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  1. #1

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    Color Balancing Question

    I have been doing color RA-4 printing for a short period of time and want to
    know if you stick with the same brand of film,(Fuji), but use different
    types,( Superia or Reala CS); does your basic filter pack change much?

    Thanks,
    Rob.

  2. #2
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    Rob;

    In theory, it should not. With Kodak negative films, it does not. With Fuji films, I have found a greater fluctuation in filtration than I would like, but I have not used any for about 2 years.

    Kodak negative films have been made with approximately the same speed relationships for nearly 50 years. Just as with silde films that must reproduce a daylight or tungsten scene with the right balance, the negative films are made to print at about the same center point.

    Fuji films should follow the same model, but for quite a few years, I tracked a speed drift back and forth in their films which had no real adverse effect other than to cause the printing pack to vary more.

    A color analyzer would detect this problem quickly and clue you in as to what change to make. But, outside a certain range, the analyzer can fail to give the right pack.

    PE

  3. #3
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    The greatest problem here is not the film itself, but the quality of the light involved. I've been trying to think of an ... "If you were to use ... ", example, to demonstrate the least possible variability in the color balance of the negative/ positive ... but outside of "copy stand" work (and even then ...), I really can't come up with one worthy of consideration. Everything will affect the color, from the color of the walls and ceiling, to the clouds or lack of them in the sky - and the time of day, latitude and longitude of the location, to the age/ power consuption of the flash tubes and hot lights.

    The variability of the color paper is another consideration... From MY experience (n.b.. "My") the paper with the least lot-to-lot and size-to-size (probably the same thing) variation was Ilfocolor... and that conclusion was based on a great deal of objective testing. Neither Agfa nor Kodak came close to the stablilty and uniformity of Ilfocolor.

    Another factor lies in the processing and chemistry. Each brand of chemistry, Photocolor, Tetenal, both in film and print processing ... etc, produced different results in color balance....

    A lot of these problems were minimized with the use of a Color Analyzer in the darkroom.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #4
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    Ed;

    I have printed Ektachrome, Kodachrome, Agfachrome and Fujichrome on Ciba/Ilford color paper and found that with an identical scene under strict laboratory control, each film required a different filter pack. Ilford's instructions even comment on this, as does the noted textbook "The Complete Guide to Cibachrome Printing" by Krause and Shull.

    Each batch also has a starting pack on it which may vary.

    So, based on my own lab experience under controlled conditions, and the evidence of the textbook sitting next to me.... I guess unless there has been a huge change in recent years, I would have to respectfully disagree with you.

    Also, since the mid 70s, both Fuji and Kodak have supplied papers with fixed speeds so that the filter pack will not shift significantly from paper batch to paper batch. Since then, this level of control has only improved.

    AAMOF, since that time, the only major bump has been with the introduction of the new Endura papers where Kodak increased overall speed and changed the ratio of R/G/B speeds. This is clearly noted on the boxes and in a stuffer in each of the earlier packages. They made this change in two incremental steps to minimize effects in the industry, but it was done for better color reproduction and faster printing speeds.

    PE

  5. #5
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    As a post script to the above, and based on recent posts regarding Fuji CA II paper, there is either a change in that products speed ratios giving a different starting filter pack, or an interaction with the older RA chemsitry. In a paper, Fuji has stated that their new CAII paper is incompatible with the old RA chemistry and process.

    PE

  6. #6
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Ah - a respectful disagreement. No problem - everyone is "entilted".

    Uh .. did you disagree with everything I said, - or just specific ideas?

    You did notice the, "n.b. My", didn't you?

    I know about the "color printing information" supplied with the paper. If only all enlarging dichro heads were calibrated to produce the SAME light, they would be meaningful.
    My Omega D5500 uses an "EYA" lamp - 82v, 200w. I think ~ 3600K(??) when new, under ideal conditions. I am SURE that the color temperature of this lamp is *NOT* the same as all other enlarging lamps. As a matter of fact - it is fairly easy to note the change in color temperature as the lamp ages.


    So ... I think the Metrology Lab characterization applies: "We are trying to measure Jello with springs..."
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #7
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    Yes, Ed, I noticed your "nb". I also think that you might have noted that my results were obtained in the equivalent of a Metrology Lab. We did sensitometric exposures and then constructed H&D curves under the most exacting conditions using varying light sources.

    I got tired running Cibachrome/Ilfochrome. In fact, I ended up coating some of my own dye bleach material.

    In any event, these are personal experiences of two people who have gotten different results. In photography, all results are valid if they work for the individual in question. So who am I to complain about it. I may disagree, but if it works, it is right.

    PE

  8. #8
    jd callow's Avatar
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    To the original question...
    In theory maybe. Not in practice.

    If the box speed is the correct speed you can do the following to prove that filter packs change within a given film on the same paper. Let alone a family of film.

    Under diffused or in direct light shoot a model holding a grey card one frame at the box speed, one at 1/2 the box speed and a third at twice the box speed.

    Print the box speed frame so that the grey card on the print matches the actual grey card. Then using the same filter pack print the other two frames. You can adjust the exposure time, but not the filter pack. From my experience the grey card will be cold on the twice the box speed print and warm on the 1/2 box speed print. Both can match the grey card and produce an acceptable print, but the filter settings will need to change.

    It might be that you can find a great starting point for any given film / paper combination, but each roll and frame will generally require its own settings.

    Unless you are shooting under very controlled conditions and your subject is always illuminated in the same manner there will be changes.

    *

  9. #9

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    I would expect that changing manufacturers will cause a change, changing films from one manufacturer's film to another say Kodak Gold of 100 speed, if still available, to Kodak Ultra 400 will cause a change. Kodak Ultra 100, for instance, from one lot may well be more influenced by what happens after they leave the factory but prior to your buying it, then what happened within Kodak's control. Different lots of the same film and paper may have very subtle variations. The same can be said for your chemistry and processing. So buying your film from a supplier that turns over his inventory quickly and cold stores it is helpful as is specifying that you want all of the film to be from the same emulsion batch.
    If ordering thru the mail it can be helpful to order in the winter time so that your film does not get treated to being baked in the back of the UPS truck.

    BUT:the major variations are due to what you do with the film and to a lessor degree of paper. Only thru the very careful use of a color temperature meter and filters would it be possible to control color balance from one negative to another from say 8 am for one shot lit by direct sunlight to a 1 pm scene lit by only skylight to a 7pmm shot lit sun or skyand you may not want them to have the same color balance.. Having good and consistent exposure control is very helpful. It is very easy to cause difference in the printing characteristics thru negative processing..easy to ruin negatives thru gross sloppiness too. Control of voltage when enlarging is important as is control of paper processing...not too terribly difficult though.

    So I would recommend that you stick with as few variations in this whole chain as is possible. Keep it as simple and straighhtforward as you can in tune while doing what your personality allows while taking photos of what interest you.

    There is one very important word of advice I have for you: Persistance.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  10. #10
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I think I agree with Ed on this one.*on a practical side*

    I have ciba, fuji , kodak on site and print with all the different materials

    The ciba product filtration rarely changes from box to box, the different contrast papers do have different filtrations but within contrasts they stay equal.

    I believe on a practical note , because a transparancey is usuallly colour corrected by the photographer before it reaches the enlarger , there is basically only density and contrast issues to follow .

    5 cyan 0 yellow and 10 magenta have been my printing pack for ilfochrome classic CLMK for years

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