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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbau View Post
    When I start printing again it will be with a colour head so am I right in assuming that the issue of split filter printing is a moot point when using a colour head as any degree of contrast is available with a colour head.
    It's not really a question of getting a particular contrast. Think about it this way: VC papers produce different contrast by adjusting the amount of green vs. blue light that hits the paper. (Magenta and yellow filters just remove green and blue light, respectively; red light is irrelevant to the equation.) Whether you do this by using a single exposure and a filter that lets through blue and green in a particular proportion all at once; or by doing two exposures, one for blue and one for green, is immaterial. You get the same result either way. (This analysis ignores dodging and burning issues, which might require something akin to split-grade printing if you want to adjust contrast in one part of the print.)

    The main difference is one of the process -- how easy is it to get the print you want using split-grade vs. conventional VC printing? This is more an issue of psychology than it is of physics or chemistry -- how do you learn, how do you perceive, how do you solve problems? Many of the posts in this thread have reflected this, but I want to make the point very explicit: It's about psychology. This is just a matter of personal preference or idiosyncracies of how different people think or work in the darkroom.

    My advice: Try both methods. Decide which one you prefer. Use it, but understand its advantages and disadvantages, and be prepared to use the other method if you think it might be superior for a particular print.

  2. #32

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    Phil Davis also did an article in Photo Techniques a few years back showing that the same straight print (no dodging and burning) results can be had from a single exposure or split grade exposure. I haven't found any explanation yet why two exposures using split grade cannot be matched using a single exposure through the proper filter. Maybe there is something going on in the paper thresholds that would make a split grade curve different Some people seem to see it.

  3. #33
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    Well, one part of the image can be at grade 0 and another can be at 4. That should give you an idea of what is going on.

    PE

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694 View Post
    VC papers produce different contrast by adjusting the
    amount of green vs. blue light that hits the paper.
    So, the lens should be very well corrected for longitudinal
    chromatic aberration. Difficulties in printing as sharp an
    image as is possible are introduced when two colors
    must form the image in the exact same plain.

    I suppose a valid test of one's lens would be to focus with
    one color then make a print with that color and then make
    a print with the other color. The prints are needed because
    in most cases the light by which one focuses is not the
    same as the paper's range of sensitivity.

    Longitudinal chromatic aberration is not so much an issue
    with Graded papers. That is as long as they are blue band
    only sensitive. Some of the better more expensive grain
    focusers are equipped with a deep BLUE filter. Dan

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Well, one part of the image can be at grade 0 and another can be at 4. That should give you an idea of what is going on.

    PE
    Without dodging or burning? How does that work?

  6. #36
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    Without dodging or burning you will get an overall high contrast and low contrast image by exposing in the proper sequence of filtration. But, that is why dodging and burning in my original post + split filtration got the highest marks for improvement. So it works either way but without D&B you need to be very careful and the negative must be usable this way.

    PE

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    In the workshop I took a few years ago from Dave Vestal and Al Weber, they had us use split filtration while printing. We were required to expose some shots with extremes of shadow and highlight with high lighting ratios and then print straight, print split and print with dodging and burning.

    The results were in the improving order, straight, straight d&b, split grade, split d&b. There is no question in my mind that split grade improves the quality of some prints and adding in some d&b gives even more control.

    PE
    The only writing by David Vestal I've seen on the subject suggests he only sees any value in split printing as a way of getting in between grades when using Kodak or Ilford filters. The reason for my original question was that when I stopped printing, about 10 years ago there was a growing number of printers extolling the virtues of split filter printing, they claimed that prints made this way exhibited qualities not attainable by normal methods. This was at a time when we had just been through the Fred Picker cold light nonsense, (he made similar claims about cold light) Many people were quite skeptical of the split filter claims. I tried it and found no difference with the two methods but as I was using a colour head I found that the split filter procedure was very time consuming for the same results compared to printing with a single exposure on a colour head. It appears from this thread that some people are still claiming split filter printing produces results not attainable using just a single exposure. Photo Techniques is a widely respected magazine and if they are saying split filter printing produces the same curves as straight printing I find no reason to doubt them, as another poster said, Phil Davis came to the same conclusion. Howard Bond is pretty damn good printer too and he says the same thing. But of course I'm always on the lookout for procedures that might improve my work now that I'm getting back into B&W printing.

    Thanks for everyones responses

    Mark
    It is said that we remember the important things, if true, why photograph? I forget, so I photograph.

  8. #38
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    Well Mark, I know what my eyes saw and I have a photo of myself and David examining one of the prints. I have gone through the sensitometry on paper and it makes sense and works out diagramatically on graph paper as well. Dave and Al taught that in the Workshop, and I believe it even though I do not use it much myself.

    PE

  9. #39
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    Split filter printing is a great way to go. Especially with a difficult negative or if your negatives are inconsistent (whose are too consistent?).

    However, it is time consuming and tends to use more paper. I have had printing sequences with a flash, two base exposures, and 8 burns at different filtrations. That works OK but is not very pleasurable to me.

    Using BTZS methods results in more consistent negatives and less need for split filter printing. However, having done a lot of split filter printing, I think I am able to print better in the usual mode but with selective dodges and burns. I other words the post-visualization is better.

    I think it is great that people get "emotional" about straight or split filter printing. Isn't the darkroom great?
    Jerold Harter MD

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    I think it is great that people get "emotional" about straight or split filter printing.
    I have observed that emotions step in to fill the void when thinking and demonstrable evidence are lacking.

    Aggressive emotions also come to the fore when one's ideas and beliefs are attacked. An attack on one's beliefs is an attack on oneself.

    No wonder so many wars are over religion.
    Last edited by Nicholas Lindan; 05-05-2009 at 11:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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