Develop low contrast film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Willie Jan, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    Hi,
    i shot some film last weekend when the sun was behind a higher fog layer in the air. It was one giant softbox.

    Normally i develop my acros in pyrocat HD 10min each minute 1 inversion.

    In the past i did some tests to extend the time for increasing contrast, but i found out that increasing time alone was not the solution. I guess the 1 min inversion did grow zone III just as fast as zone VII, so only the overall density was increased.

    What I want to do is develop at 9min, and inverse 1x 30 seconds. This will let the zone III become at the same level as normal(10min 1xmin) and zone VII gets more fresh developer, so the contrast would increase.
    Is this a good theoretical brainwave of am I missing something???

    Thanks and have a nice christmas.
     
  2. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I think what you may be wanting to do is to under expose low contrast scenes and over develop. At least this is the text book method suggested. But there are developers that will effect the Macro Contrast in different ways. Let me pass along some information I've read in the Film Developing Cookbook.

    You have your developers that will give rich midtone gradations, developers with high toe contrast (midtones compressed) and brilliant developers that have steep shoulders. Overall the macro gradation contrasts is built into the film but it's the developers that can have a significant effect on the contrast and gradation.

    On top of this you have your micro and local contrast to affect the image, and then you can affect the image further in using split filtration in the darkroom. So, there are many ways to go to accomplish what you want. In the end it comes down to experimentation along with some suggestions here in this forum to accomplish the effect you want. I hope this in some way gives some insight into the answer you need.
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Perhaps the addition of a minute amount of ascorbic acid will do the job for you. When I find it necessary to boost the contrast of Efke 100 enough for salt prints I use a mixture of 4:3:1:100 - the latter being 1% ascorbic acid.
     
  4. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    Normally if for example we have 2 stops, we divide them around zone V (so from IV until VI: IV-V V-VI). If you then say underexpose and overdevelop i guess this is correct.

    Would a different developer like rodinal 1+25 cause more contrast?

    I just want a little adjustment because i shot a landscape with snow (the fog was frosted at the trees which was a beautifull sight). Because the scene was a bit soft, i want to increase the contrast a bit.

    Regards and have a nice christmas.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2007
  5. karavelov

    karavelov Member

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    Willie,

    Why not just develop it a little bit longer. Zone III will move also towards highlights but not so much as zone VIII. Then, when printing, you will need to increase the exposure, but that's fine I think.

    If this is not an option, you can add a drop or two of KBr (10%) to the working solution and develop a little more time.

    Best regards
     
  6. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    What is the effect of adding KBr?
     
  7. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The usual answer is to simply develop longer. Your negative will be a bit more dense and also more contrasty. I don't have enough experience with Pyrocat-HD to tell how well it responds to changes in development time, but all film-developer combinations do respond. Some, however, respond a bit differently than others. Your technique also strongly influences the results. Many people consciously develop for low contrast these days, and the traditional zone techniques often do not work as well with those techniques. Start with dilutions and agitation regimens that are designed for normal processing, and then develop longer. For your problem, I would look at some zone development recommendations for your film and apply a N+1 or N+2 correction as you see fit. This may mean trying a more conventional developer like D-76 or HC-110 for these particular shots.