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Using magenta.

Katy Scarlett , Mar 10, 2008; 08:12 p.m.

When is the appropriate situation to up the magenta when printing a photo? And how can you gauge the use of magenta if you're a beginner? For example, I am working on a photo with a black boot and a white cloth backdrop. I know the use of the magenta is meant to bring out contrast. However, about 10 magenta didn't really change the image and 20 just about whited the cloth out. Any advice?


DK Thompson , Mar 10, 2008; 09:41 p.m.

try 15...10M is about a grade 2, or the equivalent of no filtration. 20 is just shy of 2 1/2. the difference between the two, imho, is not enough to blow out a background. best way to judge it is to use the filtration cheat sheet that would come with the paper--kodak, agfa, ilford etc have (had) them. the corresponding CC numbers for the filer pack--grade numbers. follow that as you would if using PC/VC filters. Start there, and if you can get the concept of the VC filters--dialing in filter packs will be pretty easy. If that doesn't help-- start by looking at how contrast works in the first place--back to basics. skip the yellow/ magenta filters and use VC filters. hope this helps.

Vlad Soare , Mar 11, 2008; 09:26 a.m.

The more magenta you use, the whiter the whites and the blacker the blacks will be, and the less intermediate grays you'll get.
You use magenta filtering when you have to print a negative that lacks contrast. If you get a muddy picture with many grays but no clean white and no deep black, you need to dial in more magenta. How much more? Just until your darkest areas turn black. Not more. Going too far will destroy middle and light grays.
In your example, you should start with zero magenta. Make some test strips and choose an exposure that makes the backdrop appear correctly. Look at the boot. If it's not black, dial in a little magenta and try again. Repeat until you get a black boot.
I'd suggest using a set of variable contrast filters instead of the dichroic head. Their effect is much more constant and easy to follow, not to mention the added bonus of maintaining an almost constant exposure time. Using a dichroic head can prove difficult for a beginner.

Nige Buddy , Mar 12, 2008; 06:49 a.m.

Your whites are not blown out, they are under exposed. As your increase magenta your exposure changes (will increase) As, mentioned above, starting with a set of matched filters is a good idea. By using both Yellow and Magenta at the same time in different amounts you can keep fairly constant exposure times. Someone should be able to point you to a table of values to start with.

Also, spend the time to print a single negative with a range of filters (or filter values) adjusting the time to get similar highlight density. You'll learn stuff that will assist you in your printing career.

Katy Scarlett , Apr 10, 2008; 04:50 p.m.

Thanks for everyone's helpful replies...I will have to play around and experiment with this more!

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