Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
Sure it's flexible. The kicker is that if you make negs that print well at a medium grade, you have a lot more artistic freedom to BOTH lower and raise contrast, with the same neg. If your negs are higher contrast, or lower contrast, to begin with, you pretty much lose flexibility in one direction.

And, lets not forget that if you know what to expect in the darkroom, a lot of guesswork is taken out, which means less paper wasted, along with a lot more hair left on our scalps.
While its nice to have a safety buffer, it would be wasteful not to try to make negatives that are consistent, both density and contrast wise.

Over the past 4-years or so of learning and refining my processes I have found that the better I get at producing "normal" negatives, the easier my life is and the quality of my first proofs has literally increased by several orders of magnitude because of that.

Nice, "normal", consistent negatives are the bomb and the bees knees.