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  1. #121

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    OK, I was out of T-Max, so I did some testing on Delta 400. On the North side of the house I photographed my wife wearing a white shirt with texture, a dark blue sweater and holding a gray card. I took an incident reading from her position, pointed at the camera. I shot one frame with what the meter gave me, at box speed, and then opened up the aperture 1/2 stops, 4 times. So a total of 5 shots. I used up the rest of the roll, doing some spot metering. The last exposure I took the camera into the darkroom, with the lens cap on, and took the last frame.

    I processed the film in DD-X using 15% less time than published, 8.5 minutes. I used the same developing regime as I outlined a few posts back. I made a few test strips and found max black to be 8 seconds at f/32, with #2 filter. The enlarger was set up to print an 8x10 print.

    I used the max black settings to expose frame 1 and frame 2, with a #2 filter. The detail was fine in the sweater, on frame one but the sweater was too gray. Frame two, which was exposed 1/2 stop more, was trending in the wrong direction. So contrary to the directions I was following in, "Way Beyond Monochrome," I should have stopped down, instead of opening up.

    For kicks I took the same negative and made a print, so the sweater looked naturally dark. That was 10 seconds at f/22, #2 filter. The shirt was blown out and the gray card wasn't quite dark enough.

    So, extrapolating from that, I'd have to shoot at ISO 800 to get a decent black, printing with the max black exposure settings. The problem is, I'm at f/32.

    As I mentioned before, my meter is calibrated and I checked it against another meter I just bought new. Both meters matched. The Mamiya that shot the neg in question is from KEH and rated excellent. I also shot a Rolleiflex at the same time, which was just CLAed by Krimer Photo. The Rollei neg printed a little lighter than the Mamiya neg at max black, maybe 1/2 stop. So I think the meter and the camera isn't the issue.

    My enlarger uses a 75 watt bulb. I bought a new bulb for my enlarger. I tried the new bulb and the bulb it came with, both printed the same. I pulled the condenser. It just looked like two big magnifying glasses on either end. Nothing looked skewed or out of place. The head was set for 6x7 or 6x6, depending on which neg I was printing.

    I made a print at max black, totally in the dark, and it matched the one done with the safe light. I bought some ilford paper. I gained a stop using the ilford paper over the Ultrafine I'd been using. I also checked and made sure the aperture blades were moving on the 80mm El-Nikor. Pan developer was at 20c. Neg was placed emulsion side down in the carrier. Mirrors in the bathroom were all covered. The enlarging filters are brand new.

    I'm stumped. I'm attaching a photo of the neg I printed. The density looks pretty close on my computer screen.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails neg.jpg  
    Last edited by kbrede; 01-21-2013 at 07:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  2. #122

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    The negative certainly doesn't look underexposed. It looks fairly dense and contrasty. I'll have to read your post again, but I'm not clear on the specifics of this speed test methodology or the procedure you used for a maximum black time. I am also puzzled by what seems (to me) to be a very short "maximum black" time.

    And just to go back a little to make sure, are you saying applying these procedures with Tri-X resulted in much different results when printing? Did you do the same type of test with Tri-X?

    I'm missing something here.
    Last edited by Michael R 1974; 01-21-2013 at 07:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    The negative certainly doesn't look underexposed. It looks fairly dense and contrasty. I'll have to read your post again, but I'm not clear on the specifics of this speed test methodology or the procedure you used for a maximum black time. I am also puzzled by what seems (to me) to be a very short "maximum black" time.

    And just to go back a little to make sure, are you saying applying these procedures with Tri-X resulted in much different results when printing? Did you do the same type of test with Tri-X?

    I'm missing something here.
    Nope, I've never done any testing with Tri-X. This is the first test I've done with any film. Just n general I didn't have problems using Tri-X but I was also using a different enlarger. I should have tried a Tri-X neg with this enlarger today. Drat.
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  4. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    The negative certainly doesn't look underexposed. It looks fairly dense and contrasty. I'll have to read your post again, but I'm not clear on the specifics of this speed test methodology or the procedure you used for a maximum black time. I am also puzzled by what seems (to me) to be a very short "maximum black" time.
    I'll try to summarize the method.

    Taking the exposures:

    A. Find a subject rich in detailed shadows (Zone III) and has some shadow tonality (Zone II).

    B. Set light meter ISO to box speed.

    C. Stop lens down 4 stops from wide open, f/8. Take an incident reading, finding the shutter speed using this aperture. Keep the exposure time within ⅛ to 1/250 or modify the aperture for the duration of the test.

    D. Take the following exposures:


    1. Use settings from step C.
    2. Open ⅓ stop.
    3. Open ⅓ stop.
    4. Open ⅓ stop.
    5. Open ⅓ stop.
    6. Open ⅓ stop.
    7. Use settings from step C.
    8. Use settings from step C.
    9. Take a blank negative. (lens cap on)
    10. Use settings from step C.


    E. Develop the film for 15% less time than normal.

    * I used 1/2 stops, instead of 1/3 stops. My scene was wife wearing dark blue sweater, white shirt and holding gray card.

    To find paper black:


    • Use blank negative from step 9 above. Scratch in order to have something to focus on.
    • Set enlarger to make 8x10 print.
    • Insert #2 filter.
    • Focus negative
    • Stop lens down 3 stops.
    • Make a test strip.
    • Process normally and dry.
    • In normal light, make sure there are at least two but not more than five exposures, which are so dark they hardly differ.
    • Pic out the first two steps that barely differ from one another and select the lighter of the two..
    • This is your paper black settings.


    ** I think I made a mistake in picking my max black. It should have been 10 seconds at f/32 and not 8 seconds at f/32.

    Find effective film speed:

    Make prints of the first 6 exposures taken in step "D" and dry.
    The exposure settings that result in the first print with good shadow detail, is your EI.
    Last edited by kbrede; 01-21-2013 at 09:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  5. #125
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Kenton, the scanned negative looks fine. It may even be a bit flat. I believe you are misinterpreting the printing results. I don't know why you are trying to tie in exposure with contrast. If the negative has some extra density, print it down. There is no set relationship between negative density and print density. Forget the just black test. You are confusing yourself. Take a step back. Now, just do a test strip. See how the image changes with exposure. Pick what appears closest to what you think is natural, then make a print at that setting.

    I've inverted the negative and darkened the image some. You have a very usable negative.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Kenton Neg.jpg 
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ID:	62969
    Last edited by Stephen Benskin; 01-21-2013 at 09:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
    Kenton, the scanned negative looks fine. It may even be a bit flat. I believe you are misinterpreting the printing results. I don't know why you are trying to tie in exposure with contrast. If the negative has some extra density, print it down. There is no set relationship between negative density and print density. Forget the just black test. You are confusing yourself. Take a step back. Now, just do a test strip. See how the image changes with exposure. Pick what appears closest to what you think is natural, then make a print at that setting.

    I've inverted the negative and darkened the image some. You have a very usable negative.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Kenton Neg.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	158.8 KB 
ID:	62969
    I did a few test strips. With a #2 filter I ended up with 10 seconds at f/22, which resulted in nice blacks. Thats the main issue. I shouldn't have to close down that far to get a decent shadow area out of a negative, off an incident reading in shade.
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  7. #127
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbrede View Post
    I did a few test strips. With a #2 filter I ended up with 10 seconds at f/22, which resulted in nice blacks. Thats the main issue. I shouldn't have to close down that far to get a decent shadow area out of a negative, off an incident reading in shade.
    The 10 seconds at f/22 with a #2 filter is a function of your enlarger light source, not the film, exposure or development.

    It is just too bright for this size of print (unless you are printing in volume).

    EDIT: and this explains why you are having troubles with a "minimum exposure for maximum black" testing sequence - that only works well when you get results that are practical (e.g. 16 seconds at f/8).
    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

  8. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    The 10 seconds at f/22 with a #2 filter is a function of your enlarger light source, not the film, exposure or development.

    It is just too bright for this size of print (unless you are printing in volume).
    The 75 watt light bulb I'm using for my Beseler 23c II is what the manual recommends. I've read nothing about swapping out different light sources for different sizes of prints. Not that I haven't thought of doing so. I wouldn't think an 8x10 print would be that unusual. What do you mean by, "printing in volume"?

    Thanks,
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  9. #129

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    Well I've done a little research and many others with the 23c are having the same issue. The fix seems to be, get a lower watt bulb, which is suppose to be hard to find, or use an ND Filter.
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  10. #130

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    Hmmm, maybe I'll try a lamp dimmer switch.
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