Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
Yes there are a fair number of guys around here, like you and Drew, that fall in a special class of artisans within our craft that may actually intend to print 10,12, or more stops of scene luminance range and use every bit of straight line between toe and shoulder. That is quite a feat, I'm not trying to make little of that work.

Sure you guys don't have any latitude but that isn't the norm in our world. Average scene luminance range is about 7 stops, if the film is capable of 10 there are 3 stops of room, latitude, to play with. 12 gets us 5 to spare, for the average Joe or Mark shooting portraits and family and wedding stuff, that's a lot of latitude.

The reason the 200 observers comment was included, as well as citing the exact reference, was to show that the idea that "more than one exposure setting can produce excellent prints" isn't unproven conjecture on my part. It's peer reviewed science.
Thanks, Mark.
The way I look at it, if I can't record it on the negative, it can never be on the print. And slide film is a special case, with only 5 to 7 stops of range depending on the film you use.

If I take a camera out for nighttime street photgraphy, you can bet I'll be hoping for some wiggle room - in this case to ensure I get printable negatives at all.

The safe approach for exposure is to leave yourself some room; if you are making a negative of a scene with say 8 stops of brightness range, why not put the exposure in the middle, so you get a stop or so of insurance on each end? Making a succesful print is like going through a series of doors, each one smaller. If the errors are bigger than the doors, you eventually get stopped before you reach your goal.

As for me, my printmaking hasn't quite caught up with my negatives. But when it does, I'll have the negatives.

By the way, I like the sniper analogy. My father was sniper in the 36th infantry division in WWII, I've been a target shooter for about 40 years.