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01-06-2011, 06:33 AM   #16
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Not really. The Flickr search doesn't give time & temp in the results.

01-06-2011, 07:43 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Not really. The Flickr search doesn't give time & temp in the results.
Good point. The recipe site has the advantage of being "process centric". Unfortunately, many of the less popular or more unusual soups/films are badly underrepresented.


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01-06-2011, 11:06 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Good point. The recipe site has the advantage of being "process centric". Unfortunately, many of the less popular or more unusual soups/films are badly underrepresented.


Steve
In the end, these photos can't really tell us all that much anyway. Since they are digital files, who knows what's been done to them or how they where scanned. In a blind test of various images I'd be hard pressed to pick what was developed with what, and this goes for any images I post too. I think it's best to test Yourself where you know the workflow will be the same or at least similar; the differences are much easier to spot then.

Edit: I do like how Sandy King and other BTZS users test film/dev combos. A characteristic curve removes the scanning and processing variable, and makes any differences in effective film speed and contrast clearly visible. Too bad a curve tells you nothing about acutance or grain pattern.

Last edited by Vertex Ninja; 01-06-2011 at 11:18 AM.
01-07-2011, 12:03 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
In the end, these photos can't really tell us all that much anyway. Since they are digital files, who knows what's been done to them or how they where scanned. In a blind test of various images I'd be hard pressed to pick what was developed with what, and this goes for any images I post too. I think it's best to test Yourself where you know the workflow will be the same or at least similar; the differences are much easier to spot then.

Edit: I do like how Sandy King and other BTZS users test film/dev combos. A characteristic curve removes the scanning and processing variable, and makes any differences in effective film speed and contrast clearly visible. Too bad a curve tells you nothing about acutance or grain pattern.
Very true, though you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, not even in PP. Blown highlights are generally not fixable and neither are zero density shadows. No data = no data. When evaluating images from a particular film and developer, I look for:
  • how the density extremes are handled
  • tonality in the midrange
  • grain (hard to gauge without the negative in hand)
  • acuity
A person might argue that the last point can be made up in PP, but my experience is that this is hard to do with artifact.

Probably the best evidence I can offer for seeing the impact of processing on final image qualities is to look at some of the excellent pyro and stand/semi-stand work that is regularly posted on this forum. Those images all bear the hallmarks of the techniques that produced them and are hard to duplicate using other than those techniques.

As for Sandy King and the BTZS crowd...They do excellent work and you can approximate their process for fine tuning your own flow. For accuracy's sake, I would point out that the characteristic curve is nothing more than a plotted scan of a "density wedge" and that processing details (developer, time, temperature, and agitation) determine the shape of that curve for a particular film. Being able to see the curve is nice, but not essential since you can accomplish much the same thing with a standardized target subject. One of these days I should post an article here on how to determine development times and EI for a particular film/developer combo using common objects and direct examination of the negative.

The role of the scanner and PP is analogous to traditional darkroom printing, but has advantages due to much more flexible controls for handling contrast.


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01-07-2011, 12:38 AM   #20
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Well said, Steve.
01-07-2011, 11:19 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
...No data = no data. When evaluating images from a particular film and developer, I look for:
  • how the density extremes are handled
  • tonality in the midrange
  • grain (hard to gauge without the negative in hand)
  • acuity
...
Steve
I agree with Tuco, well put. However, point 1 in your list is true only if the scanner was set to not clip any values and/or the person did not decide to clip the values in post for aesthetic reasons. The second point, tonality values, can also be tweaked at scan time or in post. So who knows what has been done to an image by the time it hits flickr.

My opinion is that most developers are better than the person using them, but some are better at doing certain techniques.

I also agree with you that eyeballing it works just fine, especially with a good target to shoot. That's all I've ever done too. I shoot an out of focus black/gray square and Kodak target at -5,-4,-3,-2,-1 stops and see which one gives density just above fog. Box speed should be -4, but often isn't. I check on a loupe first and then use the density reading of my scanner to verify. All this assumes that my testing meter is accurate, shutter is spot on, lens flare in nonexistent, and any other number a variables are at a minimum. I have no way to know for sure. BTZS exposes the film by contact and with a known light value, so most variables are eliminated.

Last edited by Vertex Ninja; 01-07-2011 at 11:26 AM.
01-07-2011, 08:31 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
I agree with Tuco, well put. However, point 1 in your list is true only if the scanner was set to not clip any values and/or the person did not decide to clip the values in post for aesthetic reasons. The second point, tonality values, can also be tweaked at scan time or in post. So who knows what has been done to an image by the time it hits flickr.
No worse than judging a negative by the final print when using traditional wet processing. Adams does this with good affect in "The Negative". As with optical printing to silver-based paper, scanning is the art of taking the potential on the negative and translating it to the desired form on the positive. Your positive never has more than the negative has to offer and even the best print portrays only a subset of the information on the film.


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01-08-2011, 12:27 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
No worse than judging a negative by the final print when using traditional wet processing. Adams does this with good affect in "The Negative". As with optical printing to silver-based paper, scanning is the art of taking the potential on the negative and translating it to the desired form on the positive. Your positive never has more than the negative has to offer and even the best print portrays only a subset of the information on the film.


Steve
I agree, I was only pointing out that someone may declare a film and/or developer combo are bad because they were scanned or post processed badly. Of course, as you say, this is true of prints too.

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