Print densities ?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Firestarter, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Firestarter

    Firestarter Member

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    Is there a standard or recommended minimum density above paper base white where highlight tones should be placed ?
     
  2. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I take the question you ask to be about determining the print exposure time. But there is no density that can be put on the paper "above" paper base white------that's why it is called paper base white. Minimum density has to be some amount of density registered on the paper below paper base white.

    I determine the print exposure time based off of the important highlight in the negative that should retain some sense of texture on the print surface, about a Zone VIII area or "full" texture in the highlights around a Zone VII area.
     
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  3. bernard_L

    bernard_L Subscriber

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    OP meant paper reflection density. His question was properly formulated.

    To answer the question: it depends;/). Contrast and tone separation go down as one moves down the toe of the paper (towards paper-base white). So, to maintain a mnimum of separation ("brilliance") in the highlights, you may want expose the print enough to place the whitest parts (densest negative) above paper white. Except possibly specular highlights.
     
  4. Firestarter

    Firestarter Member

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    Yes you are quite correct . When I said above I guess I meant below. I was thinking in numbers, 0.8, 0.10 etc.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    No.
     
  6. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Well, Yes and No.

    Here is a thread where the numbers are explained: 0.04 and 90%. Pretty easy to remember.

    Yes... Those are the standard black and white numbers that you take... When you measure what the paper can do.

    Here's a post where CPorter explained it...

    http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=1105550

    No... You don't rely on those numbers when printing. Sure you can think of it like you picked the right paper grade when your Zone VIII exposures are at 0.04 white and your Zone II is down around 90% black. But that is just a starting point, a point of departure.

    You will always forget about the standards and do what it takes to make the print look good to you.

    Make several variations and line them up, show them to friends and family.

    Scientists (Loyd Jones) proved people are consistent judges and positive in their choice of what looks best when given a choice.

    So even after they came out with numbers and facts, the final conclusions were a concession that, in the end, it's how it looks that matters.
     
  7. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I use numbers for digital silver prints but don't for enlarger prints. I find L values of 94 for highlight with slight detail, L value of 6 for shadow with detail.

    on the enlarger

    If I am printing a scene with lots of blank white in close to the edge, like a white blank sky, a good visueal measuring device for me is the point where I can see the easel blades defined from the white blank sky... the blades will show as paper white and be obvious in the print... the more defined you see the blades the more exposure you are putting on the paper.
     
  8. Firestarter

    Firestarter Member

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    Thanks for the input so far.

    What are the average densities of paper whites ?
     
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  9. Firestarter

    Firestarter Member

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    I measured Ilford MGIV FB and I am getting 0.04 for base white, does that sound about right ? just want to confirm my densitometer is in the ballpark.
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    the ofirst who attempted to create a print density standard to my knowledge was minor white, but i have a recommendation for you:
     
  11. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The objective is simply to get a proper spread of densities across the print. A problem is that different papers give different visual impressions for similar densities. A familiar example is that the DMax black on a matte paper may actually look blacker than the black on luster paper, but it measures much less dense. Similar things happen in the highlight areas. Then there is the problem with developers. The curve produced by one developer may not be the same as another; so matching a particular zone to a density may have varying affects for the rest of the scale. The subject of tonal variation with different developers for modern papers has not been addresses much, and maybe some work is in order. If you use just one kind of paper and developer, you can probably experiment to find out what looks right for you.
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    that's what i do and recommend as the most streamlined process to get to a full-scale'workprint'
     
  13. Firestarter

    Firestarter Member

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    I am in the process of calibrating a Zonemaster II.

    I was wondering if there would be an advantage to setting it so it reads just above paper white rather than 0.04. Or does it really need that 0.04 to give some obvious seperation in tone and allow room for specular highlights etc. I imagine if I set it at just above base white I will be missing out on those really bright highlights if they were on a neg, or at least I would be printing them too dark if you know what I mean.

    I have finished my test strips at 0.04 and 90%. Going to make my own grey scale for the unit now with MGIV FB and then make a couple of prints to see if I am happy with them.

    Never used a meter for printing before so this is all new to me, I am only used to doing test strips. I am finding it fascinating though using the densitometer to get things as accurate as possible.
     
  14. Firestarter

    Firestarter Member

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    Recommendation, please elaborate :smile:
     
  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    if this doesnot work(i have difficultiesin uploading files)send me an email,andi'll send you the info.
     
  16. Firestarter

    Firestarter Member

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    Will do, thanks.
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Me too