Ilford 3200 Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by brofkand, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Hey all,

    I have a project coming up for which I will shoot a Holga with Ilford 3200 film in pretty low light (perhaps a very weak keylight on the subject's face, but the rest of the space will be nearly black). I also want a lot of grain, which is another reason I am choosing 3200 speed film. Speaking of, does anyone have any shots of a shot taken with 3200 speed film? I would like to see just how much grain I will have.

    Up until now, I have been using Arista film with Arista film developer and Arista fix and it's worked great. First off, since this film is so sensitive I suppose I should really plug up the Holga well. Tape it up good all over.

    My main question is this: will Arista-branded developer and fix work with the 3200 film, or should I get something else that may be better suited for Ilford's film? Again, I need this to come out as best as I can.
     
  2. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I do have some shots taken on Delta 3200 in medium format, but you're not going to get a really good idea of grain from a image posted to the web. D3200 gives moderate to heavy grain depending upon of course, the developer. Arista film developer and fixer will work fine with D3200. You just need to run some tests to find the best development time and rating of your D3200. I found that D3200 has an effective ISO of about 1600 at best. Take this into consideration when preparing for shots or setting up lights. If you want the most grain from D3200 then purchase a bottle of Agfa Rodinal. You can purchase it from Freestyle photographic in LA.

    Other than that there's not much to add. Good luck. Sounds like a neat project!
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Holga+low light=a mostly blank negative, unfortunately, because they are set to be used outside. Then again, depends on what you mean by "low". You might get something with the setup you described. If you could use flash for the mainlight instead of a hot light, you will be fine. Remember that the film is actually ISO 1000, so any higher rating will in fact be an underexposure, for which you can compensate in development.

    As for grain, you will get it from Delta 3200, but it is actually quite neat and mild compared to what you would get from a jacked up exposure made on HP5 or Tri-X. The latter have more random and clumpy grain.

    The best way I have found to get grain is severe overexposure. Rate your Delta 1000 at EI 64 or 32 and see what happens. You will likely have to bleach back your neg. a bit, but it will sure be nice and grainy.
     
  4. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    Fear this may be the case as even with 3200 you would probably need to open up the lens or use a slower shutter which can't be done with the Holga. Certainley worth doing a test though as you may have enough light, though could you use an extra tungsten light shadowed down to create a stronger key light? However, with the grain, Rodinal will certainley give more but you may want to experiment with print developer which will increase the grain add contrast, (possibly density too) but will give coarser results. If Rodinal 1+25 @ 20C for 13 minutes is good, (it was for me), try something like PQ Universal 1+9 @ 20C for 6 minutes as a test.

    All the best
    Mike
     
  5. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    hmmm, my Holga has a 'B' setting. not great hand held of course :wink: I've shot at night with long exposures so it's doable if yours has this setting. It's on the bottom under the lens.
     
  6. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I have two Holgas & they both test at close enough to f/8 at 1/100.
    I shoot reasonably often in poor light (big rooms with a few fluoro tubes) & my exposures are generally f/2.8 or f/4 at 1/30 approx at 1600 ISO.
    So I think you will be underexposing at 3200 based on how I understand your lighting.

    As for grain I have exposed Delta 3200 in 120 & processed in DDX & the grain was not too big. It's quite different than shooting the same film in 35mm. Of course Rodinal will be different. You should run some tests if it's important.
     
  7. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I agree with goldie - given the Holga's fixed shutter speed (although I think mine is a bit slower than 1/100) and aperture, and the indicated "weak key light", I don't think 3200 ISO is going to work.

    If you want a similar effect (although perhaps without the vignetting), I suggest using a different camera that has a larger aperture and slower shutter speed, and either apply some Vaseline around the edges of the lens, or invest in a Lensbaby. I can't say I've ever recommended either of those before, but I think this situation calls for it :smile:
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Go 35mm instead

    Shoot 35mm Delta 3200 instead of medium format. If you want a lot of grain, I think you will be disappointed.

    The Holga will give you vastly underexposed negatives in the dark (I have learned this the hard way), so consider cropping a 35mm frame to square, and do lots of burning and dodging in the darkroom to simulate the Holga effect. You can try diffusing the light too, which is as easy as using parchment paper with holes cut in it for areas that need to be sharp. The trick is to keep the paper moving, or its texture will be imparted to the print (the farther from the print surface the parchment is, the more diffuse it will become. Move the parchment sideways, or in a circle to blur the texture of it, and up/down to increase/decrease diffusion).

    35mm gives you more freedom with exposure, and you'll get more grain. Remember the Holga is wide angle, about equivalent to a 35-40mm lens on a 35mm camera. And you'll get more frames to work with on the same roll.
    Delta 3200 will work fine with the Arista chemistry, but you may have to do some testing to find what exposure/dev time you need to get good results.

    Delta 3200 is really really nice film, with an almost 'romantic' look in normal lighting. Have fun with it.

    - Thomas
     
  9. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    OK, let me explain the project a little better.

    The idea is this: the room itself will be almost pitch black dark, with a man facing away from the camera into a mirror with a satisfied look on his face, dressed in a suit. There will be a trash can slightly off frame in the front, filled with miscellaneous trash with a visible wedding band on the top. I understand I will need a flash on the subject and on the trash can.

    I want the photo to be 8x10, matted with a nice frame. I don't need a huge amount of grain, but I'm thinking with 3200 speed film I should get more grain than a 400 speed film.

    If the Holga's 1/50 shutter speed and f/8 or whatever is unable to capture enough light with the strobe, I guess I will just push the development. The question is, how will I know I need to push the development until I see the developed negatives? Should I just preemptively push two stops or whatever as soon as I develop the negative?
     
  10. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    I "could" do it with 35mm, I "could" do it with digital, but either aren't really what I want. My 35mm SLR is a Nikon EM (won't have enough control), and my digital...let's not go there. There is a stark difference between grain and noise. I like grain, I hate noise.

    I am picking up a Canon Rebel from a freecycle member this weekend, so perhaps that will be better for this project if I am able to find Delta 3200 in a shop somewhere in Charlotte, NC. The one shop I know of says Ilford stuff is really hard to order.
     
  11. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Subscriber

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    1) This is kind of obvious but if possible just meter the set & lighting you are going to use then calculate if the important areas will be exposed adequately or not, you now know roughly what the aperture and shutter speed of the camera are going to be and D3200 does have good latitude so the metering will tell you if this will work.
    2) The grain will be modest in an uncropped 8x10 enlargement from a 6x6 D3200 neg even using Rodinal, nice grain but not very pronounced. 35 mm might be better all round.
    3) "shop I know of says Ilford stuff is really hard to order" words fail me about this "shop" if they say that to a (potential) customer.
     
  12. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    I will probably crop a bit because the Holga is a pretty wide angle camera, and I don't want too much negative space. We'll see though, I may not need to crop at all.

    The man at the stop said Ilford chemistry and paper is really hard to order (not as in many steps involved, as in often backordered i assume). He carried a few different types of Ilford film, but honestly the film I saw was pretty limited. I believe I saw HP5 and one other.
     
  13. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Ok maybe it's me but Holgas do have B setting so you can shoot as long an exposure as you like. The regular shutter speed is locked but you have a choice. Other option being if you don't have B is to put the toy on a tripod and fire the shutter multiple times and rack up the exposures till you're close to metered reading.
     
  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I guess it depends on how dark it is to answer how much you need to push... :smile:

    No matter how fast the film is, I've always ended up with no shadow detail at all when using the Holga in the dark, unless I use a cable release and a tripod and do time exposures. I think in order to get anything at, say EV4, EV5 or so (really dark) you'd need a lot more than 3200 at 1/50-1/100th of a second at f/8. Today I shot at a wedding (not shot a wedding, thank God!) in a fairly brightly lit house of God. At EV9 on my Gossen, I still had to shoot at 1/60s at f/4 to get a correct exposure and push the film to 3200. That's about two stops faster than the Holga. You need a lot of light at f/8 to get anything. No pushing in the world can compensate for that.

    If I were you I'd experiment. Set up a similar shot with similar lighting, and see what kind of exposure you need. Burn through a roll and cut it into strips. Develop the strips separately and one at a time. See what you get. Push if you can, or give more exposure if you have to.

    Good luck,

    - Thomas
     
  15. geoferrell

    geoferrell Member

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    I've found you can get 6400 with extended development. With the 120 version you should get a final print that is moderately grainy, but with a good result, especially if you use care in exposing the film and then processing carefully. When the Kodak 3200 came out in the late 80's people extended the processing way up to EI 12,500 and 25,000 for photojournalism with some great results. Some people like seeing the grain in an available light photo produced from film.
     
  16. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    If you're using flash it should be OK. Do you have a flash meter?
    If so, meter the flash to be f/8 at whatever ISO you rate the film at.
    If you don't have a meter & are using on camera flash you should be able to figure it out based on the guide number. I'm assuming it's the Holga with the hot shoe rather than the built in flash.

    I'm not sure how you'll get 3200 from Delta in Rodinal, I'd expect it to be a lower EI but you won't know until you test it.
    For supplies you might find it easiest to order direct from Freestyle in LA or B&H in NY.
     
  17. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Thanks everyone for their input.

    Here is my current plan:
    Use my D40 as a light meter. This will leave me guessing on flash exposure, but I can't afford a light meter. Use either the Holga or Nikon EM, and either HP5 or Delta 3200 (in the Holga) or 400 Arista II in the EM.

    I completely forgot the fact that the 120 film will have less grain than 35mm. I will probably work on this project this coming week. I will be sure to keep you posted.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "Use my D40 as a light meter. This will leave me guessing on flash exposure, but I can't afford a light meter."

    Your flash has a guide number which you should be able to find out from your destruction manual or the Nikon Website. Get out your measuring tape and use the GN and you will have extremely accurate flash exposures...although it is Holga, so it may not be all THAT accurate. The exposure that is good on your D40 won't be the best exposure to use for the film, because it will be extremely difficult to match the EIs exactly unless you have done a fair deal of testing. Additionally, you have to expose darker with digital than is optimum with film, because of digital's perfectly straight line curve, which will toast your highlights more harshly than film (and do it irrecoverably, unlike film). Also, the contrast of the digital pic set at ISO 3200 won't be the same as the ISO 1000 film exposed at 3200 and developed to compensate for the underexposure.

    If you are going to use the D40 for an exposure guide, instead of judging the jpeg on your LCD or looking at the histogram for the whole composition, I would recommend shooting a grey card at whatever f stop most closely matches the Holga's. Put the card right in front of your subject's face, and fill the frame with it. Leave your f stop set where it is and alter ISO until the grey card gives you a histogram that is nothing but a spike right in the middle. If it has to be a little off, make it a little higher than right in the middle rather than a little lower. Then, whichever ISO works, you can develop your Delta 1000 to get it there[abouts].
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2008
  19. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    My guess, The max aperture of the Holga is around f/11. The opening is smaller than even the sunny setting on the "camera". Thank god its easy to modify if you like. On the Holga site there are plenty ideas. If you disasemple the camera you can bore out the opening making a larger aperture and you can make a smaller one on the arm.
    Kind regards
     
  20. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Thanks everyone for their input. I will be sure to keep you all informed as I progress in this project. I will shoot the picture sometime this week, and will post a scan of the final print hopefully this weekend.