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  1. #11
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    If you figure out what settings are right on for a normally exposed negative, you can then look at any negative you are about to print and estimate how far away from normally exposed it is (in stops), make adjustments on the enlarger to compensate, and you will be pretty close all the time on your first test strip.
    That's my method too.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I use this same concept but just look at the projected image on the easel and adjust the aperture till it looks about right, the I use an equivalent exposure. I'm truly surprised how well this works.
    Sounds reasonable to me! It is how light meters work; by "seeing" intensity of light and comparing it to a reference point...which is what you are doing.

    The only real problem I can see it that the "correct" reference point in the human brain can vary quite a bit depending on many factors, but a light meter always has a fixed reference point. In other words, the thing that looks right on to you may vary from day to day, or even within a session, for a variety of reasons.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #13
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The advantage of something like an EM-10 is that it helps you take variables like enlarger height/magnification out of the equation. It can give you an excellent base exposure time - something to "circle" when you do your test strips.

    It can also help if you have something in your negative which has a known reflectance and tone. You can use the EM-10 to match the tone in your current print to a print you have done of that item previously.

    It is really of no more (or less) value than any other meter. If the operator has experience, and good judgement, it can be helpful (and cut down on how many tests you do).

    I like to use my EM-10 to:

    1) set up my enlarger for contact sheets;
    2) assist when I'm printing different size enlargements of the same negative;
    3) assist when I'm printing related negatives from the same shooting session; and
    4) assist when I go from one negative to the next (gives me a more finely tuned starting point for my first test).

    Hope this helps.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #14
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I only make "fine art" prints, or try to... =) If I were working commercially I would probably approach things differently.

    That said, I make a full test SHEET. (I can usually guess close enough now to place things around where they need to be). I find that my idea of what exposure would make the RIGHT print is not always the BEST print. In other words, the test sheets might show me that the "normal" exposure does not make the best expressive print. I look at printing as a process of discovery and in that way find my test sheets invaluable.... Just a thought. All the best. Shawn

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LF2007 View Post
    Hi,

    I've been printing on baryta papers for a while now and found that I waste appr. 2-3 sheets of paper before I have found the right exposure/ density for my print....

    Is there a way to do it correctly the first time without making a test strip and wasting paper.

    I know about expensive equipment available (I think from Heiland) but..... is there a cheaper alternative?

    Thanks!
    I would say this if you do contact print of you negatives put a 21 step stouffers wedge with the negs, then you will see right away what exposure is needed

  6. #16
    traveller's Avatar
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    What helped me to spare a lot of test sheets, not all, are the tools from rhdesigns. I use the Zone Master, having bought the Stopclock first, otherwise the Analyzer Pro would have been a option.

  7. #17
    olleorama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I use this same concept but just look at the projected image on the easel and adjust the aperture till it looks about right, the I use an equivalent exposure. I'm truly surprised how well this works.
    I use this method too. I'm quite surprised how often I'm right. I find it harder to find the right grade. My solution is to use smaller paper for testing and then just calculate the compensating factor for the higher height. Same kind paper of course, yeah, not same batch, but still pretty surprisingly precise. I made a small program for my old high school calculator since I haven't bothered writing an app for symbian on my phone. Nerd it is!

  8. #18
    rmolson's Avatar
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    Fred Pickers idea of the Proper Proof method will tell you the negative’s contrast and approximate density when printed. In other words it will get you in the ball park.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by LF2007 View Post
    Thanks! And what about black and white? I only print black and white.
    Doesn't matter, The exposure channel is just that, exposure. The EM-10 is much more portable, only weighs an ounce or two. Unicolor, Beseler & several aftermarket brands were around. Gossen had an adapter for the Luna_Pro that did the same thing.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #20
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    Keep as many variables constant as possible.... film rating/exposure, magnification, film type, developer, paper....and you can get a pretty good first estimate based on experience. This is what I do for lith printing

    I really hated test strips until I started doing strips of only the part in the photo I care most about. That got me in the ball park with less wasted paper and allowed me to experiment with burn areas.

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