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  1. #11

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    David,

    Thank you so much. I am going to try this method. I am, however, confused over one point. You write:

    "7. Do another test strip with the first exposure being what you have selected for achieving maximum black minus your dry-down compensation then plus 1 second, 2 seconds, etc"

    Does that mean to use the same negative as in number 6, or does it mean to use the negative as " the given exposure" mentioned in number 4? Which negative am I using?

    Also, there seems to be a variable in print dry down. If I am evaluating a dried print test strip, then the dry down factor will sort of automatically be there, right?

    Thanks again!

  2. #12
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    Yes you use the negative as per number 6. Number 7 is purely a double check that you have really found the correct exposure to achieve maximum black (i.e with number 6 you believe that you have the correct time for maximum black but with number 7 you are simply double checking whether another second or two or three would give a richer black).

    Sorry for not being clearer.

    Also, there seems to be a variable in print dry down. If I am evaluating a dried print test strip, then the dry down factor will sort of automatically be there, right?
    Yes, by ONLY assessing dried test strips you are automatically compensating for dry down factor. I just wanted to emphasis that a dried test print MUST be used for all evaluations.

    Best of luck with pinning down all of these variables and let us know how you get on / don't be afraid to get back to me if something is confusing during the testing regime or when applying in use for making actual photographs - which, after all, is our ultimate aim.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  3. #13
    jcc
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    Proper exposure on prints and scans are hard to judge, but take a look at your negative's registration marks (numbers around the sprockets). A properly developed negative should have those at Zone V (middle gray) density; too thin means underdeveloped, and too dense means overdeveloped.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcc View Post
    Proper exposure on prints and scans are hard to judge, but take a look at your negative's registration marks (numbers around the sprockets). A properly developed negative should have those at Zone V (middle gray) density; too thin means underdeveloped, and too dense means overdeveloped.
    Try that with some of the Foma's 120 films and you'll be in trouble. Other films are different also and edge numbers are not etched in stone. If you use Kodak Tri-X 100% of the time and D-76 100% of the time you might be able to judge by edge makings since you know the film and developer. Somebody just playing with a new film/developer has nothing to rate the edge markings/numbers against. Just my 2 cents!

  5. #15
    David Allen's Avatar
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    Try that with some of the Foma's 120 films and you'll be in trouble. Other films are different also and edge numbers are not etched in stone. If you use Kodak Tri-X 100% of the time and D-76 100% of the time you might be able to judge by edge makings since you know the film and developer. Somebody just playing with a new film/developer has nothing to rate the edge markings/numbers against. Just my 2 cents!
    Precisely why I advocate spending a little bit of time doing some tests. One person's mid-grey can be widely different from another person's idea of what mid-grey is. If you pin down your EI, deep shadows and highlights then the edge markings are irrelevant if you are achieving the results that you require.

    It reminds me of that other old chestnut: "a correctly processed film should give you highlights that you can read a newspaper through". Well, apart from the fact that this advice stems from a time when films were very different and almost everyone used condenser enlargers, how bright is the newspaper illuminated? / how near are you to the newspaper? / does the negative have large enough highlight areas to actually judge if you can see through them?

    The best 'rule of thumb' in my opinion is the one that you have developed for yourself by obtaining results optimal for your needs.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  6. #16
    jcc
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    Quote Originally Posted by JW PHOTO View Post
    Try that with some of the Foma's 120 films and you'll be in trouble. Other films are different also and edge numbers are not etched in stone. If you use Kodak Tri-X 100% of the time and D-76 100% of the time you might be able to judge by edge makings since you know the film and developer. Somebody just playing with a new film/developer has nothing to rate the edge markings/numbers against. Just my 2 cents!
    Except the OP said HP5, shot at box speed, and developed at N+0.

  7. #17
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    The mountain picture looks great to me. a little burn-in to the skyand the Ansel Adams trust is in trouble!I really like it Is it for sale./ I/m interestedin an 8x10.
    Regards

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  8. #18

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    David,

    Perhaps I can pick your brain just a little more. I followed your directions. I shot a scene at meter value, then 1 and 2 stops over and 3 stops under. I found maximum black to be f11 at 21 seconds. I printed all the tests and the overexposed shots were still too dark. The scene probably is problematic. It is snowing here and the ground is covered with snow. The scene had a small mill stream with very dark stone walls and a brick barn in mid ground and trees and barn in the distance. It is high contrast. I was using a Mamiya 7 with HP5. Just for fun, I shot the same scene with a Sinar f1 large format. That was somewhat better, but still too broad a range of tone (snow with no texture and dark stone wall with no texture, but the stone barn looked great). Perhaps the scene is just too difficult.

    In any case, my question might be, "What is the shadow I need to meter?" Perhaps it is rather subjective and there is no real answer. Maybe I am trying to meter too dark a shadow. How does one know what shadow to meter? I know that instructions always say to meter the shadow where you still want texture, but what exactly does that mean? Am I making any sense here?

  9. #19

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    On the subject of incident metering, I found this APUG article by markbarendt immensely helpful http://www.apug.org/forums/forum216/...-metering.html
    (some of the subsequent discussion centres on the zone-system and becomes somewhat esoteric unless you are a ZS specialist, but the article itself is clear and straightforward)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fralexis View Post
    David,

    Perhaps I can pick your brain just a little more. I followed your directions. I shot a scene at meter value, then 1 and 2 stops over and 3 stops under. I found maximum black to be f11 at 21 seconds. I printed all the tests and the overexposed shots were still too dark. The scene probably is problematic. It is snowing here and the ground is covered with snow. The scene had a small mill stream with very dark stone walls and a brick barn in mid ground and trees and barn in the distance. It is high contrast. I was using a Mamiya 7 with HP5. Just for fun, I shot the same scene with a Sinar f1 large format. That was somewhat better, but still too broad a range of tone (snow with no texture and dark stone wall with no texture, but the stone barn looked great). Perhaps the scene is just too difficult.

    In any case, my question might be, "What is the shadow I need to meter?" Perhaps it is rather subjective and there is no real answer. Maybe I am trying to meter too dark a shadow. How does one know what shadow to meter? I know that instructions always say to meter the shadow where you still want texture, but what exactly does that mean? Am I making any sense here?
    Hi there,

    First a couple of questions so that I can understand exactly where you are:
    • Where did you meter in the scene to do your personal EI test? - perhaps you can post a scan
    • What was the person EI that you found to be nearest to what you want (i.e. your film is nominally 400 and your tests would have given you values of 400 | 200 |100 plus the three stops underexposed would have, probably, given you the negative that you used to do your black tests.
    • Did you follow these steps 'From the meter's reading close down the aperture by 2 stops or increase the shutter speed by two stops and then expose 6 frames at: the given exposure then +1 stop, +2 stops, -1 stop, -2 stops and -3 stops less than the meter has indicated' including stopping down 2 stops at the start?

    By the way, snow should pose no great problems, if the snow has no texture then this would suggest to me that you are overdeveloping which should not be the case if you have followed stages outlined for the second testing phase to determine correct development time for achieving bright highlights with a trace of texture.

    Finally, when people say "meter the shadow where you still want texture" they mean a dark area of the scene where they want to retain enough detail of the final print but which will also look pretty dark. In the example below, I metered the shadow on left-hand side of the tree as being an area I wanted dark but with shadow texture (the scan may vary on different monitors of course). At the bottom left of the scene is the edge of the curb which is black. I could of metered here but did not feel that it was important to achieve texture here as it is such a small area and the detail would not add anything to the image.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	dsallen | Parkstraße | 2012.jpg 
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    Get back to me so that I can advise further.

    Bests,

    David.
    www.dsallen.de

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