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Old 3 Days Ago   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Of course, I haven't written anything contrary to that. Doesn't matter, what I mean is the method Mike Rosenlof explained.
Yes I understood you retinax as Mike said the same. it doesn't bother to do a third strip to see the combination. I would still expose low contrast for reference. So thank you for your suggestion. I can try this for challenging shots.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #42
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Split grade print, just made.


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Old 3 Days Ago   #43
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Hope to hear more on this , haven't been all that happy with the numerous times I've tried split contrast printing . Tended to fall back on the method that "Marty" suggested . But "Eriks" prints always drag me back to trying split grade again . I guess it's my Scottish heritage that gets to me, so much wasted paper.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #44
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This thread is making my head hurt. You guys are waaaay overcomplicating a simple thing.

1- Do the 00 first. Pick the time that gives you the highlights you want.

2- Expose your next test strip with that time and the 00 filter then without moving the paper switch to the 5 filter and do your test strip on that same paper. Pick your exposure to get the shadows where you want them.

Easy Peasy. That is about all you need to know so you can stop reading here if it suits you.

Occasionally if you are doing larger prints or using grainy film, the 5 exposure can degrade the highlights. This is because you are actually enlarging the space between the grains. If you notice that happening, back off your 00 exposure a little.

Starting with the 5 exposure is a mistake because the 00 will also add density in the shadows.

Varable contrast papers typically have three layers that vary in speed and frequency sensitivity. The "soft" layers are slower layers and green sensitive. The "hard" layer is faster and blue sensitive. Some papers have a bump in the middle because of this which is why some old schoolers don't like Variable Contrast papers.

And yes, prints done with a single filter and prints done by split printing are basically the same if they are unmanipulated. Split printing gets you where you want to go a lot faster though. People that only use one filter are trying to hit a moving target since they are dealing with time and contrast together and changing one changes the other.

That is about as super simple as I can make it. Hope that helps you.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
And yes, prints done with a single filter and prints done by split printing are basically the same if they are unmanipulated. Split printing gets you where you want to go a lot faster though. People that only use one filter are trying to hit a moving target since they are dealing with time and contrast together and changing one changes the other.
I am not arguing with this for you. And Erik's prints look great, I just don't see anything in them that comes from split grade printing.

Modern papers don't need different exposures with different contrast grades, in my experience. But it also depends on the light source and the paper.

In years of darkroom printing, including 10+ years working professionally printing other people's photos, having to stop, change filter and re-expose would have cost me way more time than exposing once. I really don't see how it would be faster.

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Old 3 Days Ago   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
I am not arguing with this for you. And Erik's prints look great, I just don't see anything in them that comes from split grade printing.

Modern papers don't need different exposures with different contrast grades, in my experience. But it also depends on the light source and the paper.

In years of darkroom printing, including 10+ years working professionally printing other people's photos, having to stop, change filter and re-expose would have cost me way more time than exposing once. I really don't see how it would be faster.

Marty
Split grading is for me like stand development with rodinal. It gives a control on highlights and shadows in difficult shots with a lot of highlights for example. If your workflow is already working for you and you are fast with it, it is fine. As I said for me single filter was hit or miss and discouraging. Now looks like split grading is a faster and better way for me. Changing filter and re-exposing isn't that hard if you get your first print bang on with that method as a beginner(I talk for myself) That is my opinion. I of course still need to practice.

Not shaking the enlarger is the trick part. Now I am also a bit confused about doing the test strips separately or one combined. I was doing separately.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
This thread is making my head hurt. You guys are waaaay overcomplicating a simple thing.

1- Do the 00 first. Pick the time that gives you the highlights you want.

2- Expose your next test strip with that time and the 00 filter then without moving the paper switch to the 5 filter and do your test strip on that same paper. Pick your exposure to get the shadows where you want them.

Easy Peasy. That is about all you need to know so you can stop reading here if it suits you.

Occasionally if you are doing larger prints or using grainy film, the 5 exposure can degrade the highlights. This is because you are actually enlarging the space between the grains. If you notice that happening, back off your 00 exposure a little.

Starting with the 5 exposure is a mistake because the 00 will also add density in the shadows.

Varable contrast papers typically have three layers that vary in speed and frequency sensitivity. The "soft" layers are slower layers and green sensitive. The "hard" layer is faster and blue sensitive. Some papers have a bump in the middle because of this which is why some old schoolers don't like Variable Contrast papers.

And yes, prints done with a single filter and prints done by split printing are basically the same if they are unmanipulated. Split printing gets you where you want to go a lot faster though. People that only use one filter are trying to hit a moving target since they are dealing with time and contrast together and changing one changes the other.

That is about as super simple as I can make it. Hope that helps you.
There is a lot of discussion about this but I can tell my opinion. I don't say it is true yours is wrong. I just feel like it isn't the same. Because you expose for highlights and shadows separately and give time preferentially to develop to get more details on each while preserving mid tones. I don't think with single filter you would get details in highlights in a shot with a lot of highlights and shadows for example (without burning). I feel like split filter is like stand development with rodinal.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #48
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I must try split grade printing again.

When I got back into the darkroom after a decades hiatus I bought an RH Designs Analyser Pro. This radically changed how quickly I could produce a good print without the need for test strips. In an attempt to trial split grade printing I've used highlight and shadow measurements to give the split filter times. I'd understood that a combination of Grades 1.5 and 4.5 was the way to go.

The results seemed pretty much identical to those found using normal method of using the Analyser Pro. I'll give it a go again using 00 and 5.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaFoReVer View Post
Yes that is what I did and it turned out great. I dont have a pro eye so the way my son looked didn't bother me so no dodging done. I will post the result after takin a better photo as mobile phone isn't ideal for this actually I need to scan it. Don't remember about the high contrast strip. It is possible.

I chose the exposure with a bit of luck. Could you please explain how you chose so maybe I can learn something.
I picked the low contrast time by looking at hilights in particular, the bright bit on the hoodie in the 15 sec band and the back of his neck in the 20 sec band. Also while looking at the low contrast strip, I feel like blacks under his chin, and pupils are pretty close, so I'm thinking not a lot of high contrast exposure is going to be needed.

So then looking at the high contrast strip, 5 sec adds practically nothing, and 15 is way too much. So 10 is possible, but thinking back to the last sentence of the previous paragraph, I thought I would dial it back closer to, but a bit more than 5.

Basically, low contrast and find an exposure that gets your hilights the way you want them, then add the high contrast to "burn" down the shadows to where you want them. Your correct high contrast exposure will add nothing to the hilights as you can see in even the 25 sec band in the high contrast strip.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike rosenlof View Post
I picked the low contrast time by looking at hilights in particular, the bright bit on the hoodie in the 15 sec band and the back of his neck in the 20 sec band. Also while looking at the low contrast strip, I feel like blacks under his chin, and pupils are pretty close, so I'm thinking not a lot of high contrast exposure is going to be needed.

So then looking at the high contrast strip, 5 sec adds practically nothing, and 15 is way too much. So 10 is possible, but thinking back to the last sentence of the previous paragraph, I thought I would dial it back closer to, but a bit more than 5.

Basically, low contrast and find an exposure that gets your hilights the way you want them, then add the high contrast to "burn" down the shadows to where you want them. Your correct high contrast exposure will add nothing to the hilights as you can see in even the 25 sec band in the high contrast strip.
Thank you Mike!
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Old 3 Days Ago   #51
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
And Erik's prints look great, I just don't see anything in them that comes from split grade printing.
I take that as a compliment. For years I did not know how Cartier-Bresson's pictures were printed. I did not even know that something like split printing existed. But I wondered how HCB's prints where made. They have at the same time A. beautifully light gray highlights (solid tonal highlights) and B. deep velvetly black tones (for example in bowler hats or in shiny leather). I could not achieve that on single grade paper. Finally I found out that the prints of Cartier-Bresson were achieved by split grade printing (was told me by a printer who worked for many years in professional darkrooms in Paris). I tried do do it myself and hopla, I got it, pretty easy in fact.

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Old 3 Days Ago   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
I really don't see how it would be faster.
Indeed, split grade printing is not fast at all. But you can make perfect prints with it.

Erik.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #53
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I have the opinion that printing a negative is not making a painting. You only have to print the negative as perfect as possible.

If you feel the need for burning and dodging in split grade printing, do it only during the exposure with the 00-filter. The exposure with the 5-filter is much to short for that. The exposure with the 5-filter is only a flash afterwards that takes care of the darkest parts of the picture.

I almost never use burning and dodging.

Erik.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #54
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Old 3 Days Ago   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
This thread is making my head hurt. You guys are waaaay overcomplicating a simple thing.

1- Do the 00 first. Pick the time that gives you the highlights you want.

2- Expose your next test strip with that time and the 00 filter then without moving the paper switch to the 5 filter and do your test strip on that same paper. Pick your exposure to get the shadows where you want them.

Easy Peasy. That is about all you need to know so you can stop reading here if it suits you.
Sounds way better than spending 1K USD on some gizmo and another 1K USD on Focomat.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
I have the opinion that printing a negative is not making a painting. You only have to print the negative as perfect as possible.

If you feel the need for burning and dodging in split grade printing, do it only during the exposure with the 00-filter. The exposure with the 5-filter is much to short for that. The exposure with the 5-filter is only a flash afterwards that takes care of the darkest parts of the picture.

I almost never use burning and dodging.

Erik.
Hi Erik,

I salute your dedication to the split filter method and your honest messages. I too realized that split grading decreases the need for dodging and burning. So that is your experience too? I have even searched for that in google but couldn't find but now after reading your comment, I feel confirmed myself. So thank you!!

Thank you for your long and explanatory instructions but I really want to hear your opinions on how to choose the right exposure for each filter like Mike mentioned above. Do you agree on what he said?
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Old 3 Days Ago   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Indeed, split grade printing is not fast at all. But you can make perfect prints with it.


Erik.
For me it is faster with less paper. Does that mean I will be good at split filter
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Old 3 Days Ago   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Sounds way better than spending 1K USD on some gizmo and another 1K USD on Focomat.

Just wait until you see the results.

Valoy's and Focomat Ic enlagers can be had here, in Amsterdam, for under EUR 100 including Focotar.

Erik.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaFoReVer View Post
For me it is faster with less paper. Does that mean I will be good at split filter

Split grade printing does not cost much paper. You can make all the tests on small pieces of paper.

Split grade printing only takes some time.

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Old 3 Days Ago   #60
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https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Sh2...w?usp=drivesdk

That is my print with split filter method. I am a beginner and this is my first print of this shot and 6th split filtering experience or so. Yellow cast is due to mobile phone camera.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaFoReVer View Post
Hi Erik,

I really want to hear your opinions on how to choose the right exposure for each filter like Mike mentioned above. Do you agree on what he said?
Very easy: first I determine the lightest spot on the photograph = the darkest spot on the negative. I decide if I want this spot to be white or slightly toned. Then I make a test on a small piece of paper to find out the shortest possible exposure time. I make a complete test with both exposures, with both filters, 00 and 5. I make also a test for the darkest part of the picture.

For variations of the light tones the exposure with filter 00 is relevant and for variations of the darkest tones the exposure with filter 5 is relevant, but tests must be done with both exposures. One exposure only is not of any help.

I do not understand the writings of Mike. It is difficult to write about visual experiences. Maybe it helps me to write about split grade printing that I am a professional writer (in Dutch).

Erik.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #62
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To the OP, Les Mclean has a very succinct explanation including examples of test strips on his website.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
I am not arguing with this for you. And Erik's prints look great, I just don't see anything in them that comes from split grade printing.

Modern papers don't need different exposures with different contrast grades, in my experience. But it also depends on the light source and the paper.

In years of darkroom printing, including 10+ years working professionally printing other people's photos, having to stop, change filter and re-expose would have cost me way more time than exposing once. I really don't see how it would be faster.

Marty
Like I said, in unmanipulated prints there isn't a difference. We are both in agreement on that.

As far as speed goes, it just depends on your experience. An inexperienced printer needs to figure out contrast and time. If he starts with one filter he can figure out the time with the first test strip but not the contrast. Then he makes a print and it has the wrong contrast. Back to square one. Then he changes the contrast but that will affect the time as well. Chasing his tail. With split printing he just needs two test strips and he is pretty much done. So it is faster to arrive at the end point. The majority of time in the darkroom is spent standing over trays. Changing a filter only takes a second. If it saves you from making a test print or two, then the timed saved is pretty significant.

The big advantage of split printing is in manipulating an image, especially with highlight contrast and shadow contrast. Burning and dodging with one exposure does not affect the other exposure since you are manipulating different layers in the emulsion. There is a reason why every good printer I've ever met uses some form of split printing. Commercial printers tend to want to make the print fast on as few sheets of paper as possible. Printing fast for other people and printing the best quality for yourself are two different things.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
With split printing he just needs two test strips and he is pretty much done. So it is faster to arrive at the end point. The majority of time in the darkroom is spent standing over trays. Changing a filter only takes a second. If it saves you from making a test print or two, then the timed saved is pretty significant.

The big advantage of split printing is in manipulating an image, especially with highlight contrast and shadow contrast. Burning and dodging with one exposure does not affect the other exposure since you are manipulating different layers in the emulsion. There is a reason why every good printer I've ever met uses some form of split printing. Commercial printers tend to want to make the print fast on as few sheets of paper as possible. Printing fast for other people and printing the best quality for yourself are two different things.
100% agreed.

As I said, split grade printing was invented in commercial labs in Paris, Picto. (Pictorial Service, Gassman)

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Old 2 Days Ago   #65
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Just wait until you see the results.

Valoy's and Focomat Ic enlagers can be had here, in Amsterdam, for under EUR 100 including Focotar.

Erik.
I'm re-convinced to try SP again, since I was able to get more about it in this thread.
Not sure if Focomat really worth it if I have working enlarger with latest Nikkor 50 2.8 lens. Is it going to be really different?
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Old 2 Days Ago   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Not sure if Focomat really worth it if I have working enlarger with latest Nikkor 50 2.8 lens. Is it going to be really different?

When the enlarger is stable enough, it can be used. Is there a filter drawer? Nikkor enlarging lenses are excellent.


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Old 2 Days Ago   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaFoReVer View Post

That is my print with split filter method. I am a beginner and this is my first print of this shot and 6th split filtering experience or so. Yellow cast is due to mobile phone camera.
I learned how to do split grade printing from YouTube videos. There was a steep learning curve but it worked well for the majority of the negatives. But when I tried to print more difficult negatives it felt as if I was going back to square one quite disappointed. The following print was my 6th or 7th attempt to get an acceptable print (the negative is heavily underexposed).

Bottom line is that the more you print and the more difficult pictures you start printing the more likely is that you will reach the same tips and tricks that the more experienced members of this forum report.

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Old 2 Days Ago   #68
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When the enlarger is stable enough, it can be used. Is there a filter drawer? Nikkor enlarging lenses are excellent.


Erik.
Mine is Vivitar. Stable, no shake, no head bottom drift. It has filter drawer above the lens.

Just like on this photos, even same easel.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/caraku...7619326458059/
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Old 2 Days Ago   #69
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Long ago I cut strips of Ilford poly multigrade filters and mounted them to a 3x6" piece of Plexiglas. I put a 1 stop ND filter over grades 0-3, and left grades 4 and 5 without, as the Ilford filters are speed matched. You could throw this over an important area of the negative and and get a good idea how each grade would look on a single strip of paper.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #70
PRJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I'm re-convinced to try SP again, since I was able to get more about it in this thread.
Not sure if Focomat really worth it if I have working enlarger with latest Nikkor 50 2.8 lens. Is it going to be really different?
The only things that matter for an enlarger are alignment and evenness of light. Do you need a Focomat? No. They are nice though. There are a lot of nice enlargers. It just ends up coming down to what you like. The Focomat has autofocus once it is set up, so that is nice. It saves about ten seconds of focusing...

As far as your lens goes, my Focomat has a Nikkor on it right now. I have a ton of enlarging lenses. Very little difference between them. All the good ones are good. Even some "bad" ones are good for some purposes. Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Most people don't have any real experience with things. They just regurgitate what someone else regurgitated. If you have a Nikkor there is no point in changing it unless it is dirty or the elements are not optically centered. Odds are it is fine.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #71
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Mine is Vivitar. Stable, no shake, no head bottom drift. It has filter drawer above the lens.

Just like on this photos, even same easel.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/caraku...7619326458059/
I think it is an excellent set. (I love the time-o-light, I had one fifty years ago).

A timer with a memory for several different exposures is very handy.

You only need a set of Ilford filters and some variable contrast paper.

remember: use only the filters 00 and 5

When switching the filters, the enlarger and the easel may not move.

Erik.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #72
wpb
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I started with that Vivitar enlarger in 1985. Do not do split printing and use the filter holder above the lens, it always seemed to loose sharpness that way. Much better results were obtained just holding the filter(s) below the lens. As an aside; if you take an unexposed and developed strip of film and make very fine marks on it with a needle or pin vertically and horizontally in a checkerboard pattern you can test it very easily for proper alignment. You can either check it with grain focuser or make a print and inspect.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #73
Erik van Straten
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I made this split grade print this evening.

Leica III black nickel, Color Skopar 50mm f/2.5, 400-2TMY/AdoxMCC110.

Erik.

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Old 2 Days Ago   #74
Ko.Fe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
I think it is an excellent set. (I love the time-o-light, I had one fifty years ago).

A timer with a memory for several exposures is very handy. You only need a set of Ilford filters and some variable contrast paper.

remember: use only the filters 00 and 5

When switching the filters, the enlarger and the easel must not move.

Erik.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wpb View Post
I started with that Vivitar enlarger in 1985. Do not do split printing and use the filter holder above the lens, it always seemed to loose sharpness that way. Much better results were obtained just holding the filter(s) below the lens. As an aside; if you take an unexposed and developed strip of film and make very fine marks on it with a needle or pin vertically and horizontally in a checkerboard pattern you can test it very easily for proper alignment. You can either check it with grain focuser or make a print and inspect.
I use this enlarger for some years now. No alignment problems on prints.
And I have both Ilford filters one for enlarger drawer above lens and one set with filter holder under the lens.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #75
LeicaFoReVer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
Like I said, in unmanipulated prints there isn't a difference. We are both in agreement on that.

As far as speed goes, it just depends on your experience. An inexperienced printer needs to figure out contrast and time. If he starts with one filter he can figure out the time with the first test strip but not the contrast. Then he makes a print and it has the wrong contrast. Back to square one. Then he changes the contrast but that will affect the time as well. Chasing his tail. With split printing he just needs two test strips and he is pretty much done. So it is faster to arrive at the end point. The majority of time in the darkroom is spent standing over trays. Changing a filter only takes a second. If it saves you from making a test print or two, then the timed saved is pretty significant.

The big advantage of split printing is in manipulating an image, especially with highlight contrast and shadow contrast. Burning and dodging with one exposure does not affect the other exposure since you are manipulating different layers in the emulsion. There is a reason why every good printer I've ever met uses some form of split printing. Commercial printers tend to want to make the print fast on as few sheets of paper as possible. Printing fast for other people and printing the best quality for yourself are two different things.
Exactly what I faced and got discouraged as a novice printer. Thanks to split printing, I get at least satisfactory results for myself and enjoy. You summarized very well the speed of the split printing due to the reasons mentioned. Shaking and deciding on the split exposures are two things I need to practice. I print in bathroom, enlarger on a shaky foldable table and filter drawer is not smooth. Still I like split printing more.
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