FP4 Plus in bright light: HELP!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tbm, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. tbm

    tbm Member

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    In four days I will be attending a 1-year-old boy's birthday party at his parents' house around their swimming pool. The light will be immensely bright. I will be using FP4 Plus in my Leica R8 and M6 TTL. I am in need of information about, perhaps, reducing the film speed from ISO 125 and changing the development time from the standard at that ISO to something else in order to capture shadows accurately yet not blow out the high amounts of highlights that will be present since the pool is surrounded by bright cement. Since I know nothing about the Zone System, can someone give me some concrete recommendations in detail as to film speed, developer, developer dilution ratio, and development time that work for you in similar or identical circumstances? Thank you, thank you, thank you!
     
  2. Greg Rust

    Greg Rust Member

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    tbm,

    Check www.unblinkingeye.com. Go to "Film Developing Times". Select FP4+ and you will see several well tested developer choices. This film behaves well in bright sunlight. I'm sure you will like the results.

    Greg
     
  3. erickson

    erickson Member

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    I shoot FP4+ at ISO 50 and develop in Perceptol (stock) for 9 minutes @ 68 deg F. It has become my favorite film/developer combination. I hope that helps!
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    do you have a good light meter and a tripod? If you do, yes definitely rate the film ISO lower to the 50, and shoot at F16 or F22. Then see what the meter readings tell you. If it is 5 or more stops difference I would do a plus development of the film.
     
  5. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    If you're worried about the light being too intense, use a polarisation filter or ND (neutral density) filter.
     
  6. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    As it's B&W film also consider coloured filters which could buy you a stop or two. These may also be useful to change the tonal relationship between colours (e.g. a tomato on a lettuce leaf shot through red filter will appear light on dark and through green filter will appear dark on light (forgive me if this is teaching Grandma to suck eggs!)).

    If you use any filter then be wary of flare, especially in the bright light conditions that you describe.

    All the best,

    Frank
     
  7. KenM

    KenM Member

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    Give over a stop more exposure, and you want to give plus development? Methinks you meant N- development, yes?
     
  8. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    right on brother Ken! but we have to be nice to Aggie, ya gotta remember she's just a girl. you know, those that can't figure out which is right or left when they give directions. LOL.
     
  9. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    What you need, maybe more than developer or filter considerations, is fill flash. Do you have a decent flash for the Leica? I believe that the Leica is a leaf shutter camera, and syncs at all speeds?

    I've had good luck, shooting with my leaf shutter TLRs, shooting on bright sunny days. Let's say that I meter a scene at f11 @ 1/125. If I set the camera at f11 @ 1/250, I'm underexposing the ambient exposure by one stop. Then, if I set my auto flash ISO speed at one stop faster than the film rating, I'm underexposing the flash by one stop. That's a pretty good combination, but you really need to experiment. Underexposing by 2 stops on ambient and one stop on flash will give you a very subdued background, but your main subject should still be nicely exposed. Again: experiment.
     
  10. happysnapper

    happysnapper Member

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    OK... here's another thought then...
    Try using a 400 speed film and rating it at 100. You are shooting in very contrasty light so using 100 film is going to exaggerate that, so you might as well use film that has a wider latitude. You will need to underdevelop(e) the film by 3 stops, regardless of the developer you are using. No filters, no tripod (not really practical at a pool setting with kids anyhow is it?)... the fill flash suggestion could be a good bonus for a rather surreal look, but leave the flash set at 400 ISO, not 100, lest you melt your subjects.
    Just food for thought...

    Ray
     
  11. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Ya know Eric, and Ken, I was half asleep last night when I realized i had typed plus not minus. Ever have one of those days when you have the right thing in your head and you can see the work in front of you, but your mouth says the wrong thing? I almost got up and logged on to change it before some people saw it. Oh well I am just a girl, thanks for making me feel younger.