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Any suggestions how to start with time in a doka



hi everybody,
does anybody have any suggestions how to start a good way of lighting time, developing time and so on?
I love making b&w pictures, and have my own doka, but I am getting a bit confused about all the schedules.

what I do now is start in the middle of the f stops, and make a test picture 50sec, 40sec, 30sec, 20,sec 10sec and 5 seconds all on one picture.
so than I can see what contrast, high lights etc are available in that picture.

This is a bit costly in pictures because everypicture I make which is a good one cost me one test slide.

spencer vos.


If I understand you correctly you are making blackand white test strips in the darkroom and you are trying to control printing costs. If that is so, I would recommend the following:
1). Keep your paper cool or frozen when not being used, (allow the paper to get to room temperature before using. B&W paper loses speed and contrast when stored at room temperature or higher).
2). Buy a darkroom meter for paper exposure. These cost 30-35 dollars US. Ilford among others make these.
3). Make a straight test print that is satisfactory for each paper that you use. Place the meter on an area that is printing as a light gray just darker than pure white. Calibrate the meter per instructions. Record the setting of the meter so that you may reset your meter when again using the paper. You need to have a standard printing time (for ex&le 10 seconds) that is always used. Record the time and meter setting so that you can refer to it when again using the paper
4). You must have a standard time for full development and dilution and paper developer at a given temperature. For ex&le Dektol part water 2 parts
5). Insert a new negative. Place your probe over a spot that you wish to render in that same light tone. Change you F stop until the light just goes out.
6). Expose you test strip and develop it with the standard conditions. Continue until the strip is processed.
7). Examine the blacks in your test strip under lighting similar to which the final print would be viewed. If they are too dark use a lower numbered filter since you have too much contrast. If the blacks are weak use a higher number filter since the negative is lacking in contrast. If the white area that was read from is too light or too dark your test strip was not properly exposed.
8). Make a new test at the changed filter after rereading the test spot. (this assumes the first test was not acceptable).
9). Once you have a proper test strip make a print at those settings. If you need to burn and dodge make a new print using the same settings and reprint and do the dodging/burning.

This is what is required. If it seems tedious well too bad because a good print requires good controls and processing.

Claire Senft