There is nothing wrong with printing at Grade 5.

But if you are like me, and like your negatives to print well at Grade 2 or 3, then you have to make your negatives higher in contrast, meaning you need to develop them longer. I suggest starting with adding about 12% and go to 9 minutes, print a couple of frames and see what happens.

I like to be able to have wiggle room when I print. Most of my negatives print well at around Grade 2 to 3, but sometimes I want a bit of extra punch to the print, and I use the Grade 4 or 5 filters to either burn in certain areas, or give the whole print the high contrast treatment.
If my negatives were such that my 'normal' print would be at Grade 5, and I needed more contrast, it would be very difficult to do.

Just something to think about. Increasing or decreasing negative contrast is a basic control point of your process, so look at your negatives critically, and adjust developing time as necessary so that you can print at your preferred contrast grades. It's entirely in your hands.

Quote Originally Posted by Tofek View Post
I'm trying to find a way to check my developing time, APX100 in Rodinal 1+25. I'm currently at 8 min / 20C. The thing is, I regulary print on grade 5 to get optimal contrast and I've been wondering if the problem is the development or other (enlarger, etc.). So I read about the method of Bruce Barnbaum in his book. He recommends to expose a zone V on paper (comparing it to a 18% card) and then to expose a zone IX catured on the negative with the same time and see if it is blank or very light grey. Anyway, I want to find a way of exposing zone V without a grey card, and I'd like to ask you if the method I found is correct : it is to find the reference time of the negative and then expose the zone IX capture with that reference time, without using zone V as a reference. Will the reference time give me the correct equivalent of zone IX ? Supposing that the exposure is correct.
I hope you get what I mean.

Thank you in advance,