I think the density range of a negative is usually figured from significant shadow to significant highlight, which would be from Zone III to Zone VIII. Count the intervals between Zones, which means leave out the first one.
Chris, the prints were made on a Beseler MX with a dichro head and filters set to 0 (ie no filter).
Originally Posted by chrisg
Thanks for the input - I thought the density range looked a bit long..
Do remember that the readings are not from a densitometer, but a subjective readings by comparison to a visual zone chart (Stouffer RZ9)..so this is much less scientific - though even subjective, I think it should be within a 1/2 step.
I'm a little unclear on what you're testing. Can't you use filters to basically get the same contrast range out of each of these papers? I suppose you can test using the extreme filters to see which paper has the best contrast range. And check the paper curves of papers that are matched in overall contrast. Or figure out paper response to different filters and your enlarger light.
Printing without a filter is usually similar to a Grade 2 or Grade 2.5, so I'm going to stick my 'DR=1.0 is normal' statement. You were seeing an 8-11 step range as opposed to 7, so even if you figure plus or minus 1/2 a step uncertainty in your estimate, your observed range seems high.
Originally Posted by photomc
Did you keep track of developer temperature? Depending upon what you were using, if it was running warm (say 75?) that could stretch your range some - maybe a full step. I'll pull out some old test strips and see what my ranges were. I think I was typically 6-7 steps for Grade 2-3 filters and MGIV. Seagull had a touch longer range than MGIV. Bergger NB was very similar to MGIV. Developer didn't seem to matter much, although the changes in temp would expand/contract ranges a bit.
First, should explain that what I was really doing was using the step wedge as a 'perfect' negative, if you will. One with a full range of tones/zones. My intent was to see how each paper would respond...which I think I found out. Temp was a nice 68 F (which this time of year is pretty normal around hear, now summer is way different). I will attached a scan of each test, though my scanning skills are so so.
The one thing I found with the test is that Ilfrod seems to handle more subtle high tones between zones VI and IX, so if they are in the negative they would print. The other thing is to lean what a given zone on a print would look like in the negative state, not something that I always could see when looking at a book.
Thanks for all the comments, and feel free to share more thoughts.
BTW the scans do not show as much of the subtle tones as the origianls do.
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"neighboring density value" I ran into that with my step wedge
and some informed fellow at rec.photo.darkroom mentioned just
that as the cause; a little tricking of the eyes.
Of course I had to confirm, so off to my Tobias TB+ to measure
the two densities. Both elevens the same. Dan