85%

Three rolls of TMax 100, Xtol 1+1, 9:30. Unprocessed backlog is down to a roll of Ektachrome (off to the lab) and a single 120-sized roll of Delta.

Whacked monitors are a curse. Worse yet is trying to match them. My Eizo's and Sony are all set to the same gamma, the same white point, but the Sony consistently displays more detail in the shadow values. The Eizos are black or nearly so for the bottom 10%, and the Sony handles the range nicely.

This is a personal annoyance, though perhaps an unusual one (not too many people have to worry about calibrating multiple monitors at home). What's more worrisome is thinking about what people see when viewing pictures on the web.

I regularly see commercial studio pages where the "black" levels are clearly grey — often laid against a true-black background. I've come to the conclusion that the web designers themselves were simply unaware of how rotten their black levels are — they don't even see the differences between 85% grey and black. And if the designers aren't seeing the proper colors, what chance do I have that the casual web surfer will see them?

From now on I will try to preview everything using the cruddiest screen I can find. Maybe the old Sony laptop (a sweet screen for 1998, but not 2003).

Reviewing recent rolls, I will also try to stay away from using my 45mm wide-open all the time. ISO 100 film is not meant for available light indoors in the evening. I slap myself.

Comments on "85%"

Buzz Andersen
August 23, 2003 10:28 AM

I think you're fighting an uphill battle--you'll never be able to get black and white photos to look perfect on both good monitors and crappy ones (let alone PCs and Macs). I just shoot for having mine look decent on Macs that are configured correctly and call it a day :-).

Love your stuff though--I've been doing digital for way too long. Seeing your site makes me want to pull out my Leica :-).

 

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