheapest. People who do pinhole photography may have a preference of grade. So ask around. I didn't think there was a strong preference, but pinhole photography is very popular. Maybe there IS some preference.

  2. #32
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    Alright never mind, just read polyglots' post; now i get it. SO, for my project, would RC Variable be the best fit for best and simple results, or would you recommend a certain grade of the RC graded paper?

    A think I'd like to stay away from film for this simple project, but why were the reasons you suggested the film and how would it benefit me?

    Any comments on my post about direct positives?

    -Thanks

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    (Simplified) It has a layer sensitive to blue and a layer sensitive to green. By using different color light to expose it you get different steepness of contrast all in one sheet. You can make it be anything from 1 to 5 and everything in-between. With graded paper, you get one grade (2 for example) and that's it.
    By using " different color light to expose it" does that just mean the different colors which are shown in the scene at which the camera is pointed, or does it mean using a color filter on a lens?

  4. #34
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
    By using " different color light to expose it" does that just mean the different colors which are shown in the scene at which the camera is pointed, or does it mean using a color filter on a lens?
    In the pinhole camera, light from various parts of the scene will have "interesting" effects as the different things in the pictures will have different contrasts. But there will be nothing "wrong". I don't believe it is common to use a filter on the cameras.

    The variable contrast feature in the paper is designed for the darkroom. For example you change the color of the light from the light bulb that you use to make that final print. They make sets of filters that go from rich magenta/purple to strong yellow.

  5. #35
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    The direct positive paper looks like it is just as easy to develop as the RC variable contrast paper. This is a big plus. Neat stuff, worth a serious look.

    The pinhole is critical - you take charge of that and make all the pinholes the same. If kids made pinholes they'd be big and small and there would be more exposure mistakes.

    So you send 5 kids out with 5 pinhole cameras and maybe 3 from the group comes out OK. You could still make copies just the same from one of the prints that came out to another sheet of direct positive paper.

    Your original plan is fine too, if you want to stick to it. You make prints from the best paper negatives. Guaranteed results.

  6. #36
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    I think you got great answers here, and polyglot covered most of it. I too suggest a dry run, and if you jury rig a safelight from a bicycle tail light or something else, you might want to double check that it's okay with your paper. ( I have a red cfl, and it's fine with Ilford MGIV and Adorama brand VC papers, but it fogs the Arista.edu brand VC paper. ) I've used all three in my pinhole cameras with fine results.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    The direct positive paper looks like it is just as easy to develop as the RC variable contrast paper. This is a big plus. Neat stuff, worth a serious look.

    So you send 5 kids out with 5 pinhole cameras and maybe 3 from the group comes out OK. You could still make copies just the same from one of the prints that came out to another sheet of direct positive paper.
    How could I make a positive-copy from a direct positive? Wouldn't I first need to contact print the direct pos. into a negative, and then make several positives from that negative? Or is there an easier way?

    TO ALL: I would loooovvvve a cut&dry answer to my question of which type of photography paper to get for my project as described throughout this forum... At this point I think that I should get between 75 and 100 sheets of 5x7 paper, and am heading toward VC b/c I am not a pro and dont really want to mess with the graded stuff. All I want is a solid print. For VC, do I need "filters" of any type or are they just for special effects. Also, If I do acquire an actual red-filtered safelight, does it matter which brand I get for VC: Arista.EDU? Kentmere? Are you guys familiar with Adox? Or should I not risk it and go with the high quality Ilford?

    THANKS SO MUCH TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO POSTED ON THIS FORUM TO HELP ME OUT!! You guys have been so kind and willing to spend tons of time with my project and for that I am grateful..

    Please continue to post and add tips and suggestions in ANY areas that you see fit.

  8. #38
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    The neat trick with direct positive paper is that every time you use it you make another positive. So when you put the paper in the camera and develop it you get a positive, and if you use the positive paper to print from a positive you get another positive.

    The direct positive paper uses a "red" safelight, which means a bicycle tail lamp or even a common flashlight with a red filter can work, you might even find one at camp already. The other papers use an "amber" safelight which isn't common at hardware stores.

    If you do go with Variable Contrast Resin Coated paper, then you will need to print every shot. No requirement to use filters, those are just refinements.

    With the direct positive paper you might not have to print very many because many of the prints might just come out.

    This kind of paper wasn't very common historically or even a few years back. Direct positive used to require different chemistry, several steps, or was specialized graphic arts material.

  9. #39
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    Bill: the DPP processes identically, but it is FB which is going to be a problem to wash...

    Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
    How could I make a positive-copy from a direct positive? Wouldn't I first need to contact print the direct pos. into a negative, and then make several positives from that negative? Or is there an easier way?
    You would contact-print it onto another positive sheet. However, DPP is high contrast (as are all these papers), which means the copy will be even-higher contrast and basically useless (all detail lost in both highlights and shadows). Best way to copy it is with a photocopier

    Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
    TO ALL: I would loooovvvve a cut&dry answer to my question of which type of photography paper to get for my project as described throughout this forum... At this point I think that I should get between 75 and 100 sheets of 5x7 paper, and am heading toward VC b/c I am not a pro and dont really want to mess with the graded stuff. All I want is a solid print. For VC, do I need "filters" of any type or are they just for special effects. Also, If I do acquire an actual red-filtered safelight, does it matter which brand I get for VC: Arista.EDU? Kentmere? Are you guys familiar with Adox? Or should I not risk it and go with the high quality Ilford?
    Buy the cheapest RC VC Gloss that you can get enough of; personally I would suggest the 100x5x7 Arista.EDU unless the shipping makes another brand cheaper. They are all excellent quality with no risks attaching to any of them. Kentmere has a speed advantage but it's not necessary. Use red LEDs for the safelight and it will be fine for all the brands. Don't buy FB (it's harder to process), don't buy graded (no greens!), get Gloss finish because it will contact-print the cleanest.

    You don't strictly need filters. Filters are intended for darkroom printing when deciding how to interpret a negative onto the print, they allow you to adjust contrast. Exposing the paper directly to scene light is a bit of an abuse and will result in wonky contrasts but there's basically nothing you can do about it with this cheap approach so ignore it. If you want to avoid that problem, use film because that's what's designed to capture a scene.

    If your prints have too much contrast (very likely), use a yellowish filter under the lightbulb when making the prints from the negatives. If your friend has a set of Multigrade filters, try to borrow the #0 filter. You can also try using a yellowish filter in front of the pin-hole to reduce contrast a bit. Consider it advanced technique for trying once you've had a few successes.

  10. #40
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Dangit Polyglot you're right. Why did I think I saw Resin Coated in the description. I must have been wishing.

    clothesontheline, Polyglot's given you the straight scoop... run with it!

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