Maternity ward / Hospital Film & Developer Advice Needed?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by J Rollinger, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have just been informed that i will become the grandpa of twins and need advice on a film & developer combo that will best fit the situation on the day of their birth. My usual film & developer will not work in this situation (Adox CHS art, Fp4 & Rodinal) so i need advice on a film that i can push and a developer. This is a one time shot that i cant go back and re-shoot so i have to do it right. Does anyone have any good advice on a combo, filters or anything that could help me? I have until June but i want to figure this out now so im prepared..
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

    Messages:
    2,851
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    delta 3200 or tmy-2 in tmax developer. you're going to get tons of different suggestions here. what format? print size?
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,581
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do not use flash or a strobe! Available light photography only. Neonates' eyes cannot handle the bright flashes which cause pain and risks damage!
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,943
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Tri-X 400, EI 800, Acufine, fast lens--

    [​IMG]
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,943
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    No filters, and test first, so you're comfortable with it.
     
  6. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I want to use an RZ67 but dont want to be a burden with a tripod and a hand held light meter so i guess i will have to use a 35mm with a built in meter. Since i will be using 35mm i will print no larger than 8x10. I will not use any flash, i dont want to blind my grand-babies on their first day of life..
     
  7. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you for that David! The fastest lens i have is f2 50mm.. Would i get a decent print at 8x10 if i pushed Tri-x to 800 in Aucfine?
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,943
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I was using a 50/1.2, but I think I was shooting at f:1.8, maybe 1/30 sec. Test it to see if you can squeeze out EI 1000. I'm a little conservative about film speed. There's some grain, but it's part of the look. Nothing objectionable at 8x10".
     
  9. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    From a technical stand point, you would probably be ok with the RZ handheld if you shot Delta 3200 with a lens like the 110/2.8. You would be able to get a speed of 1/125 or 1/250 fairly easily I would think at that point. The biggest remaining obstacle would be your ability to track focus.
     
  10. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Perfectly timed thread this

    My wife is due in three weeks, and I have been giving this some thought myself. I am going to for Tri-X uprated to 800 or 1600 (in Rodinal.... yeah yeah,I know, but I don't mind grain) with a f1.2 lens (that is ONLY on f1.2, nearest speedwise I have is f1.7).
     
  11. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can easily get the speed you need in 35mm by shooting Tri-X or HP5+ and processing in Acufine as well.

    That said, I just made a 15x22.5" print from a Delta 3200 neg I shot with my Nikon a few months ago, and it looks beautiful. Grainy? Yes, but less than you would think, and it's gorgeous.
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,083
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Left hand grip!


    Steve.
     
  13. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Lovely photo David! And congratulations J on the twins! Photographing a birth is challenging with one, I cannot imagine two! I hope that the staff are cooperative. It will help to bend over backwards to be nice to them without being too intrusive.

    Much depends on what format you are using. The following I have used for hand-held 6x9 and 4x5 shooting with MF and LF Linhof Technikas.

    If you are shooting MF, do not discount the possibility of using indirect flash, even if just to fill in the shadows and add a little light while still using a faster film/developer combination. If you are in a room with light coloured walls/ceiling you can bounce flash off the wall behind you or the ceiling above you, thus avoiding direct flash on the infant. If you balance this with available light, it will give you an extra stop of light while evening-out the contrast range (ie filling in shadows) while still almost looking like natural available light photography. This is a powerful tool for low light situations where and extra stop gives you the necessary depth of field to capture the subject(s), and you can tame the exaggerated contrast range.

    I am partial to Ilford products - HP5 @ 800 in Microphen is a good combination in lower light situations as is Delta 3200 in DDX (or Microphen) @ 1000 or 1600 (but I find this last combo a little flat).

    The key is to practice, practice, practice....

    Good luck!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Chris.. I have a 110mm 2.8 for my RZ.. What would recommend it shoot it at.. 3200? What developer would you recommend? I would prefer to use my Rz but i dont want to irritate my daughter, son in-law and the staff by bringing a lot of equipment.
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,201
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Just go to the hospital and explain and ask if you can have a minute to check the light in the room, meter around all the shadowy things you may encounter and you'll have a good sense of what your aperture/shutter speeds should range from.

    Are you shooting the actual birth? Head coming out and all? Or just the baby once he/she is already born? Congrats!


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you Henry!.. I just remembered that i have 6 rolls of HP5 in my freezer, i can give them a try while waiting for some Tri-x from B&H..
     
  18. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you Stone! I will be shooting after they are born, the delivery will be for my son in-law, hes already freaking out about that..
     
  19. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  20. jp498

    jp498 Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Owls Head ME
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My experience with this is that it's generally pretty low light. If you look on flickr or other people's digital photos of the same things, you can often see the exif data so you can figure out what you're looking at for light level/exposures. Probably 35mm would be ideal pushing tmy2 or tri-x to 1000 or 1600.
     
  21. cowanw

    cowanw Member

    Messages:
    1,289
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, On
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Its hard to find scientific literature fast on the web but there is no evidence of injury to babies eyes from flash photography and neither pediatricians nor hospitals forbid it. A bad reference but it is a start
    http://www.richardbarryphotography.com/flash-baby-phot
     
  22. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's the one, Acufine is my preferred developer for low light situations, I've gone through many, many gallons of it over the past 2 or 3 years.

    Delta 3200 however, I would process in DD-X or D76. I personally use D76, and find that the Ilford recommended times are way off. I shoot at 3200 or 6400, and generally process in straight D76 for between 18 and 24 minutes, depending on what the lighting conditions were. It's a very, very low contrast film, so it can really handle some abuse in developing, I rarely blow a highlight so badly that I can't print it back down, to the point where I have started a roll in my Hasselblad or Rolleiflex the night before in pitch black, pushing to 6400 or 12500, and then finished it the next day in cloudless mid day sunlight.

    Having printed negatives from both sides of the roll, I really don't have many complaints.

    For example: I thought this was Plus-X in my Hasselblad, I was a bit surprised when a roll of D3200 fell into my hand when I reloaded the film back.

    7369533702_a292718498_z.jpg
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,581
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ever see a neonate scream in pain waving its arms in response to a flash? It is just plain cruel!
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,943
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Generally with Acufine or any kind of push developer for that matter you want to target your negs to print nicely at grade 3, so they'll be a little on the thin side for grade 2, but that helps keep the grain under control.
     
  25. sly

    sly Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,497
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Location:
    Nanaimo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Congratulations. life is going to be quite exciting for you and yours next spring and summer.

    OK, here's the definitive advice - Delta 3200 rated at 1600, developed in DDX, at the time recommended for 3200 rated film. A nice fast lens, on your 35mm camera. You might want to pack your MF and bring it along, but the ease of use of a 35mm trumps the big negatives. You will undoubtedly be excited and emotional. The MF can be used once things settle, or once the family gets home. You will be dealing with dodging health care workers, trying to catch definitive moments, and varying light levels - it is quite bright on the infant warmer, the scale is usually in the spill of light from the warmer, but the bed where mom will be cuddling babies will be less well lit. As you don't know if the birth will happen at 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning, it is hard to predict the room light. There is always the possibility with twins that one or both babies might need to spend time in the nursery, and you will be taking the first photos of them in there.
    Flash will not cause permanent damage to the babys' eyes, but is a rude and nasty thing to do to a newborn.

    Why is this the definitive advice? Because I'm a midwife.

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2012
  26. landscapepics

    landscapepics Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle up
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Whatever format you choose, a monopod may be a good idea to give you an extra stop without getting in the way as much as a tripod.