Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
Just a heads up - you may find this thread gets "moderated", because discussion about almost all scanning issues is prohibited on APUG.
That's a shame and a bit stifling.

Quote Originally Posted by Dr Croubie View Post
Wow, thanks for all the replies so far, I wish other forums on the net were as helpful (not naming names).
Anyway, some very good ideas so far that I'm definitely going to follow. Just to reply to some specific points:

- My monitor is a Dell U2711 factory-calibrated 27", 2560x1440, almost every review of it says how great it is out of the box, best you can buy if you can't afford an NEC/Eizo. Rest of the PC is set up for ICC-profiled sRGB, including GIMP.
- I've bought a printer, just waiting for it to ship, Epson R3000.
- Unfortunately a real Wet Darkroom is out of the question, unless I can convince my mum to let me steal one of her wine cellars (not likely), or find one to borrow in my small country town called Adelaide. But then there's an unfortunate mould problem down there.

Good job on the Monitor purchase! That's an excellent model for people who don't want to completely break the bank. Unfortunately whatever calibration they did at the factory is not what we are referring to. You have to get a small hockey puck thing and place it on the monitor maybe every 1 or two months and run some calibration software. You also have to make some decisions about what your calibration targets are going to be. One thing I see often is monitors are shipped with brightness set pretty high. If you tweak your pictures to look good on those settings they will print too dark. It took me awhile to figure out how to bring the brightness down to a reasonable level. Just adjusting brightness didn't do it. I eventually figured out you must drop the values of the R, G, B channels first to a roughly okay range and then go and tweak the brightness. Then go back and tweak the R, G, and B channels for color temperature/balance. Otherwise I was finding I could drop the brightness all the way to zero and still not meet my luminance target of 80 cd/m2-100 cd/m2. Spyder and Xrite both make tools for calibrating monitors.

Don't leave your enlarger lenses in a humid dark environment. You would be inviting fungus. If you can't do something about the humidity in a cellar or basement then maybe you can get away with removing lenses, negatives, etc from the environment when you aren't working.

You don't necessarily need a dark room. If you find a pro lab that does good developing and scanning then you can use them as a benchmark. To be honest with you I live in the US and I bought some Ilford film and sent it back to England to get processed by Ilford. If you do that and get developing, scans and even some prints you will have a benchmark to work towards. Developing, scans, and a wet print would be better, but a properly developed roll and some good scans are invaluable as well. You've got to isolate errors in your workflow.

Dr Croubie, I am assuming your education is in science and perhaps even medicine. If you want to really start analyzing negatives and scans from negatives you need to treat the process like any other scientific experiment. You have your controls and you have your variables. You want as few variables as possible. You also want to eliminate confounders and have overall good study design. If you can eliminate error in metering, developing, scanning, and viewing on a monitor then you can start changing one variable at a time and analyzing results. And obviously if you had to do this experiment for work or a paper to be published you would want to use only one film and developer to make setting up the experiment manageable and easy to analyze.