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  1. #31
    RJS
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    split grade printing

    In the Jan/Feb issue of Photo Techniques there is an article by Dickerson and Zawadzki that would suggest that split grade printing is "the long way around the barn". It has seemed that way to me in my experience, but I certainly am not an expert.

  2. #32

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    I have gone back to review the methods involved in split printing, and those involved in standardizing one's materials in order to understand the true grades that one achieves with one's own dichroic filters, and methods. It appears to me that with split grade printing, the need to "standardize" the filters to assure that one is indeed using different grades with the filter combinations used, speed match ( if one is using the dichroic filters on ones color head ), etc. is no longer needed! Is there a simple fact that I am not realizing, but given the need NOT to go through testing procedures, what are the DISADVANTAGES to using split grade printing. Yes, there is some increased use of paper. Anything else?

    Ed

  3. #33
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahler_one View Post
    Yes, there is some increased use of paper. Anything else?

    Ed

    Oddly enough, I find that a split-grade print often uses less paper than a single-filtered print. Dodging and burning becomes a much finer tool when it is applied to local contrast control as opposed to controlling exposure alone.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  4. #34
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    In the Jan/Feb issue of Photo Techniques there is an article by Dickerson and Zawadzki that would suggest that split grade printing is "the long way around the barn". It has seemed that way to me in my experience, but I certainly am not an expert.

    I finally got a hold of the issue of Photo Techniques that has the article by Dickerson and Zawadzki. They cast some interesting light on Split Grade printing. Now I will have to try it to see whether it is of value or not, I have exclusively used graded paper for projection and contact printing. It was what I read about Split Grade printing that caused me to get some VC paper. Now I wonder if it really is the long way around the barn.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  5. #35
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJS View Post
    In the Jan/Feb issue of Photo Techniques there is an article by Dickerson and Zawadzki that would suggest that split grade printing is "the long way around the barn".
    I have been printing for 40 years. I have been using VC paper for about 20. I have taken a workshop on split grade printing from one of the best practitioners of the technique, and I have read the Dickerson and Zawadzki article. So, here is my opinion (stress "opinion" ) based on all that:

    VC papers are very useful, and allow one to do things that graded papers do not. However, the opposite is true, too. Split grade is a technique, and as can be seen by many recent posts, there are variations and adaptations of the basic technique. Some use dicroic filters, some the filter drawer. Some use magenta and yellow, some green and blue. And then there are the fancy, specialized VC heads.

    It will not - in my opinion - accomplish anything that could not be accomplished with other methods. But this is true of many printing techniques. However, a number of printers have found it very useful and some have even discovered that it is a better method for their purposes. So for them, it not "a long way around", but a time/paper/frustration saver.

    My experience is in using the technique after having learned it from a master. Then I bought the RH Designs timer. (not intended as a plug) I discovered that this timer has a feature where after determining the two exposure times for the hard and soft exposures, the timer will compute the resultant grade. Ignoring burning and dodging at different filtrations, I could then make the same print in one exposure with that grade.

    So, I don't use it, unless I really can't get to the contrast I want right off. But, other printers prefer to use this method to determine the proper contrast in the first place. It's really just that, no more. No magic, and no added benefit other than fitting the individual printer's working methods and thought processes.

    YMMV
    David
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  6. #36
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahler_one View Post
    what are the DISADVANTAGES to using split grade printing. Yes, there is some increased use of paper. Anything else?

    Ed
    I don't know why there would be increased use of paper once past the learning curve.

    Disadvantages are:

    a) 2 exposues instead of 1 (possible shift in paper, shift of enlarger head, negative pop, coldlight intensity fluctuation etc.)
    b) need to fiddle with the enlarger between exposures to change filters (unless computerized head)
    c) changes in the high or low contrast exposure will also alter middle tones.
    d) large changes in the high contrast exposure will not only alter the middle tones, but will also alter the highlights. http://www.apug.org/forums/731935-post24.html
    e) dodging and burning are cumbersome. For example a simple 10 second 'edge burn' can become bizarre thing like 8.3 sec and 1.7 sec.

  7. #37
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    I don't know why there would be increased use of paper once past the learning curve.

    Disadvantages are:

    c) changes in the high or low contrast exposure will also alter middle tones.
    ...which does give you pretty fine control over local contrast. Would be a lot easier with an appropriate timer, though. I'm working with an old Gralab and an f-stop lookup chart. Still, it is a comfortable workflow.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  8. #38
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toffle View Post
    I'm working with an old Gralab and an f-stop lookup chart.
    Have you tried a timer dial? I used one for a day just to see what it was like, and thought it a better solution than a chart.

    Progressive stop-interval test strips were a PITA, and I went back to using seconds.

    For burns and dodges I either used the difference in seconds between stops tick marks or for very simple cases did the burn live, to burn 1.5 stops over 3.0 stops: set the timer to 4.5 stops; place the burning card; start the timer; remove the card when the timer had wound down to 3.0 stops.

    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/support/grastops.pdf
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  9. #39
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    Have you tried a timer dial? I used one for a day just to see what it was like, and thought it a better solution than a chart.
    Yes, I tried that, but unfortunately I couldn't see it very well. (it being dark and all... :rolleyes: )

    Progressive stop-interval test strips were a PITA, and I went back to using seconds.


    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/support/grastops.pdf
    Yeah, that's the one I tried. In the absence of a proper analyzer/timer, I think I'll stick to my look-up tables. It's just one of those things that I've become comfortable using.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  10. #40
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toffle View Post
    I couldn't see it very well. (it being dark and all... :rolleyes: )
    -Hits head, "Doh!"

    I'm finding my darkroom is a lot brighter than most, though it passes all safelight test with flying colors. I have half-dozen low-wattage Kodak D, C and B OC safelights in a 10x12" space - as a result there are very few shadowy places in the work area. I don't have much trouble reading, and for extra illumination I have a Celestron red LED flashlight.

    As to a solution to seeing the dial, I don't think many people have phosphorescent ink in their printer, so glow-in-the-dark is out.

    Maybe larger numerals and a black background? White on black does seem more readable.

    Has anyone else used (or tried to use) one of these dials and have any comments?
    Last edited by Nicholas Lindan; 01-09-2009 at 10:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

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