I know. I used to be diligent about this. But I found that the same negs I would choose to print from the contact sheets were easily identified by inspecting the negatives. So I don't bother most of the time. If I am unsure about sharpness I will look with a 10x loupe. If I am unsure about the potential final print then I will make an 8x10 pilot print which I can do easily and that provides good information.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
So I figure that if I were to print 4 negs out of a batch of 12 (which is pretty good for me) then I could spend the time to make 3 contact sheets including 8 non-print candidates or make 4 pilot prints of good print candidates.
Also, I disagree with the popular notion that I need a low contrast positive to see the potential of a good negative. I believe that is helpful but not essential and learning to interpret negatives is a good skill to develop.