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  1. #1

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    Color balancing is impossible!

    I got back into color processing and I am using a jobo cpe2. Works well. I have a beseler 45 dichro.

    I have professionally developed negatives from a roll of film with professionally done prints although I am sure the negatives where scanned prior.
    The prints are perfect in balance!
    I went through 15 8x10s already and cant balance the color! It is a group of family members standing indoors in front of a gray stone fireplace with white walls, and a few white tshirts. When i get the yellowish or blue out of the walls and tshirts, the gray stone fireplace mantle and beige carpet are magenta. I am ready to give up. Tried every combo and i cant get like the professionally done print..it is spot on!! I tried cutting back magenta, then yellow, then both subtract and add..ugh!
    I need a good print so I can program my analyser so I dont have to go through this again. How do the labs do it? There has to be a method that works.

  2. #2

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    Your process may be far enough away from the standard process that it introduces crossovers that will make color balancing impossible.

  3. #3
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Start with everything that touches the chemicals clean, really clean. Mix the chemical fresh following directions exactly.
    Last edited by Sirius Glass; 01-19-2015 at 12:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  4. #4
    bvy
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    Make a test print of any filtration today. Put everything away. Come back in a day or two and try to make the exact same print (same filtration, exposure, developer time and temperature, everything). Do they match? If not, you're chasing your tail and may have to work on making your process consistent.

  5. #5

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    All brand new kodak RA. Brand new fuji crystal archive. Everything is clean.
    I use 30 second prewet
    60 second developer
    30 second stop (indicator stop from B and W..same strength)
    30 second wash
    60 second blix
    3 minute tray wash
    All liquids from start to finish are 95 degrees.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by markd514 View Post
    I have professionally developed negatives from a roll of film with professionally done prints although I am sure the negatives where scanned prior. The prints are perfect in balance! I went through 15 8x10s already and cant balance the color!
    Hi, something to keep in mind - since the lab printed from scans, there's no way to know how much manipulation was done. Said differently, you don't really know if it is possible to get perfect color on a straight optical print. Perhaps it IS possible, and the problem is on your end, but it's hard to know for sure.

    I would be suspicious that it's a problematic negative since you say it's an indoor group shot. If it was not professionally lit so as to overpower ambient light sources, various ambient light colors may be coming into play.

    Quote Originally Posted by markd514 View Post
    How do the labs do it? There has to be a method that works.
    I've spent quite a bit of time with high volume pro lab work, and kinda' know my way around this sort of thing. To start with, a pro lab already knows that their print process is nailed down. They would know that the developing time and temperature meets the process specs, and that the activity level is proper based on running pre-exposed test strips from the manufacturer (aka, process control strips), and that they are using a compatible (with the film) paper. Once the lab makes a reasonably balanced test print, they can presume that any color discrepancies are faults with the negative. I doubt that you can be so confident in your process, so it's hard to know for sure where the problem is.

    If I were in your shoes, I think I'd be inclined to shoot my own reference negatives. I'd use a known-good film, meaning a fairly fresh pro-level film (older film is fine, as long as you know that the storage conditions were ok). I'd shoot some portraits under a controlled lighting situation, perhaps under studio lighting conditions or outdoors with reflectors, etc. Then you have to know that the film is properly processed; ideally the lab could show you a current plot of control strips (and explain what it means). This ought to give you some good reference negatives, and you can test your printing process with these negs.

    If the lab that processed your film is nearby, you might stop by and talk with them about the situation. Perhaps they'll evaluate some of your prints for you (be suitably humble and thankful). Perhaps the'll offer to give you some old reference negs they have laying around somewhere, or who knows what. Best wishes.

  7. #7

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    Thanks Mr Bill

  8. #8
    Athiril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markd514 View Post
    All brand new kodak RA. Brand new fuji crystal archive. Everything is clean.
    I use 30 second prewet
    60 second developer
    30 second stop (indicator stop from B and W..same strength)
    30 second wash
    60 second blix
    3 minute tray wash
    All liquids from start to finish are 95 degrees.
    Here is what happens to Fuji Crystal Archive II paper.

    A grey strip is printed from base exposure, it is read by densitometer, and the paper is calibrated, either by the digital image values, or by the exposure values at the exposure head.

    The colour balance on the paper on Fuji is different to Kodak iirc, and when I looked at a 'raw' print of a scale last, colour balance swung from one way to the other on Fuji. Though that could have been other issues. Maybe try taking a b&w photo of a grey scale card (just print one up or something or display it on the screen, it'll be b&w on the b&w film), and try printing that onto your paper.

    See if the grey scale has the same colour cast from highlights to shadows.

  9. #9

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    here is a foolproof way to get precise color balance, and a technique I have been using successfully for many years: get a reflection densitometer. With every roll of film you shoot, include a picture of a grey card. With the reflection densitometer read the grey card on the print; adjust the color balance until you read approximately 0.80/0.80/0.80 for the cyan magenta and yellow.

  10. #10

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    You have given us nothing specific about the film itself, or the actual exposure conditions. That's just the starting point.

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