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  1. #11
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Stefano,

    I just started printing myself a few months ago, and found it simple to use a variable contrast paper.

    Is there no way you can get a set of Ilford filters applied to your system? It would be a lot easier, and a set of grade 00 to 5 is just a couple of dollars. I second that RC papers are a lot easier to deal with. Ilford RC are widely available.

    As a good starting point, i learned from studying Michael Smith and his and Paula Chamlee's web site, to use a certain methodology when printing. Make a judgement, based on negative density and contrast, which grade paper (or filter) to use (comes with experience). Then make one print too dark, and one too bright, and make adjustments accordingly to get the third one right.
    This has saved me a lot of grief, and a lot of wasted paper. It really works.

    Just my 2 cents,

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #12
    brent8927's Avatar
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    Check out Ebay for the multigrade filters; they should be dirt cheap.

    Another vote for Ilford RC paper; I think Ilford will be around the longest of all the B&W companies.
    In the name of God, stop a moment, close your work, look around you. ~LEO TOLSTOY

  3. #13
    sterioma's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody! It look like that RC papers is the way to go now.

    About the multigrade filters, I am not sure how one uses them. The enlarger I have borrowed for some time is is shown at this link link. Can that be equipped with multigrade filters and how?

  4. #14
    brent8927's Avatar
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    I haven't used that enlarger, but unless there is a filter fixed in that little peice underneath the lens, that's where the filters should go; I'm not sure if Ilford makes filters that size, or if you'd have to cut them yourself and find a mount (which you might not need).

    In theory... you could just tape the filter to the lens, or hold it... I use an enlarger in which the filter goes an inch or two above the negative. I think as long as it isn't in contact with the negative (in which case any dust/scratches on the filter would show up on the print) then you can really put the filter anywhere.

    But I think that piece right below the lens is the best place for the filters; unless there was a fixed filter there (usually red I think... so you could put paper under the enlarger and have the enlarger on) then it was built specifically to hold the multigrade (any any other) filters.
    In the name of God, stop a moment, close your work, look around you. ~LEO TOLSTOY

  5. #15

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    I can't tell from the picture--does it have a filter drawer above the negative carrier? If it does, get a set of filters sized to fit the drawer or buy a larger size and trim them to fit.

    If there is no filter drawer, you can still use filters. If the enlarger allows, you can just lift the top of the head (where the light bulb is located) and put your filter on top the condensers. You can also get a kit to attach filters below the lens. Or you can rig up a filter holder below the lens.

    There's lots of ways to use multi-contrast filters.

  6. #16
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    The filters are normally placed above the negative in the enlarger to give the light going through the negative a specific color cast which makes a variable contrast paper 'act' like a specific grade of paper. They are transparent gel sheets of filter in roughly 3-1/2 inches square (can be cut to a size that will fit your enlarger drawer).

    Usually they are inserted into the lamp house in a filter drawer. This means it's OK if they are not 100% clean (of course they should be anyway). Worst case scenario, they can probably be applied right above the lens, or possibly even atop the neg holder. (I have the filter drawer, so I haven't really experimented with it). I'm sure some solution can be find to this pickle.

    Here's a link:
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_pro...t_id=&pid=1563

    Good luck with it.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #17

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    Concerning the filters, try a Google (or other search engine) search on "Meopta Opemus filters" or something to that effect. I didn't see any obvious hits on information on using filters with your specific model in the first few pages when I tried that search, but you might find it if you check out more links or try some variant. (You might try the specific model number, for instance, in quotes.)

    Failing that, filter drawers should be slots or other openings in which things can obviously be inserted. If yours lacks filter drawers, you should be able to jury-rig something, as others have suggested.

  8. #18

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    The least expensive resin coated, variable contrast paper you can find in 8x10. Don't bother with a 25 sheet pack; it's too small. One hundred or 250 sheet boxes of house branded papers from Adorama or Freestyle usually represent the best value here in the US. The Adorama papers are very good despite the bargain price, and rumor has it that the Freestyle Arista brand is the same thing. You will go through a lot of paper in the learning process and no sense in wasting the expensive stuff when the less expensive stuff will do just as well.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano
    The Adorama papers are very good despite the bargain price, and rumor has it that the Freestyle Arista brand is the same thing.
    They aren't the same -- or at least, Freestyle's Arista.EDU Ultra (their lowest-cost paper when I ordered, and probably still today) VC RC glossy paper clearly wasn't the same paper as Adorama's only house brand VC RC glossy paper. Since Freestyle's got several house brands from different suppliers (Arista, Arista II, Arista.EDU, and Arista.EDU Ultra), it's conceivable that one of their other variants is the same as Adorama's single house brand.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy K
    I'll say the Ilford RC papers too. Those are what I started with, and still use. In particular Ilford MG IV RC Pearle.
    I second ,(or 3rd ) andy on this one. Get the multigrade as you WILL be running out and get a set of filters before the first package of paper is gone. Your going to look at that print and say to yourself " If it only had a little more contrast", and you won't be able to wait. You have to have the proper needle to feed the addiction.

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