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  1. #1

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    printing colour, how to start.

    Hi All,

    At the B&W darkroom I attent are some curtains, and behind those curtains is the mysterious colour darkroom wich is really dark... I would love to print colour but need some starters.

    Here is what I know:
    Printing B&W,
    There are filter tables wich say how to adjust for certain color casts,
    The developing is no problem since there is a developing machine, I only need to expose the paper correctly.

    So my question is how do I start and is there an image on the www of an colour head with filters. (I can't turn on the light in that darkroom since it's always bussy, so no sneak preview).

    And maybe I forgot some things I don't know of, okay obvious one: color paper instead of B&W...

    Thanks!
    Quinten

  2. #2

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    Do you know the model? Any other equipment they may have?

    The head will have three knobs. Yellow,Magenta and Cyan. Assuming you don't have a colour analyzer you start out by setting the head at a filter pack [yellow and magenta usually] that tends to work okay for your paper and film. Set the F/stop and timer. Make a test print. Look at the test print. Ignore the colour. I repeat ignore the colour. Oh the test must be dry for this step. Did I say ignore the colour? Look at the exposure. Is it okay? Too dark? Too light? If the exposure needs to be adjusted then adjust. Repeat with a new test print until you get the exposure right. Then you can look at the colour.

    Kodak paper comes with a starter filter pack. Or at least it did. Easier is to find out what other people using the machine are using for filter settings. You can then use thier settings for a starting point. So it's easier to at first use the same sort of paper they are using.


    Sooner or later you'll know your film exposed in normal light on your favorite paper will need a certain starting filter.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Nick, All B&W enlargers a dursts in various types, as far as I could feel there are different types in the colour doka as well.

    It's good to know two filters are a sutable starting point I thought you should have one for each opposite but not two since a yellow and a blue won't work. Anyway I expect to make mistakes and learn from there, it's just a very basic start that I need.

    cheers

  4. #4

  5. #5

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    When I started I got myself a small notebook. Small enough to fit my pocket. I wrote down everything. Any random thought. You know how you'll try something and then wonder why? Well I wrote it down. On the back of every print I wrote down the filters and exposure. Between everything I ended up with a personal info pack. I could look at a range of prints and see what sort of change I'd get from making different changes. Plus I could go back over things outside of the darkroom.

  6. #6
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    What type of color do you plan on doing? Negatives or transparencies? I will make a difference in the process you use. I have done very little color work with negatives, but have printed Cibachrome (now Ilfochrome) for a number of years, although I haven't done so since I moved to Hawaii.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
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    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinten
    So my question is how do I start and is there an image on the www of an colour head with filters. (I can't turn on the light in that darkroom since it's always bussy, so no sneak preview).
    I'm planning on starting color enlarging myself soon (I'm just waiting to receive a color print processing drum), so I can't yet offer any practical advice; however, to see what color enlargers look like, check these recent eBay auctions:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7558223236
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7564289276
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7564838294
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7564743804
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7565111959

    As Nick says, color enlargers have controls to adjust filtration. These are usually on the head (but not always -- check out the first link). Otherwise they're very much like B&W enlargers, although of course there's a lot of variability in details even within a type of enlarger. Most color enlargers use cyan, magenta, and yellow filtration to provide subtractive color adjustments. A few (again, check the first link) use separate red, green, and blue lights that provide additive color adjustments. In a public darkroom, I'd imagine you're almost certain to find the first type. That's also the type that's described in most books and Web pages on color printing.

    You might want to ask whoever runs the darkroom what brand and model of color enlarger they've got. That way you can look it up on the Web. If you're lucky you'll find a manual -- or maybe you can peruse the manual at the darkroom without actually entering the color room. That should help minimize time wasted trying to figure out some silly detail.

  8. #8

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    Color printing is not that much different from black and white, except that you can't use a safelight and usually process the paper in a tank. If you share a darkroom, try to find an experienced color printer to help you with your first few prints. Getting to your first good print with unfamiliar equipment can be pure hell. You have to find the right color balance and exposure to get it just right. That's why some experienced help is nice for your first couple of tries. After that, its just minor adjustments for different negatives.

  9. #9

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    Thanks all, some interesting info and links.

    The enlargers I can use work with filters (not the blue,red and green lights) And I don't have to worry about processing since that's the job of a michine (I can always learn that manually later, first the exposing.)

    Negatives to start with, (NPS and NPC) I think transparacies will have their own issues for later.

    So I am just going to give it a shot early next week and I might be back with the trouble after that

    cheers!
    Quinten

  10. #10

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    Hi,
    I have a the Kodak darkroom dataguide and inside it there is wall chart for printing color negatives. I will send it to you by email, hope this will help you to adjust the color balance.



 

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