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  1. #1
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    The Gospel According to St Ansel ?????

    Just out of pure curiosity,how many of you test your films to find out YOUR individual effective speed in everyday use, and how many are content to trust the manufacturer in this respect ????????? J.B.

  2. #2
    Petzi's Avatar
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    Wrong forum! Wrong spelling also...

  3. #3

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    I have neither the time / money / patience / nor inclination to do a lot of testing. I like my Tri-X at iso 320 following the massive development chart data guide, souped in HC-110. My Neopan 400 & 1600 , also souped in HC-110 , but using dilution H.
    It works for me, and after all, thats what counts.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  4. #4
    Leon's Avatar
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    I always take the time to test a new film/ developer combination - just one roll with some zone 1 and zone VIII exposures for film speed/ dev time. I get the results I want that way. Only takes a very short amount of time and I find it is worth it, especially if I am trying a developer that I know can significantly reduce / increase film speeds. I only test once though - then adjust if things alter over time.

  5. #5

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    I shoot several test rolls whenever I try a new film or developer combination. It's pretty easy to do. And I tend to stay with one developer - D76.
    Robert

  6. #6
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Most serious photogs will adjust film speed to suit their working methods and conditions. Whether they do it with scientific rigour and the use of a densitometer or by trial and error, or something in between, most realise that manufacturer's ISO defined speed ratings are not the end of the matter.

    To answer the question: I always adjust both film speed and development time to suit. I would do the full BTZS dance for sheet film but do not have a densitometer and the cost of even a used one is prohibitive for the limited use it would get...

    Cheers, Bob.

  7. #7

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    I suspect that you would get more answers from those who do test their (B&W) film speed rigorously if you chose a different wording for the title of your post.

    As for myself, I didn't formally test the film speed for many years, though over time I tend to adjust the film speed downward; this is in a very ad hoc manner, not unlike the way I cook, and depends a lot on my mood when I make an exposure; a little more salt here, a little less pepper there. As I thought more about it, I realized that trusting film manufacturers' speed ratings is like trusting car manufacturers' miles-per-gallon rating of gas consumpstion: there has been speed wars in the past and it is in their interest to use the loosest possible definition to publish a high number, which might or might not correspond to how I use the film.

    When I started doing B&W large format sheet film photography with its ability to 1. develop sheets individually, and 2. change development time to control highlights, I find that testing film (and development times) makes my work more predictable, and productive and enjoyable.

    Ansel Adams' trilogy is my basic reference for B&W large format photography, but I certainly do not think it is perfect. (An example I came across the other day, amusingly enough in the film testing section: Adams suggested that by cutting 0, 1, 2, 3 or all 4 corners of film sheet film, one can identify up to 5 different sheets. In fact, one can identify up to 16 different sheets by such procedure - I hope my arithmetic is right: 1 + 4 + 6 + 4 +1, the Pascal triangle of binomial coefficients).

    I am not a fan of Andams' photography, but highly recommend his technical trilogy for its thoroughness, if not completeness; they also help learn and establish a common language among practitioners. It sure beats relying on information found on the internet. :-)

    Cheers,

    - Phong

  8. #8
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Some type of film testing is always going on for me. Since I am constantly refining things to suite my needs, I am using each shot as a test and looking at different things in the print. There isn't much to it all, but to trust some one else's chemistry, technique, times and numbers seems rather pointless. Sooner or later, a shot will come up where knowing film speed and development are the only way to get a print, not the norm, but in pushing the envelope.

    I just use BTZS numbers and tweak according to my tastes. Since this is all very subjective, getting close enough is usually easy and that last bit of detail is worth having in the finished print. tim

  9. #9

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    i do my own tests to determine how i want to expose my film, and then i develop by inspection ... i usually run one sheet of film through the developer to see what i need to do next and then i process a few sheets at a time. i check each batch of film that goes through the developer .
    i don't use a lot of different films and developers. pretty much the same thing for the past 10 years ( film ) developer ( 4 ) ... i don't shoot "box speed" and if i do, i adjust my processing accordingly ... hmmm, i guess i should have said i do tests, but just not with a densitometer &C ...
    Last edited by jnanian; 01-03-2006 at 06:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    The title of this thread is better suited to photo.net where there is an active community of zone system bashers. Folks there seem to think that having technical control over your medium somehow limits creativity. Seems silly to me since understanding the medium makes it easier for me to get desired effects.

    Robert

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