Walter Glover wrote:Alastair,
Where did you get your proposed method from? It sounds a bit dodgey to me. For film testing that means something you need an 18% grey card, sunlight and the meter you wish to standardise on.
I'd recommend choosing a film and developer combination based on whatever selection data you are moved by. It might be past experience with the 'LOOK' or it may be price, or availability, or convenience (liquid concentrate as opposed to powder developer) and, for the developer, whether you intend to work one-shot or re-use your developer with replenishment.
Focus the lens you'll be using at infinity (to negate any bellows factor) and then place the grey card into the picture. Set the ISO at the recommended setting and then shoot for Zone V, Zone III and Zone VIII. These are the key Zone that will quickly tell you if you are in the ball park: Zone I indicates the speed of the film, Zone V will indicate mid-tone placement, and Zone VIII indicates where the highlights will be placed in order for them not to blow out.) You could shoot two or three exposures at each Zone bracketing by half a stop and a full stop. Process all the sheets together in one run for the sake of consistency.
Ideally you would have access to a densitometer and read each Zone in a particular exposure set. First up, measure the density of clear film in the rebate (I used to leave the darkslide partially inserted to give yourself a bigger clear film target) and then zero the densitometer on that reading. Then, to determine the speed of the emulsion in the developer you use the Zone I neg should have a density of 0.1 above the reading for the clear film (FB+f = Film Base plus fog). Then read the Zone V neg and the Zone VIII neg.
Zone V needs to be about 0.7 and Zone VIII about 1.2
That briefly sets you on the course for the Zone System of Fred Arch and Ansel Adams. It is a flawed system but it is sort of standard.
I far prefer the BTZS (Beyond The Zone System) method of Phil Davis. I have a spare book of BTZS if you want a loan. Ditto the Adams book "The Negative". There is also the New Zone System by Minor White and Zakia which is more homespun and, as I recall, may dispense with the need for a densitometer.
Let me know if you want to hook-up to borrow the books.
Ray Heath wrote:So what do you feel is lacking in the negs you've produced so far?
Maris wrote:The exposure sequence with respect to "box speed" goes 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, and 32x….
I've got 10 exposures at 1 stop increments...
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