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  1. #11
    lee
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    Donald,

    The other Lee (great name, btw) has said all I have to say on it other than with the Blue filter I get about a grade 6 contrast and with the green I easily get a grade 0 when I use them individually. I dont stack the filters I use them one at a time with different exposure time (usually) on the same piece of paper.

  2. #12
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    Donald,

    I just got my PhotoTechniques in the mail today, Sept/Oct 2005 issue. There's a Howard Bond article in it on printing with Rosco Calcolor filters that's pretty much an answer to the questions you posed here. He doesn't cover blue/green split printing in the article. It's all about getting even spacing and a full contrast range with 8 different filters: 15Y, 30Y, 60Y, 90Y, 15M, 30M, 60M, and 90M, with his Aristo V-54 head. He addresses exposure changes with tips on making an exposure compensation chart for your particular setup, and the issue of sharpness using filters below the lens. The paper used on the article is Ilford MG IV FB, in Dektol. Good thing he didn't waste his time and magazine space calibrating Kodak papers. The approach is general, and would get you going on a calibrated system using your own darkroom setup and papers of choice.

    Lee

    WARNING: if you go apoplectic when digital is mentioned (sometimes in a positive light), don't buy this magazine. If you're mature enough to cope with that, there are several good articles on analog materials and using them in this issue, including the first in a series on tactics for push processing B&W by Dickerson and Zawadzki and a review of a couple of new color print films from Fuji, one of which he says approaches Kodak Royal Gold 25 in resolution and grain at an ISO of 160.

  3. #13
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Thanks, Lee and Lee.

    Okay, you've changed my mind, I'll get the blue and green as suggested and have five spares of each instead of needing to stack. Lee, I was talking about multiple layers of the same color, not about combining the blue and green (which would give black, if the cutoffs are as sharp as all that). Since my intent is to use them for split printing with separate hard and soft exposures, and I'm using a cold light, I'm much less concerned about even spacing; I'll have effectively continuous gradation (though at first my control will be limited by timing with a manual switch and external timer of some kind -- a timer that can handle the startup draw of a cold light is well outside my current budget), and the two test strip method is well established as a means of getting both exposure and contrast with minimum paper consumption.

    I don't get all up in arms about digital -- I've owned a simple digital camera for about four years, and got a much better one about a year ago. However, they, like color film, are for snapshots; for me, photography as an art form takes place on B&W film and paper, in a wet darkroom. Even scanning my negatives has been a means to see what I'm doing with the camera and developer before I could print my own work; once I'm printing, my scanner will see most of its duty scanning prints.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  4. #14
    lee
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    Donald,

    one thing that you will readily become aware of is the need for saying this is a grade 2 1/2 filter becomes un-necessary as you get further into split filter printing. All that really matters is the print looks the best it can look. Yes, you will have continous gradation with the green and blue and the cold light. There is a little learning curve so hang in there and I will answer any question (if able) either on PM or here on the forum.

    lee\c

    lee\c

  5. #15
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Well, some time with the main Lee Filters website, which has spectra for every filter they sell, led me to conclude that what I *really* want are 100 Spring Yellow (same blue cut as the 124 Dark Green, but with the red left in) and 795 Magical Magenta (slightly more blue transmission than 119 Dark Blue, which has a little more than the 120 Deep Blue, but same green cut on all three -- and again, with red added). However, the local dealer doesn't have the 795 in stock, so I'll be getting 100 Spring Yellow and 119 Dark Blue, total cost about $15 for a dozen 6x6 inch filters of each (after doing my own cutting), plus the gas for a trip to Winston-Salem (about 20 miles each way).

    And that's the last piece of the puzzle, for now -- I don't have a timer, but I can count seconds or use a stopwatch (that I do have, as part of a wrist watch -- tried to spell that as one word and the darned forum software censored it! -- with a broken spring pin socket, and the light won't fog paper if it's pointed away). I don't yet have a foot switch, either, but the darkroom is light tight when it's sunny outside (which is pretty good with a 30x40 window in the outside wall), and I've made no permanent alterations (which would please the landlord if he noticed). I've got a scrap of waferboard that can cover one of the twin sinks to hold trays until I can afford something better, I can wash in one of the large trays in the bathtub, and the 5 gallon cube of Dektol now has both a place to be mixed and places to be stored.

    And let's not forget the 40+ year old red safelight bulb in the brand new $7 reflector clamp lamp; with the big mirror and white textured ceiling, it should be plenty of light for this tiny darkroom.

    Oh, yeah, and a little blank book to keep my printing notes in (so I can come back to the same negative again in six months and make another print without completely starting over).

    Thanks for the offer of help, Lee -- I pick stuff up pretty fast, but I'll keep you in mind...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  6. #16
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Well, just to follow up on this, I spent about three hours printing last night; to show for it, I have three nice straight prints, two of them with a pair of test sheets (used the same settings for one as it was the next negative, same subject and light), and a couple I trashed due to forgetting to stop down after focusing. Next time will be a little quicker; I won't have to spend time clearing the old fogged paper out of the (used) paper safe, I'll be much closer on starting exposures, and it won't take so long to set up and take down (getting a system worked out).

    I'm not sure the yellow filter is giving a grade 0 with this light -- I've never actually printed with grade 0, even in high school and college when I had multi-contrast filters available (the filters sets we had only went from 1 to 5). However, I very seldom have a negative that would want or need this soft a filter, so it shouldn't be a big issue. Overcoming one concern with split filtering, I found I was able to open the enlarger to change the filters (directly on the top of the negative carrier) without moving the negative; all three prints show the grain crisp and clear, just at the limit of my naked eye (8x10 from 35 mm Tri-X).

    And the learning curve, so far at least, is very easy -- the third print, from the best of the three negatives I tried, looks better than anything I ever produced in high school or college (though I now thing I was getting some safelight fog in those darkrooms). I haven't formally tested my own ancient red safelight bulb, but with the enlarger a good six-seven feet from the safelight and developer tray about four feet, and the bulb a deep red originally made for safelight use (many-many years ago), I'm getting clean, white highlights, which was always a problem in the previous darkrooms I've used.

    More tonight!
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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