B&W printing filters

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I've just started out in B&W enlarging and so far have produce some good pictures just using a 'vintage' enlarger with a straight 50mm lens.

In the books I have read, all of them suggest I should use "filters" while I am print making. My enlarger is a vintage " Bessler 45M ".

The 'filter drawer' accepts square filters in the size of 2 3/8".

I would like to know where I can purchase such B&W printing filters of this size? And what do I ask for at the local photography store?

-- mike (grizz659@hotmail.com), January 23, 2002


First of all you need to be using variable contract paper. The filters allow you to alter the contrast of the print on the paper and so you do not need to purchase paper of different filter grades. Single grade paper is rapidly disappearing anyway.

The filters you need are simply called variable contrast filters and Ilford, Kodak and other manufacturers make them. Any large photo store should carry them or you can try mail order places such as Porter's Camera Store or B&H Photo video.

-- Ron Gratz (rkgratz@mtu.edu), January 30, 2002.

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