Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
For you this may be perfectly true, that doesn't mean it's true for me or anybody else though.

Did a little test a while back, shot Delta 400 from -1 to +2 stops, developed in DD-X and was able to print the exact same, really nice print across the whole range of negatives by changing nothing but enlarger exposure.

Took a vacation a while back, used a dozen disposable cameras and got a lot of great stuff across a wide range of situations. Do the same with my Holga regularly too.

The book "Theory of the Photographic Process, forth edition, T.H.James" page 506 in chapter 17 by J.H.Altman has a graph that show about a 3-stop range (1-log relative exposure) across which the panel of 200 observers judged as producing excellent prints. Same book chapter 19 by C.N.Nelson page 556 a graph comparing differences in print quality from short toe and long toe films on a studio portrait. The graph shows a range of 4-5 stops across which a negative can be shot which can produce excellent prints, 90th percentile quality or better. Short toe films approach the 100th percentile for a very short maybe one stop area, and maybe that's where you are trying to hang out which is great, but switch to long toe films in the same situation and they approach the 100th percentile over about a 3-stop range.

Exposure latitude exists.
It's true for me, too. If I want to use the entire range of whatever film I'm using, there is no latitude for error in exposure or development.
And the fact that 200 observers find a print acceptable really has nothing to do with me getting negatives or transparencies the way I like them, does it?
I can work with a less-than-ideal negative, but I'd rather get as close as possible to ideal. Sometimes you can't, for any number of reasons. But any time I can, I will. It's like shooting at targets, under one set of circumstances a 5" group might be acceptable, but the ideal is a "group" the diameter of a single bullet.