Films and developers for the dark ages

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by cmo, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Batteries freeze. Lightmeters display results that remind you that you forgot to bring your tripod. It's dark, and it's cold. You either have low contrast in the fog or a lot of contrast at night (starting at 4pm).

    The dark ages....

    What are your favorite recipes for pushing films?
     
  2. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    Double-X in Diafine, rated at 650, is my favorite for rainy days in NYC.
     
  3. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    My favorite, though it relies on finding someplace to prop your camera (since you did say "you forgot to bring your tripod"), is multi-minute exposures (5-15 minutes at about f/8, usually) on Fomapan 100, developed in Diafine. The terrible reciprocity of the film, combined with the developer compensation, keeps the streetlights from blowing out.

    For higher-contrast "ordinary" dark situations, maybe HP5+ at 800 in Diafine. I've also gotten some good results with Delta 3200 at 3200 in HC-110, but the grain is enormous and the film is expensive. Or there's always Tri-X in Donald Qualls's bizarro developer "Super Soup", which at EI 6400 looks reasonably normal and even at 12800 isn't unbearable (in medium format, anyway).

    -NT
     
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear cmo,

    Years ago my favorite was Tri-X in Perfection XR-1. Now I just use Xtol 1+1 for almost everything. The times in the Xtol data sheet have never been so far off that I couldn't print easily. Carry TMX or Delta 3200 (sorry, no Kodak times for Delta 3200) and you can shoot pretty much whatever you want. I'm amazed at the smoothness of both of those films at 3200 in Xtol stock.

    Neal Wydra
     
  5. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Tri-X in Diafine at 1250. If that won't cut it speed wise it's TMZ in 35mm and Delta 3200 in 120, both at 3200 (or TMZ at 6400 if absolutely essential) in T-Max developer.
     
  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Forgot tripod: perch camera on anything handy, make a sandbag from a shopping bag and some dirt, crotch of a tree
    Forgot cable release: hat trick
    Too much contrast from streetlights: over expose 2 stops, reduce development by 1/3 (1/4 with T-grain films)
    Fog and no contrast: underexpose by 2 stops, increase development by 1/3 (1/4 - 1/3 with T-grain films)
    Fog and streetlights: go for the fog, damn the streetlights
    Developer: D-76 for fog (pushing), D-23 for streetlights (pulling)
    Film: if I forgot the tripod and the cable release you think I remembered to bring the right film?
     
  7. Terrence Brennan

    Terrence Brennan Member

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    HP5-Plus and D-23.
     
  8. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Nicholas - hat trick??
    I know I'm gonna feel like a duf. . .
     
  9. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Hat Trick: Put your hat (trilby or fedora, your choice) over the front of the lens, put the shutter on T and release the shutter, remove the hat from covering the lens (without knocking it or the camera), expose for as long as you wish, replace hat over lens, close the shutter. In this manner you're not using your finger to hold the shutter open on Bulb and inevitably transmitting heart beats and finger tremors to the camera. Obviously if your intended exposure is 1/30 or 1/15 it would be very hard to fire the shutter and whip the hat out of the way at the appropriate moment, and in any case residual vibrations from pushing the shutter button would probably still be present. This technique really works best with the shutter on time -- or with cameras that have no shutter at all, as in very old large format cameras where the photographer uses a lens cap as the "shutter."

    That, FWIW, is my interpretation of Hat Trick.
     
  10. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Of course, Trask, you're right.