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  1. #21

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    I love reading how everybody does their test strips. So much great information in here (and things I intend to try during my next session). Thanks to the OP for posting the question and thanks all for the wonderful answers...

    Mike

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    Test strips are a waste of time

    Full sheet, watch the whole image emerge in the developer
    make your contrast and density judgment there, flick on lights for 5 seconds to verify your safelight call
    move on.
    I'm with you on this one, Mr. Carnie. I use half sheets (of 11x14 paper), eyeball it for a given density and move on from there. I usually have it close by the third piece. I tried test strips by they don't agree with my brain. I rather make the call from the complete image.

  3. #23
    Ole
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    I use a sheet or strip large enough that every segment will have both highlights and shadows.

    Turn on the light, and count while progressively covering the paper.

    I cover the first sector after 4 seconds, then 5 1/2, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32 and 45 seconds.

    The first is almost white, and the last almost black. but there is a half stop between each segment, so if the correct exposure should have been 22 seconds, i can open half a stop and expose at 16 seconds, or a full stop and expose at 11 seconds, or close down in the same way to get 32 and 45 seconds.

    This also tells me if I should use a harder or softer grade to get the mid-tones I want - if the steps are too easy to see it's too hard, if the changes are too week it's too soft.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #24
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    I can appreciate how some may consider test strips a waste of time, especially if you've got a good handle on your printing process. Unfortunately for me, I started with a digital camera, and I've only been shooting film for the past year. In fact, I've been in the darkroom for only a few months! So while I get the hang of the darkroom, I'll probably want to stick to test strips while I work on getting a "feel" for printing.

    In particular, I've liked the notes from Ole regarding determining the correct contrast grade, and samcomet regarding the relationship between stops and height of the enlarger.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
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  5. #25

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    At present I use a Kodak Projection Print Scale to determine the center point for making the standard test strip. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kb1awv/5357450760/

    For example, if the Projection Print Scale reveals that after dry-down an exposure of 28 seconds would be a good general exposure I then make a normal test strip (card pulling) with set intervals above and below the 28 second exposure. ie; 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 seconds. These test strips eventually end up in a file folder w/notes for that print.
    Last edited by anon12345; 01-28-2011 at 12:40 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spellin errors

  6. #26

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    I have found a hot-glue gun and thin black foam-core or mat board (the cheap type that is opaque) to be ideal when making darkroom gadgets like test strip printers. A mat cutter makes quick work of cutting the bits to a precise size.
    Nicholas O. Lindan
    f-stop enlarging timer - http://www.nolindan.com/da/fstop/index.htm

  7. #27

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    If exposure is correct, that gives you a base. Make one or more contacts changing exposure if you must.

    Make your contact print at 8x height and and 8x10 will print at the same time/aperture. With 35 mm. 3.5x 5x 8x 11x and 16x progressively reguire double the time plus resciprocity compensation if you alter time.

    Test strip is a narrow strip that spans highlight & shadow. A whole sheet is very expensive and you gain nothing. It does not matter the angle of the strip, just get it to cover the right places.

    Lay a strip of cardboard down so you place it properly.

    Trust me, sloppy exposures are expensive also. My contact sheets are all uniformly exposed. Saves a ton of time and expense.

  8. #28
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Now we are talking , whole sheet plus out flanking.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusM3 View Post
    I'm with you on this one, Mr. Carnie. I use half sheets (of 11x14 paper), eyeball it for a given density and move on from there. I usually have it close by the third piece. I tried test strips by they don't agree with my brain. I rather make the call from the complete image.

  9. #29

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    Ole,

    I like your method: f-stop timing easily accomplished. I may adopt it myself, or some variant thereof. Don't know why I hadn't thought of something along that line already (even though working with percentages has always seemed logical to me).

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com

  10. #30
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    I use a StopClock 500 (RH Designs) and I am happy with its f-stop test strip generation mode. You set the interval, I usually start with 1/4f for new negatives and 1/6-1/12f for ones I know, and just expose progressively shading more of the paper. I would aim for about 7-8 steps. When split-grade printing with this timer, I usually have two extreme grade strips done and evaluated in about 7-8 minutes and I can now move onto the fun part of working out the dodging and burning.
    Last edited by Rafal Lukawiecki; 02-12-2011 at 12:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

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