Should I expose extra frames as a control?

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darinwc

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I was thinking I may try exposing a few test frames at the start of each roll.
This would be as a "control" strip so I could see the effects of development or shutter speed of various cameras I use.

I was thinking there could be a variety of things I could test on each roll.
Such as:
Frame exposed per cameras light meter.
Frame exposed per standard hand held light meter.
+2 and -2 stops to help evaluate development.
Self-portrait to document camera and lens used.

What do you guys think?
Do any of you do something like this?
Is there anything else I could do?
Or is this a total waste of time and film?
 

shutterfinger

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One roll as a test for each type of film/developer combination you use for B&W is sufficient then retest every year or 100 rolls of film whichever comes first to check for camera mechanics failing.
Color print and slide films use one developer only either C-41 print, E-6 slide so only one roll of each is all that is necessary.
Photograph a color test chart https://www.google.com/search?q=col...KEwi49rTt8b_aAhVmw1QKHWrLDv4Q9QEILTAB#imgrc=_ printed on a calibrated system at the printers highest resolution or purchase a factory made chart. It will tell you what you need to know.
 

MattKing

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Photograph a combination of a test chart and a calendar page or the date on your cel phione.
Then when you ask yourself "when did I take these photos?" you will have an answer.
 

DWThomas

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Long ago and far away when I was shooting 35mm color and sending it off for processing, I used to photograph a business card sized graphic with my name and address on it in hopes that if something went astray I might be reconnected. I suppose if you're doing your own processing, some sort of gray scale and/or color chart could occasionally be useful. But now that I shoot mostly 120, I'm not willing to sidetrack that large a portion of a roll!
 
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I remember years ago when I assisted photographers during the days when commercial jobs required transparencies. Some would shoot a few frames in the beginning of the roll and have the lab do a "Lead snip". The photographer would then look at the snips to "balance" by telling the lab to a push or a pull by 1/2 stop increments. Those are days long gone.
 
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Using 35mm, what is the difference between bracketing from one shot to another over several frames, keeping a written record, and referring to that post-processing?
And why are you introducing a hand-held meter into the mix?
 

Mr Bill

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If you're having intermittent problems, or just want to study process consistency, it can be a good method. But you need a very reliable exposure setup. The best, for checking development, would be to contact print a step wedge onto the film; this is good because it's essentially independent of exposure; the change in each step is controlled by the step wedge itself. Ideally you'd also have a densitometer to read the film; this is probably about the best measure of development you'll find. I actually did this, on and off, for a few years when I was doing sparse b&w developing, and the developer was of varying age. There's a number of ways you can go about this sort of testing; it just depends on how serious you want to be about it. Another option is to shoot a large series of reference images at one time, then process a short strip of this along with your regular film.

Sometimes, with 35mm film, I would use a last shot on the roll to photograph a card where I've written pertinent data - date, location, basic camera settings, etc. Essentially the same notes you might make separately, but with the advantage that they stay attached to the roll. (I'd only do this with 35mm; I wasn't usually willing to throw away a frame of 120-roll, etc.)
 
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darinwc

darinwc

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To put it in context..
I use different cameras, films, developers.
I process my own black and white film.
I shoot occasionally (more lately).
I am bad at taking notes of dates and iso's and such.
 

Bill Burk

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I take one extra shot from time to time with two f/stops more exposure than the rest. The pair can be spotted at a glance, checked and a rough estimate of development can be made from them. Plus, it’s not really even a waste. You never know, the overexposed shot might be better than the original.
 

Paul Howell

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I would not for black and white for every roll, in terms of color, in the now distant past commercial photographers would sometimes shoot a control using a standard Kodak color table so that the lab could use the control to match the colors to insure proper colors. This was important in catalog and fashion to make sure the fabric colors in a print would match the product. I don't have a densitometer so when testing a new film B&W to determine an E.I I shoot a ring around. I set up a table top with a gray card, a zone scale, black object, white object, clear glass vase, and my wife's hand. I shoot +3, N, -3. I start with standard time for the developer and if needed move to + and -10%, then + - 20% until I find my personal E.I and development time. Print grade 2. One of the reasons I stuck with Foma 200 for a long time is that I can get Foma in 35, 120, and 4X5. I just completed ring arounds for Ultafine 100 and 400. I also have ring around results for for Tmax 100 and 400. I shoot with many different cameas but find little difference in E.I between them. I use 3 develops, MCM 100, D 76, and Rodinal,, over the years I have tested Foma TMax, and now Ultrafine in all 3. Hopefully my testing is over for the foreseeable future. Saying that, most shooters shot at box speed, recommend time in the developer and adjust in the darkroom or in PS.
 

ic-racer

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Occasionally I'll skip the first 5 frames and, in the dark, just before loading the exposed roll on the processing reel, I'd expose as step wedge with the sensitometer. That would give a very accurate measure of processing gamma for that roll.
Sensitometer.jpg

Wejexwedge600.jpg
 
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Bill Burk

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Occasionally I'll skip the first 5 frames and, in the dark, just before loading the exposed roll on the processing reel, I'd expose as step wedge with the sensitometer. That would give a very accurate measure of processing gamma for that roll.
View attachment 199022
I often “finish” a roll on the sensitometer.

The curve provides far more information than the 2-shot test I do...
 

ic-racer

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The nice thing about having the step wedge at the beginning of the roll is that by leaving the tab on the cartridge after in-camera rewind, one can pull the tab out and across the sensitometer window easily in the dark. The exposed images on the roll stay in the cartridge; no risk of being fogged by the sensitometer.
 

Sirius Glass

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I cannot see any reason to waste the negatives on that.
 

E. von Hoegh

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I was thinking I may try exposing a few test frames at the start of each roll.
This would be as a "control" strip so I could see the effects of development or shutter speed of various cameras I use.

I was thinking there could be a variety of things I could test on each roll.
Such as:
Frame exposed per cameras light meter.
Frame exposed per standard hand held light meter.
+2 and -2 stops to help evaluate development.
Self-portrait to document camera and lens used.

What do you guys think?
Do any of you do something like this?
Is there anything else I could do?
Or is this a total waste of time and film?
Just photograph what you usually do, but keep notes. Testing a shutter by exposure is marginally more accurate than testing by ear.
 

Bill Burk

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I cannot see any reason to waste the negatives on that.
That's one of the reasons I like to "expose one shot 2 stops over," it's not wasted.
When I come home after a day taking pictures and there's a few shots leftover, putting a step wedge on it is a way to "not" waste it.
Because I'm going to develop that film right away.
 

dpurdy

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Yes when I have a frame or two left but want to process the film I will always do a zone 7 exposure on a white wall on the side of the house to see if my processing time is still right.
 

Bill Burk

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Yes when I have a frame or two left but want to process the film I will always do a zone 7 exposure on a white wall on the side of the house to see if my processing time is still right.
That’s a really good idea, especially if you have an idea what you expect Zone VII to look like on a negative.
 

dpurdy

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That’s a really good idea, especially if you have an idea what you expect Zone VII to look like on a negative.
Fortunately I have a densitometer but yes good point. I do keep a piece of film exposed and processed to a "perfect" Z7 taped to my light box for quick comparison.
 

ic-racer

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I cannot see any reason to waste the negatives on that.
Same here, so I spend some time to make sure the sensitometer is set appropriately for the film. It is important to get the toe and straight portion on the 21 steps. If those 'miss' then it can be a waste.
 
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