Quote Originally Posted by doughowk
Isn't going from 1/30 to 1/8 sec. increasing exposure?
It is a two stop increase. Taking your zone five reading and nailing it to a zone 7. That is bright.

It sounds like you are in the same boat I was in a few years back when I developed my first LF neg. Wow! that was five years ago. Anyway as you learn all of this I would stick to one thing while you learn the basics. Worry about shutter speed to adjust exposure not aperature. I set my aperature and meter the scene. Then I play with shutter speed at that aperature.

Looking at your problem you exposed the shadows on zone 5 instead of zone 3. This means you are going to have some bullet proof highs. What you wanted in zone 7 or 8 is now in zone 10 and 11. I see two possibilities:

1-go back and expose another negative correctly. develope both negs and look at the difference between the two. Use this as one of many, many learning situations. This will be quite an educational test for you

2-If you cannot do number 1 then develope the neg and drop the development time by maybe 20%. This will flatten the negative out but with VC paper and patience you can get a decent print

but with that much over exposure I would count on this being a learning situation. It is your first neg be happy if you get anything on the neg at all. My first one was totally blown out and my second was completely clear.

It is possible to find your N, N+ and N- development times without a densitometer. But it is not very accurate. I do not think I ever really have found mine. Now that I am looking at doing Alt processes where it is more crucial I will be sending my stuff to the view camera store sometime this summer. For me this is cheaper and more realistic than buying a densitometer right now

For now why don't you get used to your camera and getting the image on the negative. D-76 1:1 at 68 degrees for 12 minutes works fine. I love Delta 100. Actively look for scenes that have a 4-6 stop range, adjust your exposure with the shutter speed keeping your aperature constant, and print your negs on VC paper using the filters to adjust contrast. This may not be ideal but you will have more successes than failures and want to keep at it. When you are comfortable doing this then branch out. Come here to ask lots of questions. I know my technique has improved greatly.

Some of these guys like nothing more than to test stuff. I have not gone wrong using their numbers yet and I am eternally grateful to them.

Oh yeah read the Info on the View Camera mag website. And I did learn a lot about my camera from Steve Simmons' book. There are others out there as well that are just as good.

I hope this helps