Black vs. Gray -

Black vs. Gray -

  1. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    markbarendt submitted a new resource:

    Black vs. Gray - - Black vs. Gray -

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  2. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Thanks for the interesting article Mark. Many have stated that "underexpose and overdevelop" is the way to get better negatives for scenes with a "compressed" SBR. Thus, your method appears to be spot on.

    Ed
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks Ed.

    One thing that surprised me and helped me get this concept were the recommended film EI's N-1, N+1, on unblinking eye.

    The change in exposure was minimal. The recommended EI only changed 1/3 of a stop while the development changed by a full stop.

    In contrast, pushing is a 1:1 change.

     
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    for sure. OVER exposure is as much of a problem as under. The oft swallowed mantra of rating HP5/TriX at 160-200 might work fine in strong sidelight in the mexico desert but shooting in britain, where sunshine occurs only when the unicorns run free, it is often necessary to rate at bos speed and sometimes to underexpose and seriously up the devt.

    In Afghanistan, i rate most films quite low, bec I have very contrasty lenses (ZMs) and the light can be harsh. Back in the UK, I am happy to increase my film speed by 2/3 stop under average conditions so I get some dark values!
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    This is what I found.

    HP5+ at EI 200, developed with a 25% reduction in time works very well for subjects in bright sun with a high contrast.

    For a 'normal' UK overcast day, Using it at ISO 400 with normal development works much better as it spreads the limited contrast over more of the film's range (I assume this is what happens).


    Steve.
     
  6. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    How are you metering? From what you are describing it seems you are using some sort of averaging meter or incidence meter. If you can, try a spot meter like a Pentax with the little mechanical calculator. It may give you insight into the placing of scene brightnesses onto the film. In theory the Matrix metering in the newer Nikons does this for you, but if I have time I like to meter by hand with the spot meter.
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Hi L Gebhardt

    Metering was outside the scope of what I was trying to get across in the article.

    Proper metering is very important and as you have pointed out spot metering is an excellent tool to help match the scene to the film.


     
  8. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Spot metering is the solution, hence my use of one in the UK for landscape work. I also found HP5+ not terribly well suited to our sunless climes, with TriX having, for me, a preferable look. In bright sunny conditions I think I prefer pulled HP5+.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Tom

    I found this http://www.apug.org/forums/658430-post1.html

    I'm wondering if this might explain some of the difference.

    Spectral sensitivity may be the next wild card I need to address for myself.

     
  10. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Good read here Mark. You have highlighted my next steps. I was just about to do a bulk order of hp5+ 36exp.....Me thinks that I would be better spent getting a bulk roll, some cartridges and spooling off a smaller number of frames. There is much experimenting to do! (oh and I have already asked the library to dig up "the negative" from the dungeon!)

    Keep up the good work. Waiting intently on what you try and find next!
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    That's interesting as I found it the other way round. To be fair to Kodak though, I only tried a couple of rolls of Tri-X so I expect any failing is with me rather than the film.

    I keep thinking about trying it again but as HP5+ works for me, I have not got round to doing it.


    Steve.
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Hoffy,

    Bulk loading has been great. Being able to load shorter rolls is the cat's meow.

    Have fun!

    I want to hear what you learn from Ansel too.

     
  13. phyllis72

    phyllis72 Member

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    if you really want black and white, try a tech pan or ortho, (even line film if you can find it) remember the red number 25 filter. For printing start with a number 3 paper. :tongue:
     
  14. phyllis72

    phyllis72 Member

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    In all seriousness I find neopan to offer really nice contrast. Does anyone have experience Rollie films?
     
  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yes different films will have different grain and contrast characteristics and each will have different responses to blue, red, etcetera but none are magic bullets.

    The point of the article is that you can get better results with any film if you expose and develop in concert to match the scene.

    Our skills are normally the limit, not the materials we are using.
     
  16. phyllis72

    phyllis72 Member

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    it was a joke- I once shot with those combos because I was masochistic in the darkroom.
     
  17. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    ^^^ :surprised:
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Having never shot with those I didn't get it.
     
  19. phyllis72

    phyllis72 Member

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    it's funny, i have negs that are literally b+w, no midtones, very hard to print even on number 1 or 2 paper. I know Rollie still makes a tech pan and ortho film. Line film was intended for graphic arts purposes.
     
  20. premo

    premo Member

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    This procedure is what I stumbled upon with D-72 @ 48-1 plus 1 minum of glycerin per 6 oz. On arista ortho film--usually about 12 min 1 agitation every 2 min. What started me on using this developer on film was the old package that said Dectol D-72 film, plate, and paper developer, so I just had to try it. I adjusted the mix until the highlights came up in 1-2 minutes than developed until shadows were there. Easy to use as ortho can be developed under a red safelight.
     
  21. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Way back a couple of editions ago I read Ansel's books, the complete set, I didn't get it very much, he was using foot candles and an SEI meter, it stumped me for years. Then the next edition came out and it was then I understood what he was saying, perhaps I had advanced in technique and visualization. After that the New Zone System manual came out and it confirmed in a more succinct way what I had understood from the Ansel Adams series. Finally the Zone IV manual by Fred Picker was out and it was a dream come true for a procedure that could be done by roll film users, although the others are great for that too. I had a series of Ah-ha moments, mostly while sleeping, and many OK moments.

    The idea I'm getting at is that it isn't always apparent the first time around. I could describe how to row a boat but until someone actually goes out and does it they only have an idea of what it's about. After they row a bit they soon get the Ah-ha moment, maybe not the first time but soon after.

    Photography, analog, is a very complicated process with the equipment, film, and darkroom, as Brett Weston said, "One should keep it as simple as possible", I agree. The tendency to change more than one variable derails the process. You are right to keep what you know and go from there.

    What have I learned from Ansel Adams? Work hard and work 'em over really good' as John Sexton said about what Ansel did on his prints. I learned a system for how to approach a subject using the materials at hand.
    What have I learned from Edward Weston? Simplify and concentrate on the subject.
    What have I learned from Brett Weston? Simplify and follow your own voice.
    What have I learned from Paul Strand? Any subject can be beautiful if properly composed, seen, and executed.
    What have I learned from Ralph Gibson? There are three degrees of separation from what we see to a black and white photographic print.
    What have I learned from Eugene Smith? There is a story of Life in every photograph.
    What Have I learned from .......? There is no beginning, middle, or ending.
     
  22. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Years ago I got the Adams books and read them and used them to develop my shooting and darkroom styles. The man was a genius. I also got his book on the Polaroid Land Camera and went from it being next to a point and shoot in results to a preferred film format. He used a SEI Photometer in much of his shooting as well as a Weston Ranger 9. Years ago a friend in the photo business got a SEI in trade and I picked it up from him. It took quite a bit of time to get used to it but the results were amazing. I concentrated on Tech Pan shooting and development so I eliminated one variable and as it really could be developed from high contrast to low contrast, had a tonal range that was amaziing and made great b&w tranparencies, I used it almost exclusively until it was discontinued.

    I have since sidelined the SEI for most use, having picked up a Ranger 9 along with the optional Adams Zone System dial. I power it now with a pair of CHRIS MR9 adaptors and it is dead on accurate. I also got the incident dome and a new 2nd leather case so good to go as the meter looks brand new. If you have a chance to get a 9, I can not recommend it highly enough. Adams was not overstating just how good the meter is.

    The Adams' books are a must read for everyone who knows the lens must point towards the subject.
     
  23. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I agree with the meter reference, it's my best tool, I received the pocket spot recently after a long wait and used it at the workshop to determine zones and placement, my darkroom work will be a continuation of what I did in the field. Beyond the technical there is nothing greater than to develop and nurture visualization, the end goal of art.

    Take a look at what Al Weber has to say about the Zone System and the real world as a point of reference. As you will read he worked with Ansel Adams for 18 years and his main focus was the perfection of the Zone System.

    http://galwest.com/photography/contemporary/other_photographers/al_weber.htm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HezOkxmrBlU