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  1. #11
    hpulley's Avatar
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    With my sharpest lenses I love the results of HP5+ at 11x14" (actual image size less than 11x14" obviously due to the easel blades). Souped in DD-X the prints show almost no grain at that size when exposed and developed correctly. Surprisingly good.

    I do wear eyeglasses. I didn't think to try without them.

    I too find I can focus very well without the magnifier though I guess I don't trust myself that well yet. I also wondered if I should focus differently for RC or DW fiber since the paper thickness is different. So far I've used the correct dummy paper in the easel, refocusing when I switch but perhaps I'm being silly.

    Doing two test prints is of course the obvious answer though if I'm really just confused by diffraction patterns then it would be a waste of paper, though not much more than my usual printing workflow LOL
    Harry Pulley - Visit the BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE FORUM

    Happiness is...

  2. #12
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    You are more likely to be seeing the two extremes of depth of field. Although it will be small with the aperture wide open, it will still be larger than the emulsion thickness.


    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.

  3. #13
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpulley View Post
    I too find I can focus very well without the magnifier though I guess I don't trust myself that well yet. I also wondered if I should focus differently for RC or DW fiber since the paper thickness is different. So far I've used the correct dummy paper in the easel, refocusing when I switch but perhaps I'm being silly.
    The paper/emulsion thickness is largely irrelevant. We had a thread about this last year. I suggested that paper in the easel was not necessary as I thought the manufacturer would compensate for it. I contacted three focusing aid manufacturers and two of them responded that putting paper in the easel was not necessary.

    With that in mind, the emulsion and/or paper thickness will not make much difference.

    In his book Edge of Darkness, Barry Thornton (a confirmed sharpness freak) did a test. He put a 1/2" piece of board under his easel, focused and made a print. He then made two more prints, one with an extra board and one without the board (so 1/2" either way of focused). He claimed that he could see no difference.

    Also Gene Nocon in his book Darkroom Printing says not to bother with the paper.

    The relationship between the negative and the lens is much more important than that of the lens to the paper.


    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.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
    Ic-racer,

    do you see the same thing as hpulley does? You must be doing serious enlargments or use pretty some high-res grain focus. I've never seen anything except that it is really hard to find the grain on T-grain films.
    No, just pointing out the equation

  5. #15
    hpulley's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Seems I'm worrying about nothing. My 11x14" easel has a yellow backing so I find it easier to see things with a white piece of paper in place so I'll continue to use it but it seems I need not bother worrying about DW or RC paper.
    Harry Pulley - Visit the BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE FORUM

    Happiness is...

  6. #16
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    I actually have seen the same thing or something like it hpulley. On some film, maybe mostly acros, it seems there is something else that can come into focus just off the grain. I was thinking it was perhaps something in the film base. I don't worry about it and I always stop down a couple stops anyway. Best to find something in the image that is sharp to include in what you are looking at in the grain focuser.
    Dennis

  7. #17

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    Opem the lens all the way when focusing so you don't have the DOF of the lens giving you aymore depth than the thin emulsion itself so you can focus faster n more critical.
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  8. #18
    declark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post

    In his book Edge of Darkness, Barry Thornton (a confirmed sharpness freak) did a test. He put a 1/2" piece of board under his easel, focused and made a print. He then made two more prints, one with an extra board and one without the board (so 1/2" either way of focused). He claimed that he could see no difference.
    So if a 1/2" one way or the other doesn't make a difference why even bother with a grain focuser? I can easily guess within a 1/2" head height?

  9. #19
    hpulley's Avatar
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    It makes sense in some ways, you can tilt the head and/or the easel to fix keystoning and that obviously needs some depth of field for it to work but you're right, it does make you wonder why bother with a grain magnifier at all.
    Harry Pulley - Visit the BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE FORUM

    Happiness is...

  10. #20
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I find that the grain magnifier makes it easier to see the grain, so I use it.

    As others have said, for 11x14 enlargements, if you think you are observing "depth" in the emulsion, you are mistaken. Any depth you see relates to something outside the emulsion layer.
    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

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