[QUOTE=Michael R 1974;1386719]
However, to then evaluate a film in the context of the actual photography you will be doing, it always seems to me contacting is too far removed from actual conditions to give you an accurate picture of what the film is doing - unless you typically photograph under low-flare conditions. Depending on flare, speed can change, as can contrast particularly in the low densities (ie shadow values). Of course speed and toe contrast are interrelated. Flare flattens local contrast in the low densities.
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This is where the Rafal's test is such a good example. All of the methods used to evalute the film curve are based on a no flare curve but are related to how the film will respond in use. ISO film speed assumes a touch over a stop flare factor. The fractional gradient method's shadow gradient concerns itself with the gradient of the contacted film test but it translates to what to the shadow gradient is when the film is shot under average flare conditions. When calculating the CI to process the film to, you simply take the log subject luminance range and subtract the flare before dividing it into the paper LER aim. If you have a curve that incorporates flare, the various testing methods will not produce accurate results.