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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington View Post
    Unless you're TOTALLY desperate!!!!!!!!! If you have a portrait with bad grain, you CAN try split-grading with the hard-grade exposure in focus (this exposure will not produce any highlight detail) and then print in the highlights at a softer grade with the enlarger slightly defocused (or diffused), but ... using fine-grain film in the first place is a LOT easier!

    Regards,

    David
    Well, yes. Can't say it would have occurred to me, but you're probably right.

  2. #12
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Well, yes. Can't say it would have occurred to me, but you're probably right.
    Another desperate dodge is of course to print the highlights partly with the negative in place and partly as a flashing exposure (for new readers, a flashing exposure is given without a negative in place and is JUST short enough NOT to produce visible density on its own, only in combination with another exposure). This will suppress grain to a certain extent, more or less on the same principle as applying thick paint to a rough wall. Paul Hill drew my attention to this dodge, he used/uses it to reduce visible grain on 16x20" prints from 35 mm Tri-X. I've only tried it a few times, since I find it very cumbersome to find a flashing exposure for every enlarger height, but it does work!

    Regards,

    David

  3. #13
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    So here's how to fix the sprocket hole problem: As Donald has related what you are trying to do is find the minimum time for maximum black through the film-base fog density. Instead of running your contact test over the negative strip and trying to gauge where the fbf density prints through by looking at/near the sprocket holes, simply do the test across a strip of 5 blank frames on a roll developed normally. Look for the first black stripe and that's your contact print time. Be sure to record the enlarger height, lens aperture, paper and grade, and you can simply return to those settings with the next roll of film of the same type developed the same way.

    Another problem is basing your contact print time on shadows while enlargements are based on highlight tones, but the books usually let that one slide by...

    Joe

  4. #14
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I was just talking about this with another photographer. It's one of the reasons we both make LF contact prints. There are good answers here, but have you considered gettitng a cheap 4x5 and experimenting with contact printing? You just might like it...

    All the best. Shawn

  5. #15

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    The sprocket method I believe is setting your proof exposure time based on the minimum time required to achieved deep black. The rebate is used because it has received no exposure and therefore will produce a deep black first. I think this method is far too technical and allows for little interpretation on the part of the artist. I used this method for a very short time and quickly realized that proofs made this way were of little value in determining how well a negative will print.

    I also did split grade printing which I found beneficial only when the negative was horridly under exposed. Even then the print quality was marginal at best. Keep it simple. Only two or three grades of paper, in two or three sizes (enlarged to the same degree) and one developer.

    As far as trying to create an enlargement that will equal the quality of the contact print you are wasting your time. A negative will ALWAYS contact print better then it enlarges.

  6. #16
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Breitenstein View Post
    ...

    I also did split grade printing which I found beneficial only when the negative was horridly under exposed. Even then the print quality was marginal at best. Keep it simple. Only two or three grades of paper, in two or three sizes (enlarged to the same degree) and one developer.

    ...
    I used to do a wet-printing demonstration for camera clubs and would present split-grading with a 6x6 cm negative which was a wide-angle shot of a river with the horizon in the center and a large expanse of sky, with overcast light, shot with an orange filter. It was correctly exposed and normally developed. I used first of all to make a straight print on grade 2, in which the mid-distance looked excellent, the foreground tended to a mushy gray and the sky was boring-looking.

    I then burned in the foregound at grade 3 (grade 2 would have done at a pinch, but I wanted a bit more snap in addition to more density) and the sky at grade 4 1/2. I did 2 prints like this, one with moderate burning-in, which made the sky look appreciably bolder, and then one with heavy burning-in, probably more than I woud have done for myself, but which made the clouds really dramatic. Split-grading, like everything else, can be over-done, but it definitely has its uses!

    Regards,

    David

  7. #17
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    Well, hasn't this thread been educational and informative! Thanks to the OP for the question, and the well-written responses. Glad to see the "sprocket method" replies. When I first read that I thought, "not another damn thing I'm supposed to know about and don't".
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  8. #18
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    Well, hasn't this thread been educational and informative! Thanks to the OP for the question, and the well-written responses from our in-house consultants. When I first read "sprocket method", I thought, "not another damn thing I'm supposed to know about and don't".
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

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