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  1. #11
    Carol's Avatar
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    I'm not an experienced printer, but recently bought Les's book and tried using the 0 and 5 filters for the first time last week. I was very pleased with the result as my prints are nearly always high contrast. I still need lots of practice but it's the first time I've been able to get detail in the shadow and the highlights.

  2. #12
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
    Les
    I would disagree about low contrast negs not working with split. I have used the 5 filter for the majority of the print and then basically flashed in with the 0 filter to add slight tonality where needed.
    When I want a gritty print I use this technique all the time. It works well to bleach and tone after the split printing.
    I get a lot of call for this kind of print and the look is fantastic.

    When faced with a low contrast negative I too use the 5 filter but instead of using grade 0 to add highlight tonality I prefer to use my white light flashing method described in the book. To be fair Bob the method you have described is not really split grade printing although it does clearly produce the desired result.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les McLean
    I've been using the 0 and 5 method for the past 12 or so years and have had very good results. As has already been said it does not work with low contrast negatives so for best results you will need to use quite high contrast negatives. I prefer to establish the highlight tonality by using the 0 filter first and then create the required contrast by applying the 5 filtration second.
    Les, has anybody mentioned that you look a little like David Vestal? How high of contrast negatives would you say are optimal? I almost always produce negatives on the lower contrast end because I am afraid of going overboard and losing important information. Somebody mentioned that you have a book, where can I get a copy?
    EDIT: I have been using the Anchell book.

  4. #14

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    Up until about 3-4 years ago, I had only used graded papers. I started using variable contrast papers to save money and still try several different brands and types of paper. I guess I've been printing with split grade filters for a year or two.

    My negatives are processed to be low-contrast because I like condenser enlargers. There is always some variation, so I use different filter combinations--sometimes 3 different filters instead of two. Sometimes a single filter or no filter works fine.
    Last edited by Lee Shively; 05-10-2005 at 02:28 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: to clarify

  5. #15
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    I am a recent convert to the split grade method partly because of Les’ book and partly from seeing the results others in our monochrome group have obtained. I particularly like the option of being able to burn or dodge using only a hard or soft light. That, to me is it’s most useful feature.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  6. #16
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    I split print because my b&w needs all the help it can get. When i first started doing my own b&w i would bracket the poop out of the shot -- often shooting two sheets per exposure and dividing them up into two piles. I'd dev one set at what I thought was best and adjust for the second. At the cost of 6 or 8 sheets I would get a (as in one) really good neg.

    I should ad that most of my b&w is shot against a black or white background with the subject (usually my wife) wearing dark or light clothing. Add to that a red 25 filter and the greys are at best subtle.

    Split printing allowed me to get pretty close and still have a print I liked.

    I approach it more or less the same as Les. Using a 0 i do a test strip to get the highlights and light mids where I want them and then use a 4, 41/2 or 5 to get the shadows were I want them ( a test strip on top of the 0 exposure). I will then do a full print using the best times for both. More often then not I will need to adjust both down just a hair for the final print.

    *

  7. #17
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omalley
    Les, has anybody mentioned that you look a little like David Vestal? How high of contrast negatives would you say are optimal? I almost always produce negatives on the lower contrast end because I am afraid of going overboard and losing important information. Somebody mentioned that you have a book, where can I get a copy?
    EDIT: I have been using the Anchell book.

    My split grade negatives are very high in contrast but that's not really a good guide for you. I should post a negative in the tech gallery but unfourtunately I'm just finishing my packing for the trip to the US, leave home at 5am for the airport and will not be back until the beginning of July. If I can I'll scan a neg in the US and post it from there.

    I have copies of the book but the cost of postage is high, you should get it from Amamzon
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  8. #18

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    I started printing at the begining of 2002. I quickly started to turn out reasonable(ish) negs but found printing troublesome. My big problem was getting the over all contrast right. I went to an iffy photoshop night class at the local college, but the teacher turned out to be a photographer who's passion was B&W. I took some prints along and asked him if he'd look at them. He went, 'umm aah, err well, yes I'll have a look I guess', well we've all been there. I told him to be straight and tell me exactly what he thought. So he told me my snaps were really quite good but my printing stank. In short he told me I needed much more contrast and I should also look up selenium toner on the internet.

    About the same time B&W photographer in the UK had an article on split grade printing which caught my attention. So for the next 12mnths I split grade printed everything. I quickly learned setting the shadows first worked best for me. Then I bought some selenium and started asking folks on photonet how they used it. Soon I was getting nice punchy prints with loads of detail.
    But as my style is mainly photo-journo and I like to turn out a good few prints for each event or topic I cover, I started to find split grade printing a little slow. But by then I was looking at the split times I was using and how they related to the negs, plus my processing was getting better, so I rarely use it now. Sometimes though when a neg has me on the run, I go back to the split grade technique and it often pulls me out of a hole.

  9. #19
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    I started split filter printing using Les' method from his book-- using 0 then the 5 and I still do that mostly, finding it a good methodical way to arrive at a good print. But sometimes I'll find myself using a mid-range filter and then just pop it slightly with the 5 for that little extra, or after a mid range filter I'll want to switch to the 0 to burn part of the print. After a while its just second nature to use two filters for a print and my sessions don't seem to suffer any major slowdown.

    Also following a suggestion here at APUG and in a recent article of the UK BandW mag, I started using a hard and a soft developer-- usually centrabrom 1+15 and dokumol 1+6. Some people said this would be overkill but I've found that it helped me.
    Best regards,
    James

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les McLean
    I've been using the 0 and 5 method for the past 12 or so years and have had very good results. As has already been said it does not work with low contrast negatives so for best results you will need to use quite high contrast negatives. I prefer to establish the highlight tonality by using the 0 filter first and then create the required contrast by applying the 5 filtration second.
    Les I have your book and been split printing for a year now. When you say high contrast negatives, how much contrast do you mean? What DR? I've tested my paper/developer combination with a Stouffer step wedge and found the ISO Range of 105 (Grade 2) equivalent with 32 secs Green and 8 secs Blue filter exposures with my Aristo VCL4500. I've been developing my film for a DR of 1.05 (Zone VIII-III density). When you say high contrast negative do you mean a negative to be printed on ISO 130 (Grade 3)? All the very best. Bulent

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