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Thread: Test strips

  1. #11
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I find every negative to need a different approach to printing and test strips. For most, I find the test strip printer using the template in "Way Beyond Monochrome" a perfect option for finding the correct highlight exposure. Some images need larger areas shown in the test strip and in that case this test strip printer will not work. So for those I go with the classic steps arcoss the image with the card covering small areas at a time. You can never skimp on test strips. I don't try to skimp on the size of test strips, but rather I try to get to the first work print with the least amount of test strips.

  2. #12
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I've got a paper safe with shelves that I swear I put test strips of grade #2 on shelf 2, #3 on shelf 3.

    When I "run out" of test strips, I take the big scissors and go to town on a sheet of 11x14.

    I cut about 2-inch strips from the 11-inch side. Last night when I did that, I had a strip that was a little less than 4x11 inches remaining. I decided not to cut it in half.

    Only problem I have to deal with at the moment - I swear I picked Grade #2 strips last night but they proved to be #3. And I cut a #2 sheet of paper last night and added it to the sheets on shelf 2.

    I have no idea which is which any more so I might have to throw out the strips and cut a new sheet.

    I hate this prospect and am thinking of marking in pencil on the top and bottom backs of each sheet... "A - A" "B - B" etc. and then snipping an inch and popping a sensitometer test on a tiny piece of each sheet.

    Going forward, I think I will pencil the grade on the back when I cut strips to prevent future mix-up.

  3. #13
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Only problem I have to deal with at the moment - I swear I picked Grade #2 strips last night but they proved to be #3. And I cut a #2 sheet of paper last night and added it to the sheets on shelf 2.
    Problem last night proved test strip was #2 and print was on MGIV, I grabbed the wrong box. My greenish Aristo must be giving me Grade 0 unfiltered. Tonight on Galerie 2, the print from last night matched the test strip very nicely.

  4. #14

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    Every time I cut off strips I think about the rising costs and tell myself to make the strips smaller. But somehow I always come up with roughly the same sizes Muscle memory I guess...

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    It'll be a real change to switch to something less expensive, and of lesser quality and consistency.
    Hi Thomas,

    I like Ilford papers best, but they are too expensive for me. I was using Fotokemika paper, but since it is gone - now I think best value for money are Foma papers.

    regards

  6. #16

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    Haven't made a test strip for years, not since I started using the Analyser/pro from RH, it is so good I find I no longer need test strips
    Richard

  7. #17
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    I only use test strips, regularly, for prints over 20x24 inches. Since I now use the Heiland Splitgrade system, my initial exposure gets me in the ballpark, and dodging/burning is easier to determine (for me, anyway) in the context of the entire print.

  8. #18
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    no, i'll continue to make test strips on 5x7 paper:
    http://www.waybeyondmonochrome.com/W...rintingEd2.pdf
    test strips are invaluable to me. no electronic tool can beat them in my opinion.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #19
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    +1 I like full sheets as well- Murals I cut a large piece of paper off the roll and do a single exposure.
    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    No.

    I don't use test strips except for large prints from roll paper – then I'll cut a couple before cutting an entire sheet to place across areas of critical exposure. But by that time I have already printed sizes ranging from 8x10 to 20x24 and have a pretty good idea of a negative's printing regime for the same paper/enlarger. I use full sheets for normal prints beginning with the general exposure test print, the practice being that I need to evaluate exposure in context with the entire print. Cutting test strips for normal sheet sizes has always been a wasteful, time consuming, sometimes frustrating, false economy for me.

  10. #20
    ROL
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    BTW (and FYI for those reading this thread who are less experienced), in reviewing some of the responses, it seems to me that some are inadvertently confusing "test strips" with "test prints". I believe the OP was posing the question regarding the cutting of enlarging paper (test strips) to determine either general print exposure or specific areas in need of dodging or burning, in order to avoid the "wastage" of an entire sheet of paper (not my preference).

    A test print, whether by printing device or the simple overlay of a burn card, is made by over exposing a single sheet of paper, of the desired enlarged size, to progressively greater, uniform, amounts of light in order to determine base exposure for the entire print, as well as areas in need of either additional light (burning) or withholding of light (dodging).

    Test Print


    It will all get you to the same place, sooner or later, easier than not, more or less expensively, depending on preference.
    Last edited by ROL; 08-16-2012 at 11:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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