My Epson 600 scanner has a densitometer where you can examine different parts of the scanned film. (both chromes and negatives)
!. How would you use that if your printing chemically?
2. How would you use that if you are printing digitally?
Try repeatedly comparing negatives to prints you already have. This might help you get an idea for the relations between negative density values and print values.
Maybe this will be of some help. I wrote about "reading" negatives a while back on my blog. It should help you identify any problems of underexposure, overdevelopment or any combination of potential cock-ups.
What I do - which may or may not be of value:
I shoot sheet film, there are two sheets of film in each holder. I use a spot meter to meter on the darkest part of the image where I want detail, and expose to put that in zone IV. I then expose both sides of the holder identically.
Unless there is something really different about that particular scene (I know that it has massive or no contrast) I develop one of the sheets of film nominally, and then inspect the negative.
First thing that I do is to look at the area that I metered on and attempted to place in zone IV - If I calculated my exposure right, I will see some detail there, but that part of the negative will be pretty thin. I then look at the part of the image where there is highlight that I want to retain in the print - if it is completely dark and I can't see any detail, I develop the other sheet for less time. If it is thin, and could stand to have a bit more density, then I will develop the other sheet for longer than my nominal time, and if it looks pretty good - I develop the second sheet the same way. Once I am done, I have two negatives of the same scene, and I can pick which one is easier to print - usually the second one.
Gosh....so much information here...I have lots to learn.
Thanks everyone. Rest assured, EVERY response to me is being archived on my Mac for future study. PM's too.
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Very true. I remember working with some old dogs that printed on graded paper and made negs that printed on grade 2 regularly. I'm not at that level yet.
Originally Posted by Keith Tapscott.
"Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
I may have linked to the following site for you already, but just in case: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/as...negatives-4682
That site isn't perfect, at least partially because it is hard to accurately portray the information through the internet, when everyone's computer screen is different, but like the site linked to in Bruce Robbins' post, it should give you an idea how best to approach the question.
One thing I would emphasize, however, is that underexposure can be terrible, whereas underdevelopment can often be compensated for.
Over-exposure and over-development make it more difficult to get good results, but unless the errors are very large, they too can be mostly compensated for.
Do you have good prints from your "professionally" developed negatives? If so, that will tell you something about them.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
As always lots of good advise...
My understanding is that like most photography and processing and printing disciplines it comes with experience and practice.
When I was taught I was always told to under and over, could'nt be simpler... meter, set as meter then two more images one stop under and one stop over...
The more cynical of you would say thats a great way to chew up lots of film....and what does Simon do......make film !
Seriously I know photography is not a cheap passion...but there is no substitute for a good neg, never has been, never will be, and when you are starting out this gives you a much better chance to get a good neg and not to become frustrated.
and I still occasionaly under and over.
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
I do a digital print from a scan, rescan and write the density value on the dprint before doing test strips - for wet print, I encapsulate the digital print in a laminating pouch so I can erase any bad burn and dodge timings etc, saves a lots of wet print material. I scan the marked up dprint and index on the computer...
Originally Posted by Alan Klein
Thanks Simon. Your advice is well accepted, even if you do sell film! I will take some multiple shots for images that I think are worthy of this. So far I have not done so. That will change.
Originally Posted by Simon R Galley
I just sent off 2 rolls of Delta 3200 to the lab today! I dont feel confident doing those myself, nor so I have any DDX on hand. The lab can do better than me and has probably a lifetime supply of DDX compared to what I would ever need.