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  1. #1
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    Pretty confused with the choice of printing paper.

    I am an absolute beginner in printing, what confuses me right now is how to achieve the tonal ranges with graded paper and Variable Contrast paper.

    I was watching some videos and learned that

    - Split-grade printing is one method to achieve the full-tonal range with Variable Contrast papers.

    Now, if I choose not to go with Variable contrast papers how can I achieve the tonal range with graded(0-5) papers.
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

  2. #2

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    Dear Baachitraka,

    Firstly, PM me your home address and I will send you the MULTIGRADE Printing manual that will help.

    Variable contrast papers, both FB and RC are the easiest to use, especially if your are looking for a full range of contrast grades, as in graded paper virtually no grade 0 or grade 5 is now made.

    Also, if you are just starting out, no paper on earth can make up for a bad neg...work to get a negative to print at grade 2 or grade 3 first...

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  3. #3
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    With graded papers, you have to choose the box with the right grade of paper for a certain negative. And if it still doesn't look good, you will have to use different developer combinations or a water bath to achieve "inbetween grades". I am not sure if there are any graded papers left that has the full range (0-5) - I think the most you can get nowadays is grade 2 and 3. In this case you will have to expose and develop the negatives to match the paper grade.

    Start off with evenly exposed rolls of film, carefully developed and you will find they print with grade 2 or 3 quite easily. That's my experience anyway. What film or developer you use is of little importance, as long as you stick with the combination for a while to get the basics down.
    Last edited by Jerevan; 12-19-2011 at 04:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  4. #4
    guitstik's Avatar
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    Simon, I would wager that there are a bunch of people here that would be interested in that PDF myself included. Would it be possible to make it available to the masses?
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  5. #5
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    ...that means, I must fully know about my negatives(density/densitometry) if I choose the graded paper for printing. Sounds complicated, if it is true.
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

  6. #6
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    No, you don't need a densitometer, but you have to match the paper to the negative, by trial and error (which is the same procedure as with the variable papers but you do that with just one box of paper).

    I think people who use graded papers are either old coots (just kidding!) or use large format cameras where you can develop each negative individually, compared to a roll of film which has to be "averaged" in the developing stage, if you see what I mean.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  7. #7
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    I think, I will stick to Split-grade printing with VC papers.
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

  8. #8

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    Dear Guitstik,

    We cannot do a PDF as we obviously honour photographers copyright which was for 'book' publication. and they illustrate the various effects of grade changes and are integral to the book, If you want to PM me your address I will happily post you a copy.

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

    ILG

  9. #9
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon R Galley View Post
    Dear Guitstik,

    We cannot do a PDF as we obviously honour photographers copyright which was for 'book' publication. and they illustrate the various effects of grade changes and are integral to the book, If you want to PM me your address I will happily post you a copy.

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

    ILG
    I would to receive a copy too, but would like to send you my address as a private message. Is that okay?
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

  10. #10
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Split grade printing is a technique that isn't exactly for beginners. You are actually better off learning how to target a single grade of paper contrast in your film development.
    It isn't that hard to do, and you will learn a lot more about correct film contrast and film development, which ultimately will make your split grade prints look even better - when you get around to it.

    I can tell you from experience that I'm very surprised just how many of my negatives to my fairly high standards with just a single grade filter in the enlarger.

    I don't wish to discourage you, but doing split grade printing without knowing single grade printing is a bit like learning to swim before knowing you can float.

    Either way, have fun!

    - Thomas

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