Contrast Filters

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by curtisdehaven, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. curtisdehaven

    curtisdehaven TPF Noob!

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    Hi All...

    I'm a hobbiest, I'm a hobbiest, I'm a hobbiest... Just had to get that out of the way! I hardly ever develop prints, but when I do I have fun with it. Also when I do, it's usually from some 3"x5" glass plates I found in an attic and it's usually just contact printing.

    Recently an enlarger has come into my possession. Furthermore, it's one with a head large enough to accomodate these plates I have. It even has an extra lens that when swapped in allows the head to be at a reasonable height... So I thought I'd try my luck at enlarging some of these plates.

    I haven't bought any chemistry or paper yet, but I've started browsing a site called www.porters.com. I see that all of the paper they offer is variable contrast and that as I understand it, I need to use filters to trigger the various contrast levels.

    As I'm also on a budget, I really don't feel like springing for those filters. Question 1 is how will the paper perform to just white light?

    Question 2 is... As it turns out, this enlarger can do color - I have no interest in color, however. In leu of not having the contrast filters, is it possible to "dial in" a color right on the enlarger? If it is, how do I arrive at the appropriate settings?

    Thanks! -- Curt
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Yes, you can print without the contrast filters, you just won't have much control over contrast.

    Does the enlarger have built in color filters? If so you can use those in place of a set of contrast filters. In your package of paper, or at the paper manufacturer's website there will be a list of suggested magenta and yellow settings for the various contrast grades.
     
  3. curtisdehaven

    curtisdehaven TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply, ks. Yes, the enlarger (Omega) does have built-in filters. Better yet, after going to the paper manufacturer's website (ilford photo) I found a table of contrasts with filter settings very similar to those available on this enlarger. It doesnt seem as though exposure times will be quite as consistent between contrast levels as with the filters, but that's ok. There's also some tips offered for that. This I can work with! Thanks, again. : ) -- Curt
     
  4. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IIRC the exposure times will change if you only use the magenta dial but will remain constant if you use a combination of magenta and yellow. Don't take my word for it though; I printed only a few B&W images with a colour head and that was a few years ago.
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    technical speaking you will have to change your exposure times from grade 4 up.

    what happens on a printed page and what happens with individual equipment in a specific lab may and can vary a great deal. One just needs to learn their equipment which takes some time and practice.
     
  6. rob91

    rob91 TPF Noob!

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    Purchased from a retailer contrast filters can be relatively expensive, around 20 or 30 dollars. I recently bought a set off ebay, however, for just a few dollars. Depending on what size you need sets don't show up that often, but they do come up for excellent prices.
     
  7. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    20 or 30 dollars is cheap , try closer to 75-80
     
  8. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Depends on if you're looking for under the lens filters or the other kind of filters under the lens filters are much cheaper.
     
  9. bsdunek

    bsdunek TPF Noob!

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