Filters - Variable Condenser

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by jrgoresko, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. jrgoresko

    jrgoresko TPF Noob!

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    I'm using an omega brand variable condenser enlarger. I have the filters that slide over the condenser itself, as opposed to ones that can be put under the lens. I was just wondering basically what number filter I should start on as a base. When I took photography classes a few years ago, I'm pretty sure I remember always using the same filter to start with and adjusting from there. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ksmattfish

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

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    It's a personal decision, although I think most folks would probably start with 2, 2.5, or 3. I prefer 2, although if I know the image was taken in low contrast lighting then I might start with 3.
     
  3. jrgoresko

    jrgoresko TPF Noob!

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    Should I use filters when I'm making a contact sheet as well?
     
  4. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    I wouldn't. I think you should be able to see what the straight negs are giving you.
     
  5. ksmattfish

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

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    Once again a personal choice, although like Orie, I do not usually use contrast filters when contact printing.

    As I was thinking about this subject some more I realized that I don't always start with a #2 contrast filter. As you increase the enlargement ratio contrast decreases; this means if you make an 8x10 from a 35mm neg and decide that the correct filter is a #2, then it will probably need a higher contrast filter to achieve the same print contrast at 11x14.

    So I start with a #2 when I am printing 8x10s from medium format negs (which is what most of my recent printing has been). I probably start with a #2.5 or #3 when printing 8x10s from 35mm (which I just haven't done in a while) or 11x14s from MF. I usually like to see what a print from 4x5 looks like before I use any contrast filters; often I don't need to mess with it if I'm printing an 8x10 or 11x14.
     
  6. TheProf

    TheProf TPF Noob!

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    Ive also heard that using no filter is basicaly like using a two, of course your exposure time will be less without a filter, but I think the contrast will be the same.

    Ya I usually look at the neg and if it looks like a "normal" range Ill use a 2 if it looks Hot (contrasty) Ill start with a 1 and so on
     

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