I think that what we may be missing in this discussion is the acknowledgement that with an f-stop timer the system is extremely easy to operate, whereas without one it is quite cumbersome, requiring reference to tables, and/or calculations. I felt that since I was going to stop counting elephants and purchase an electronic enlarger lamp switch, it might just as well be an f-stop timer.

My method is to standardise on a 10 second base exposure, and to vary the lens aperture to control the light required to obtain my base exposure. I define this base exposure as that minimum exposure required by most of the print. I may dodge very small areas to reduce localised exposure further. I then add further exposure to those areas that need it, in fractions, or multiples of the base exposure, that is in f-stops. In other words I think in f-stops, not seconds.

Should I choose to reprint at a different print size, (or onto a different paper), then a simple calculation is used to establish the new base exposure, and then all other exposures of the burning and dodging regime follow exactly the same f-stop sequence as the original print. I expect to get an identical print from this method on my 3 inch RC test print as I do on a 20 inch finished Fibre print. It is this ease and flexibility that is the attraction of this printing method for me.

Whilst I see little point in an established and successful printer struggling to adapt to this method, I would advocate those new to printing to adopt it from the start of their training.