Dmax is a technical measurment, but it is also a subjective, aesthetic quality. And it is relative. Pt./Pd. prints with Dmax of maximum of 1.5 or so have very convincing black if viewed by themselves. Put them next to a glossy silver gelatin print with Dmax of 2.10 the blacks of the Pt./Pd. don't look so black. But there are no rules that say, this print is better because it has deeper Dmax, or this process is better because it is capable of deeper Dmax.
On the other hand, I do believe it is good practice to get all of the Dmax you can out of a process, in most circumstances. For example, since it is possible to get a Dmax of 1.50 or higher from Pt./Pd., accepting 1.2 or 1.3 is not working to the h ighest standard, in my opinion, unless one has a valid aesthetic reason for doing so.
Originally Posted by darinwc