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Old 9th July 2011, 07:41 PM
MattG MattG is offline
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Default Enhancing contrast - help and advice appreciated

I am a first timer trying to print from B&W negatives using a colour enlarger and I am finding that the contrast is typically quite poor. Please can you advise on the correct settings for each of the filters I have set everything to zero, except magenta which is at maximum (I thought this would provide maximum contrast) but results pretty undramatic.

I would be hugely grateful if someone could advise me of the settings I should try, giving precise number values for each dial.
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Old 10th July 2011, 07:05 AM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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Your idea as to the filter settings are correct, but there are other factors that come into play, so I must ask you a few questions.

Are you trying to increase contrast because you like dramatic high contrast prints or are you simply trying to achieve a "normal" print?

What paper are you printing on, how old is it and are you sure that it is a multi-grade (variable contrast) paper? Some papers are fixed grade and changing filters will have little if any effect.

What paper developer are you using and is it new?

Do your negatives print correctly using the grade 2 filter settings?

What film are you printing from? At what speed did you rate the film, and what time and developer did you use?

Lots of questions I know, but it is all information needed to try and get to the bottom of your problem.

Lastly, welcome to the forum.
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Old 10th July 2011, 07:13 AM
paulc paulc is offline
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One more question:

How old is the lamp in the enlarger ?

Over time, the characteristics of the lamp will change and I have found the higher contrast grades are unobtainable on MG paper.
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Old 10th July 2011, 07:20 AM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is online now
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Matt, What paper are you using,? if it is Ilford the they provide the colour filter settings for the various enlargers on the instructions that come with the paper, You need to know what you are using as enlargers use either the Durst,agfa or kodak setting for the setting,I am sure that others here who use colour enlargers will provide more information for you.
Richard
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Old 10th July 2011, 09:14 AM
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cliveh cliveh is offline
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Probably a stupid question, but are you sure the filtration is switched on?
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Old 10th July 2011, 09:24 AM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
Probably a stupid question, but are you sure the filtration is switched on?
A very good point Clive.

To clarify this point, most enlargers have a "white light lever" that removes the filtration to give a brighter focusing light, once the image is composed and focused the lever is switched over to move the filters back into the light path. You will see a colour change when this is done.
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Old 10th July 2011, 12:03 PM
MattG MattG is offline
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Default Thanks to everyone - answers

Ref Lever, it is currently set in position whereby the red light through window on clout head (LPL C 7700) is 'on'.

In answer to the other questions posed:

PAPER: ILFORD MULTIGRADE IV RC DE LUXE PEARL

I am trying to increase contrast because prints seem quite flat. Prints are ok, but came out better when processed previously at film shop.

What film are you printing from? 120 film, ISO 400 (and also some 35mm)


Also just like to say thank-you to everyone for being so kind and welcoming.
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Old 10th July 2011, 12:05 PM
MattG MattG is offline
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Default Further information

Developer is ILFORD MULTIGRADE which I have used for 3 -4 sessions, leaving it out in the tray.
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Old 10th July 2011, 01:04 PM
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RH Designs RH Designs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattG View Post
Ref Lever, it is currently set in position whereby the red light through window on clout head (LPL C 7700) is 'on'.
Matt - welcome - I have a C7700 and I'm pretty certain that if the red light is showing then it's set to white light, unfiltered. (I can't get into my darkroom right now to check but I'm 99% certain.) Anyway, if you've set maximum magenta filtration the image projected onto the baseboard will be a dark magenta colour, that's a sure fire way to check the filters are working properly.
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Old 10th July 2011, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattG View Post
Developer is ILFORD MULTIGRADE which I have used for 3 -4 sessions, leaving it out in the tray.
How long has the developer been in the tray since you started the first session?
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