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  1. #1
    liza's Avatar
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    Iīm thinking on buing the Lynn Radeka Masking Kit but canīt make up my mind. Is there anyone here who use it and would be so very nice to give me information on how to use, items in the kit and if itīs a good bagain for the money.

    Forumthread "Tri tone separating masking" was very intreresting but too complicated for me, I would mess things up trying to make my own masks at this point.

    Best regards Eva

  2. #2

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    Liza,

    The Radeka masking kit was part of my evolution in the use of masking in my process. I purchased it some time ago and I understand that Lynn has upgraded his registration system from the very crude and virtually unworkable system he had at the time of my involvement. I can't speak to the quality of his new system since I have not used it. I do know that he had a price increase with the new system. I understand that his system is not enlarger mfg and model specific...sometimes "one size fits all" works in some things and other times it does not.

    In my case, I ended up designing and having built a registration system that is a modification specifically for my Saunders 4550 XLG enlarger. My system is very precise (repeatability on the order of + - .003)

    Now on to the matter of masks, yes masking is a valuable tool. However it is not used by many, expecially insofar as sharp masking, because it is more involved then simply enlarging a negative. It does possess the capability of very precise control and manipulation of the camera negative information. It will allow printing of a negative in ways that are not possible with any other means. Masking can be as simple as making an unsharp mask for increase of local contrast and reduction of overall contrast. It can be as complex as the tri tone masking which I posted some months ago.

    I don't know that I have answered your question. Please feel free to ask specific questions that you may have. I will try to help if possible.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  3. #3

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    Eva, I also got the kit, and the information is valuable. As Donald said, the registration pins etc provided in the kit were about useless, but the information about masking is very good.

  4. #4
    liza's Avatar
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    Hi Mr. Dnmilikan!
    Thanks for such a promt feedback. Reason for my question is that Iīm not satisfied with the results using ordinary technique, usm, split filter, highlight bleeching, selenium, dodge and burn. It delivers nice pictures but not with "it" in them. Nobody around me are making their own masks so there is non to ask.
    Reading about the Kit and the possibilities shown on their webite told me that, that might be the solution. But, as English is not my ordinary language I didnīt really understand what the Kit contained. There seem to be quite a lot of written information and "how toīs" in the kit. But to me items to work with practicaly is just as important and this doesnīt seem to be included only ways to obtain them(probably USA).
    Paying over $100 incl p&p (Europe) for something that donīt gives me the introduction, guidelines AND material I need seems like a waste. On the other hand - I havenīt been able to find any similar litterature on the subject. Now Iīm really confused!!
    Do you maybe have an alternative suggestion author/litterarture/website where I can get a really good look in the procedure on how to make those different masks?
    Best regards
    Eva

  5. #5

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    Liza,
    Before I get into an elaborate discussion of masking techniques, I guess the first thing of a pertinant nature is to find out what film format you are using?

    I could tell you how to do unsharp masking via email if that would help. That type of masking requires no registration equipment on the enlarger. However, sharp masking requires very precise repeatability and film registration.

    I wrote an article in the May-June PhotoVision magazine that discusses one application of sharp masking. That magazine is a sponsor of this site and I am sure that they have a past issue that you could purchase if you are interested. Additionally I am in the process of writing two additional articles that will cover photographing in high contrast situations (above 12 zones) and also an article that will cover masking techniques in printing of negatives incorporating extreme brightness ratios. I am not sure of the date of publication of these.

    If you will advise as to your film format, that would help a great deal on what and how I may benefit you.

    Best regards, Donald Miller
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  6. #6
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    Don,
    I'm also curious about masking and its uses for analog enlargement. Maybe an apug article? I know Sean would be tickled pink.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

    blog
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  7. #7

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    Jeremy,

    If there is an interest in this, then I will certainly consider writing an article on unsharp masking techniques. Why don't we see if there are others interested. If so then I will put something together. Thanks for your interest.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  8. #8
    liza's Avatar
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    Hi!
    What a joy to get such elevating respons.
    Maybe not the right forum but I feel I shortly should introduce myself. Iīm a "oldfashioned" darkroom enthusiast prefably B/W but I also work color - all manual of course. Not a youth directly but that doesnīt stop me since Iīve always been working with "picture" in various form.
    Since 5 years back Iīve put all that aside, now concentrating only on photo, gum bichromate and soon mordancage.
    The analog negative is of highest value to me in all 3 techniques. So - I want to be able to make the most and perfect use of it.
    Cameras: beloved 4x5" field camera, old Kowa super 66 medium format, HBL X-pan. All cameras produces exellent negatives but I mostly use X-pan and the Field camera. Films: Tri-x, T-max, Ilford delta depending on situation. Halftone: Agfa P3p and graphic Ortho OP12 for Gum Bichromate.
    So back to things that matters. The USM (unsharp masking) Iīm well at home with. Itīs the other kind of tone separating masks Iīm qurious about and really want to learn how to use.
    I certainly do hope there will be a lot more members asking for an article in how to produce and use those masks (so the Lynn Radeka Masking Kit is put on ice for now) although I wonīt be able to understand it completly - but thank God for dictionaries and some patience.
    Here in Scandinavia itīs far beyond midnight now so Iīll say thank you for now and good night.
    Eva

  9. #9

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    Eva,
    I was happy to see that you had 4X5 equipment because masking is more easily accomplished with the larger negative. However, it can also be accomplished with medium format negatives. Since you indicate a familiarity with unsharp masking, that then leaves sharp masking of various types and effects as the next course of action. As I had mentioned this is where precise registration of the camera negative and masks comes into play. The reason for the need of precision is that there are many times where several mask changes involving removal of the negative carrier from the enlarger and reinsertion with a new mask and additional exposures are the course for accomplishing one's desired result.

    Unfortunately, this then brings us back to a need to accomplish this precise repeatability through modifications to enlarging equipment. My modifications to my enlarger system involve a film punch that is registered with a mask printing frame and these two componants are also registered with the negative carrier of the enlarger. The negative stage of my enlarger was modified to provide for repeatable positioning of the negative carrier after each removal and reinsertion. My modifications cost several times what Lynn Radeka charges for his newer system. As I mentioned before, I don't have any opinion on his system (hardware) since I have not used it.

    If you are interested in pursuing this further (beyond unsharp masking) then these issues must be addressed. Possibly if you could indicate your enlarger manufacture and model that may be a place to begin. It may very well be that Lynn Radeka's newer system is what would be best for you. This may be a time for further evaluation of the level of your desire.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  10. #10
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Don, I would be interested in an article about unsharp masking.
    Alex

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