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  1. #1
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Comparison (sub)Forum?

    Sean,

    I don't know if you have already tried this idea, but I was wondering whether creating a forum (or a gallery) for comparison of films/devs/papers/&c would be useful. I just saw a thread on comparing HC110 to Rodinal (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/12972-hc110-vs-rodinal-help.html) and I thought that collecting the results of people's experiments could be interesting.

    Posts would have to evaluate a single variable in controlled conditions, and should list as well all relevant data; a lot of people often ask about the difference between, say, Rodinal and D76, or between Tri-X and HP5+, so having some "canonical" images might help building a repository of relatively objective information, chemistery-wise.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    gnashings's Avatar
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    I like the idea, but I have no faith in something viewed on a monitor really showing the fine subtleties involved in such comparisons. OK for many things, but not, in my humble opinion for this purpose.

  3. #3
    Dug
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    Gnashings is right.

    The negative is the score
    The print is the performance

    The print displayed on the monitor is the performance on an 8-track

  4. #4
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings
    I like the idea, but I have no faith in something viewed on a monitor really showing the fine subtleties involved in such comparisons. OK for many things, but not, in my humble opinion for this purpose.

    Well it doesn't have to be about things that can't be shown from a print scan: simple things like grain, response to light, or accutance can be decently shown on a scan, at least for informative purpose. It does not have to be perfect to the letter, but a great deal of knowledge, especially for beginners, can be gained from a good scan. For more expert comparisons, then yes, there's nothing like a print exchange, and that already exists.

    Dug, even on an 8-track you can tell whether it's REO Speedwagon or the Bee Gees.

  5. #5
    gnashings's Avatar
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    I wasn't shooting the idea down - like I said, I think its good, in theory. I just see how in depth and how nuance-laden (and sometimes subjective) the "this film looks good ONLY in this developer at this dilution, time and agitation and only when developed on the third full moon of the year by a one eyed man in the company of 12 cats - all black, while chanting specific and highly secret incantations...etc, and so on and so forth..." discussions can get.
    Jokes aside, it IS a very subtle difference that often makes the difference here, and I have yet to see an image on my computer that would allow for this. Also, I have a compaq CRT monitor I look at in a fairly dimly lit room with the contrast, colour balance and brightness adjusted God only knows how (and often not the same way twice). What monitor do you have? What are your settings? What is the light like? Just go to an electronics store that sells TV's - they usually have the same show running on dozens of sets - and look at the difference from set to set.
    You see my point?

    Oh boy... I see the "What monitor brand gives superior tonality and contrast" forum getting started somewhere...

    Leica better make a monitor...

  6. #6

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    In theory, great idea, but I also see the issue with viewing on the monitor. What if there was an actual "book" created? I am doing testing right now and would be willing to share my results. This could be like the traveling portfolio and I think it would be a great resource for beginners.

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    A while back after testing a selection of the current graded papers, I offered the leftover paper for sale in the classifieds, thinking others might want to do the same test with their negs, developer, enlarger, etc., and no one took me up on it. I ended up giving the paper to a friend as part of a trade. I would have thought this would be an ideal kind of test. I keep the test prints in a folder for future reference.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    This is a perfectly valid and good idea to let pictures demonstrate results, rather than try to use text to convey ideas and supposed merits.

    Digital technology has to be embraced and monitors need to be calibrated to the proper industry standards using the proper tools. Choosing not to do this ICC/ICM calibration lessens enjoyment of images on the web, colour and B+W alike, which is a truly world-wide 24/7 asset rather than producing a single book for the APUG community. Those that choose not to do this ought to recognise that their self-imposed limitation is denying themselves access to invaluable information. I would encourage them not to stop others using the technology for mutual benefit.

    Please let those of us who have embraced current technology and are keen to progress and learn not be deprived. Quoting Mr Adams from half a lifetime ago is irrelevant when it is almost certain that he would have been using the latest chemistry/tools/techniques available in order to maximise the quality of his images.

    Subtleties can be shown perfectly well, by choosing small sections of the scanned film, the danger will be when sharpening is applied indiscriminantly. Agreeing to set pure black by sampling the rebate for filmbase+fog but not setting the highlights to 255, 255, 255 so that we can see how the compensation effect works would be my suggestion. That is unless there is a need to show the rebate as not being black (or white is shown as a negative), this can then be annotated in the accomanying text.

    In summary - this sub-forum would not be for everybody, but could be made to work very well for those that are prepared to sign up to some technically valid guidelines, so that the digital medium of the web can be used to enhance their analogue photography.

  9. #9
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I read APUG on a PowerBook LCD screen where everything is beautiful and flicker-free, so indeed monitor may become an issue...

    I love the idea of the book. The last time I went to my photo store I was surprised to see a recent copy of the Kodak Darkroom Guide, but apparently it's not in print anymore. Perhaps APUG could take over: with the amount of stuff in here, a good editor could either create a monthly digest, or even a full-blown reference publication. Could work for the gallery too: there's enough great photography here to publish it.

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    when I wrote "book", I didn't actually mean book as in publishing idea, which isn't a bad idea MHV, I meant a book of actual photographs in a binder. - Jim

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