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  1. #11

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    Moose, I'm just going by a book I have that recommends doing a maximum black test. I just took another look at the test strips in daylight and the one I got to work shows a slight difference between 8 and 10 sec. So I am to assume that 10 sec. is the starting exposure for this paper at f11? Is it the maximum time? I just thought that the paper turning black at 8-10 seconds was really short. I understand that this was supposed to give me a starting point for exposure. I guess I was thinking once it reaches black it's, er, "done" So, I take it this is necessary for every negative I want to print? Thanks ann for responding cause it helped clear my thinking. Ole, thanks for the tip now I have another way to test. Last night was my first time in a darkroom and I'll try to make this as painless as possible for everyone. I no longer fear the dark.
    The Rat

  2. #12
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Next step

    Dear Mr. Rat,

    It seems you have the correct time for a minimum exposure for maximum black. I can certainly sympathize with you and your efforts. I was in the same boat just a year and a half ago. I work in a vacuum here, with one friend to bounce ideas off of about darkroom work.

    The next step you have is to use this information to find out the correct printing time for a negative. The procedure you use will be the same, but you will be using a sheet or piece of exposed and developed film to find out the same information about the film's unexposed edge. Since the film acts as a sort of filter that lets less light through to the paper, you will be printing to find maximum black with respect to the film and its development. The time you have will be a bit longer, because film is never 100% clear. It stops a little light, but there will be the same result as you reach your goal. I use a sheet of film that is not exposed (but is normally developed) to find out the exposure for "film base plus fog." This is just a baseline for exposures, as each exposure will vary a tad around this value. More film exposure means a longer print time, less exposure can mean less print time.

    Please know that everyone here is with you and wants your tests to be a success. Keep plugging away at it and it will begin to make sense. Sometimes we forget how much we have learned, and how difficult it is to pass this on with words.

  3. #13

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    Thanks, Nose for the support and tips. I miss hiking in Sabino Canyon and out to Seven Falls.

  4. #14
    John_Brewer's Avatar
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    Hello Ratty, I think if you're fairly new to working in the darkroom IMHO you should put the book down you're reading a way for a while. You should be having fun in the darkroom now, not worrying about DMAX/DMIN etc. I am not knocking the book you have, it will be a godsend in the future.

    One way I work is with an average neg in the enlarger, grade 2 filter and i'm only interested in getting the correct detail in the highlights. A test strip or two later I have, say, detail on a white washed wall. I have a rough exposure time now, and can concentrate with the contrast by varying the filteration. The filteration test strips will allow you to control the contrast without worrying too much about highlight detail and exposure time. Then you're close to a good print, just a matter of tweaking!

    Keep your not so good prints ( too flat/contrasty/over/under/exposed) in a scrapbook for reference with notes you've made - it will save you a fortune in film and paper!
    ~John~
    --------------------------
    www.johnbrewerphotography.com
    There are 10 types of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

  5. #15

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    Thanks John. Okay everyone, my first print is uploaded in the standard gallery. Thanks for the help.

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