Preference for printing exposure times

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by cliveh, May 3, 2013.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    When it comes to printing exposure times I try and avoid odd numbers. I realise this is a bit strange, as sometimes the correct time may require an odd number of seconds or points of a second. For example a print exposure that may require 5.3 seconds I would prefer to print at 4.8 seconds and perhaps over develop slightly. This is perhaps an extreme example, as I may alter the aperture to put it more in line with even numbers. I know this is strange behaviour, but do others suffer from similar number/behaviour preference?
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Nope. Whatever the print needs is the amount of seconds I use. I fail to see why this number should have any other criteria.

    I use a metronome, so 1/2 second is about as precise as I can get.
    Using the f/stop method I aim for exposure times in the 20 to 40 second range, in order to be able to smoother apply burning and dodging maneuvers, and it effectively eliminates any inconsistency the use of a metronome introduces.
     
  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Couldn't have said it better.

    Ken
     
  4. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Just like this, but split grade and not f/stop. I'm happy when the low contrast exposure falls between 20 and 30 seconds.
     
  5. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    To the second, aiming for 15-25 for the base exposure, if possible. Very occasionally a half second. For the base, I use a clock, and a metronome for all D&B.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i don't let time by my measure, i let the time needed be my measure
     
  7. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Coincidentally, I try to avoid odd, strange posts. Obviously, I'm not entirely successful.
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I'm happy when my base time for Grade 2 is around 32 seconds give or take a few "third-stops" - burn exposures up to around 50 seconds and dodges down around 16 seconds. All in "third-stops". Sometimes I'll pick a time in-between but mostly one of the marks.

    I have a 60 second electromechanical timer, and a non-stabilized Aristo grid. So short times are out of the question for me. Any finer time distinctions are non-repeatable anyway.


    I don't go out of my way to put exposures on the straight line of the film curve just to make this happen, I suppose I could if I wanted to.
     
  9. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Ha, I just thought I was going to print tonight. Going to a friends house instead so that's out.

    Too bad. Before they remodeled they had a darkroom in their garage.
     
  10. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Clive,

    Have you considered talking to a professional about this? :smile:

    It's a bit odd, but at the end of the day, no one but you (maybe) would probably notice the difference between 4.8 and 5.3 seconds so you might as well continue doing what you're doing. Everyone has quirks...I for one, think that keeping horizons and straight lines in an image is a must in most cases, and everyone going crooked for "artistic interpretation" or to be faithful to the negative (opting to shoot like a drunken fool), is a weirdo. :smile: We're all different, thank God.

    Max
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I understand having areas of "comfort" in the darkroom - even ones that aren't especially rational. I expect that there was once a logical reason for cliveh approaching things this way, and it somehow has become a habit.

    This is really no different then some of the routines I use to help ensure consistency. The value is in the fact that they have become a routine, rather than the specific segments of the routine.

    As long as cliveh isn't telling other people that they should/must approach things the same way, this is fine.
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Of course not.
     
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  15. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    ROL,

    Are you doing ok? Usually you give me something to think about, but this came across a bit off-putting.
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I avoid fractional aperture settings. I prefer to work in the time domain. Easier for me to multiply the time by 1.26 for a third stop than try and guess f6.3 on the aperture scale
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Ha yes, I always try to stay on click... Repeatable is what I am looking for. Yet it's impossible for me to achieve. My best hope is a few prints that fit together reasonably well.
     
  18. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    That's sort of an "odd" coincidence. Same thing happened to me last night... thought I was going to print but my wife and daughter wanted to go out to dinner. Maybe tonight! I've been consumed with pinhole photos recently but it's time to make some more "normal" prints. I'm so slow at printing that it's important for me not to get too far behind.

    I've developed a bunch of odd habits in the DR. I'm sure some of them are not "the best way" but they have become routine and that makes them useful. Like my eyes always go to the paper boxes before I open the door or turn on the light. My system of keeping track of how much paper has gone through the current batch of fixer would probably be undecipherable to anyone else, but it works and now it's habit. Some might be bad habits though... I don't let my test strips "dry down" and try to guess about that part and sometimes I miss.

    I wonder if your base exposure is an even number, if it might be easier/quicker to think about D&B in terms of stops?
     
  19. Jim Taylor

    Jim Taylor Member

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    Ha! I let the timer do the business in the DR, so I go with what that says...

    but... The volume of the car radio... That HAS to be an even number (or a multiple of 5)

    Sign me up to the OCD club Clive! :smile:
     
  20. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    It is easy, but sorry cliveh, some of these are odd numbers... From 32 for example I count backwards by third stops... 7, 5, 4, 3 seconds.

    I haven't memorized the sequence, I have to refresh my memory every time by looking at the black dots I drew on the timer...
     
  21. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I try to keep my exposures in the 12-20 second range as a practical matter. I avoid the number 13. 13 has bad juju for me.
     
  22. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Another coincidence. I just invested in bookbinding and packaging equipment today ($2) and the seller assured me the punch has good juju.
     
  23. Alan Ross

    Alan Ross Member

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    Rafal has the right idea. For most printers, basic-exposure times less than 10 seconds invites extreme difficulty in controlling nuance. If you have a 4.8 second exposure, how can you possibly control a 1.5 second 'burn"? if you stop down only one stop, the basic exposure is just 9.6 seconds (an even number!) and that 1.5 second burn becomes 3 seconds - MUCH easier to control. Whats the rush? :>)

    For most people, a basic exposure of 12-20 seconds offers relatively short exposures and much more control.

    Don't worry about odd numbers - stick with the even ones if you like. there's really no difference between 14.8 and 15.0. However there is a BIG difference between 4.8 and 5.3 or 6.0! Stop down and you'll be happier!
     
  24. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    It seems as if many of you have a lot of time on your hands (maybe too much...) when in the darkroom. Who really needs to worry about avoiding particular exposure times, or spend time multiplying and dividing by fractions of an f-stop?

    For me it's whole stops on the lens, exposure times that allow me adequate accuracy (how the heck do you expect fractions of a second to be accurate with any timer?), and time for dodging. I prefer times in the 20-40 second range.

    And, I alter exposure by percentages (and I make my test strips in percentages as well, rounded to the nearest full second), not fractions of f-stops, which seem overly unwieldy in the darkroom to me.

    That and a metronome and I'm in business. I like simple and low-tech.

    Best,

    Doremus
     
  25. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    If these foibles are what makes cliveh so prolific, tell me more of them!

    As you can see, my third-stops are extremely low-tech black dots on the dial...

    [​IMG]
     
  26. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    If we were rational, we'd be discussing the optimum f/stop for our enlarger lenses and evenness of illumination. Then, if the times are too short... the only solution would be...

    Make bigger prints.