Beginner Printing questions.
Ok so I'm starting to work on my printing skills, they are very rudimentary.
I have some arista multigrade matte fiber paper if it matters. I'm currently reading The Print by Ansel Adams and I have some questions. I haven't read the entire book so maybe I missed some things. I'm kind of reading certain parts because some stuff (like home darkroom settup) is just irrelevant. I want to fine-tune my printing skills so that it is more methodological, I think I have plenty to improve in this regard. Some of my prints are bit muddy, dark, etc. so I'm starting with the basics.
1. I believe Ansel Adams suggests that you judge exposure time by highlight value. I forget which zone exactly, but I am not really practicing the zone system so I go by detail in my high values. Anyways,..
- If you use graded paper from the same manufacturer, then do you keep the same exposure time and then move up a grade or do you need to do another test strip. I suppose the latter is better but maybe unnecessary. For example. Say I determine that I get enough detail in my highlights at 10 seconds for grade 2, but my shadows are lacking, then is the correct exposure going to be 10 seconds for say grade 3/4/5, etc.?
- Well, I'm not using graded paper but I thought I'd ask that question anyways. More importantly, to me, does the exposure time change with filters? I know that there is a filter factor for lenses when you are creating your negative, but what about the print?
2. I'm using a community darkroom so I don't really own equipment for printing but if I use the contrast filters, then does it have to be absolutely clean? Like will dusts/scratches appear on my print? I haven't observed any dilution in quality.
3. My community darkroom has different size enlarging lenses, is there an advantage/disadvantage for using a medium formaat (80mm) enlarging lens for 35mm film. Well the reason why I ask is that I oftentimes print both formats so leaving the same enlarging lens (80mm) would make things quicker when I want to print 50mm. This is all-things-equal because I figured that a "better" 50mm lens is be better than a "worse" 80mm lens for printing and vice versa. The lenses that we have are Schneider and Nikkor for both formatsso I figured that they are both good enough.
4. I'm still reading The Print by Ansel Adams, but is there another suggested book or is this good-enough?