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  1. #31
    AndreasT's Avatar
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    Well I have my personal EI, I have them upstairs. And I don't really care about them anymore. I check my materials once and that's it.
    What this all brought me was finding the limits of the materials. To get a feeling what should or can be done.
    I think at the end of the day we basically do get to do the same thing.
    Adams and all the gurus are a help in getting started going down the path if one wants to test.
    I agree only in part that VC paper has changed the reality we live in. A badly exposed film can't always be saved with VC paper.
    Sure it makes life easier but I have often enough had negatives from people which I could not get a really good print from.

  2. #32
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    Yes Andreas we are on the same page I think.

    The thought of finding the limits of the materials though, the range rather than an absolute EI to peg things to, is a sea change from much of the discussion around testing and the traditional wisdom of the community.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  3. #33

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    How did you establish your lower limit (ie highest EI)?

  4. #34
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    I expose a step wedge onto film in the darkroom and develope. According to my results I exposure another in the camera (at least for large format ). Then after real exposures I will see if I need to do any ajustments, they are usually seldom and slight.

  5. #35

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    OK, I've been reading about all these different testing methods, and I realized I wasn't exactly sure what the purpose was. I was hoping to follow a testing method, and during the process all would become clear. So I thought about it last night. Please let me know if I'm on track, or where I'm going astray.

    1. Testing for personal film speed is essentially learning how to accurately record dark parts of a scene, on film, with your personal equipment. Usually people pick zone III to calibrate to, but zone II could also be used if a person prefers that.

    2. Finding your personal film development time, teaches you how long to develop, in order to print both darks and highlights in the range that you desire. Usually people pick zone VII as the upper highlight range to capture, but you could use zone VIII if you so desired.

    3. Paper-black density test. Unexposed, developed film has some density, film base + fog. This test determines how many seconds it takes for a particular aperture/magnification to print near maximum black, or zone 0, on the paper you're using. These exposure settings allow us to standardize our print testing.

    4. After discovering your EI for shadows and developing time for highlights, you should be able to efficiently record on film, and print, a normal contrast scene containing zone III through zone VII.
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    Kenton Brede
    http://kentonbrede.com/

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    How did you establish your lower limit (ie highest EI)?
    I guess you are asking me.

    The minimum film exposure level that can get me a decent print of my main subject matter, say a face. It is not based off an exact amount of shadow detail.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  7. #37
    AndreasT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbrede View Post
    OK, I've been reading about all these different testing methods, and I realized I wasn't exactly sure what the purpose was. I was hoping to follow a testing method, and during the process all would become clear. So I thought about it last night. Please let me know if I'm on track, or where I'm going astray.

    1. Testing for personal film speed is essentially learning how to accurately record dark parts of a scene, on film, with your personal equipment. Usually people pick zone III to calibrate to, but zone II could also be used if a person prefers that.

    2. Finding your personal film development time, teaches you how long to develop, in order to print both darks and highlights in the range that you desire. Usually people pick zone VII as the upper highlight range to capture, but you could use zone VIII if you so desired.

    3. Paper-black density test. Unexposed, developed film has some density, film base + fog. This test determines how many seconds it takes for a particular aperture/magnification to print near maximum black, or zone 0, on the paper you're using. These exposure settings allow us to standardize our print testing.

    4. After discovering your EI for shadows and developing time for highlights, you should be able to efficiently record on film, and print, a normal contrast scene containing zone III through zone VII.
    Yes I would say you about summed it up. If you want to delve deeper into this subject check out Adams, Phil Davis or Ralph Lambrecht. Ralph post here a lot.
    Just don't end up testing too much just remember that.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Andreas - the point Stephen is making, further to Mark's earlier post, is that we should ask some questions about testing methodologies, sources of error/distortion etc. Otherwise we may not know how to interpret the results, or apply them in a meaningful way to different situations, in which case we can't be sure we're better or worse off than simply using the manufacturer's instructions.

    For example, flare is a significant factor which is often overlooked in typical zone system testing methods.
    That's the basic idea. Important elements can get lost when the necessary simplification occurs when creating a methodology and accompanying step-by-step approach. Ever notice how no method concerns itself with hold time? Now, I'm not just talking about how Simmons' shooting a wall example has no mention of the color temperature of the light, or color of the wall, or the choice of the material of the wall and how they reflect various wavelengths like infrared. Not only can this have differing effects on the film, but can influence the exposure meter which is the principle instrument toward measuring the testing conditions. The vague instruction of "take a meter ready of the wall" doesn't address whether the wall should be in specular or diffuse light, or the angle of the meter in relation to the camera potentially causing results very different from what is intended.

    While scrutinizing each element of testing is an important part of any evaluation of a methodology, let's not overlook the more fundamental question of theory, and how the methodology addresses it. Like what is the difference between the metered exposure and the speed point, or what is the metered exposure, or even what is film speed?

    Simmons' use of the just black printing method is a good example the need to question the theory behind the approach. What are the assumptions about proper exposure and film speed that the use of this method suggest and are those assumptions correct?

    Another example which is a personal favorite of mine is about metering the object and stop down four stops. Ever wonder where's the theory to support this assumption? What if this assumption is wrong, how will using this approach influence the results?

    Personally, I find it kind of peculiar that people are determined to put all that effort to come up with their own testing method when one already exists that has been standardized. All the fiddling around introduces too many potential errors, but as they will persist in doing so, we need to approach each methodology with the proper level of skepticism.
    Last edited by Stephen Benskin; 01-14-2013 at 08:46 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #39
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Where does it say 0.10 over Fb+f is the target shadow density, or the minimum useful density? Where does it say it is a universal speed point?

  10. #40

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    I always enjoy these mouse traps of yours...

    I don't know where/if anyone called it a universal speed point. As you know it is simply a common targetted net negative density called "Zone I" in most Zone System books/methods, used to determine a working EI that presmubaly will lead to "full" local contrast around the "Zone III" density.

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