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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I think I know what you were thinking regarding hogwash - some photo books might be a waste of your time.

    But I don't know how familiar you are with the whole idea of f/stop timing when enlarging. I swear by it, and find it makes me MORE confident with the times I finally decide, because the differences are visually evenly spaced. When I use third of an f/stop times and Grade 2 paper, I find each step to be practically the "least noticeable difference". I don't often feel any compelling reason to choose a time between steps - either one or the other is right. But in a "Goldilocks" situation, I WILL set the dial between the marks.

    So when Lootens talks about test strips from 5-80 seconds, in f/stop times, he's not telling me anything I don't already appreciate regarding the doubling of each successive step.

    But he reminds me of a nagging suspicion... that because my usual sequence is a tight series (third-stops down from 40 seconds)... I might be overlooking dramatic possibilities. So my prints might be dramatically different than they might otherwise be because my skies are printed at 40 when they might have looked amazing at 80.

    He advised adjusting the enlarger lens aperture to make the 5-80 seconds test strip appropriate because it's a good range of time that gives you time to dodge and burn. But he also spent some time back-pedaling that hard-and-fast rule when circumstances require longer or shorter exposure series.

    Since starting this thread, I haven't had the chance to turn on the water... but I have a negative lined up that I plan to print. The negative is one of my "failures," for which I don't have a pre-conceived idea how I would like it to turn out.
    I'm opened minded enough to different methods, if they pan out to actually be improvements. One issue I see that involves my timer is having to change the time setting for every step on the test strip. That could be considered a "big rock in the road".

    Maybe I should make a series of test strips with different progressions. Then we can test our abilities to determine what method was used for each strip. Could be interesting.
    6X4.5cm, 6x6cm/6x9cm, 6x7cm, 5x4, 4x5, Half-Plate, 5x7, Full-Plate, 8x10, 12x10

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Tom Richard,

    Maybe it's my inability to learn something very specific, but I have never reached that point. More humbly, anytime I make a print on a full sheet of paper... without first checking with a test strip... I am disappointed with the outcome and the best I can salvage of the situation is that the second print will be OK.
    In retrospect i think my post might come through as arrogant, not my intention at all. I´m sorry. Its surely not your inability to learn but probably more an economic issue. When i started out back in 87 in a newspaper darkroom, film, paper and chemicals were free and plenty for those involved in the photo department. Needless to say spending 8hrs+ 6 days a week in a darkroom not having to worry about cost is gonna give you a touch but that is probably the extreme end of the scale, not required for getting into sync with things :-)

    Sooo, finally to my point
    Make enough prints and i think you will find that the teststrip will eventually be out of your workflow.

    Now, if i humbly could ask a couple of questions. Who is Lootens and what size do you make your teststrips in? Full printframe or a strip torn off a sheet?

  3. #23

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    The thing I like best about test strips is that there is no battery cover to lose.

  4. #24

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    So, I ordered that Lootens book though Amazon. The 1975 printing for $1.99. You can't beat that.
    6X4.5cm, 6x6cm/6x9cm, 6x7cm, 5x4, 4x5, Half-Plate, 5x7, Full-Plate, 8x10, 12x10

  5. #25
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    The difference between an arithmetic and a Lootens or f/stop sequence is that the f/stop version is more helpful .

    You ask why? Because if you compare the appearance/density of the adjacent steps, you will find the progression in the arithmetic sequence is uneven - very similar at one end, and widely spaced at the other end.

    Whereas with the f/stop sequence, if you compare the appearance/density of the adjacent steps, you will find the progression is very even.

    It is much easier to interpolate a correct exposure if it falls between two segments of the f/stop sequence than if it falls between two segments of the arithmetic sequence.
    Matt

    “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

  6. #26

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    That's an interesting thought. So, for argument sake lets take the following sequence . . . 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40. Lets assume in this case the closest patch that matches your desired exposure is around 25 seconds. So, you compare the 20 second patch to the 25 second patch, and you compare the 30 second patch to the 25 second patch. Are the patches on each side of the 25 second patch not located plus and minus 1/4 of a stop? I feel compelled to ask these silly questions to fill in the gaps in my grey matter. ;-)
    6X4.5cm, 6x6cm/6x9cm, 6x7cm, 5x4, 4x5, Half-Plate, 5x7, Full-Plate, 8x10, 12x10

  7. #27
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannL. View Post
    That's an interesting thought. So, for argument sake lets take the following sequence . . . 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40. Lets assume in this case the closest patch that matches your desired exposure is around 25 seconds. So, you compare the 20 second patch to the 25 second patch, and you compare the 30 second patch to the 25 second patch. Are the patches on each side of the 25 second patch not located plus and minus 1/4 of a stop? I feel compelled to ask these silly questions to fill in the gaps in my grey matter. ;-)
    Nope, because stops are logarithmic, not arithmetic.

    The following sequence of times is quite close to a one-half stop sequence: 8, 11, 16, 22, 32, 45, 64 - they look quite familiar, don't they.

    If you square each of those numbers, you will see another type of progression.

    Going back to your original sequence, if you square those numbers, you will get a reliable indication of how their densities might appear to progress -

    25, 100, 225, 400, 625, 900, 1225, 1600 -I've added the bolding to help show the correspondence.
    Matt

    “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

  8. #28
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Richard View Post
    Make enough prints and i think you will find that the teststrip will eventually be out of your workflow.

    Now, if i humbly could ask a couple of questions. Who is Lootens and what size do you make your teststrips in? Full printframe or a strip torn off a sheet?
    No, not arrogant. You took up a respectful contrary position. I don't plan to do away with test strips. On the contrary - here I'm planning to use them more.

    The book I'm referring to is... Lootens on Photographic Enlarging and Print Quality, by J. Ghislain Lootens F.P.S.A., F.R.P.S. 1944

    I have a big pair of scissors I use to cut a sheet of 11x14 paper into 5 or 6, 11-inch strips. I have an 8x10 paper safe and I keep these strips at an angle on the shelves (Grade 2 paper on second shelf, Grade 3 on third shelf).

    I start the timer with the strip uncovered - the whole strip gets a random amount of starting time. Then I cover all but a 1/2 inch x 11 inch and start counting clicks. These are the ticks I count which are third-stops down from 40 seconds... (8 - 7 - 5 - 4 - 3). After each interval, I move the cardboard about a half inch until the whole strip is uncovered and receives the remaining time on the timer.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Nope, because stops are logarithmic, not arithmetic.

    The following sequence of times is quite close to a one-half stop sequence: 8, 11, 16, 22, 32, 45, 64 - they look quite familiar, don't they.

    If you square each of those numbers, you will see another type of progression.

    Going back to your original sequence, if you square those numbers, you will get a reliable indication of how their densities might appear to progress -

    25, 100, 225, 400, 625, 900, 1225, 1600 -I've added the bolding to help show the correspondence.
    I can see what you're saying. So, increasing the time on a timer from 5 seconds to 10 seconds for example is not actually doubling the exposure. That being the case, what is the increase in exposure in that example?
    6X4.5cm, 6x6cm/6x9cm, 6x7cm, 5x4, 4x5, Half-Plate, 5x7, Full-Plate, 8x10, 12x10

  10. #30
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    5 to 10 is double. But then 20 is double 10.

    You'll have the book soon enough and the examples will help illustrate.

    While the advantage of making test strips in f/stop series is real... It's really not THAT big a deal. After all, it was good enough for Ansel Adams to count 5 second intervals.

    The bigger lesson to take from Lootens is to throw in a step exposure of 80 seconds.

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