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Thread: Unsharp masks

  1. #11
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    An unsharp mask is designed to improve edge definition. The mask is made by using thin mylar or acetate sheets between the original and the masking film, and then the original and the mask are printed in register. The effect can be controlled by adjusting the distance between the original and the masking film, the exposure, and the contrast of the mask.
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  2. #12
    olleorama's Avatar
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    Ctein recommends tmax100. I think I would prefer working with efke ortho lith film, because I then would be ale to work under safelights. What developer would you recommend for lith film to get it as soft as it needs to be?

  3. #13
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    I use Dektol.
    “I drank what?” - Socrates

  4. #14
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    I always used FP4. It has a very neutral base.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  5. #15

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    Barry Thornton recommends ortho lith also, thats what i would try first, personally.

  6. #16

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    2F/2F
    I always used FP4. It has a very neutral base.
    You use this for your color masks? What registration system are you using for 35mm? Radeka/Homemade/other?

  7. #17
    olleorama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostcount View Post
    I use Dektol.
    With ortho film? I'll try that when the efke ortho lith film arrives.

  8. #18

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    There are different types of masks you can make depending on what you are trying to accomplish. For some types a litho ortho film is helpful because you want a very steep, short scale film. For pure edge effect enhancement a fine grained general purpose film like TMAX 100 works well. You can use other general purpose films too. It just depends on the format (in my opinion). Once you're at 4x5 or larger you can use virtually any general purpose medium speed film to make an unsharp mask. However I also sometimes make special masks for 35mm, and in this case I prefer to use the finest grained film possible depending on the contrast I want. Same goes for developer. For large format Dektol is fine. For small format I am currently using dilute Perceptol (same as Microdol).

  9. #19
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    For color contrast control masks I use FP4+ in TMax RS developer. Gives a nice neutral colored mask. I use a pin register system from Alistair Inglis. I use the same film and developer for the few unsharp masks I have made for black and white negatives too, just because I had the approximate process worked out.

    I also use 4x5 film for both 4x5 and 120 masks. I have never made a mask for 35mm, so I don't know how well it works. If I were to do so I would cut the film down to save money.

  10. #20
    olleorama's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for chipping in. I'm always amazed by the knowledge and experience here.

    But I cannot for my life understand how you can handle the sheet film and making masks in complete darkness, without pin registration systems. I will try with the ortho film and some 6x7 color negs and see how it works.

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