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  #1  
Old 31st August 2014, 12:48 PM
JohnX JohnX is offline
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Default Split grade printing

So I'm having a go at split grade printing using Les's method.
Its early days yet but things aren't quite coming together.
I'm using an LPL colour enlarger, VC paper and Multigrade.
I've done a few street scenes with lots of busy subjects and they're all a bit flat and grey.
I thought that maybe the scene was a little complicated to asess for a noob split grader so I chose a scene with a little less going on, its a good solid contrasty neg half sky half beach, but the SG print from it is still a bit grey.
This print I decided was grade 0 @ 4 sec and grade 5 @ 18 sec, those timings seem to me to look a bit unbalanced, but unbalanced in favour of a contrasty print not a flat grey one.
I printed an 18 second grade 5 at the same time and its a much better print to my eye.
I think I'm having trouble choosing the grade 0 timing, except for this particular print, there wasn't much to see before 4 seconds.
Choosing the grade 0 timing is definitly tougher, not just because I'm looking for a tonal highlight but because the 2 sec steps are so faint that they almost blend to a gradient rather than being clearly defined like the grade 5 test strip.
I have to add, the filters in the enlarger head may not compare well with drop in fiters, I'm not sure.

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Old 31st August 2014, 02:04 PM
Tom Kershaw Tom Kershaw is offline
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I don't tend to use split grade printing, although it can be useful with a difficult and / or complicated negative. Exposing paper for highlight density and controlling shadows with the contrast works fine in most cases. I tend to make a print at a given exposure and just hypothesise from that.

Tom
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Old 31st August 2014, 02:27 PM
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Miha Miha is offline
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One of the most easy to understand tutorials on split grade printing

pt1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XgmJk2Fmpw

pt2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8H7eLcGUZs
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Old 31st August 2014, 02:46 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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If strips on the test are hard to distinguish, you could put marks on your test strip with a pen, before exposure. They should be dark enough to see by enlarger light. You then place your card on each successive mark as you expose the test. This is useful even if you are not doing split grade.
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Old 31st August 2014, 02:51 PM
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dsallen dsallen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miha View Post
One of the most easy to understand tutorials on split grade printing

pt1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XgmJk2Fmpw

pt2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8H7eLcGUZs
Hi Miya,

I agree that it is a clear description of the method but find his final print is way too soft for my taste. In short, clear technical description but poor interpretation of the image.

I find that this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd8-i6OXtQ4

gives a much better indication of the choices that need to be made to reach an image with a wide range of tones whilst retaining detail throughout.

Bests,
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Old 31st August 2014, 06:35 PM
JohnX JohnX is offline
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Well I've picked another neg this afternoon and I'm starting to think maybe my 0 grade which is supposed to be 90-Y and nothing else with this enlarger, is not the grade 0 an under the lens filter would be.
Exposure times are just too damn short, 2 seconds is too long, whilst it might be possible to get a near exposure using fractions of a second, it does nothing to hide the suggestion that something isn't right.
I'll check out the other methods of split grade printing but it seems I ought to make sure I'm playing with a full deck before trying any of them.

thanks guys..
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Old 1st September 2014, 09:36 AM
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photomi7ch photomi7ch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnX View Post
Well I've picked another neg this afternoon and I'm starting to think maybe my 0 grade which is supposed to be 90-Y and nothing else with this enlarger, is not the grade 0 an under the lens filter would be.
Exposure times are just too damn short, 2 seconds is too long, whilst it might be possible to get a near exposure using fractions of a second, it does nothing to hide the suggestion that something isn't right.
I'll check out the other methods of split grade printing but it seems I ought to make sure I'm playing with a full deck before trying any of them.

thanks guys..
I understand you use an LPL enlarger for your split grade printing. You are right 90 yellow is not zero you need 150 yellow and 25 magenta and zero for the other colour.

I do my grade zero test strips at five second intervals that are marked with a pencil and my grade five at two second intervals, I have found that these need marking more so than the first lot.

I have followed Les is article and do not have any problems. I don't usually do this here is a link to a blog I wrote after using Les is method.
http://photomi7ch.blogspot.co.uk/201...rinting_2.html
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Old 1st September 2014, 04:10 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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I hope this gets solved with Mitch's suggestion but it might help, John, if you were to scan a "too grey" print into the technical discussion gallery if that's what it is called

If we all can see what your unsatisfactory split grade print looks like then this will surely or at least should help us help you.

I take it that when you attempt to make a print at say grade 3-4 instead of split-grade it looks OK or at least better than the split-grade?

I mention this as a means of eliminating any issue with paper or developer, unlikely as this may be

Mike
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Old 1st September 2014, 07:52 PM
JohnX JohnX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomi7ch View Post
I understand you use an LPL enlarger for your split grade printing. You are right 90 yellow is not zero you need 150 yellow and 25 magenta and zero for the other colour.

I do my grade zero test strips at five second intervals that are marked with a pencil and my grade five at two second intervals, I have found that these need marking more so than the first lot.

I have followed Les is article and do not have any problems. I don't usually do this here is a link to a blog I wrote after using Les is method.
http://photomi7ch.blogspot.co.uk/201...rinting_2.html
Aha!

Well that makes a lot of sense, I made a chart and stuck it to my darkroom wall with all the filtration values from 00 to 5 in half steps using values I found in several forums across the internet, they must all be completely wrong, none of them mix 2 colours, grade 2 is no filtration, everything before that is a Y value and everything after it is a M value.
I can't find that value you give for 0 anywhere, in fact I can't find a bonafida document that gives the correct values for this LPL at all, its all hearsay, "I think" and "these might be".
Is this a value you've calculated yourself or is there somewhere I can get the rest from Mitch ?
I was thinking I might have to bust out a 100 pack of 10x8 and go on a 3 day test strip marathon..
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Old 1st September 2014, 07:53 PM
JohnX JohnX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray View Post
I hope this gets solved with Mitch's suggestion but it might help, John, if you were to scan a "too grey" print into the technical discussion gallery if that's what it is called

If we all can see what your unsatisfactory split grade print looks like then this will surely or at least should help us help you.

I take it that when you attempt to make a print at say grade 3-4 instead of split-grade it looks OK or at least better than the split-grade?

I mention this as a means of eliminating any issue with paper or developer, unlikely as this may be

Mike
I'm pretty sure the source of the problem is the filtration value cock-up.
Paper and developer are fresh and I'd already made a couple of prints before I decided to have a go split grade printing.
But just for information, I'll post a postable pic and a link to a full res pic.
Left is a straight M-170 @ 18 sec, which is as close to G5 this enlarger can get.
Right is Y-90 @ 4 sec, followed by M-170 @ 18 sec.
These values where chosen by me after test strips when I was under the assumption Y-90 was grade 0.
The prints are not identical, different crops taken from the same neg, the right hand print is significantly muddier, the clouds are pulled down and the beach looks like it was shot in shade when in fact it was full midday sun.

http://tinypic.com/r/9uchfr/8


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