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  1. #1

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    Starting Color Pack for Crystal Archive C

    I just got some Fuji Crystal Archive "C" to try my hand at color printing. Everything I have read says the box should contain a sheet with a recommended starting filter pack. The box has no such sheet and I can't find anything on the outside.
    Any ideas on what I should use as a starting point for my standard negative?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  2. #2
    jd callow's Avatar
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    there is no starting point. Correct colour balance will change with every neg you put in the enlarger any one enlarger will differ from the next. If you've not done this before then I'd recommend starting at 50 magenta, 50 Yellow and 0 Cyan. Do a test strip of 3 - 5 sec.s per exposed strip (just like b&w) and find the best density. Once you have the density you can then start adjusting the filter pack to achieve colour balance. As you deviate from the 50, 50, 0 filter pack you may need to adjust the length of the exposure to compensate for the difference in filter density.

    *

  3. #3

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    If the information about the sheet with a suggested starting point is from books, magazines, or perhaps even online references, it's probably just dated. I've only been doing color enlarging for about a year and a half, so I'm not personally familiar with materials from decades past, but my understanding is that there was much more variation from one emulsion batch to another than there is today, so manufacturers used to perform tests and provide suggested starting points for the benefit of users, so that if a user had a color analyzer or used the same film consistently, that user would know how much to adjust filtration for a new batch of paper. With less batch-to-batch variability in paper, there's less need for this today. You will, however, have to deal with film-to-film variability, particularly if you don't consistently use the same brand and type of film.

    On another matter, there are a lot of tools and techniques to help you nail down a good filtration setting for color printing. One technique I use is to print a series of tests with different settings on a single sheet of paper. I've got a test-print easel with eight removable blocks, so I can fit eight exposures on an 8x10 sheet. I use two for fine-tuning exposure and I vary the cyan, magenta, and yellow filtration up and down for the remaining six. I expose the same section of the photo (ideally something with a fairly neutral tone) in each of the eight areas, which makes for easy comparison. With any luck one of the exposures will be exactly right, or it'll be obvious that the correct point lies somewhere predictable (between the starting point and one of the six deviations from it, for instance). With less luck it's sometimes necessary to take a guess and run another test print.

  4. #4
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    Recommend Kodak Color Print Viewing Filters

    When I started doing colour (this will date me) it was EP-2 process. I still have the viewing filters that I bought to aid in judging where the filtration should be going from way back then. Back then I used filters in a slot under heat absorbing glass in a Beselar 23II, and a gralab 300 to time things.

    In a card packed with the filters it gave a table of the density of each of the filters that might be in a pack. Most yellows were 1.1 as I recall, although you might have up to three yellow filters. The changes in magenta were where the big time variations came in. I would pull out my pocket calculator and if the last print was ok in density, figure out

    Today I have a dichroic omega, so changing the filter pack isn't the pain that it once was, and use a colourstar analyser/timer that can automatically adjust the exposure time as filtration is varied.

    With all these toys, I still use the viewing filters. And I still keep (at least for a few weeks) the screwed up test prints with the filtration and time information recorded on the back. I three ring punch them and insert them into the same binder that I keep my printing log notes in.

  5. #5

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    The starting filter pack varies with different enlargers but generally with no cyan, some magenta and somewhat more yellow filtration. I would shoot the gray card and then making a test strip to get the exposure time about right first. Then I make a few ring around prints. I measure the print with a color densitometer and making the filter adjustment about half of the difference.

  6. #6
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    With a normal enlarger using a 35mm negative and the appropriate condenser or diffuser, you should try 50R at 10" about f 5.6 - 11. This is with a well exposed negative.

    Contrary to popular belief (myth), color negative film is speed controlled and daylight balanced just like reversal film, and should use a consistant filter pack from batch to batch with paper. Also, modern papers are speed controlled as well. Ektacolor 70 paper / EP-2 process was the first speed controlled color paper produced.

    Earlier papers varied.

    Both Kodak and Fuji introduced higher green speed in the Endura and CA liines of paper which caused a one-time jog in filtration, but once that took place the speeds were again constant.

    For those of you who have visited me, I have shown you some of the albums of prints made at a fixed filter pack covering over 50 years of photography and the average deviation is about 10R overall. I do all of my proofs with a fixed exposure for just this purpose.

    PE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    With a normal enlarger using a 35mm negative and the appropriate condenser or diffuser, you should try 50R at 10" about f 5.6 - 11. This is with a well exposed negative.


    PE
    Hi PE,
    Thanks for the tip - this what I was looking for - a starting point for my first ever color print. The only thing is, I believe my filters are CMY, not RGB. I assume 50R corresponds to a combination of M and Y filtration correct? Would it be 50M + 50Y or something like 25M +25Y?

    BTW for more information, I am printing with a Bessler MX-45 with a condenser head and some color printing filters. I also have an Arista cold light head, but it is an old one with the older bluish bulb in it and I suspect it may not be appropriate for color printing.

    Thanks,

    Dan

  8. #8
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Fuji paper and Kodak paper differ substantially in the starting point, but once attained should be fixed.

    50R = 50Y + 50M. I believe that Fuji will probably use about 1/2 of that from recent reports, but I'm not sure. What I gave you is for current Endura.

    PE

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Fuji paper and Kodak paper differ substantially in the starting point, but once attained should be fixed.

    50R = 50Y + 50M. I believe that Fuji will probably use about 1/2 of that from recent reports, but I'm not sure. What I gave you is for current Endura.

    PE
    PE,
    Thanks for the help - I'll give that a try. One other question, the documentation for the RA-4 developer gives storage times for open tanks (1 week) and for tanks with floating lids ( 8 weeks ). Any idea on the keeping time in full tightly stoppered glass bottles.

    Thanks,

    Dan

  10. #10

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    In my expierence if the bottle is really full it'll keep quite a while. The more air space the shorter the time. If you're using drums this isn't an issue. Just make it up in small batches.

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