Gene Nocon explains B/W ƒ/stop Printing

martin-f5

Active Member
Registered User
that's one of the most important video I've seen regarding darkroom enlarging.
After that I downloaded f-stop printing calculator app on my android cellphone and use it very often.
 

Alan Clark

Member
Registered User
I missed that David. But I must confess that I'd had enough of him after five minutes, and turned him off.

Alan
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
You missed seeing how Tiger Woods plays tennis.
This is a curiously amateurish film. As it's ten years old, I wonder if we've been spoiled by the higher quality of blogs from people like Thomas Heaton or Ben Horne. (...and they are made outdoors, on beaches and mountain tops.)
If people like to use his system, I don't want to discourage them, but I've found that 4,8,12,16... secs is as useful as 5,10,20,40... I do admit the logic, but in both cases it seems to come down to: "A little bit nearer to this or a little bit nearer to that?"
I believe there are devices that incorporate a meter, which will decide both paper grade and exposure time. Does anyone know about such a thing?

And is it true that you can't use flashing on Multigrade? Perhaps there were problems when the film was made.
 

Keith Haithwaite

Active Member
Registered User
I am disgusted that he tries to lay claim to the f-stop method of doing the first test strip. :mad: In the 1950's, when I first entered a darkroom, the 2sec, 4sec, 8sec, 16sec etc method of producing the first test strip was the standard method every one was taught and used as far as I was aware and it was taught to me by a guy who was printing this way before WWII. I've no doubt GN invented the physical f-stop timer but that was just to automate the process and a welcome one no doubt to those wealthy enough to afford the device.

I didn't watch the video all the was through as the noise from the trumpet he was blowing became too much. :eek:
 

Alan Clark

Member
Registered User
At the beginning of the interview Mr Nocon seemed rather put out and disconcerted by the fact that darkroom printers use a variety of different strategies instead of all following the same prescribed method. He claims that this is why he came up with the fstop method. But why shouldn't we employ a variety of strategies? Printing is a creative process. You can't do it properly by following a set of rules Each of us do what we think works best for the negative in the enlarger, and the kind of print we want to produce.
I suspect that what he really wanted was for us all to adopt his method and, in the process, buy his FStop Timer and make him a rich man.
Good luck to anyone who uses an FStop timer, I'm sure the method works. But I've never gone for one. I like to keep things as simple as possible. And I don't like being tied down to one method.

Alan
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
What we'd really like is an introduction to his bank manger. (If you got that far.)
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Here is a link to the RH Designs version of the timer. (The page mentions Mr Nocon.)
If you scroll down you can see an example of a test strip produced by the olde-worlde equal-step method, as used by unknown has-beens like Ansel Adams, and another one demonstrating how much better the the f-stop multiplication system is.
You may think, as I do, that the two examples look remarkably similar. You might care to guess which is which before reading the text.

http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/

Oops!
http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/f-stop_printing.html
 
Last edited:

Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
I am disgusted that he tries to lay claim to the f-stop method of doing the first test strip. :mad: In the 1950's, when I first entered a darkroom, the 2sec, 4sec, 8sec, 16sec etc method of producing the first test strip was the standard method every one was taught and used as far as I was aware and it was taught to me by a guy who was printing this way before WWII. I've no doubt GN invented the physical f-stop timer but that was just to automate the process and a welcome one no doubt to those wealthy enough to afford the device.

I didn't watch the video all the was through as the noise from the trumpet he was blowing became too much. :eek:
I agree Keith, I thought in f stops in the 1960's, I always have I just don't call my way of printing F stop printing.

It's full of crap, people still flash to bring out highlights even with MG paper.

Ian
 

joe monteiro

Member
Registered User
Egads (does anyone remember that?) but these posts have been worth the read.... Sometimes i can just look at the easel and have a good idea of the time needed but far from always, but then i often do things the hard way.
 

martin-f5

Active Member
Registered User
https://www.digitaltruth.com/apps/f-stop/

After having seen the video I searched a cheap way to get f-stop values on my timer. I found the app and tested it many times.
I normally start with calibrating my paper to my darkroom meter, Hauck Trialux. Getting the "Paper ISO" I can measure each negativ and make prints 95% without test strips. This helps using 35mm films.
If I than look to those worksheets I'm often able to say well this needs a f-stop more or less. Doing it in seconds is never the same, I have to find the f-stop values and I don't want to change the f-stop on the enlarger sense.
This is not scientific, it's much more a feeling but it works fine.
The perfect print of course needs a little more of that all but for those hundreds of worksheets ;) it has changed my way of printing and I hope I can somewhen find a f-stop timer for "cheap".

mp-photos.jpg
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
If only someone would come up with a bluetooth-linked timer, controlled by an iPhone app. The front-facing camera could function as a printing meter. Not my area of expertise, even if I had one.
 
Top