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  1. #41

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    With a cold light head and a standard set of VC filters I couldn't get a satisfying print from a particularly difficult negative using one filter no mater how I tried. When I tried the split-grade method there seemed to be some improvement, but not much. My color head didn't do any better. I gave it one more try with a different split-grade system/method using a low contrast green #58 wratten filter and a high contrast #47B wratten filter and ended by making a satisfying print of the difficult negative. Now, was the reason for my success due to the green & blue filters working better with the spectral output (energy wavelength) of my cold light, or was it the split-grade method? I believe it was a combination of both. One thing I'm absolutely sure of is that I couldn't get the job done with one standard VC filter. Another thing I learned long ago is not to believe everything I read in magazines and newspapers.

    I'm sure someone will think that if I had a full set of green & blue filters I could have found the single filter that would do the same thing. Maybe, but that set doesn't exist. So, what now? It's just another debate that can go on for years.
    Last edited by panastasia; 05-06-2009 at 12:04 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbau View Post
    I found that the split filter procedure was very time consuming
    I never found this. Two test prints and I've got exposure and contrast.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    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
    I take it that you disagree with the H&D curves published in the Jan/Feb issue of Photo Techniques where the authours showed there was no difference in the curves? I'm not trying to start an argument here but in photography, like in life, there are facts and their are beliefs. I'm just trying to find out the facts about split filter printing.
    It is said that we remember the important things, if true, why photograph? I forget, so I photograph.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by panastasia View Post
    . So, what now? It's just another debate that can go on for years.

    We are not talking about mystical thoughts here, but rather things that can be tested and proven or disproven. It shouldn't be debatable, it either does produce a curve that is not attainable with a single filter or it doesn't. If printing with 2 filters is a more convenient/logical way for some printers that's great but it is not the issue here.
    It is said that we remember the important things, if true, why photograph? I forget, so I photograph.

  5. #45

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    I take it from reading of many posts that
    split filter printing is a LOCAL contrast
    control method. Applied GLOBALLY it
    it will deliver the same curve as
    a same blend of filters.

    So or not so? Dan

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbau View Post
    I take it that you disagree with the H&D curves published in the Jan/Feb issue of Photo Techniques where the authours showed there was no difference in the curves? I'm not trying to start an argument here but in photography, like in life, there are facts and their are beliefs. I'm just trying to find out the facts about split filter printing.
    Dan is correct. It is a local effect and applied to the entire sensitometric strip will give the blended filter contrast.

    And this is how you (and the authors) can be fooled. You don't make sensitometric scales, you make pictures!

    I did not read the article, but I did do the work making real prints.

    PE

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbau View Post
    We are not talking about mystical thoughts here, but rather things that can be tested and proven or disproven. It shouldn't be debatable, it either does produce a curve that is not attainable with a single filter or it doesn't. If printing with 2 filters is a more convenient/logical way for some printers that's great but it is not the issue here.
    Is split filter printing buried as an idea or do some people still use it? Quoted from your first post.

    I simply answered your question and gave a reason why I still use it. I didn't think it was a matter of convenience, or logic, it was a different method to use - a different tool in the tool box. I saw a difference in the results and that's what mattered. Are you asking a loaded question so you could educate some of us "who still use it?" I think you made your point - it's all about curves. Whether split-grade printing has a value or not, is debatable. And what's with the "mystical thoughts", where's that coming from?

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by panastasia View Post
    So, what now? It's just another debate that can go on for years.
    Not necessarily. But we have not complete information.
    In what way were your first results poor and how did the
    two attempts at improvement show their results. Dan

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbau View Post
    The Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Photo Techniques" has an article that investigates if it is worthwhile to print VC paper by exposing the paper to both a high contrast and a low contrast filter versus exposing the paper to a single filter of the required contrast. In a nutshell the article says that in the case of people with a colour head split filter printing achieves nothing. ...
    I am constantly amused at how this issue always quickly becomes one of passion, rather than reason.

    I quoted the original post to more or less steer the thread back on track.

    Does split grade with a color head achieve nothing? Yes. No. Maybe. SG is a technique. It is not a revolution. I had the same experience that the authors of the cited article had (before I read the article BTW). I took a SP workshop with one of the best practitioners (McLean) and am friends with a competent printer who uses the technique exclusively. I bought the RH Designs Stop Clock to use for F Stop printing (another passionate debate).

    Using the 2 channels of the Stop Clock for the two exposures (hard and soft) one can get to the desired contrast. At that point, one can press the right button on that magic machine and it will tell you the effective grade that the two exposures will yield. If I (read: "I") then make another print at that computed grade, it looks the same to me.

    Obviously, this is subjective and there are many other variables in equipment, materials, and (of course) the skill and "eye" of the printer.

    Then, dodging and burning at different grades adds another diminision. One can D&B at different grades while using SG or a single grade. It's hard to compare results with all those variables. How about if I flash the paper first?

    So, to the next question in this thread: "Does SG give you different/better/easier prints that single grade? Maybe. Maybe not.

    It is a technique. It is not for everybody. One must try it to decide if it fits their needs, or does not. There are IMHO way too many variables for a pat answer.

    YMMV

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancqu View Post
    Not necessarily. But we have not complete information.
    In what way were your first results poor and how did the
    two attempts at improvement show their results. Dan
    Dan,
    "The devil's in the details". It sounds like a cop out, but I'm not interested in debating. Something worked for me - that was my objective - my eyes don't deceive me. I could see an overall improvement in the final print, perhaps because I was using extreme filtration. No change in the developing process and I, generally, don't concern myself with theory, or matching curves. Although, I find there's some interest in those aspects when comparing new products.

    Paul

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