Test Strips, Marking

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by jeroldharter, May 2, 2006.

  1. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have really been enjoying my RH Designs Stop Clock Pro timer. I make test strips in 1/6 stop increments and I have a hard time telling them apart. I try marking them with a ballpoint pen but the marks dissolve during processing.

    Any advice on a good marking device for delineating test strips? Thanks.
     
  2. Timothy

    Timothy Member

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    I have been using one of these timers for a couple of years now and I love it. I also found the same problem you mention. First, I find it easier to work with 1/4 stop intervals most of the time, but I also found marking pens in the Darkroom supplies at several outlets here in Toronto, that are designed to remain even after getting wet. I never need more than two test strips now.

    Tim R
     
  3. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    One idea is to tape a piece of card along the edge of your easle so it blocks the light from hitting the edge of the print. Cut notches where you'll be making the 'test strip lines' so there's a V of density at that point on the print...then you'll know where the changes are.

    An even more anal way is to do that for both the top and bottom of the easle, just to make sure all the test strip lines are parallel...not that I've ever done that...nope...not me :wink:

    Murray
     
  4. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    Staedler Permanent Lumocolor Pen. I bought mine at a local art supply store as recommended by an instructor. It supposedly won't affect your chemistry the way sharpies can.

    Sunny
     
  5. hortense

    hortense Member

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    Compartor Card

    Also mark the top/bottom of easil as does Murray - then, make a comparator card in 3-second steps. Just hold the card up to the test print or strip and read the steps.
     
  6. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    Pencil me in...

    A soft (3B or greater) pencil works great on test strips, proofs, or final prints. These are available at art supply and conservation materials outlets. The pencil is considered acceptable (and in most cases required) for archival use also.
     
  7. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I will try the masking approach by covering bits of the different strips. However that requires that I pre-determine the strip width and have masks for each paper size etc.

    I also ordered some of the Staedtler markers and Sharpie laundry markers. I agree that regular Sharpies are a bad idea. The ink flakes off and the makes little stains on the tray.
     
  8. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    Try and get hold of a Nova test strip maker. I don't know whether they're still available. They are made from two pieces of perspex joined by a hinge. The top piece has a window cutout. The edge of the printer is serrated in such a way so that the edge of a piece of 10 x 4 paper is exposed, so that you can move the paper down the test strip maker.
    You set the timer to make separate test strips and place the maker so that the window is positioned on the baseboard to expose an important part of the image.
    The advantage of this device is that you get the same area of the print exposed for each test print: especially useful for identifying the optimum print time for tricky highlights.

    FWIW, I rarely have problems distinguishing between 1/6 stop test strips. Do you have a bright enough white light in your darkroom?

    HTH