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  1. #1
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    Stouffer Step Exposure

    Ok I have looked and keep getting confused, I will be getting my first 4x5 soon and I have read you can use a Stouffer Step and take a picture then develop and work out density.

    So my question is, I have a 21 Step can I use this and how do I take a picture of it, how do i expose on it. The may sound like a silly question but I have read so much I have just confused myself.

    A nice step by step with bullet points would be handy

    Paul

  2. #2
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    I'm not sure exactly what you need to know, as you haven't stated your intention. "Work out density", what specifically are you trying to find out?

    You'll have to backlight it and then meter whatever step you want to be middle gray. This might be a chore with a small step wedge, and hopefully you have a spot meter. Surely someone with a better answer will chirp soon.

  3. #3
    David William White's Avatar
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    It's a printing aid. You set the step wedge beside your negative when making your contact print. You need a contact exposure long enough to render all the steps faithfully in the wedge. That gives you the best contact time. In that sense, the step wedge is an ideal negative.

    If, when you arrive at a contact print that faithfully reproduces the steps but does not give you a nice looking contact print of your negative, then it indicates you are over or under exposed, or over or under developed.

    By varying your contact time, you can work out how to modify your exposure and/or development.


    There are other uses, like verifying the tonal range of an unmarked batch of paper, verifying your chemistry isn't exhausted, working out tonal transfer functions for alt process, but that is the nutshell.
    Last edited by David William White; 01-10-2011 at 11:58 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Considerably AWOL at the present time...

    Archive/Blog: http://davidwilliamwhite.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    It might take months to wade through the varoius threads here on what do do (we need a film testing FAQ).

    The two questions are:
    1) How much exposure does the film need for excellent prints?
    2) How long to develop the film to print on your favorite printing materials?


    To answer #1 above, I like the simple zone I test where you just shoot a uniform target at zone I and check that the negative density is 0.1 (1/3 stop) above film base.

    To determine how long the develop the film, you need to have already estabilshed that by printing and trial and error. Once you know your favorite gamma or contrst index, you can expose the wedge by taping it on unknown film and exposing it to get density data from which the H&D curve can be produced. Then by trial and error you can process the film to match the gamma or contrast index you previously found to be good with other films.

    This is just one way to do it (the way I'd suggest in a FAQ), but there are many, many ways to answer the two questions above, perhaps some even better than what I have suggested. (Or buy Ralph's book, its all in there )
    Last edited by ic-racer; 01-10-2011 at 02:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggysk8 View Post
    ... A nice step by step with bullet points would be handy

    Paul
    Paul

    Let's start with your list.

    1. What is your goal? (film test, paper test, both)
    2. Do you have a spotmeter?
    3. Do you have a densitometer?
    4. Why did you pick a 21-step for a 4x5 and not a 31-step?
    5. Are you familiar with film, paper testing?
    6. Do you understand log densities and how they relate to exposure?

    Answering these questions will make it a lot easier to give you appropriate answers.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #6
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    It might take months to wade through the varoius threads here on what do do (we need a film testing FAQ).....
    I agree, but I would say FAQs plural.

    Other wise it would become like the developer wars. (Huh?! NO! I did *NOT* say Rodinal.)
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  7. #7
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    1. What is your goal? (film test, paper test, both)
    To start with film test, I want to get the densitys correct

    2. Do you have a spotmeter?
    Yes I do, two in fact but I can only use one at a time

    3. Do you have a densitometer?
    In the post (melico photo log TD2)

    4. Why did you pick a 21-step for a 4x5 and not a 31-step?
    I use to make plates for a litho press after designing and I seemed to acquire it

    5. Are you familiar with film, paper testing?
    Yeah sort of, done a bit and have your amazing book (2nd) I think I am just a little confused

    6. Do you understand log densities and how they relate to exposure?
    Sort of but not really I get the whole thing but then I don't.

    I really want to be able to predict what I am taking the best I can so I can control the whole process better.

    I am a designer that designs for flexo presses (not the most accurate presses in the would) and I can predict the out come for that, and in many areas it is very much the same, but I just feel I need some do that do this advice and then I can go from there. So many people have there way of doing things and when you read it all you end up with a dense neg and black print...hahaha

    All my roll film has come out ok, but this move into large format I want to create and paint an image rather than take one.

    Paul

  8. #8
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Paul

    This should work. To start with, set your spotmeter to the advertised film speed (ISO rating), tape your step wedge to a north-facing window, and measure step 11 (I assume you have a TP 4x5 step wedge). You can get as close as you like and your spotmeter allows you to. This will give you your exposure.

    This and the rest is in the book, starting on page 217 with 'Elaborate and Precise' by the way. Step-by-step instructions are on page 221.

    Once your ready and still have a question, let me know.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #9
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Paul, if you want to do some film testing buy Ralphs excellent book - Way Beyond the Monochrome

    Its now in its 2nd edition

    It explains how to do your own film testing and provides the charts for you to plot out your results

    Alternatively, if you want someone else to do all the hard work for you - buy the book Beyond the Zone System by Phil Davis and a film test from Fred Newman at the View Camera Store

    Martin

  10. #10
    CPorter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggysk8 View Post
    Ok I have looked and keep getting confused, I will be getting my first 4x5 soon and I have read you can use a Stouffer Step and take a picture then develop and work out density.

    So my question is, I have a 21 Step can I use this and how do I take a picture of it, how do i expose on it. The may sound like a silly question but I have read so much I have just confused myself.

    A nice step by step with bullet points would be handy

    Paul
    Just another source here for learning how to test film using a step tablet. The 4x5 step tablet is loaded in the film holder on top of the film and exposed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AA Guide 2.jpg  

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