Overexposure and development

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Gary Holliday, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I am looking for some guidelines on overexposing APX 100/ Rollei Retro 100 and Delta 100.

    I plan to overexpose pale skin tones by about 3 stops and process in Rodinal. I don't practise the zone system, but highlights need to be just below paper white and the skin tones at about zone 8-9.

    Need a very contrasting look.

    I don't see any times on the massive dev chart, so need some guidiance on development times.

    Will 1+25 provide more contrast than 1+50 or is this something that will get argued forever? I'm thinking that 1+25 times will be too short.

    Thanks
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    1+25 will give you soot and white wash, very contrasty and with over exposure very dense negatives.

    3 stops over exposure is perhaps a bit too drastic, try bracketing from 1 to 3 and developing in Rodinal @ 1+100 for 10mins @ 20C

    Ian
     
  3. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I agree with Ian, 3 stops is too much exposure. Remember, you still have printing controls after neg development. I would try getting a good neg with good separation to start.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have not done this but I have exposed HP5+ thinking it was FP4+ so two stops over exposed.
    I use 75% of the normal developing time for each stop of over exposure:

    i.e.

    +1 stop - 75% of normal time
    +2 stops - 75% of 75% = 56% of normal time
    +3 stops - 75% of 75% of 75% = 42% of normal time

    I have not tried the +3 stops myself.



    Steve.
     
  5. matti

    matti Member

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    Maybe I am misunderstanding something. But if you overexpose and develop less you will get less contrast. But you said you wanted a contrasty look?

    /matti
     
  6. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Print on harder paper
     
  7. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I have been overexposing by 1-2 stops over the box speed and developing 1+50. This gives a fairly normal negative when lit with softboxes.

    However, I have found it difficult to get suitable contrast on Grade 2 paper. Most printing techniques deal with lowering contrast.

    So I feel I need to get a more suitable negative with much higher contrast. Very pale skin tones and black pupils.
     
  8. matti

    matti Member

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    Soft light, underexposure, overdevelopment. I think.
    /matti
     
  9. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Gary, I know what you're trying to do. In my small amount of experience rodinal isn't the best developer to do it with...it's too much about the mid-tones. I've found good old D-76 with PX or TX does what you want much much easier.

    However, if you're heart set on rodinal, I usually shoot TX to match the Polaroid I like, that's a 2 stop overexposure, then I develop the film for my times for 400 or 800. It gives a good negative, but still not dense by old school standards, so sometimes I open up even a stop more over the polaroid. This is an example of flat light and TX rated at about 50 and dev for 200 here. It's not printed very hard, but easily could be. And if the agitation was more violent it'd get gutty pretty quick I think. This is an example of TX rated at about 100 and dev for 400, but with hard light: here...but those are printed harder than grade 2 for sure. Both are 1+50.

    I don't think any of these negs would print on grade 2 well w/o heavy manipulation, too flat and thick. Again, I think PX in D-76 was made to do what you're describing. Try it out.
     
  10. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Boy, Delta 100 is pretty contrasty to begin with. Perhaps a quick bleach on your final prints will get you what you want, black pupils and skin at about zone 8. Overexposure is going to give you more neg density, not contrast. Perhaps shoot at box speed and give maybe two minutes over your EI50 time.
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    but highlights need to be just below paper white and the skin tones at about zone 8-9.

    Need a very contrasting look.

    ******
    I may have missed what lighting you intend to use. But I would take a reading off the pale skin tone. "normal" zone isabout one stop more than the reading for "normal" skin tone: for pale skin, give one and a half to two stops more than the meter reading. Then overdevelop about 25% over normal development to raise the skin value. As others have said, Rodinal might not be the best for this.
    In ye oldene dayz, some guys would do informal female portraits in 35mm in this manner: over expose tri-x a couple a stops, then soup in straight Microdol-X to give creamy white skin tones on portraits.




    I
     
  12. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Gary - I don't see any problem with using Rodinal for this, if you want the grain it gives. It sounds in your last post that you are trying to make a negative that will yield what you describe on Grade 2 paper. You could probably find the right exp / dev combination to do this, but I'm still not sure why you wouldn't expose 1 - 2 stops more than normal, and develop maybe 20 - 30% longer. Then print on whatever paper grade it takes to get you the rest of the way.

    As Ansco John points out, caucasian skin is normally around Zone 6, or just above the mid-tonal point, so if you go up more than 2 or 3 stops, plus over development, you take the risk of running over the straight part of the curve, where detail flattens off. (This is a general statement that may not be true in all cases, but is probably most of the time).

    The time and work it might take to find the perfect exp / dev to give you what you want on grade 2 might not be worth it.

    Just my 2cents.
     
  13. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Unfortunately the papers I use are only made in Grade 2 so the negative is the only option. Thanks for the examples Graeme, your look is fairly similar to mine although you have the advantage of hard light and harder paper grades if necessary. It looks as if you are exposing 3 stops over on occassions and an extra 4 mins at 1+50.

    I think a lot of the Massive dev chart times have been contributed by Americans who shoot under harsh sunlight. My lights are diffused by softboxes, with a Softar I on the lens and I'm trying to print on G2...no wonder I'm not getting suitable results.

    I'll have a go at 2.5-3 stops over, increasing concentration to 1+25 or 1+20. I will try developing for 1-2 mins under the ISO 100 time.

    I've just been checking the pdf documents and Rollei Retro film and APX 100 have very different dev times. So I'll need to do further testing afterall.
     
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