A Good exposure and development

Half the skill of being able to diagnose a problem negative is in being able to recognize a good negative in the first place. Here are a few hints.

The first place to look is the image area. This should contain a full range of tones - which translates to good detail in shadow, midtone and highlight areas. There should be very few, if any, parts of the frame that contain no detail. The rule of thumb is that if the negative is placed on a page of newsprint it should be still readable. No areas of text should be obscured by the darkness (density) of the image.

The second area to examine is the edge of the film. Take particular notice of the frame numbers. As these numbers are exposed in the factory they can be a good guide to the quality of your processing (see Figure 48.1).

Figure 48.1 Well exposed and processed black and white negative.
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