LOL i have been merging segments on scanned images for 10+ years
there can be tonal variations that don't look right, no matter how much experience
one may have ...
I used to scan negs and prints, but over time I have come to feel that scanning the print is the most honest representation of my work and darkroom ability. I have even learned how to scan my 12 x16 prints in 2 halves and join them together (in order to show my older work). Nowadays I'm inclined to make an 8x10 print of my new work in order to show it.
Viewing the APUG gallery as a vehicle for only finished paper products unnecessarily limits its usefulness, and gives us all fewer interesting photos to look at.
I read through this whole thread and, though I might have missed it, no-one mentionned the existing guidelines about uploading photos.
From the "Upload Image" window under "Gallery":
"Please refrain from posting any images that have been manipulated digitally such as converting color images to black and white, photoshop filtering tricks, etc. Also no multi-media/mixed media hybrid images or hybrid images in general, this includes digitally enlarged negatives which are then contact printed (see our sister site hybridphoto.com if you are interested in sharing such work). All images posted should be a representation of 100% traditional work, typically negative scans or print scans produced from a 100% traditional workflow.
The uploaded image should be the best representation of the actual final print and nothing more. We still accept neg scans in the galleries. We accept that some adjustment of contrast, brightness and sharpness may be needed to match the physical print and, for negative scans, to approximate a straight print.
Failure to follow the above rules will result in deletion of your image. Please respect the spirit of this community and our desire to share scans of 100% traditional based work in the galleries. If you understand the above rules then continue below. Thank You."
I would think that the encouragement to show a negative scan as purely as possible, with no digital manipulation, is pretty clear. I'm not saying that you must agree with that; it's obvious that not everyone does.
My personal opinion is that the above rules are a good attempt to honour the spirit and intent of the ANALOG Photography Users Group within the context of a web-based medium and considering the potential slippery slope that digital manipulation represents within that context.
Another thing; I don't think that this is an ethical question, rather a simple group agreement to stick to analog. Gentlemen's agreement, ladie's agreement, honour system whatever you'd like to call it. The only problem with that kind of system is that, when someone drifts outside the bounds of the agreement, gentlemen and ladies have to call them on it, which will inevitably (almost always) ruffle feathers.