I always use a printed proof sheet as the final step in assessing negatives. If it looks good on a proof sheet that has been exposed with a minimum time for maximum black, i.e. highlights hold some detail and are not blown and the desired detail in your shadows , then you've got a properly exposed, properly developed negative.
Gray/grey through out ... clear black Ilford delta 400 ...
Originally Posted by momo
So the rebate is clear with black identification but the
picture area is some what a uniform gray/grey.
I think other than a processing goof. Dan
(Thanasis beat me to the contact sheet thingy..)
In addition to the fine advice and great examples, my suggestion is to pick a medium contrast scene -- side of a house with sun over your shoulder -- that has say, a three or four stop range (zooming in and panning the scene with your in-camera meter), and shoot half the roll bracketing in half stops from -2 to +2, skip half a dozen frames, then do it again exactly the same. Tripod, keeping aperture sufficiently small to keep everything in focus for each frame.
Snip the roll in half and develop half at recommended development time and the other half at 20% less time.
The important part is to contact print each set, for identical times, and sufficiently such that you can't distinguish the film base from the bare paper. Contact prints are your most valuable weapon in the quest for both proper exposure and development.
You will be able to spot which frames have the best exposure for both normal and -20% development time. On one contact sheet you should have enough direct comparisons to see if you are close to optimum or if you need to run another roll and tweak further.
Then...and this is the hard part...stick with that film...stick with that developer...and try to contact print every roll from then on, even if there are no 'keepers'.
You will make exceptions in overly contrasty scenes and extremely low contrast scenes, in time, but with this regimen, you will acheive uniformity in exposure, confidence in your development, confidence in your meter, and a lot less hassle at the enlarger when you need to make a print.
Last edited by David William White; 11-21-2008 at 12:34 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
Just a little question about your "grade # 2 paper", is this normal or special grade?
If I am not mistaking, Kodak had no "special" grade but Agfa did and Ilford and Foma does, and call it grade # 2 (normal is then grade # 3).
As in the U.S.A., the local industry standard is more of common use, so, may I assume that 'your' grade # 2 is normal?
Just to avoid further confusion..
"...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
(freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)
PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...
Originally Posted by momo
Nobody can do this, simply because a properly developed negative is the one that most easily produces the prints you want to make. That will be different for every single photographer on earth.
My advice: take your negatives back to the darkroom and print them. Do not even attempt to judge a negative in any way until you print it. If you cannot achieve the print quality you're after from a negative, change your exposure or development until you can. Then you will often come close to a perfect negative, although I doubt any photographer has ever actually made a "perfect negative" (whatever that is). I have seen some prints which to me are perfect but I have no idea what the negatives look like that made them.
Focus on the prints and the negatives will take care of themselves.
Last edited by c6h6o3; 11-21-2008 at 12:58 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Guys, lets keep this stuff simple
Originally Posted by momo
Firstly check the Film Markings - if the film markings are dark grey or very dark grey - then the film has been correctly developed.
If it isn't - then at least one of the problems is poorly developed film
If the film markings are not very dense – then you are inadequately developed your film – re-check your process
If the markers are very very dense – then you have over developed your film – again re-check your process.
If the film markings are OK - and - you are not getting the sort of look you are expecting then there are 2 alternatives -
1) You are incorrectly exposing the film - under exposed give fairly transparent negatives and over exposed gives very black/thick negs
2) You have unrealistic expectations of what Negs should look like.
You can check (1) by buying a standard colour film, shooting it at similar subjects to your problem Negs then having it developed commercially.
If it’s OK then the camera and the way you are using it are fine.
Then the problem becomes one of reality v personal expectation.
A few years ago I would have suggested you contact a local Camera Club for a bit of friendly advice – but these days you are more likely to be mocked for using such “old and outdated stuff as film” – well more fool them but it isn’t likely to help you.
The other thing you could do is try and find a local APUG buddy.
There is a UK Regional Focus Group – put a Post in there asking for help from anyone local to you.
We are an amazingly friendly lot – who are more than glad to help someone learning
The only possibility I've been able to think of is
Originally Posted by dancqu
exposure fog while the film was in the camera.
Does that seem at all possible? What camera
A clear rebate with black indentification but
frames gray through out. Dan
You know more or less every time I look at this site I learn something really really useful. That tip about holding your neg in front of a blank document in your work processor in lieu of a light box ... genius!
I think I am going to go a step further than that and chop out the grid of negatives from the article, bung it into a word document leaving a large white space on the right of it and then use this to evaluate negs. Then, not only can I see the negative properly, I also have a whole grid of negs right beside it to compare it to ...
Thank you Apug!
Thanks again guys, well so much info and the brain is fried, but to try and answer a few questions.
The camera is a new old canon 300V that I purchased some time ago before I got my EOS 5 and has only ever had one film run through before. It was used on full auto, So I think the odds of it being that are a bit long.
The "If the film rebate is anything but clear with crisp black lettering" comment to me is a bit unclear, when you say clear do you mean as in white no tint or grey at all or light grey with clear black lettering/wording on it as I have. Clear to me means like looking through glass.
The first few frames are very light and are indistinguishable between the rebates/ frame spacings, subsequent ones are a little darker with clearly defined spaces between them.
I am beggining to think I overdeveloped them, but I used ilfosol s in a paterson tank for 9 mins as it said too and so I am unsure where i fubared or if its even that. Maybe I will use the jobo cpa next time ( i just loaded another 400 into the camera and am snapping away).
I wish I could take photography lessons but I can't for personal reasons, so I am glad you are all here and so patient, you must all get kind of fed up of the same old questions and I am sure that if you were all standing in my darkroom I would be getting clipped around the ear a few times when I did something wrong or at least a few "tut-tut's". So I am just going to have to carry on reading my books and hoping your all very very very patient.
Thanks again guys. It is appreciated.
Mono, can you clearly see the text “Ilford ……..” on the side of the film and the frame numbers?
Are you saying the Negs are so pale that they are almost the same shade of grey as the spacing bars?
Can you run another film through another camera to help eliminate a few of the variables?