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  1. #31
    Sean's Avatar
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    That's what I was thinking, thanks

  2. #32

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    I'm new to printing and was having a difficult time with some of my prints as well. after reading about the split grade method I bought Les' book(great book Les ) and found it to be a much easier way to do things(how's that for technical?). The results were impressive.

    Anyhow, I brought this up with my teacher at the local CC and others more knowledgeable than I and they looked at me like I was nuts. They said "split what? Why would you do that?". I plan on showing them the print I was originally working on and then the split grade next class. There is a marked difference.

    Once again thanks Les and all who contribute here.

    Mike

  3. #33
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    Split-grade printing

    I've been following this thread with interest. I've done nothing but split-grade printing for perhaps 15 years now. I have a Beseler Computer Colorhead (without the computer) on my enlarger, and after reading an article on split filter printing, I tried it with the color head, and it's all I've used ever since.

    For me, despite the inconvenience of twisting the dials from full magenta to full yellow, the results have been well worth it.

    I find that I get much better local contrast within the tones than with single filtration printing. The print tones "sing" in a way they don't otherwise.

    If I want to increase contrast in one section of the print, I can give additional exposure with just the magenta. Conversely with lowering contrast in one section of the print, I give additional exposure with just yellow. For increasing or lowering density, I burn or dodge equally with both M and Y at full value.

    The basic printing times remain the same (or nearly so) for each type of paper. E.g., with Agfa MCC Classic, my 8X10 times for medium format negs developed the way I usually develop them is 6 seconds at full Magenta and 4 at full Yellow at f/11. A given neg may need more M or more Y, but the base gives me a consistent starting point that will get me very close on my first print.

    Combined with a divided print developer (where overdevelopment is not possible and cannot change the contrast or density printed under the enlarger) this makes for very consistent and repeatable prints.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les McLean
    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.
    As a newbie I can second that. Even though the negatives should be made to print on grade # I often find that my negatives don't. I had a lot of trouble findíng the right grade in the beginning. The splitgrade technique was very easy for me to learn and more economical. Furthermore I have found that I'm able to burn in parts without the typical halos.
    Regards Søren

  5. #35
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    .../...
    Jack Rosa

  6. #36
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    In my experience, single-filter printing yields the same tonal results as split-filter printing. I use a dichro head and therefore have an almost infinite number of grades. I do agree that split-filter printing provides convenience and better control during dodging or burning in. I also agree with Les McLean ... unless one is very careful not to use too much 0 or 00 filtration, the reulting prints will be muddy.
    Jack Rosa

  7. #37
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    Hi Jack, nice to see you here!
    As we were discussing before, split filtering has the power and beauty to allow the contrast to fall into place without fiddling too much with it, and get nicely exposed prints using condensor enlargers and 2 filters.
    Mama took my APX away.....

  8. #38
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    Pablo: Thank you for pointing me in the direction of this Forum.
    Jack Rosa

  9. #39
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    QUESTION FOR LES McLEAN

    Les: You state that the key to split-grade printing lies in the density of the negative. Most of my printing work deals with sandwiches (unsharp masks + negatives) with combined density ranges of of 0.65 - 0.80, requiring that I print with magenta filtration settings exceeding 50M (Grade 3++, Grade 4 and higher).

    Would you say that, given these circumstances, split-filter printing is not for me and that I should continue printing using a 'single' filter (dichroic filtration setting?

    Thank you in advance for your kind insight.
    Jack Rosa

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackRosa
    Les: You state that the key to split-grade printing lies in the density of the negative. Most of my printing work deals with sandwiches (unsharp masks + negatives) with combined density ranges of of 0.65 - 0.80, requiring that I print with magenta filtration settings exceeding 50M (Grade 3++, Grade 4 and higher).

    Would you say that, given these circumstances, split-filter printing is not for me and that I should continue printing using a 'single' filter (dichroic filtration setting?

    Thank you in advance for your kind insight.

    Jack
    I have no experience of unsharp masking therefore don't know the effect on the original negative although I understand that the masking negative does add density. Although I know that it is a very popular method of dealing with contrast I have never really thought that it is a method that I would care to use.

    I can tell you that my best negatives for split grade printing are extremely high in contrast and print well using grade 0 and grade 5 only. The logic that I apply in producing a high contrast negative for split grade printing is that the density in the highlight areas simply act as a mask to block the hard filtration in those areas, I guess that my ideal negative is similar to adding an unsharp mask to a regular negative which is probably the reason that I've never really shown an interest in unsharp masking.

    Might I suggest that you try split grade printing if the sandwhiches you are using are high in contrast. I'm currently working in London but will be home for the weekend before heading off for another week next Monday but I will try to make time to scan a typical split grade negative that I produce and post it to the technical gallery together with a scan of the print.

    I'd be interested in the results of your experiment with sandwhiches and split grade printing.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

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