Given the exposure lattitude of C-41 film...

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by markbarendt, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    How do you use it to your advantage?
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I use it when I can't use slide :wink:

    But seriously, the latitude is very beneficial for rendering skin tones. It's also helpful in those tricky lighting situations which may have specular highlights that you want to rein in. It's also great for just winging it and metering a bit sloppy e.g. when the subject is changing too quickly to fuss over each zone.
     
  3. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I find it very easy to use: Just shoot and enjoy!

    If you want to shoot a gray wall, well then, every technology will do well and you can go even with digital.

    But, if you want to capture the natural light when it's at its best, the only way to go may be (neg) film. For example, a forest, where sunlight comes as millions of tiny rays. I have yet to see a digital image capable of reproducing these kind of lightning conditions.

    Although being quite rare situations, they are the most beautiful and very sad to miss due to technology.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Being able to simply wing it is one of the things I like best.

    Bought a Holga about a month ago and I've had great luck using 400nc; from full bright sun on the salt flats of Death Valley to inside a restaurant at mid-day. The restaurant shot was the hardest stretch for that film/camera combo. In all the shots I've done so far there are no blown highlights that have mattered.

    I'm truly tempted to just use 800 ISO films in the Holga and super glue the exposure setting in cloudy.
     
  5. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I agree.
     
  6. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    You can use it in high contrast lighting situations. Color negative film will still produce decent results in situations that would call for N-2 development of most black and white films. But in general, try not to use the extra latitude. Proper exposure is still needed for excellent results. One of the nicest things about color negative film is that it is forgiving of the many minor oversights a careless person like me makes.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Exactly, 'exposure latitude' should be called 'highlight-exposure latitude'.
     
  8. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Then I would propose 'youre doing it wrong'.

    In standard processing, in my home process, it only has underexposure latitude, with 2 stops under being best, 1 stop over is there and scannable but is dense and has a thin density range that needs stretching out.

    Point is, its all in the processing :smile:
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Given its exposure latitude, I use it to my advantage often when not using a light meter.
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Point is: it's all in the definition of 'minimum exposure'. One must define what the minimum shadow density should be. For someone like me, it's relatively high, because I like lots of shadow detail (landscape). For others, it does not matter much as long as they get any picture at all (news, forensics, etc). Landscape photographers usually rate their films up to 2/3 stops below box speed. To me, XP2 is no different, but standard C41 processing gives it a rather low average gradient. Hence, the exposure latitude towards the highlights and none towards the shadows.
     

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  11. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    There's no shadow or highlight loss from the 100 to 3200 shots on the same roll, but the contrast range is more on the tame side, the 100 and 3200 both have thin density ranges and need stretching out once scanned, and are thus quite noisy. The rest are all actually pretty good.
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks for the chart. :smile:

    So, if I may para-phase a bit, you seem to be saying "place your shadows where it works for the subject and the highlights will work out." Is that about correct?

    I too like lots of shadow detail and, when not using a Holga, I tend to place zone three in some pretty dark spots.

    Artistically I simply feel that shadow and mid-tone details always trump highlight details. C-41 though generally gives me both.
     
  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Athiril,

    In standard (analog) processing, there is no scanner.

    Please don't hijack this thread with subjects that are not appropriate on APUG.

    Thanks,
     
  14. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Part of what I was asking here, and probably didn't get across well, was to see if others used C-41 film's latitude in an artistic or novel manner for effect.

    How does the latitude affect your artistic decisions?

    Do you use exposure to manage your color, contrast, or ... ?

    If there is interplay with your enlarger that is important, I'd like to know more about that too.
     
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    This brings to mind one shot of mine which had a lot of brightness range... literally into the sun while still hoping to have good detail on a subject with no fill (it was moving, I just couldn't set it up quickly enough). People are probably sick of it but it illustrates some things. The shot was with a fisheye and there was all kinds of flare, but I liked the way the flare connected the sun to the flower and pointed to the sub-subject. I don't think I would have had all the detail and colour of the flare and the rest of the scene without colour neg film. I mean, people think I dodged and burned or something, but it ain't so... just a straight scan. We were talking about this and a wedding photographer who had been accused of photoshop manipulation had some great examples also with fuji pro H colour neg film, I can't remember the thread.
     
  16. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    With C41 and standard processing, pretty much. However, if one chooses to deviate from standard processing, contrast control is possible with C41 as well.
     
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    That is a truly fun shot.

    Backlit wedding shots (ala Jose Villa and others) are another place C-41 really stands out too.

     
  18. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Mark,

    Thanks for your concern, but it's not hijacking, its relevant and completely appropriate to the thread.

    How else do are you going to show examples on here? Im not discussing scanning technique, I'm discussing density.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2009
  19. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    I wish there were some good books on colour dark room techniques. I.e. C41 and RA4. I have tried and tried looking for it but have found none.
     
  20. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Athiril,

    I want you to participate, I'm just asking that you stay within the intent & context of APUG's rules of discussion and within the intent of the thread's title "Given the exposure latitude of C-41 film..." and the thread's lead question "How do you use it to your advantage?" [The "it" in this sentence refers to C-41 film's latitude]

    This thread is not about "scanning" or "density" or how C-41 films compare to E-6 or to any other media, it's about finding out how you and others actually use C-41's latitude.
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    It is sometimes annoying for the OP when a thread starts to drift (happened to me and I'm sure many others), but that happens all the time on APUG. It's a lively place. An answer to a question often leads to another question and so on... If it gets too bad, a moderator can split the thread. I am not aware of any APUG rules to stay with the intent or within the limits of the original question. That would be a big handicap (and impossible to control).