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  1. #11
    winger's Avatar
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    I contact print because I can have a sheet showing the whole roll at once and because I always do them exactly the same way, I can judge where to start when enlarging. Scanning doesn't give me either of those, though I do scan on occasion to see a frame larger in order to decide if I like it enough to print it.

  2. #12
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Scanning has two advantages:
    1) it gives you a digital file that you can do digital things with; and
    2) it gives you data that you can organize, search and sort on a computer.
    In my mind, the second advantage is a real one, even in an all analogue workflow. Anything that makes it easier to organize photographic records is very good.
    Photographicallym I prefer contact sheets.
    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

  3. #13
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    I don't have a darkroom and always scan for printing and internet.. Because of the variables with negatives, I normally shoot chromes. I can see exactly whether the shot is exposed properly. (I always bracket my shots with my RB67 MF).


    However, when I shoot negatives and also bracket those, I have the lab provide contact sheets. The lab actually furnishes two contacts at slightly different exposure levels. So I had two contacts of every shot. When I looked at them, I couldn't tell which was the best. It was very confusing. However, when I scanned them flat, and looked at the resulting histogram, I could more easily select the more properly exposed negative- It had the largest range. So in the future, I'll probably not pay for the contacts.

  4. #14
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    I like contact printing.

    It is very fast. Takes me less time than scanning a roll.
    It is an easy way to check my exposures.
    I shoot so much film that it is time-prohibitive to scan everything. (See first one)
    I get a good record of a roll of negatives in one contact sheet.
    With a good contact sheet I can spot the negatives I would like to scan.
    Besides, I like to look at my contact sheets.

    There are probably a lot of other good reasons for it but these are my current list of excuses.
    Dan

    The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.

  5. #15
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    By standardizing the contacting setup it allows you to see if your camera exposure is falling where you want it.
    Yup, indeed. Theory is good, but seeing this in actual practice was a revelation. It has been a very good feedback loop for me since I started doing this. It fits my way of working.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    I like contact printing.

    It is an easy way to check my exposures.
    This is more important than people realize: with scanning every digital file will look ok - not over or underexposed, scanner will compensate you exposure error. So with contact printing you can see what when wrong in exposure better that with scanning.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkosaric View Post
    This is more important than people realize: with scanning every digital file will look ok - not over or underexposed, scanner will compensate you exposure error. So with contact printing you can see what when wrong in exposure better that with scanning.
    This is not true. You can set the scanner not to compensate for anything, just the native (default) scan. I have over-exposed and under-exposed frames and they show in scans.

    In contact proof printing, there is still the human processing in proof exposure. This is where the "maximum black" comes in. But even with that, it is still somehow subjective as to how the "black" is black.

  8. #18
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
    Yup, indeed. Theory is good, but seeing this in actual practice was a revelation. It has been a very good feedback loop for me since I started doing this. It fits my way of working.
    While I am very mindful of getting camera exposure "right", it must be said that my "right" is a range more than an exact point. For negative films of any stripe that's normally anywhere from box speed to box plus 2, but it can be 3 or even 4-stops on occasion. I will also happily go to box minus 1 if needed but do try to lean away from the underexposure side when I can.

    The contact printing process simply doesn't care how I shot or about my feelings, my failures, variations, and successes. These stand out like sore thumbs on a contact sheet.

    Conversely when I skip the contact sheet and use an enlarger meter to set my print exposure the process hides the frame to frame differences of the camera exposure from me. I can simply grab the aperture ring on the enlarger lens and turn it until the needle on the meter is where it belongs, I don't necessarily know or care exactly where the aperture setting ends up as long as it provides the right print exposure.

    In my experience using a scanner (even with the optional stuff turned off) is more like using an enlarger meter to print, than like printing a contact sheet.

    By default or by choice certain "rules" must be applied to even display a digital image. Image data + Image rules = Displayable image. If there are no rules, there is no image.

    The scanning software itself and or the people using it normally define at least a minimum set of "rules". It is truly rare from what I've seen for any scan to ever be viewed as a truly linear representation of what the scanner saw.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 05-11-2014 at 08:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  9. #19
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
    This is where the "maximum black" comes in. But even with that, it is still somehow subjective as to how the "black" is black.
    Nope.

    The black point for the contact print setup is typically decided upon ONCE based on your paper's exposure and development process and your preference for black point.

    That same exact setup and developing procedure is then used for every contact print that follows.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 05-11-2014 at 08:33 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Nope.

    The black point for the contact print setup is typically decided upon ONCE based on your paper's exposure and development process and your preference for black point.

    That same exact setup and developing procedure is then used for every contact print that follows.
    Even you said the human "preference". For a maximum black, I can expose it 20 seconds, or 15 seconds. Both get my "max black". But I still need to "judge" the exposure of the contact proof, or to judge the negatives.

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