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  1. #11

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    Well going back to the original question:

    It depends on the contrast index you develop your negatives to. If your standard negatives are developed to soft contrast, then maybe a grade 5 filter won't generate a grade 5 on paper, but with soft developement a grade 00 would easily give grade 00 on paper. Alternatively, if you develop to a high contrast index, the G5 filter would easily give grade 5 on paper but may not give grade 00 on paper using the G00 filter.

    The problem then becomes, if I have one negative developed to a contrast index which gives both g00 and G5 on one paper from one set of filters, will the same negative give G00 and G5 on another paper using the same filter set. It may or may not. That is why you have to test for it if its important to you.
    But if you find the paper which requires the full range of filtration to get a g00 and g5 on paper and all your other papers have a shorter scale and fit within the range, then developing your negs to a contrast index which fits the longest scale paper will also fit all the others. But doing that may affect the hightlight and shadow separation in a desirable or undesirable way on those papers. Again only testing will tell you that.
    Shorter scale means the paper is more sensitive to changes in negative density and filtration changes so the maximum or minimum contrast of the paper is reached sooner than with a longer scale paper.
    That is what Steve Anchells variable contrast printing manual shows you in the graphs which are overlayed.

    [edit]
    But most of those papers are no longer available so the data is only of academic interest. Anyone volunteering to redo the tests with current papers?
    [/edit]
    Last edited by rob champagne; 07-01-2008 at 12:16 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #12
    jp80874's Avatar
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    The light source is a factor also. From personal experience I have learned that Kentmere Fineprint FBVC does not respond well to Ilford 4 and 5 filters when using my older 10x10 Aristo Cold Light head. Kentmere warns of this in their specs. In some cases the contrast is not increased much. In others no information is printed at all.

    John Powers

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp80874 View Post
    The light source is a factor also. From personal experience I have learned that Kentmere Fineprint FBVC does not respond well to Ilford 4 and 5 filters when using my older 10x10 Aristo Cold Light head. Kentmere warns of this in their specs. In some cases the contrast is not increased much. In others no information is printed at all.

    John Powers
    This is why I switched to the Aristo tube that's color corrected for this.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  4. #14

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    Gary, there is no point (IMHO) in using anything less than the 2 extremes of contrast availble (via filtration). The low contrast filter exposure determines the density of your highlight tones. The high contrast filter sets your shadow tones. The tones in between fall into place according to your negative and the times of the G.00 and G.5 exposures. Using other filters instead gives reduced options, not increased options.
    25-30 years ago when we started exploring the concept of split grade filter printing I spent untold hours trying out every conceivable combination of filtrations through the range. Most of it was fruitless although interesting. ( 'Wishful seeing' is always a problem! )
    Objective review of all results revealed what we now know: the best results come from using the extremes of filtration. Inbetween filters are simply the result of combinations of 00 & 5 anyway.
    We have used it for years on my fine printing workshops and the beauty of it is that it is self controlling, matching contrast and exposure regardless of negative and paper.
    The Heiland unit works the same way and I have found no difference in which order you use the filters, although there are theoretical reasons for using 00 first, and pragmatic reasons for occasionally using 5 first.
    (If you want, PM me I can send you details)
    BW
    Tim

  5. #15

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    Tim,
    I am not advocating that anything else other than G0 and G5 are used to do the actual printing. I'm just saying that depending on which paper you use as your standard paper and use in your film speed and dev tests, it is possible that some other papers will not reach G0 or G5 when you do print them with G0 and G5 filters. Not because the paper is not capable of achieving a grade 0 or grade 5 or that the filters are not suitable, but because the neg has not be developed to suit the paper range.

  6. #16
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    You may also want to consider that using grade 0 and 5 for split grade printing may not be what you need. It could well be that you get better results laying the ground work for the highlights with a grade 1.5 or even a 2. I would say that Grade 5 is probably going to be required no matter who you ask, and even if you don't get a full grade 5, like when you use cold light head with Kentmere Fineprint VC (wonderful paper by the way!), you will probably get the maximum contrast the paper can muster with that filter.
    The possibilities with split grade printing are endless. Consider your options, think outside the box. You might even want to use three different filters. Why not?! Dodge and burn at different filter grades. It's all good, as long as you get the results you like.

    Important: Consider the fact that you have the ability to dodge and burn at any filter grade you like. That is the key to why split grade printing is so cool. You can burn in certain areas with a grade 3 filter, if that's what the situation calls for. The possibilities are absolutely endless.

    I was fortunate to listen to Bob Carnie talk at Bill Schwab's place in Northern Michigan last week. He admitted that one of the printers and artists he really respects, Les McLean, used a different technique than him. Both are some of the best printers that walk the earth, and they both get brilliant results, but use different means of getting there.
    Just go to the darkroom and start printing. Stop worrying about the little details. The technique is likely to work just fine, whether you get a full grade 00 to grade 5 or not.
    Have fun!
    - 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

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