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  1. #1

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    Variable Contrast Paper question...

    Hi:

    I'm fairly new to VC papers having been a graded man for 25 years.

    Is it possible to first get a good exposure and then give it a short burst at Grade 5 to beef up the blacks? I can't quite seem to get the luscious blacks I was used to with my old favorites, Elite and Seagull. And if so, is there an order to do it in (burst first or burst last)?

    Thanks,

    Rich
    Photographs by Richard M. Coda
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    "Speak softly and carry an 8x10."

  2. #2

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    In short, yes. There are all sorts of methods for split-grading; even read here about folks who print strictly by splitting with 1 and 5. Never tried it myself.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Look at Les McLeans website, he has an article there about split grade printing.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    Split filtration is not difficult to do with a little practice and familiarity with the materials. If all you need is a little more zip to the print, using a No. 5 filter for a portion of the full exposure will do nicely. I always start with the low contrast filter and follow with the higher contrast. I really don't think it matters much in which order they're done.

  5. #5
    matti's Avatar
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    I suppose it would be the same as using a harder filter to begin with. I had difficulties getting good blacks with Ilford multigrade developer and when I changed to Dektol I got the blacks I wanted and the muddy feeling was gone.
    /matti

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matti View Post
    I suppose it would be the same as using a harder filter to begin with. I had difficulties getting good blacks with Ilford multigrade developer and when I changed to Dektol I got the blacks I wanted and the muddy feeling was gone.
    /matti
    That's more about print tone/colour.

    Multigrade developer is a slightly warm-toned developer, while Dektol is far colder toned.

    Ian

  7. #7
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    What VC paper, developer, and light source combination are you using?

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  8. #8

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    Oriental VC and Ilford Warmtone (for warmer images)... Ethol LPD developer (dilutions based on tone)... currently using my friend's enlargers until my darkroom is re-assembled. He has Durst Lab184 and a Saunders LPL. I have a Beseler 8x10 with Aristo VCL8100.
    Photographs by Richard M. Coda
    my blog
    "Speak softly and carry an 8x10."

  9. #9
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if, in addition to split-grading, flashing VC paper will help you get the blacks you are looking for. Anyone try this approach? Maybe something I could try this weekend.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  10. #10
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Hi Richard,

    I asked for the above information because it'll give APUG'ers more knowledgeable than I some idea of your process.

    When I switched to VC paper I went with Multigrade IVFB and it took a while to equal my old prints on Zone IV Brilliant graded paper. One developer I tried that ended up having too much snap-and-sizzle for my kind of moisture laden rain forest photographs was Ansco 130. You might want to give that a try as it should land you a nice rich black without having to add additional exposure.

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

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