Print Evaluation Environment : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

What is the "normal" viewing environment for evaluating dry prints? Can this be standardized by stating, for example, that dry prints should be evaluated for density and contrast under a lamp producing a spot reading (grey card) of 8EV at ASA100?

Thanks for the help.

-- Doug Delaney (, April 12, 2000


If there is a normal viewing light for prints, I and the people I print with always develope a print under the light that will be used to display it. I use a 40W softwhite at 18-24 inches for the average room light which works well for me, you need to remember the inverse square law in lighting when considering the light that is to fall on the photo and ajust contrast accordingly. Regards, Pat

-- pat j. krentz (, April 12, 2000.

There may be standardized light sources for print evaluation, but what's their use when you usually display the print under non-standard conditions. I would second Pat's statement (which was already put forward by Ansel Adams , and maybe by others before him) that you should print for optimum quality under the actual lighting conditions under which the print will be displayed. As a rule of thumb, note that brighter illumination will tend to reveal more detail in the shadows, and will give you more apparent contrast.

-- Thomas Wollstein (, April 13, 2000.

The above replies assume that you have some control over the final viewing conditions.

The recognised viewing "standard" is north-facing windowlight (in the northern hemisphere of the world). Failing that, you can get "hobby lamps" which are normal lightbulbs with a blue coating to simulate daylight. They're a bit dim, but adequate at close distance ~18"-24" in a desklamp. You might think that a colour matching source isn't necessary with black&white, but different paper and developer combinations give widely different print hues.

-- Pete Andrews (, April 13, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ