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  1. #11

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    With my cold light I give a 10 second warm up then the exposure time. It has helped with consistency. I think if I had to print for a living, I would add a shutter to the enlarger and leave it on. I haven't had any such problems with condenser with a 212. Now I use a color head on my V-xl.

  2. #12

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    I recall reading somewhere that the problem is known as "the Intermittancy Effect" i.e. ten one second exposures will not give you the same density as one ten-second exposure. When I do test strips I set the timer for the longest exposure I think I'll need for the whole strip, fire up and progressively cover the test strip at three second intervals. That way each different portion receives its exposure in one fell swoop rather than in incremental chunks. It's always worked for me - maybe worth a try.

  3. #13
    Joe VanCleave's Avatar
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    I've found that you should be able to get accurate test strips by using a sheet of opaque card with a slot cut into it; then set the enlarger's timer for each time duration required for each section of the test strip, and expose through the open slot. This has the effect of taking into account all the variations in your timer and lamp (i.e. lamp warmup time, timer on/off variations, etc.)

    ~Joe

  4. #14
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Alternative to alleviate headache

    Your alternative is: Don't do test strips!. Think about alternatives. Instead proceed by doing one print that's a little too dark, one slightly too bright and then interpolate a good base exposure.
    I consistently get to a very good work print with three sheets. Once there I figure out adjustments in contrast grade and dodging/burning. That gets me close in four sheets and usually completely there in five.

    Believe it or not, this approach saves me paper, because when I do test strips I can't see the whole print at a certain exposure time, so I might miss high/low values because of that, and that always causes a lot of swearing later on.
    Just a completely different alternative for you.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #15
    Akki14's Avatar
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    But I do test strips so I know where to go for a print that is too bright or too dark. Not everyone knows or remembers this vague information for every kind of negative/print they have so test strips are valuable even just as a ballpark figure. I do test strips and still need to do a few prints but that 1 test strip isn't the same as 1-2 sheets of paper. I try to use quite large test strips, though, 1/2 - 1/3 of a paper and place it where it can get highlights and shadows in shot.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

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