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  1. #1

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    contrast control with dichroic head

    I plan on starting to print in my new darkroom soon on a Super Chromega D Dichroic II. Phew.
    Anyway, on Ilfords website it says something like using 25 yellow and 40 of magenta is equivalent to grade 2, using their variable contrast paper. The numbers I gave are probably wrong, but my question is for those of you who use this enlarger, do you begin making test strips with the filters on at all, or do you start with them in grade 2 position or what?
    This will be my first time printing so forgive me if the question is confusing.
    Also, what light source do you use toi make the print. White, high or low.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    You should try to to evaluate the negative for contrast and choose a grade before you do test strips. If you aren't sure and have not printed before, than probably start with 2 or something close. If you do the test strips with no filtration and then you dial in a filter, you will need to do new strips, because your times are likely to be way off. Once you have a little more experience, you will start to recognize situations where your neg is flat and needs higher contrast and the opposite, but for now starting in the middle makes sense.

    Now, there are two different sets of filtration numbers on the Ilford info sheet. If you use the one with single color filtration, dialing in magenta for higher contrast and yellow for lower, you will totally change the amount of light reaching the paper when you adjust the filters. If you use the second set of values for your contrast, then you will be changing the light values very little when you change grades. Keep in mind, however, that you still will likely need to adjust your exposure some if you change contrast, but it will be much less if you use the second set of numbers.

  3. #3
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Let me add one more thing. It might be a good idea to print a couple with no filtration first. There are a lot of variables and if you have truly never printed, then I think removing one variable at first makes sense. When I taught a beginner class, our first prints were always with no contrast filters.

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    The key is to adapt your film exposure and film development so the majority of your negs print up the way you like them to look on what you select as your "target" paper grade. If that is no filtration or filtration for a certain grade of paper from MC paper, so be it: choose it and stick with it.

    For many years, I have chosen a Nr. Two target paper grade. If need be, I can then "tweak" the print by dialing in different contrast using the dichroic filters. Filter packs are color-head and paper-manufacturer specific.

    A dichroic color head can greatly simplify the print controls you have at your disposal for making a print which expresses your concept and your vision.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  5. #5
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Everybody does it differently. You're going to get as many answers as there are responders to this thread.

    When I enlarge I always split grade print. I start with 100 yellow and 0 magenta and expose until the highlights come in. Then I increase contrast on the second exposure until it matches the negative so that I get the overall contrast I want. Along the way I pick up the information I need about dodging and burning that will be required.

    Test strips are a waste of time. There is no general 'target contrast grade'. Each negative is different and requires a different level of contrast. The 'target' is what your negative requires.

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  7. #7
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coops View Post
    I plan on starting to print in my new darkroom soon on a Super Chromega D Dichroic II. Phew.
    Anyway, on Ilfords website it says something like using 25 yellow and 40 of magenta is equivalent to grade 2, using their variable contrast paper. The numbers I gave are probably wrong, but my question is for those of you who use this enlarger, do you begin making test strips with the filters on at all, or do you start with them in grade 2 position or what?
    This will be my first time printing so forgive me if the question is confusing.
    Also, what light source do you use toi make the print. White, high or low.

    Cheers
    If you have truly never printed, start with the paper manufacturer's recommendation for grade 2 and dial-in yellow filtration to lower the image contrast and magenta for more contrast. Once you got familiar with that concept, consider the advise given below.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  8. #8
    Curt's Avatar
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    Did anyone mention split grade printing?
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  9. #9
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Did anyone mention split grade printing?
    For someone who prints for the first time???
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    For someone who prints for the first time???

    I was referring to split grade printing, forget to mention that in my post. Sorry. Is this something you don't recommend for newbies?
    Thanks to mall those who responded.
    BTW Ralph, checked out your website and wow, great images.

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