Quote Originally Posted by FrankB
Thanks very much for the interest and the advice. I will post my results, a description of how the session went and any conclusions I've reached.

Photomc, could you describe your semi-stand process for 1:100, please? Also what agitation do people generally use. (Once I've determined the exposure I may well do a second roll processed at 1:25, 1:50 and 1:100 with various agitation patterns.)

Also, what do you look for when comparing negs?

Thanks in advance,

Frank
Do one test using regular agitation, ie 5 seconds every 30 seconds, and a second using the same development time but change continuous agitation for the first 30 seconds followed by 15 seconds every 1.5 minutes. The result should be more edge definition from the 2nd method of agitation and an apparent increase in sharpness in the print. The increased edge definition happens where areas of different tonalities meet and this is the reason for the apparent sharpness, in effect you have increased the contrast which has the effect of making the print look sharper. This effect is further enhanced when using an accutance developer like Rodinal. The price you have to pay is an increase in the appearance of grain in the print, although I personally don't think that is a bad thing.

When comparing negatives look at the detail in the shadow areas and choose the negative that clearly shows detail, my prediction is that it will be the neg given -1 stop exposure from the metered reading, placing the shadow on Zone VI.

Nige, with respect I think you are passing on bad advice. I regularly use -1 stop development when I have made exposures in very high contrast situations ie higher that 6 stops SBR. I use -2 stops less frequently but it is very useful to know the effect that it has when you need it. In fact I often increase exposure and reduce development even in normal circumstances and I reckon that I get a better negative. The increased exposure ensures that I have detail in the darkest shadow and the reduced development will help control the negative density in the brightest highlight.