Do-it-yourself color enlargements?

nealjpage

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If any of you are like me, you're impatient. I hate waiting. It drives me nuts to have to take my negatives down to the local photo shop to be mailed off for ink-jet printed enlargements. I have a Beseler 23C enlarger with a color head. Works great for black and white enlargements and I want to start to learn how to use it for color prints. Anyone have pointers on where to start?
 

Flash Harry

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Get a book on color printing, its a lot harder than mono and temperatures of chemicals are critical so its best to use a processor rather than dishes/trays, learn to work in complete darkness too as colour safelights arent worth having IMO, its also pretty frustrating at first till you learn how to compensate for colour casts etc but once you get the hang of it you'll love it.
 
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nealjpage

nealjpage

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That's what I thought, too. I was hoping I wouldn't have to buy a book, though, and i could get all the info I need right here on TPF. ;) I put a color neg in the holder the other night just to see what it looked like. For some reason I was imagining that the enlarged image would look like a projected slide if I used the color settings on the head. Not so much. Looks like I'll have to keep my eye out for a Unicolor tube system and buy some cheap color paper and chems from Freestyle and experiment. I like to experiment. :lol:
 

ann

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try a slide instead of a negative.

you can do both; however, they need different types of paper and chemistry.
 

Flash Harry

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The color settings on the enlarger head are used to remove casts, each different film needing seperate adjustments, they are not there to provide you with a slide type projection, what you do is set each (C,Y,M) to around midway values, make a test print, under a daylight balanced light look for casts, obvious casts are easy to see, if its too yellow say, dial in some more yellow, make another print and go from there.

Its too hard to explain properly here but different casts require different combinations of filtration, it can be time consuming frustrating and expensive before you get it right, this is why you either need a good book or some personal tuition, it is not a cheap option, one tip though is to get the film you like and stick with it as all the different films will have you swapping enlarger values constantly, I've found fuji films to be the most constant of all brands, even then though as the enlarger bulb ages the combinations will change. H
 
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nealjpage

nealjpage

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Thanks for the tips. I hope to give it a shot sooner or later.
 

cblkdog

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Take a class in color printing or find a printer to teach you. Then get a job as a printer in a custom lab. Don't waste your time with an analyizer, I've only seen one that worked and that was in a big commercial lab in New York City. I doubt you can learn color correction from a book. But its worth it when you do.
 
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nealjpage

nealjpage

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Take a class in color printing or find a printer to teach you. Then get a job as a printer in a custom lab. Don't waste your time with an analyizer, I've only seen one that worked and that was in a big commercial lab in New York City. I doubt you can learn color correction from a book. But its worth it when you do.

Awesome idea, but the local community college has a photography class but with no darkroom. We also don't have a custom lab anywhere within a 150 mile radius of where I live. The local photo-hut will make enlargements from 35mm but those are scanned and printed on an inkjet printer.

Looks like I'm going to be experimenting. :wink:
 

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