Quote Originally Posted by photomc
Thank you Donald, this may be why I keep getting confused...among other reasons. When I evaluate a negative I expect, based on the exposure given, that there will be some detail in the shadows (lets say Zone II or VI) and the highlights will also have some detail (again close to Zone VIII). If you recall the White Church thread and posted image this is pretty much what happened and the negative prints well. At other times, it seems like to get the shadows right then the highlights go to Zone IX or higher.

Could this be corrected during development by increasing the development time? Or have I got it backwards and I need to decrease the development time. Should note here that currently I am using FP4+, and wonder is another film with a longer toe would be better.

Thanks to everyone that has commented so far, sometimes it just helps to hear how others state things to make sure you aren't out in left field somewhere...of course the light can be very nice in left field this time of year.

Should also note that I have started to do more sheet film now and so there are no codes, marks to compare to.
I understand what you are asking now. If you have a scene such as a church scene, for instance. In this scene let's assume that you want to show no detail in minute areas like a door knob...then don't worry about where they will fall on exposure. But in this same scene you want to show detail in the stained glass windows, for instance, and you want these to render a Zone IV print value. Then expose your film at that exposure.

Taking this a step further that when you check the white siding of the church, with your spot meter, you find that it indicates a Zone X exposure. You know the white siding will not, under normal development, render with any detail at that value. So the answer is process for N-2 development so that the siding values come down to a Zone VIII tonal value. In other words decrease development to bring high contrast down. Increase development to bring flat contrast up.

Ilford FP4 is a good film. It is adaptable to modifications of contrast through altered development.