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  1. #1

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    Split-grade printing and Leitz Focomat v35

    I just started a photography class at my university and they have the Leitz v35 colorhead enlargers as well as some besseler standard enlargers. Thanks to this forum I discovered split grade printing and wanted to try it, but had a few simple questions. Would I be able to do split grade printing with the Leitz, or should I just use the besselers that have built in contrast filters. When i tried Les McLean's technique, for some reason I was getting really dark prints. Not sure if I was using the right filter/enlarger combination, or was just choosing the wrong exposure time from the test strips. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    If you have multigrade heads available, I'd use those. Next best would be a color head and a table.

  3. #3

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    You can use either perfectly well.

    Make trial prints with max magenta to get the blacks, then make a max magenta with good blacks and overlay with trials of max yellow.

    With the VC head, just use 5 for black and zero for white.

    This whole split thing is a big waste of time and paper except for very specific prints like where you need to burn in highlights. For grade 2/3/4 you get the very same result with without split.

    You can also print with normal contrast and do an overburn with #5 or 150 magenta to get better blacks.

    Save yourself a lot of time.

  4. #4

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    Thank you for the responses ic and Ronald. Ronald for the overburn I just bump up the magenta and give it a second exposure after the regular exposure? Thanks.

  5. #5
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Sorry to disagree but split printing is not a huge waste of time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec View Post
    You can use either perfectly well.

    Make trial prints with max magenta to get the blacks, then make a max magenta with good blacks and overlay with trials of max yellow.

    With the VC head, just use 5 for black and zero for white.

    This whole split thing is a big waste of time and paper except for very specific prints like where you need to burn in highlights. For grade 2/3/4 you get the very same result with without split.

    You can also print with normal contrast and do an overburn with #5 or 150 magenta to get better blacks.

    Save yourself a lot of time.

  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    The real value of split grade printing is the ability to dodge and burn INDIVIDUALLY at different filter grades, which helps you interpret the negative in nearly limitless ways.

    You can't do that with a single contrast filter.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec View Post
    You can use either perfectly well.

    Make trial prints with max magenta to get the blacks, then make a max magenta with good blacks and overlay with trials of max yellow.

    With the VC head, just use 5 for black and zero for white.

    This whole split thing is a big waste of time and paper except for very specific prints like where you need to burn in highlights. For grade 2/3/4 you get the very same result with without split.

    You can also print with normal contrast and do an overburn with #5 or 150 magenta to get better blacks.

    Save yourself a lot of time.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #7
    Blighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    The real value of split grade printing is the ability to dodge and burn INDIVIDUALLY at different filter grades, which helps you interpret the negative in nearly limitless ways.

    You can't do that with a single contrast filter.
    Hear, hear!
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.

  8. #8

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    Split filter printing with a multigrade head such as the Arista vcl 4500 has the advantage of being able to go full blue and full green without touching the enlarger (no vibration) The control box is off to the side of the enlarger and allows you complete timer control of each exposure and the ability to burn or dodge on HC or LC! When changing filters on a single light source (Regular) enlarger you always risk vibration, this is also true with most color heads. Since you have to reset the filter on the head!

  9. #9
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill@lapetelabs.com View Post
    Split filter printing with a multigrade head such as the Arista vcl 4500 has the advantage of being able to go full blue and full green without touching the enlarger (no vibration) The control box is off to the side of the enlarger and allows you complete timer control of each exposure and the ability to burn or dodge on HC or LC! When changing filters on a single light source (Regular) enlarger you always risk vibration, this is also true with most color heads. Since you have to reset the filter on the head!
    A very cool thing about the Leitz Focomat V35 is that it is so sturdily built that even though you adjust things on either a multigrade head or a color head, it never goes out of alignment. Ever. It is pin sharp no matter how many adjustments you make, and that's one of the many reasons I love that enlarger.

    It's a damned fine enlarger.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh



 

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