Using color head to print b/w : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I am sure this question has been addressed before. If I use a color head to brint black and white, how do I decide what settings on the yellow and magenta filters, are equal to what filters? Also, any recomendations on a Kodak Paper for beginning to print?

I am using a durst 35c, it prints good (for a beginner) but I brought it through a garage sale, and there was not any information about it that was included.

Any help would be appreciated.

NOTE: I am headed to the bookstore this weekend, any suggestions on a good book for beginners in black and white printing?

Thanks Jeff

-- Jeff (, May 26, 2000


This Web page should tell you all you need to know about Kodak Polymax RC paper. (Remember we're talking to a total beginner all you Fibre Base purists)

And here's the information on Iford's multigrade paper (PDF file).

I'm afraid it was so long ago that I started printing that I really can't tell you what's available now for the beginner. But when you get a bit more adventurous, I can thoroughly recommend the book "Darkroom" by Lustrum press. (Not "Darkroom 2", though, which was a complete let-down)

Good luck.

-- Pete Andrews (, May 26, 2000.

Rats! The link to Ilford's PDF file was bad.

Try this

-- Pete Andrews (, May 26, 2000.

Can't help with the color head, but one of the best books for b/w printing is The Fine Print by Fred Picker. If you start out using fb papers, that is one less variable introduced later on. Good luck. Pat

-- pat j. krentz (, May 26, 2000.

1- 0M 24Y 1.5 10M 10Y 2 22M 3Y 2,5 42M 6Y 3 71M 10Y 3.5 134M 16Y 4 150M 50C (yes that is 50 Cyan) I have used these for years... unfortunetly, I don'[t have any below or above. Hope this helps. Cheers, Scott

-- Scott Walton (, May 26, 2000.

Re books, Steve Anchell's book on variable contrast printing is a good start. Another good book on printing is Tim Rudman's guide to black and white Printing. The links below should also be of some interest

Good luck DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, May 26, 2000.

Check the little sheet that comes in the paper box. Ilford Multigrade papers have settings for various color heads, including Durst. Contrast grades from 00 to 5.

-- Paul Harris (, May 27, 2000.

All that you need to know about printing with a color head onto VC papers is that adding magenta (with no yellow) increases contrast and adding yellow (with no magenta) decreases contrast. You make a test print and decide if it needs more or less contrast.

Don't complicate things by trying to figure out "is this filter setting equal to grade2"


-- Mark Bau (, May 29, 2000.

If you are looking for a good paper to start out with, or to use for tests or even final prints try adorama's own brand. It is a fine variable grade paper and the price is great. You can find their adds in the back of most photo mags or go to their web site at The have great prices on most things you might need in your darkroom. Enjoy

-- Ted Miller (, June 02, 2000.

Great answer about use of the color head. My comment is about Adorama. They are reputable merchants, however, I had an encounter recently. I had gone to the Agfa website looking for remnants of Portriga Rapid paper and discovered they no longer manufacture it. Some time later I went to Adorama and inquired through their system about useful papers that fit my needs - fiber base, warm tone, graded. Adorama listed Agfa Portriga rapid. I immediately emailed them asking how they had these papers when Agfa ceased manufacturing. They wrote back saying tersely, "we had some left". Well, my antennae went up and I went back to the site to order what they had and the items had been removed. Now, I went back there a week loater and the paper was listed again. I have no idea what the point of this story is except in a round about way, I'm looking for an acceptable substitute for Agfa Portriga-Rapid paper. The warm tones in that paper would m

-- Lew Berry (, June 23, 2000.


Things come and go. I was looking for some Ilford Multigrade III. Adorama had it listed. I ordered it. It was back ordered, so I figured I was out of luck as it is discontinued. A week later, it shows up. I called, they came across a few packs. Whatever.

There are a LOT of places with stuff that is no longer made. Calumet has a good selection of MG III. B&H only has a very limited selection. Some dealers stock up.

-- Terry Carraway (, June 24, 2000.

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