Quote Originally Posted by kbrede View Post
Thanks all for your responses. I've been in the darkroom (bathroom) most of the day trying to make prints, not testing, so I missed a lot of this. ...
Good for you.

We're all anxious to help you along your path. Passionate about it too, as you can see.

None of us likes to have our ideas knocked down as "not necessary" when we think they are good ideas. But as has been clarified, this isn't the case today.

I find my testing gives me slightly less than box speed. Maybe 2/3 stop. But I like shadow detail. I love when a waterspill under a rock can be seen in an original print but not on the Internet.

I'll tell some secrets I've learned. This is how I keep testing from ruling my life...

1. Speed test is the most important. Get the exposure right, (including filter factor and bellows extension and reciprocity failure). It's more important when you use a non-standard developer. Once you shoot film at the correct exposure - everything else can be figured out later*.

2. After the white deer have run past (reference to Paul Caponigro) and you are sitting down putting away the gear. Now you can measure the Subject Brightness Range. Note your N+ N- notations if you choose to do Zone System.

3. Home. Later. Maybe much later. Now you can run the development times tests.

*It may be necessary to buy into the Delta-X criterion as explained by Stephen Benskin. I agree in principle with that paper, that you don't need to change film speed with changes in subject brightness range. I also support anyone who believes it's necessary to change speed with conditions. For me it's a journey.