Film Speed and Development Test (Excel spreadsheet supplied)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by RalphLambrecht, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I don't believe in trial-and-error testing of film speed and development times, and manufacturer recommendations or the Massive Dev Chart cannot account for individual setups and darkroom techniques. Phil Davis' BTZS or the precise technique outlined in 'Way Beyond Monochrome' do a much better job. They are very similar to each other, using 5-6 rolls of film, an afternoon of work and one is done with it. No surprises, no future tweaking!

    The problem with both methods is that they rely on a fairly laborious graphical data analysis. For BTZS users, software can be purchased, and I have been asked to generate something similar for 'Way Beyond Monochrome' users.

    I'm glad to report that an Excel spreadsheet is now available to do this. The spreadsheet is free, and you don't need to own the book to use it.

    You'll find it here:

    http://www.waybeyondmonochrome.com/WBM2/Library.html

    and here:

    http://www.darkroomagic.com/DarkroomMagic/Darkroom.html

    I hope it helps and you will report back with any issues you may have, so, I can improve it for future use.
     
  2. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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    Hi,
    I have a question about your film test procedure. I use d-23 for my processing, 4 minutes is really low contrast for my processing, probably like n-3 or n-4. Does your spreadsheet have those development values baked in the calculations, or is it OK to use different processing times? Thanks for all your contributions.
    Best regards,
    Steven
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Steven

    The spreadsheet is flexible enough to deal with any development time sequence. Feel free to enter your sequence into cells G10:K10. It will even update the page titles on the other sheets.

    The visual clues are:

    yellow cells = feel free to enter your values
    green cells = out put values, don't modify!
    blue cells = optional, modify if you know what you're doing
     
  4. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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    Also, I'm using Open Office in the Mac and Linux, and this is what I get in the summary pane, is this correct?

    FilmTest.jpg
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Not quite. It should look as attached. I don't think Open Office does all the computations. I see some 'err' statement on your sheet. I'm afraid Excel is a must.

    However, I see, you've used the .xlsx version. Try the .xls version and see if that works better in Open Office. No promises though!
     

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  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Is there a précis ?

    There's a free BTZS spreadsheet available and its very much simpler to understand & does the same , a former APUG moderator was involved with the magazine article and the Excel spread sheet.

    Many people no longer use Microsoft Office, the BTZS files work OK. with Open Office.

    Ian
     
  7. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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    No dice. I'll get Office then.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Those are nice. Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Ian

    There is no competition here. Use what you prefer, but the BTZS file does not do the same. It does not work with 31-step tablets and requires much more user interaction (more inputs), and I did not find it that easy to use.

    With the WBM spreadsheet, you enter the data on the first page, enter the effective film speed on the last page, and you're done. You don't have to read anything off the graphs and enter it numerically (except for once). This relies on some matrix evaluation in Excel and is probably the reason that Open Office doesn't work with it, because it does support it. The final results are also not the same but very similar, except for film speed.

    I was asked to do this, and I did. It is not a competition to BTZS. It's a different approach, but you are right, it needs more documentation.
     
  10. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I'm gonna give it crack on OO this evening and see what comes of it.
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I like to hear about your experience with it. I used it for 6 dev/film combos so far and it worked flawlessly! But the world is full of gremlins.
     
  12. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Are 31 step wedges easy to find, sorry haven't looked at all yet.
     
  13. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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  15. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I was able to open it in OOCalc successfully. I think the trick is to open Calc and from the software to open the spreadsheet into it, rather than to open the spreadsheet and choose OO. And I did download the .xls file. It might be a short while before I try this. I need a few things first and that comes in February.

    Thanks again, Ralph. Talk about coming through. Woo Hoo!
     
  16. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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    Does your "Summary" page look like Ralph's image or mine? I tried it the way you describe and it looks wrong.
     
  17. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Oh. Um, kinda like yours. I'll have to look into this a bit. Gimme some time.
     
  18. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    These look like they are 8 inches long, are you cutting them to use on 4x5 film?

    Thanks
     
  19. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    First things first: Thanks for posting this Ralph. I'm sure a number of people will find it very useful, as will I after figuring out the syntax error.

    As for the results opening an excel spreadsheet in openoffice, it's an equation syntax problem.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Error: 502
    Invalid argument
    Function argument is not valid, for example, a negative number for the root function.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It can be done in openoffice, just not with excel's exact syntax. I'm not a spreadsheet matrix wiz, but the attachment will show that just by right clicking on a data point in the graphs and choosing to insert either a log or exponential (appropriated to the case) trendline, openoffice will give the same curves as Ralph's sheet. I inserted curves for both the proposed and adjusted data, equations matching the line color.

    I may have some time to explore the matrix math syntax, but I'll have to learn it for excel (which I haven't used for about 5 years) and then learn to make the necessary changes for correct openoffice syntax. One of the reasons I quit using excel is evident in Ralph's post including two versions of the spreadsheet for two versions of excel. If I get to this (I'm currently rather busy with a number of other projects), I'll report back to this thread. Just be assured that openoffice is capable of this with correct syntax, and that purchasing excel is optional, as is learning how to use either excel or openoffice to their full capacities.

    Lee
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2011
  20. bonjour22

    bonjour22 Member

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    mikebarger,
    For 4x5 sheet film, Use TP4x5-31. It is 31 Step Projection Scale 4" x 5".
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I wasn't implying there was competition Ralph, rather that the text of the article with the BTZS spreadsheet helped explain it's uses. So as you say some documentation will help.

    It would be interesting to relate the techniques use to the more practical visual testing of the Zone system as many don't have access to a densitometer.

    It's a few years since I was really adept at spreadsheets bur it would be useful if some one could make the WBM one fully functional in Open Office.

    Lee highlights why many of us stopped using Microsoft Office, in my case it was complex Access databases used commercially rendered completely useless in new versions of Office with no backwards compatibility.

    Ian


     
  22. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I use Neo Office with my Mac, and the charts look identical, even though I too have some err messages.

    Not sure if they are the same, but certainly not how the OO chart looks.
     

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  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Open Office graphs have the same co-ordinates it's just the Blue lines that are missing or in the wrong location, so the syntax error/differences are slight.

    Ian
     
  24. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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    Ralph,
    Would incident metering charts be too much to ask?
     
  25. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Part of the missing chart lines problem is that some are set to 'invisible' (I expect to improve readability) and some import as the color white, which is also the background color. The syntax problem is often just a case of switching out commas, semicolons, or colons when importing excel to OOo.

    I've switched to LibreOffice now that Oracle has bought out Sun and required copyright assignment to Oracle for all code contributed to openoffice.org. LibreOffice is a fork of openoffice.org, and most of the main developers outside of Oracle/Sun have jumped ship to LibreOffice. Many of the main linux distributions, NeoOffice, and other variants will be shipping LibreOffice in future.

    Release candidate version 2 of the first LibreOffice, version 3.3 is now available from http://www.documentfoundation.org/

    Sun was very slow to accept outside contributions to the code, including corrections, improvements to .xls and .doc import, and cleaning out of legacy code, so it didn't progress very rapidly under Sun. Oracle is expected to be no better, perhaps worse. Oracle owns the openoffice.org trademark and won't let the fork use that name, hence LibreOffice under a new aegis and with improved freedom from special corporate interests.

    I've kludged a 'fix' for the time vs. average gradient numbers and graph in the summary sheet, but don't have time for the N-development vs time right now. Don't ask for the sheet yet, it's too messy. I may explain the fix time vs. gradient fix when I have more time for a longer post.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2011
  26. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Thanks, Lee. You rock, as usual.