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  1. #1

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    Contrast filter specs?

    I've been doing contact printing on multigrade papers, but just using a light bulb for illumination (I don't have an enlarger, nor the space for one, nor the all-important spousal permission for one). As far as I know, this generally means I'm getting grade 2, which is usually fine. However, I'd like to have the other grades available, which means filters.

    The obvious way to do this, I think, is to get a big gel-type contrast filter and put it on top of the printing frame itself. But as far as I can tell, no one makes contrast filters in a size big enough to do that (I'm mainly printing 9x12cm).

    Of course, I could always get some coloured glass or theatrical gels or something in the proper colours, and there I'd be with perfectly good contrast filters, right? Only I can't seem to find out what "the proper colours" are. Is there a spec sheet somewhere that says exactly what colour a filter should be for a given contrast grade on VC paper?

    Thanks

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Ilford makes a 6" filter set. You could cover a 9x12cm neg with that, or you could get a 6" or smaller reflector for your lamp and make a gel filter to fit over it. An advantage of using Ilford MG filters, is that they have neutral density built in, so you can go from grades 00-3.5 without having to adjust exposure, and grades 4-5 only need one extra stop.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Ilford makes a 6" filter set.
    OK, now I feel dumb; I'd discovered that, but I saw "6x6" and assumed it was in cm! :-)

    Thanks for setting me straight.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  4. #4
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I'm poor, so I bought the 3" ILFORD filter set and use it as under-lens filters. About 1/3 the cost of buying the under-lens set.
    f/22 and be there.

  5. #5
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Nathan

    You have to put your foot down. No permission to buy an enlarger is a no-go. Get some polysulfide toner and tell her that the smell would not occur if you just had an enlarger! Of course, there is a danger that she will get her stuff an leave you, in which case, you don't need to ask anybody for permission anymore, and you get a lot more room for the enlarger.

    Just kidding.

    Davids idea is a very good one, but the neutral-density capability of Ilford filters is unfortunately highly sophisticated and useless. Not that any other filter does a better job. They all try to satisfy an impractical ISO standard. But go with David's idea anyway. That will work.

    Let me know if you need the recipe for polysulfide toner.
    Regards

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

  6. #6

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    Wasn't it Brett Weston that used a small box built around a light bulb to hold VC filters beneath the lamp?
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  7. #7
    Rick A's Avatar
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    You could do the obvious, and buy graded paper. There are some excellent ones available from Freestyle that aren't too terribly expensive. I still do a lot of printing on Kodabrom II RC, that I get off of fleabay, in grades 4 and 5. This works great for printing chromogenic negs, and some color.

    Rick

  8. #8
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=RalphLambrecht;890512]Nathan

    You have to put your foot down. No permission to buy an enlarger is a no-go. Get some polysulfide toner and tell her that the smell would not occur if you just had an enlarger! Of course, there is a danger that she will get her stuff an leave you, in which case, you don't need to ask anybody for permission anymore, and you get a lot more room for the enlarger.
    ***********************

    Paul Bishop used their kitchen as a darkroom after breakfast. He wrote his kitchen off on his taxes as a business expense. This should allow you the extra cash to buy your bride any bauble that is needed to convince her of the merit of your ways.

    In the absence of polysulfide toner, put half a dozen eggs under the bathroom cabinet and forget them for six months. After breaking a couple, convince her that enlarger light will cancel out that smell. But, as Ralph sez, the polysulfide toner is quicker; besides rotten eggs don't give your prints that nice color.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  9. #9

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    You guys are missing the long view here. If I can't have an enlarger, what other options might I have if I wanted to produce, say, nice frameable 5x7 or 8x10 images? Hmm, I bet I can think of a way if I just put my mind to it... :-)

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  10. #10
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    You guys are missing the long view here. If I can't have an enlarger, what other options might I have if I wanted to produce, say, nice frameable 5x7 or 8x10 images? Hmm, I bet I can think of a way if I just put my mind to it... :-)

    -NT
    Nathan

    Get to the root cause. Why can't you have an enlarger if you can have everything else that belongs into a darkroom?
    Regards

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

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