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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
    Back when I made custom prints I usually used the analyzer to make fine color adjustments for which the analog dials on the color head were not sufficiently accurate. Also as previously described to get a skin tone or neutral area color and density close enough for use of viewing filters.
    Please explain-

  2. #22

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    Hi Bob, Thanks for the suggestions (and others)

    The Durst 138S with CLS301 colour head should be consistant.
    The paper will be processed in a Jobo ATL-2+ at +/- 0.5 deg
    Viewing filters are now ordered
    Yet to get film and paper stock
    Ringround yet to be made
    Fingers crossed.
    Cheers Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    Hi Dave
    Make a negative with fleshtone, three primary and three secondary colours, include a large greyscale against a nuetral grey background.
    Make the most perfect print to your eyes where the greyscale is nuetral and not shifting at both ends.
    Consider this your master print.
    Then make a ring around from this balance and make sure you are critical in your notes.
    Mount all the prints up around the Master Print and use as a reference for all future prints. search ring around and I have laid out a step by step somewhere here on this monster site.
    As some of the pro's have mentioned a well balanced VCNA and first step analyzer really helps for production , but if you are going in for fun and making a few prints a day then all you really need is'

    decent enlarging kit
    consistant film batches
    consistant developing
    good ring around
    good starting balance
    Viewing Filters
    and good light

    have fun

  3. #23
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    With a little practice and diligence, you can put your fancy color analyzer in the closet, right next to that pair of crutches you don't need any more.
    After a GREAT DEAL of practice, it became apparent to me that instead of being a "crutch" the use of an analyzer was essential to the preservation of my sanity. My wife has ACUTE - and I mean really *sharp* color vision, and I have proven time and time again that she, and no one else, can determine the difference caused by a 5cc shift in color balancing.
    No, it is NOT necessary to photograph a gray card at every session - although it is a very good idea to do so. An analyzer as the Colorstar 3000 can "average" various colors on an image ans establish and arbitray (no, not anally accurate) balance.
    After many moons of color processing, I can state unequivocally that there are many factors the affect color balance - the age and storage conditons of the paper; different production runs will balance differently; the age of the enlarger lamp; certainly, different chemistry - ad infinitim.
    Are analyzers fool proof ? ... yes. Idiot-proof... ? No. Occasionally, I will decide to override the analyzer information and (raising the sheild on "aesthetics" do something else.
    Analyzers, those that orperate propperly, will tell the truth. As with any "exposure meter" I may not want to use "the truth", and at times, "the truth" my not be appropriate.
    To me. a recurring nightmare is one where I struggle to make a color print withhout the use of an analyzer.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #24

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    My understanding of color printing is removal of tints.

    Basically subtract CMY untill there is no tint left in the print - and your highlights and shadows are good.
    I brake for fixer!

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach View Post
    After a GREAT DEAL of practice, it became apparent to me that instead of being a "crutch" the use of an analyzer was essential to the preservation of my sanity. My wife has ACUTE - and I mean really *sharp* color vision, and I have proven time and time again that she, and no one else, can determine the difference caused by a 5cc shift in color balancing.
    ...
    To me. a recurring nightmare is one where I struggle to make a color print withhout the use of an analyzer.
    I don't quite know how to respond to this. In my 25 years of printing color professionally, including countless portfolios for regional media photographers, a 5cc shift was automatic grounds for rejection.

    I guess the obvious question would be, who calibrates your analyzer? And, without a gray card or color wheel in the corner of every sheet of film or on every roll. how do you use the analyzer to correct color balance when their is no reference point for your negative?

    Assuming you can establish a true neutral value for each channel on the analyzer for ONE combination of paper emulsion and film emulsion, how can you then transfer these unique values to different film emulsions and expect the the same neutral balance? Try doing this with Kodak Gold 200, Kodak Portra 160 NC, and Fuji Pro 160 S.

    Clearly, you will need to adjust to the unique characteristics of each film emulsion. If you establish a benchmark of "Neutral" for Portra 160 NC lot# xyz123, printed on Fuji CA lot# abc456, and you then analyze Fuji Pro 160 C lot# lkj890, for printing on Fuji CA lot# abc456, the analyzer, of course, will only tell you what is "correct" for its benchmark, not your task at hand.

    Moreover, your readings from the Fuji Pro 160 C lot#ljk890 wont even be in the ballpark, as there is typically a 20 cc shift between these two emulsions.

    I have not even addressed the issue of changing light. Many of us shoot early morning or evening due to the warm, gentle light these times provide. Does your analyzer allow for these intentional differences in color? On the contrary. It will correct for them, leaving a dull, neutral print.

    I said previously in this thread that it must be a religious thing. So I guess that makes me a preacher for the opposing religion, "You don't need a stinkin' analyzer." If you can calibrate an analyzer, you can balance a print.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    Please explain-
    Which part? I used different analyzers over time, some read the mixed light prior to going through the neg/trans, some used a probe on the easel and IIRC (it's only been 20 years or so) my usual practice would have been to calculate the color correction using y and m, make the density calculation and come up with the new pack and adjust the filtration and f-stop to get the calculated adjustment. If you're reading white light (vs. what's going through the neg/trans) you don't have to worry about positioning the probe in the same spot.

    Re second part, if you have a big stack of work to get out that's similar in nature (e.g. the wedding example someone gave) then once you make your first print to your satisfaction you should be able to probe a similar region in the next neg/trans and dial in a similar correction (which most of the time should be pretty consistent color-wise, mainly trying to nail the density.)

    Way back then I had written a little computer program on an Osborne computer that predated the PC that I used to calculate color filtration and density corrections for all the enlargers in the custom area. It had weightings to adjust for inconsistencies in the curves for the various emulsions we were using. Most challenging was color interneg material that had two different sets of curves. That stuff could be really hard to print with.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
    Back when I made custom prints I usually used the analyzer to make fine color adjustments for which the analog dials on the color head were not sufficiently accurate. Also as previously described to get a skin tone or neutral area color and density close enough for use of viewing filters.
    "...For which the analog dials in the color head were not sufficiently accurate."
    What color head were you using?


    "...To get skin tone or neutral area color and density close enough for use of viewing filters."
    A test strip with filtration set at 55Y/50M will do this.

  8. #28
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    I don't quite know how to respond to this. In my 25 years of printing color professionally, including countless portfolios for regional media photographers, a 5cc shift was automatic grounds for rejection.
    This was the result of "blind testing". I would make four or five prints from one negative/ transparency, and present them, one at a time, to my wife and others who CLAIM a nearly "mystic" eye for color balance. The correlation (from the questions of "Which is more cyan ?" 0r, What changes in color filtration do you think are appropriate ?") is really zero. I could do as well flipping a coin.
    Thre are as many variables affecting the PERCEPTION of color as are introduced by ambiet conditions and the "mindsets" of the evaluators.
    I could tell the differences betwen color balance with an analyzer ... I cold not, and, frankly, I tend to doubt those who claim to do as well, or better, "by eye".


    I guess the obvious question would be, who calibrates your analyzer? And, without a gray card or color wheel in the corner of every sheet of film or on every roll. how do you use the analyzer to correct color balance when their is no reference point for your negative?
    *I* "calbrate" the processed information when I use the analyzer. The specifc method would best be described in the ColorStar 3000 manual. I'll try to condense:

    1. Select a point on a test strip, exposed from a sample ~ 18% gray area.

    2. Press "Analyze". The ColorStar will measure the densities of yellow, cyan, and magenta - and an integration indicating overall density - and "reset" the ColorStar to indicate a "null" for (close to) 0.55 density. Another test strip, exposed to those values and analyzed again, will be closer to 0.55.

    3. Contiune until the strips are within +/- .01 or so.

    4. Without an image of 18% gray, repeated analyses will be averaged, in the same way as an exposure meter averages the brightness levels, to give a more or less "close" color head setting.


    ... channel on the analyzer for ONE combination of paper emulsion and film emulsion, how can you then transfer these unique values to different film emulsions and expect the the same neutral balance? Try doing this with Kodak Gold 200, Kodak Portra 160 NC, and Fuji Pro 160 S.
    You can't. The ColorStar is designed to establish information about a specific paper, chemistry, light source, and target color balance -- not to calibrate an entire system. A change of paper, for example, from Fuji to Kodak requires the establishment of a new "channel".

    Clearly, you will need to adjust to the unique characteristics of each film emulsion. If you establish a benchmark of "Neutral" for Portra 160 NC lot# xyz123, printed on Fuji CA lot# abc456, and you then analyze Fuji Pro 160 C lot# lkj890, for printing on Fuji CA lot# abc456, the analyzer, of course, will only tell you what is "correct" for its benchmark, not your task at hand.
    Not dependent of emulsion. The ColorStar will digest the characterstics of the light received from any emulsion, and translate it to dichro head settings to duplicate a specfic color combination/ overall density.

    I have not even addressed the issue of changing light. Many of us shoot early morning or evening due to the warm, gentle light these times provide. Does your analyzer allow for these intentional differences in color? On the contrary. It will correct for them, leaving a dull, neutral print.
    Well ... I have a series of images exposed with the only source of light being the output of color transperencies projected throuhg a Hasselblad PCP80 Projector, and onto AgfaColor *Daylight* balanced film. The Color temeperature of the projection lamp is somewhere around 3800K, and really, all bets are off after the light passes through the various transparencies, anyway. Trying to print these "by eye" would be a nightmare. Using the Colorstar, at least the effort was coherent, and far less painful. Yes, cyan filtraion - a lot of it - was necessary.

    I said previously in this thread that it must be a religious thing. So I guess that makes me a preacher for the opposing religion, "You don't need a stinkin' analyzer." If you can calibrate an analyzer, you can balance a print.
    I guess I'll have to agree with that last part: I CAN and do "calibrate" the ColorStar 3000, and I "balance" prints - very well, thank you.

    I have three (3) ColorStar 3000s. None of them "stink".
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    I guess the obvious question would be, who calibrates your analyzer? And, without a gray card or color wheel in the corner of every sheet of film or on every roll. how do you use the analyzer to correct color balance when their is no reference point for your negative?

    "You don't need a stinkin' analyzer." If you can calibrate an analyzer, you can balance a print.

    Which gets back to my point about people who have never used something like the Colorstar.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post
    Which gets back to my point about people who have never used something like the Colorstar.
    This point I will gladly concede. I have never used a Colorstar. I understand from those who have difficulty balancing color that it may be $1,000.00 well spent. But to suggest that it is necessary for high quality color printing belies decades of truly fine work produced by countless custom color labs.

    None of the fine labs I have printed for, nor those I have toured, used color analyzers. These labs' reputations depended on producing color prints of the highest quality, not simply a print balanced to an average of numeric values for an average customer. And I can assure you these labs were not in business to waste paper, chemistry, or time.

    If you believe that you need a color analyzer to produce a well balanced print, so be it. But I'll bet you're better than you think.

    In the spirit of APUG and its commitment to a traditional, old school, approach to photography and darkroom work, I will try to dissuade those new to color printing from buying a computerized crutch before trying to develop skills of their own. Almost anything is easy once you learn how to do it.

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