I third the rcommendation for RH Designs Stop Clock.I picked one up six months ago and it has made a hugh improvment to my printing,especeily when it come to split grage printing.
Go to www.rhdesigns.co.uk have a look,you won´t look back.
It's not "more precise", it's just a different way to measure the light light Jorge points out. It may be more intuitive for some, but it is not more precise.
Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
It's basicly the same way that we control the light when we expose our film in a camera, anyway is there another way to print?
Originally Posted by bmac
I will admit that when I first tried f-stop printing it seemed too much trouble but I persevered at it and now I am very happy I did.
When making a certain size print, I will do a few test strips in f-stops and find a good base time along with dodging/burning times. Then for example if I wanted to do a larger size print I find a new base time which will be longer but I can easily calculate the dodging/burning times as I already know how many + or - f-stops are needed. I found it saved on paper.
Hope that makes sense.
I don't know anything about the f-stop method. Just wanted to say, hi and welcome back.
Oh...and...ah, what's this about "sleep deprived new father"? Sounds like congrats are in order. Congratulations!
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For those who may to try an exposure meter and you don't to pay for a RH meter until you have a chance to try one find an old Spoto Matic meter. As already noted you find the time for max black for your paper and then you meter for shadow details. I have a unit that I bought in the 70s, it meters for both shadow details and paper grade. Although not very sensitive it will give you a good working print. I seldom use mine, I tend to prefer to set my F stop and work with time for print control, but I use it when I am making 5X7 proof prints from 35mm. Very basic unit, certainly not as senstive nor the features of an RE or other modern meters.
Presuming (1) that you work mostly in similar light (daylight, nice weather, geographically near your hometown), (2) that either you can operate an exposure meter or have an automatic camera, and (3) that your materials and processing are fresh and consistent, always using the same film, paper and developers, your negatives will all have nearly the same density.
Full-frame prints of the same paper size will therefore all print at about the same enlarger exposure.
If you have a good memory or keep notes, the approximate enlarger f/stop and exposure time should be known before you begin printing. Therefore, your test strip experimentation need be only very narrow, just to fine-tune the image.
This can be done by making three or five bracketed small partial prints. For example, if your final print size will be 8x10, cut up a sheet into four 4x5's and expose one at a time in the same spot on the 8x10 easel at the same enlarger timer setting but a different half or third f/stop.
This technique does not lend itself to the traditional additive method of moving an opaque cardboard along a single test strip for sequential exposures.
The major point of this f/stop method is that the enlarger bulb takes a moment to warm up and begin to glow after the timer is activated. It then takes another moment to cool down and extinguish after the current is shut off.
Therefore, a series of ten 1-second exposures does not add up to one 10-second exposure. Rocking the f/stop eliminates this discrepancy and is much more accurate.
In the f stop method you keep constant the time and
you vary the "amount" of light. I tried it and found very
confusing and complicated. [QUOTE]
Then the f stop method meshes perfectly with
Ilford's EM-10 spot enlarging meter. As well as other
uses the EM-10 is used when sizing up or down. Dan
Here is some info on f-stop printing you might find interesting:
btw nice website
I've had good success determining the basic exposure time using a scheme I read in Black and White Photography by, I believe, Julien Buselle. The exposure times are 5, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 10 seconds. This works out to total exposure times for each strip of 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and 30 seconds, which are (approximately in a couple of cases) 1/2 stop apart. I dry the test strip and evaluate the basic exposure time by eye. The differences are enough that if one seems too light and the other too dark I can go to the 1/4 stop time between the two. The progression was easy for me to memorize, and as other posters have observed, the logic of f/stop printing is in harmony with how we evaluate light when exposing film. Now to get my hands on one of those great sounding f/stop timers from England...