Could someone explain the advantage of split-grade printing to me. I am failing to see how the end result could be much different from using the intermediate filters - though possibly with finer control.
I have an Ilford VC head, which has two light sources. Whe you select a contrast setting the head varies the output to the hard and the soft light. This should be the same as making two separate exposures with one hard and one soft. How is split grade different than this?
With traditional filters I assume the filters effectively do the same thing, but by subtracting light.
In theory a single exposure would appear to be the same as two exposures using soft and hard filtration but in practice there is a significant difference, IMO. Giving two separate exposures allows you to dodge during one or both thus giving better local contrast control. For example, when the negative has "thin" areas the best way to introduce contrast and good separarion is to use harder paper grades. Split grade printing allows you to dodge out all or part of the soft exposure without affecting the remainder of the print. You cannot do this with a single filtration exposure. The same principle applies to burning in.
Originally Posted by L Gebhardt
I have taught split grade printing in colleges and at workshops for many years and have found that students can generally make good prints quicker and with less wastage of materials once they learn to control the method.
Les, thanks for clarification. I will try your method next time I print and see if it works for me.
Thanks for the tips and recommendations. I have been re-visiting some of my old work using the Split Grade process and have made significant improvements to various images. Using this methodology I have managed to get glowing highlights and a significant improvement in tonal depth.
I do still have some problems judging the LC exposures but I am getting better. Practice does make perfect
Dear forum members
I have read the posts on this topic with much interest. The next forum topic, split filter printing appears to be dealing with the same issue.
It is my experience that:
If we are making a straight print, ie. where the whole print gets the same total exposure, then
1. If a print with a particular appearance can be achieved with the split grade ( aka split filter ) technique, then exactly the same print can be achieved with one exposure. It may be necessary to use an intermediate grade ( such as G2.75 ) however this is easily achieved with a dichro colour head. In fact in practice, intermediate grades are not often required.
2. The one exposure method is much quicker and easier,especially if we use an RH Designs Analyser Pro as I do. This equipment if properly calibrated gives very reliable, accurate exposure times and contrast grades.( I have no commercial relationship with the manufacturer or any distributor or retailer of this, or any other product. )
3. The reason for this is easier to understand if we consider the enlarger light source being directed through a dichro colour head. This filtering method exposes every print ( except those made on 0Y+ MaxM or 0M+ MaxY) through part of a blue filter and part of a green filter. Actually the filters are yellow=(green+red) and magenta= (blue+red) but the printing paper is insensitive to the red component.
It matters not at all to the printing paper ( apart from lamp ramp up effects and paper reciprocity characteristics) whether the proportion of blue and green is achieved by differential time exposure ( as in split filter printing) or differential movement of the filters across the light source ( as in a colour head).
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True Andrew but remember that the emulsion has diferent speeds for each of the spectra. An uniform exposure might leave the blue part overexposed and the green part underexposed. With split printing you get to control just the right amount for each of the "emulsions". I know that you can dial up and down until you find just the right combination of filtering, but it results in more waste and takes longer than split filtering.
Originally Posted by Andrew
I split grade print as it cuts down the time involved to choose the contrast grade immensely. I would rather spend the time working on my print than creating endless test strips hoping to find the correct combination on my color head (been there and hated it). I know to some this is easy, but to me split grade printing is much easier.
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
Hi, I'm going to try split grade printing this weekend. I'm wondering how you filter in dry down time? If the dry down factor requires 12% change, and split grade printing requires 2 different exposures, then how do you determine which dry down to use for each exposure? I think I have an idea but would rather hear from someone who knows. thanks
Originally Posted by Sean
Use the same % for each exposure.