Your illustration is a classic, and I like the way you further refine it on your site. You provide a lead that is worth following.
It doesn't provide as much information, but I try to accomplish the same goal using a 2x11 strip of paper laid diagonally over the important subject. With the strip behind my back, I turn the focus switch so I can see where I have to put the strip. Then I turn off the enlarger and drop the strip where it needs to be.
I make four or five slivers by moving a piece of cardboard about a half-inch in "third-f/stop" increments. I'm most satisfied when I see it go from "too dark" to "too light".
I made the test strip printer described in Way Beyond Monochrome by Ralph Lambrecht and Chris Woodhouse. You can get the instructions here. It allows you to get up to 7 different exposures of the same area of the negative on one 5x7 sheet of paper. After selecting a base exposure for the highlights, you can repeat the test strip in 1/3 or 1/4 stop increments to select the level of contrast. You'll have to buy the book to get the specific instructions (ps. I don't get any royalties).
The fix is in!
A-ha! It does both kinds of test strips, Localized and Continuous! I didn't notice that first time I saw these instructions.
Originally Posted by walbergb
The last few years I have been printing mostly square from shots with my Bronica and Perkeo. For that I cut 11x14 down to square and make test strips of the offcuts. But I don't print much, only a few of the best to enter in shows. On my last print session I was thinking maybe some sort of electronic assistance might be nice, but I seem to manage with my archaic methods. There is a certain intuition gained with experience as to spotting where to stick a small test piece to get the essentials.
I also print 5x5 test prints and winnow out a few of the marginal shots before hauling out the full sheets. At that small enlargement I use a 2-stop ND filter on the enlarger. Removing that to go to 10x10 or so makes the same timer setting remarkably close, at which point I use a small test strip on a critical area before the final print attempt.
It's always a pleasure when the "just right" strip has part of the essential subject... the "too light" strip contains a sliver of subject and the "too dark" strips give you some cloud, sky and water.
Originally Posted by DWThomas
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Even Ansel Adams suggests making test prints with even increments of exposure. ??? Proportinal increases make more sense. For example; 4, 5.6, 8, 11, etc. seconds
Even Ansel Adams suggests making test prints with even increments of exposure. ??? Proportinal increases make more sense. For example; 4, 5.6, 8, 11, etc. seconds. The easy way isn't always the best way, or we all might be using digital cameras.
Even said twice, I don't understand you. How does "proportional" time increase make more sense, again?
(You're really comparing making GSP's to digital shooting???)
Last edited by ROL; 08-18-2012 at 07:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
More commonly called f/stop printing.
Originally Posted by ROL
Instead of making test strips exposures 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 seconds, make them in f/stop related increments.
For example third-f/stops: 5, 6, 8, 10, 13 seconds.
The 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32, 45 ... sequence results in exposures that are each 1/2 stop different from the adjacent ones.
The images that result differ in density in what appears to be even steps - due to the logarithmic response of the paper.
So the appearance of the images that result make it much easier to evaluate appropriate exposure including, where necessary, interpolating between two examples.
It works really well, and the sequence is easy to remember .
“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