Christopher - split grade is my default choice for silver printing. My negatives tend to vary quite a bit. When I'm shooting MF, I'm shooting with lith or silver in mind, and follow recommended developing times. If I'm taking my time and metering carefully, those negs can be quite uniform and easy to print, but if I'm shooting as fast and furious as a 50+ year old TLR can manage, I'm guessing the exposure. LF I shoot for alt printing. Those negs are routinely over-developed for greater contrast, and can be quite challenging if I decide to print silver.
These are my current practises. My collection of negs covers decades - many films, developers, techniques and mistakes. (There was a period when I was using a cheap and inaccurate thermometer - some of those negs are quite thin )
I discovered Les McLean and split grade printing here on APUG a number of years ago. I occasionally eyeball an unusually perfect neg, and slap a 2&1/2 filter in; but I find it easier to just start with split grade.
If I was only shooting for silver and had perfected the zone system years ago; if I was more hard science and less seat-of-the-pants; if my eyes didn't glaze over and my brain go on vacation when DlogE curves are mentioned; I probably wouldn't be so hooked on split grade printing.
Do what works for you. Have fun.
Last edited by sly; 12-16-2012 at 12:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Clarity, spelling