Since Les is on his way to the US, I will answer from my experience. I develop my negatives for enlargement on silver to a density range of 1.35. These will then also work for contact printing on Grade three Azo if I choose. My enlarger is a Durst 138S with condensors.
Originally Posted by Bulent Ozgoren
I have found, in my experience, that Ansel Adams targeted densities no longer apply in my practice.
Bob, i belive flashing does not count as split-filter printing but if it works for you.
I usually tend to get high contrast negatives (need to be printed in grade 1 or 0) instead of low contrast (need to be printed in grade 3.5+). I don;t have a densitometer but use an EM10 as a guide for the paper grades I need and all.
Low contrast negatives are a lot less problematic and can be handled easier.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
Mama took my APX away.....
As I understand a split print is when you use 2 or more filters to achieve a image that you are happy with therefore once again I disagree.
Original scene, lighting conditions, film developer choices , will determine the type of negative one ends up with.
If I decide to start with the 5 filter and soften the look with the 00 filter I still think I am making a split print.
There are numerous ways to approach this and I prefer to use the range of filters at my disposal to accomodate the negative that I am working with.
that is why I like the three filter method where one gets a good balance for the midtones and uses the 00 and 5 for increase or decrease of local contrast.
I have been using the 0 and 5 method from the day I started VC printing and I have gravitated to this three filter method as it is the most satisfactory way of printing my and others negatives.
I do not like the overall non - negative flash as you suggest . I prefer the modulation (or seperation that the original negative gives in the two extremes white light flash basically dulls the highlights and I prefer seperation to happen, using the original camera negative. I have not read your book therefore you may have delved into these areas but I am speaking off the cuff on how I approach a negative in the darkroom.
If I could go back to my contrast mask days for cibachrome , I always made a highlight pre - mask before I made a overall contrast reducing mask as I did not want to grey down the highlighs when printing. I like the fact that the highlight mask would seperate the speculars as well as the highlight section.
If I think of the 0 and 5 scenerio as described by others on this thread , I think what is happening that by using this method one zero's in on a contrast that is most suitable for any given negative*think of the people here using dichroic heads to achieve a final balance and you will get what I am talking about.* basically with this method one can achieve a 2.25 grade using the yellow and magenta dials.
I prefer to use the split method to accent the image in the extreme areas and print normally for the mid tones.
The beauty of split printing is that one can manage a negative no matter how hard or soft it is. Yes if in the real world every negative you printed had the same contrast range , boy would it be easy , also very boring.
Bob, I think there was some confusion over the word "flash". I think you mean you gave a minimal, short exposure through the negative with the 00 filter - I think Les took it to mean "flash" the paper - as in to give the print an overall exposure with no negative in the carrier - hence the "that's not split printing" remarks.
Do you have a methodology for using a middle grade filter to get the initial exposure or is it purely a case of experience, or the old "expose for the highlights (mid-highlights in this case?) and grade for the shadows (mid-shadows?) and then accent with the 00 and 5? Hope that flurry of parentheses and question marks makes sense...
I am using the split grade technique in combination with the Heiland split grade controller which makes the practical use and time consuming test strips superfluous.
In one measurement the system measures the exposure time and gradation and is calculating automatically with the pre-programmed VC paper, film and developer the exact paper exposure time and switched automatically the 00 and 5 filter or vice versa, ratio times with a shutter so that the HLX light source has also no influence (specially on short times) so also maximum reproducibility.
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You are right , I do give the exposure*flash* with the negative in . sorry if it was not clear.
when printing with three filters.
I try to pick a middle filter that is slightly lower *contrast* than what I would normally use for one filter printing. As well my main exposure is a bit on the light side as opposed with the density I would select for a one filter print.
As well if the negative is very flat I will pick an filter that is slightly contrastier than what I would use with one filter printing and again make the density slightly lighter.
When I then hit the second filter exposure * whether it be 00 or 5* I know my density will come into place , with dry down in consideration.
IMHO this is the best way to split print as you can control the midtones, shawdows and highlights to a very exacting way.
"As I understand a split print is when you use 2 or more filters to achieve a image that you are happy with therefore once again I disagree."
That's just what you do with multigrade paper anyway.
When printers talk about 'split grade printing', they mean the main exposure is made with the 00 and 5 filters, subsequent burning cam be with any grade.
Paper flashing, as I understand it, is exposing the paper to a contolled amount of light (with no negative in the way), to help control contrast. I've also heard it said that if the paper has had a little pre-light it is more lightly to respond to further light (it needs a little kick to get going). I should add that while I'm competent at split grade printing, I'm far from an expert on paper flashing.
Density range (DR) of 1.35: Is this Zone VIII density minus Zone III density? Furthermore I develop my negatives in Pyrocat-HD and measure densities from the green and blue channels and take the average densities as follows:
Originally Posted by Donald Miller
I have tested negatives for a DR of 1.35 with this method and the prints are harsh (too contrasty).
Originally Posted by Bulent Ozgoren
No.... density range as it is normally meant is the high value density minus the low value density (not minus FB+fog). I measure my densities using the blue channel only.
It appears that, from what you have stated, that you are using Zone sytem procedures...I no longer use the Zone system preferring BTZS to that earlier system.
According to Dick Arentz (BTZS practioneer), in his Platinum & Palladium printing book, 1st edition page 19.
Originally Posted by Donald Miller
In calculating negative values with a transmission densitometer, both the useful highlight (Zone VIII) and the usuful shadow densities (Zone III) are measured. After simple substraction, the difference is determined, which represents all the intermediate values. This is the Density Range of the negative.