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  #11  
Old 5th April 2021, 05:11 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is online now
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When I tried split-grade printing using grade 0 and grade 5 filters I found that I got exactly the same results - with less effort - by printing on the correct, single, grade. Split--grade printing has been described as a rescue job for high contrast negatives. Les McLean, when he wrote about this technique, said he needed to produce high contrast negatives to make it work. Why you would deliberately produce high-contrast negatives just to make split-grade printing work is something I never understood....

Alan
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  #12  
Old 5th April 2021, 05:35 PM
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billcowan billcowan is offline
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It is not to be understood because it is not true. Your first sentence is quite right: barring Burning and Dodging, the two techniques produce the same result. Why use one over the other; well- nobody thinks the same way and breaking things down to single effect steps is a tried and true method as is combining effects to be more efficient. But how someone thinks and learns is another matter.
It may just be a matter of wanting to understand the basic effects. Sometimes it is easier to choose how to do something if you have mastered the underlying effects of the individual blue and green light.
Combined filters have been presented (for a new learner) as the basics. Historically (mid 20th century) they were supplied so that hobbyists might not need to actually understand the real basics.
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  #13  
Old 6th April 2021, 03:35 AM
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Steve O'Nions has a video where he uses a similar system to that which is described in the OP - using a 2.5 to get the starting point and assigning G0 and G5 from there (he is using the new MG V so he splits the time 50/50 twixt G0 and G5 instead of using twice the time for G5 as per MGIV and Ilford fibre papers) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk1bmUVVTvg
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  #14  
Old 6th April 2021, 06:07 AM
beetcleaner beetcleaner is offline
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Thankyou everyone for your comprehensive advice. I think I'm trying to run before I can walk so I'll start off with single grade printing to see how I get on. I've ordered a pack of Ilford MG RC V 10 x 8 and am currently shooting some Ilford Delta 100 to print with.
I've had five or six rolls of Ilford HP5 processed by a lab recently and while they are ok they dont have any "punch".To be fair I suppose they have to take an average of the roll and print for that but my goal is to produce prints that really look black and white if that makes sense?
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  #15  
Old 6th April 2021, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beetcleaner View Post
Thankyou everyone for your comprehensive advice. I think I'm trying to run before I can walk so I'll start off with single grade printing to see how I get on. I've ordered a pack of Ilford MG RC V 10 x 8 and am currently shooting some Ilford Delta 100 to print with.
I've had five or six rolls of Ilford HP5 processed by a lab recently and while they are ok they dont have any "punch".To be fair I suppose they have to take an average of the roll and print for that but my goal is to produce prints that really look black and white if that makes sense?
You will not know for sure if your negs have "punch" until you print them. If your negative look to have a high contrast they will be difficult to print. I have had this in the past where grade zero was to contrasty.
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  #16  
Old 6th April 2021, 11:06 AM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is online now
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I agree with Mitch. It's your prints that should have punch, not your negatives. Ideally they should look a bit flat, then you will have different options for printing them, and they will be easier to print than if they are high in contrast.

Alan
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  #17  
Old 6th April 2021, 11:25 AM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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I know this thread is about printing, but the basic route to a satisfactory print is the correct negative exposure and development . Itís a good idea to study this first. You donít need special equipment, or lots of time. There are some fairly simple tests to establish the exposure that gives the minimum usable shadow density, and the development time that produces the appropriate contrast for your enlarger and lens. Apologies to the OP if you have done all this, but if not, then time spent on this will ensure that you are working on producing prints from good negatives.
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  #18  
Old 6th April 2021, 04:17 PM
tillari tillari is offline
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As mentioned above, using split grade printing with one time for one filter and another time for another filter for all the print is almost the same of using only one filter. I said "almost" because you with split grade you can obtain intermediate contrast graduation (the same with a color head). It's no a real advantadge. The difference appears whith dodging and burning, with the posibility to get different contrast situations in different parts of the copy.
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  #19  
Old 6th April 2021, 06:30 PM
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Well, almost the same. Supposing you have settled on a grade two to give perfect highlights but feel like you want to boost the contrast in the overall blacks just a bit.
You can go to grade 2.5 but then the highlights would be lighter so you need more time to bring them back but the combo of grade 3 and more time might make your black just too broad.
Or add .5 sec to your grade 5 split. I expect you may think of this as burning the whole print.
Bob Carnie, our own Canadian world class printer often (usually) does just this; a wee extra blast of grade 5, overall.
Individual manipulation of your whitest highlights mostly separate from your deepest blacks does have an advantage.
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  #20  
Old 6th April 2021, 09:17 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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I have since watched the Steve O' Nions video, one by Greg Davis and finally the one by someone who calls his site ShootLikeaBoss and on balance the first and third videos both convey the benefits of split grade a little better than Dave Butcher's Ilford one.

What would help promote split grade is to see how close or far the best straight print with a single grade including the half grades gets to the G0 and 5 or G1 and G5

Mike
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