PART A - STANDARD NEGATIVE AND COLOR PRINTING
A standard control negative is an average, normal color negative properly
exposed under known conditions and that is known from actual trial to make
an excellent print. In other words, it has been printed previously, and an
accurate record of the filter pack required for a particular paper emulsion
is available. Here is a standard that can be used for comparison purposes.
a. Using a Standard Negative.
The standard negative can be useful in
at least three different ways:
For comparing its printing characteristics with those of other
For checking processing.
The standard negative should be typical of the majority of negatives to be
If most of your negatives are outdoor shots on Kodak Gold 100
film, the standard negative should obviously be shot on Kodak Gold 100.
Further, it should be normally exposed, normally processed, and it should be
of a typical subject with typical lighting. That is, the lighting ratio and
light direction should be similar to most of the negatives that are to be
b. Selecting a Standard Negative.
It will help considerably if the
standard negative contains some areas that are relatively sensitive to minor
color balance changes.
(1) For example, sunsets or flowers are not good standard negative
test subjects because they often can be printed over a wide range of color
balance and still be pleasing.
(2) However, the face in a portrait is a sensitive area, as is any
near neutral, such as a sunlit concrete surface. Surprising as it may seem,
a prominent sunlit tree trunk may be helpful in judging small color
differences in middle tones and shadow areas.
(3) Best of all is a gray scale or a card of 18% reflectance, such as
the gray side of the Kodak Neutral Test Card placed in the scene.