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  1. #1

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    Color Head Filter Settings for VC Papers

    It seems there are different settings for various papers and enlargers. I remember Omega says to set 100M for Kodak VC grade #3. But it is 55M for Ilford grade #3 with a Saunders 4550 enlarger. Am I missing something?

  2. #2

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    Normally each paper maker gives instructions with the paper for both single and dual filtration and for sets of enlarger groups which gets you close but bear in mind that dual filtration will not give exactly equal exposure times for each grade. You can calibrate for each grade using single filtration but this requires a bit of time.

    You can also check Ralph's Lambrecht's site "Darkroom Magic" where he gives compensating exposures in fractions of a stop for Ilford and Agfa paper to retain the highlight zones of either VII or VIII8.

    Using Ilford filters will give you the same exposure time for grades up to 3.5 and then for grades 4 &5 you need twice the exposure. This makes things simpler as it removes the complication of allowing for different groups of enlargers.

    Do the Ilford filters ensure that the key highlight zone of ZVII or ZVIII remain the same? I don't know but don't worry as my post will only be the first of many on the subject so much more info will emerge


    pentaxuser

  3. #3
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Packages of paper list which filter settings to use for each grade. They are usually divided into several types of color heads and filters. For example from ILford Multigrade Papers: Durst (Max 170M), Durst (Max 130M), Kodak, Meopta
    where
    Durst includes Durst, Dunco, Kaisar, Kienzle, Leitz and Lupa
    Kodak includes Kodak, Advena, Beseler, Chromega, De Vere, Fujimoto, IFF, Jobl, LPL, Omega, Paterson, Simmard, Vivtar
    Meopta includes Meopta
    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

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    Are you expecting all papers to respond to the light equally? No, they don't, never have. Each VC paper is unique in the way it "sees" the contrast light. Plus enlarger light can vary quite a bit, ei: age of bulb, age of filters, dust on the filters, etc. You just have to make adjustments.

  5. #5

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    Color Head Filter Settings for VC Papers

    I just use the Ilford settings as the starting point for all papers.
    Makes things much easier.

  6. #6

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    As suggested above, the paper box should contain the filtration settings for your enlarger. All very well in theory but my experience is that the figures are usually ballpark at best. And if someone has been fiddling with the enlarger internals then all bets are off.
    Best policy is either to use a VC head with a single dial (which is in good working order which you won't know until you get it) otherwise use ilford filters, above or below lens.
    Ilford filters are speed matched to print density 0.3 on ilford MGIV which is around zone 7 or 8. But even that is a wooly concept because paper loses contrast over time and the speed point moves as well.
    Or you could try and calibrate your settings but that is a real PITA and paper still loses contrast over time.
    So to make life really simple get a set of ilford filters.

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Y'all are forgetting that he was asking about using a Dichro head with built-in color filtration as opposed to using below-the-lens "grade x" filters. There are a number of sources out there that list recommended starting filter packs for b/w contrast grades. The beauty of having a dichro head on your enlarger is that if you need Grade 3 3/4, you can dial that in, and you're not limited to just 3, 3.5 or 4.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Y'all are forgetting that he was asking about using a Dichro head with built-in color filtration as opposed to using below-the-lens "grade x" filters. There are a number of sources out there that list recommended starting filter packs for b/w contrast grades. The beauty of having a dichro head on your enlarger is that if you need Grade 3 3/4, you can dial that in, and you're not limited to just 3, 3.5 or 4.
    yes but that is purely theoretical unless backed up with accurate calibration. Now lets see if you can tell him how to accurately calibrate his enlarger Y+M settings to get even spacing between grade changes and with a fixed speed point. These are things that ilford filters do out of the box.
    And a 1/4 grade change is easily obtainable by altering developer strength if you really need to.
    Last edited by litody; 11-06-2012 at 08:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    The filter settings listed by Ilford work very well with Omega and Durst dichroic heads. No reason not to use them if you are using Ilford paper.

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Why do you care?

    I am asking this because the only reason to try to match colour head settings to contrast "grades" is that it gives you a rough guide to how one might obtain similar prints from different enlargers of the same or similar negatives.

    If your intention is to use the same enlarger for all your work, then the printed guides will give some guidance on how much change in contrast will result from certain changes in settings, but otherwise it is the photographer's judgement, perception and preferences that will determine that photographer's chosen settings.

    And as for the so-called "speed-matching" filter settings, they too are rough guides, and only really close if the tone used by the manufacturer to develop them is the same tone as the one the photographer wishes to match.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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