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  1. #51
    Pastiche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Multi Format
    Many many thanks to each of you guys!

    I ...may be getting there
    This is the beginning of my work week, so I'll be gone for most of the next few days (not gone, just not messing w. chems/negs/papers).

    I'll definitely post back once I've made a few more steps forward.

    As for the EI - there is plenty of info in the blacks. I'm comfortable with the 50 iso designation for this film stock.
    I intend to come back with the curves for a few more development tests (more time, more time and then more time).
    Then I'll consider getting married to some papers.. but in all truth.. it's a little early for that. I would rather "fool around" with some papers before committing to any one wholesale.

    Maybe I'll have some print scans to show after another week or so.

  2. #52

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    4x5 Format
    I have never had good luck using a enlarger timer for precision exposure times for anything, film or paper. A lens in a shutter is an essential tool, also some film has such bad reciprocity characteristics that anything longer than 1/2s or 1s will throw off your measurements, 1/4s is good and generally works for me.

    I am not familiar with the particular film you are testing, and I haven't souped any film in dilute dektol, except some Arista ortho lith. You don't seem to have trouble building density in the highlights but I would be sure you have adequate developer volume to fully develop the amount of film you are souping.

    I don't even use the exact values for Delta 100 in Xtol 1:1 that my testing and spreadsheet "told" me to use, haven't for a while. They were a good starting point though. I also have bumped my EI down to 80ISO from 100ISO at N development. Film in general has such great latitude in the upper density ranges that I figure why not use that area especially if you need to expand contrast to a greater extent than normal N+2 development will get you. Also you can print through highlights all day long, but you can't print shadow detail that just isn't on your negative.

    I have lots of very dense negatives that make wonderful full range prints. I also have a few negatives that lack detail in the shadows and are an absolute $#%^ to print, but I can still squeeze a great print out of them. This is one of the nice things about BW photography. In the end its the print that matters.


  3. #53

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    It sounds as though you are quite mechanically minded, and very intuitive. Moreover, you have made impressive progress. Nevertheless, the entire process of constructing film curves ( including determination of the "proper" exposure of the film using the Stouffer tablet ) is detailed by Phil Davis in Beyond The Zone Sytem. The purchase of the book- to have on hand -will supply you with a great reference that you will refer back to over and over again. Also know that there is an entire chapter in the book about matching your film curves to paper curves so that one can use one's data to help achieve that mythical "pefect print". I have no association at all with the BTZS products. However, it would be remiss of me not to tell you that you can have all of your curves plotted automatically by using their Plotter Program with an eye towards producing a negative to fit the paper that you plan to use, i.e., one can match the film curves with the paper curves and grade that you desire to use. The resulting curves will be plotted, and can be printed out, so that you can expose your negatives and develop them in order to achieve the "correct" exposure. Some information might be on BTZS.org, or contact me privately as you desire for further information.

    I agree with the other comments concerning the amazing breadth of knowledge demonstrated on the current thread. The responses have been fabulous, interesting, and informative. Obviously there are those here who could teach a BTZS course!

    Last edited by Mahler_one; 04-13-2009 at 09:28 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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