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  1. #1

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    When to split print?

    I've studied split printing with Howard Bond and Les McClean. I know how, but I still can't figure out when to split print. What kind of negs benefit most from split printing?
    Charlie Murray

  2. #2

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    Split printing works best for negatives that are contrastier then normal.

  3. #3
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    Let me jump into this discussion:

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Split printing works best for negatives that are contrastier then normal.
    Why it is the case, I wonder...

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi

  4. #4
    lee
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    I use split printing for all negs in my process

    lee\c

  5. #5
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    Always. Why not? Saves time and paper for me. I get the base time and grade in two test strips. The ability to dodge hard or soft grades only is the other major advantage.

    Cheers, Bob.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinnya
    Let me jump into this discussion:



    Why it is the case, I wonder...

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi

    If you will think of it this way, a negative that is flat (taking it to the extreme) will not benefit from split printing since only only the high contrast (hard) filtration would be used.

    Aside from the benefits of split burning a split filtered print can be equally printed with single filtration. In saying that I realize that there will be some that disagree with my statement...I will just say that my experience substantiates my statement.

    Les Mclean has stated that his negatives are normally contrastier then normal for very good reason.

  7. #7

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    As others have said, the big advantage is to be able to tailor filtration for different areas of the print to be burned in.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  8. #8

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    I find that split printing works best when I want to isolate dodges or burns for only the low contrast or high contrast aspects of the print. In other words if I want to keep the tonal value of the highlights bright in a certain section of the image, without also knocking down the shadow value in that same spot, I can choose to split print the image and only dodge that section during the low contrast exposure. It also makes halos from dodging and burning a bit less evident when you divide your dodges that way.

    In general it also gives you the ability to finely tweak your contrast.

  9. #9
    lee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    If you will think of it this way, a negative that is flat (taking it to the extreme) will not benefit from split printing since only only the high contrast (hard) filtration would be used.

    Aside from the benefits of split burning a split filtered print can be equally printed with single filtration. In saying that I realize that there will be some that disagree with my statement...I will just say that my experience substantiates my statement.

    Les Mclean has stated that his negatives are normally contrastier then normal for very good reason.
    Donald,

    Just this week I was printing a neg that I had lost in the move from the house to the darkroom and it is a very flat neg. I had printed this neg before back when Oriental was in the white box with blue trim. I discovered the neg last week and started to print it this week. I ended with a Soft exposure of 20.5 seconds and a Hard exposure of 128 seconds. I was at an fstop just between 11 and 16. 210 mm G-Claron on my Durst 138 enlarger. 5x7 neg. By the way I am using a Lee filter material #120s for the hard filter which is a deep blue and the soft filter material which is a Lee #124s Dark Green. These filters are the equivalent of a Wratten #47b and a Green #58. This combination is very much equivalent to the colors of the tubes on my Aristo VCL4500 cold light on my Omega enlarger. I have not ever been comfortable with using a zero fliter and a five. I was not able to make an acceptable print using the #5 filter. This neg was so flat that in my estimation it would have required at least a grade 7. But with just the Hard filter it was just too contrasty and the midtones suffered.

    Les McLean does make contraster than normal negs that were printed on this same enlarger in my darkroom in May. But to say that just because Les makes contrasty negs that is the only time one should use split filtering with is not an accurate statement in my opinion. I have seen your negs (not all but quite a few) and your negs are very good and they probably would not benefit from split filter printing techniques. But in fact I would argue that a "new to printing" darkroom worker would also benefit from split filter printing because you don't have to worry about contrast as much as you do with single filter printing. You make a soft filter test print and select the time that gives you the tone in the highlite you want and then make another print using the time learned from the soft filter test and this time make a hard filter test on top of the soft filter time and then you select the time for the shadows. So, in two prints you now have a soft time and a hard time. On the 3rd print you will have a pretty good work print. Regardless if the neg is contrasty or not contrasty you end up with a pretty nice print pretty quickly.

    off soap box now

    lee\c

  10. #10
    roy
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    I have attended workshops given by Les and he demonstrated the technique on several negatives. Great for fine control and some use it as a standard method for printing.
    Roy Groombridge.

    Cogito, ergo sum.
    (Descartes)

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