Quote Originally Posted by Willie Jan View Post
You are right that 8 stops is printable, but shadows and/or highlights based on your measurements will lose details.
My basic idea is that i want to see in the photo what i saw at the scene.
This is only possible when i make studio stillife photos where i can set the light so that it is under 5 stops. This neg can be printed without any problems.
Of course, not all 10 tonal values will show the same level of detail. The two extreme values (0 & 9) are absolute black or white. Values 1 to 8 show some differentiation and you can spot some detail. Values 2 to 7 definitely show detail/textures. Now that's with only a straight print, without any d&b. Modest burning can reveal some more highlight detail. Mild selenium toning (intensification) can give a better look. IMHO, if you print to get the deepest black without any toning, you'll reach the shoulder of the paper and shadows might be less than ideal. You can print your shadows just a tad lighter and intensify them later with selenium. I feel it gives clearer shadows with more detail, without sacrificing deep blacks. Anyway, the bottomline is I wouldn't expect all the negatives to print themselves automagically. You need to put some effort to get to the best result. Exposing and developing according to the lighting conditions can only get you closer, almost there, not there.

Finally, I'd agree with Thomas that you don't need to switch from paper to paper. It's good to have some different papers that respond differently in various toners and give warmer/colder tones, but IMHO any good variable contrast paper can give fine results once you know how it behaves.