Making correct exposures in the field will enhance and make easier the darkroom process.


As others have suggested, determing your EI and development time should help in this area. THere is an old adage that for every hour spent making the correct decisions in the field two hours are saved in the darkroom.

Learning to make good negatives is one of the hardest things we need to learn. Some do it by trial and error others use carefully testing methods.

Some people avoid testing for a variety of reasons. A rule of thumb is to halve the recommend ISO of the film. This is not as precise as testing but it might get you closer to a better exposure. Try a roll of film, shoot half at the recommend ISO the rest a half the ISO. Keep good notes and then make some prints from each section. See how you like the results. (and before others jump in and get upset about this suggestion; it is just that ! a suggestion. )

Understanding your method of metering and being consistent with that method will hopefully aid in creating better negatives that will produce better prints. What we really work with is light and learning to control that light as it relates to film is critical to fine printing.

Many of my students have trouble with consistent negatives ; basically when talking with them they are not really aware of what they are metering on, what the contrast range is and how they really made a decision on what option to use. I don't know if this is the problem but good consistent negatives make printing a snap.

As several others have comment it is difficult to determine what you are reaching for without seeing the prints; but i really don't think it is the need for additional or different equipment.

These are "food" for thought suggestions. But I would really study your negatives before jumping on the equipment "train".