Had a chance to use the new Ilford Direct Positive

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Rob Skeoch, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    This past weekend I ran one of my Large Format 101 workshops at the studio in Burlington.
    The four photographers taking part had a chance to shoot with the new Ilford Harman Direct Positive fibrebase paper. We had some in the 4x5 size.
    This is what we found....

    The paper is thick and can be hard to load into a regular 4x5 sheet film holder. We didn't try the 8x10 but since the holders are larger I doubt if it would be an issue.
    Once or twice we couldn't get the dark slide back into the holder because of the thicker paper.
    Although contrasty, with flatter light we could get a nicely toned image.
    It was very convenient for shooting and doing a quick process to see how the image looked.
    Since every image is an original it's a series of 1, which even feels like fine art.
    We shot red roses, which were too black since the film isn't red sensitive, with white roses the images looked very nice.

    Exposure with a photo flood was about 1 min at f32. Changing to 50 seconds, made a subtle but noticeable difference.

    Overall we were very pleased and I expect to shoot a number of still life's this spring using it. I might jump up to 8x10 since a 4x5 is a bit small to frame and hang.

    -Rob
     
  2. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Methinks this would be killer if they made it in SW and were able to tone down the contrast and or made it more panchromatic (I think..)
     
  3. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    Rob,
    Thanks for the heads-up on the 4x5 holders. I will stick with standard paper negatives for now.
     
  4. dagist

    dagist Member

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    Rob,

    The spring-loaded pressure-plate holders from Linhof (which can also accommodate a glass plate) might be more reliable.

    Cheers,
    Rob M.
     
  5. dagist

    dagist Member

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    I don't own any, but those expensive holders from Sinar called "Precision Sheet Film Holders" would probably be ideal for holding direct positive paper because they have a pressure plate similar to the Linhof holders to keep the paper precisely in the film plane with a stated tolerance of +/- 0.03mm. The Sinar design opens like a clamshell making it easier to load than the Linhof, which requires you to slide the sheet in from the narrow end.

    Cheers,
    Rob M.
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Great to hear, i look forward to trying some. How did you develop it, two bath...?
     
  7. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    What ISO did you expose for?

    Marc!
     
  8. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I don't suppose you could post an example shot - I would love to see how it looks.
     
  9. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    For the most part the workshop participants took the shots with them.

    We used regular paper developer. It's the Multigrade liquid 1:9. They mention ways to control the contrast on the Harman site. Pre-flashing seems to work. In the studio I have control over the contrast.
    I would image a softer developer would work as well.

    ISO 3 worked well, no filters on shooting lens.

    Don't be put off by the thickness, it's workable, it was just a surprise. You can still make it work with a regular holder.

    I'll play with it for bit next week, and if I get a nice shot I'll post one.

    If I don't get a nice shot I'll read the instructions.

    -Rob
     
  10. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    Well Rob... You inspired me to give it a try. Some 4x5 should be here in a couple of days from Freestyle. Thanks for getting me moving on trying this :smile:
     
  11. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I exposed several still life images today with the Harman 4x5 FB Direct Positive paper. I rate the paper at ISO1.6 and preflash. Development is in fresh developer mixed from concentrate at 1:15 at 68f. Camera used was Anniversary Speed Graphic with 150mm binocular lens stopped down to 20mm aperture (about F/11 at the bellows extension). The lighting was indirect north-facing daylight.

    ~Joe

    Dulcimer (Exposure 15 seconds):
    [​IMG]

    Front Wheel (Exposure 45 seconds):
    [​IMG]
     
  12. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Wow!!!!!!!! Want a Titan now, and I thought I had my GAS in order
     
  13. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I think I am going to order a box in my next shopping spree, this is too interesting.

    How did you pre-flash to get the result your needed? (I know the general ways of doing it, I want to know which method you used) I wonder if I loaded some up for a car trip, how the delay between exposure and development would affect the image (assuming a 4-5 hour difference from exposure to development)?
     
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  15. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Excuse my ignorance, please, but could this "film/paper" be somehow used as a medium to do direct printing of slides in the darkroom? Would it be possible to project the 35mm slide (color positive) onto this directly and then process it, and have a B&W enlargement of one's slide made? Thanks for any info or telling me I'm way off my rocker here is fine too... :wink:
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Joe that dulcimer image is great!

    Sure, you can do that, although the paper probably isn't as red sensitive as you'd like; if you can find sensitivity curves for it then you'll see what I mean. I have made perfectly acceptable paper negatives from slides using ordinary (red insensitive) photo paper. So... definitely try it, you will probably like the result. If reds don't look right, try projecting through a green or blue filter, it may help.

    Note that you can easily enlarge your slides onto panchromatic b&w film and then contact print the resulting negs... another route that works very well.
     
  17. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Subscriber

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    I have a Voigtlander Avus (9x12) whose plate holders require a septum for inserting sheet film, so I am wondering if this stock would be thick enough to dispense with the septum . . . may need to order some to try out :smile:
     
  18. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I used the same preflash setup that I use for preflashing paper negatives, which is a type S-11 light bulb (120vac, 7.5 watts, standard base, frosted white round globe about the size of a table tennis ball, available in hardware stores) mounted inside a light-tight enclosure with a 3mm aperture, mounted 30 inches above the work surface in the darkroom. My typical preflash times for grade 2 paper negatives is about 8 seconds, whereas with the Harman DP FB paper I preflash for about 3.5 seconds.

    I haven't tested the time delay effect with the Harman paper, but with grade 2 paper negatives I've not noticed any depreciation of the preflash effect over a period upwards of a week's time.

    Jedidiah: This paper, like most, is sensitive mostly to UV and blue, meaning that it would take an extremely long exposure to do so using tungsten light in an enlarger. Plus, also keep in mind that its tonal range is actinic to orthochromatic, and the black-and-white renditions of your color slides would not show much exposure in the warmer tones like the reds.

    ~Joe
     
  19. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Thank you for the replies, much appreciated. That satisfies my curiosity, then - an interesting development, but probably not something I could use much at this point. I see it would be awesome if one had an 8x10 LF camera setup! :smile:
     
  20. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Just a question, do you need to trim the sides so it will fit in a 4x5 holder?? I can't get it to fit my 4x5 holder, I already sacrificed a few sheets and it looks like it is a bit wide.
     
  21. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    I found the same thing with my 4x5 holders (Fidelity plastic I believe). I trimmed my paper maybe a 16th of an inch and they fit perfectly.
     
  22. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Sorry to bring an old thread back up, but I just opened a box of 4x5 I've had for over a year. The paper is too narrow to fit in my 4x5 film holders. Compared to 4x5 film it's about 3/32nds too small. The box of 5x7 I have fits my 5x7 holders just fine. Anyone else have this issue? I guess I'll see if Adorama will take it back (even thought the order was 15 months ago). If they won't does anyone have any ideas on how to use it?
     
  23. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Stick thin pieces of double-sided tape in the 4x5 holder.
     
  24. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Thanks, that's a good idea. Certainly easier than the return hassle.
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    One batch cut too small, another batch cut too large. Does not sound good to me.
     
  26. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I've been using Harman DPP for over a year, in both 4x5 and 8x10 sizes, and haven't seen this problem. However, early on in their US distribution they were selling 4x5 that was exactly the print size, not the sheet film size, necessitating it to be cut down to fit into sheet film holders. I wonder if this pack was the sheet film size that had then been mistakenly cut down a second time, making it too small.

    It's a great product, however, and I would not hesitate to keep using it.

    ~Joe