Push or not push dev times? (Ektar/Portra/BW400CN)

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by tron_, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    So I recently shot a bunch of film in Tokyo and was wondering how I should go about developing them. Here is the list of film I shot:

    1. Portra 400
    -Shot at 800, should I have it developed as is or should I have the lab do a one stop push?
    -Shot at 1600, should I have it developed as is or should I have the lab do a two stop push?

    2. Ektar 100
    -Shot at 200, should I have it developed as is or should I have the lab do a one stop push?

    3. Kodak BW400CN
    -Shot at 800, should I have it developed as is or should I have the lab do a one stop push?
     
  2. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Portra 400 is fine one stop under. Two stops i'd adjust processing, but even without it's probably fine. Ektar looks great rated at 200, and the BW400CN is probably fine, but i'd push it too.
     
  3. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    I've done experiments with all of those films when pushed and developed normally in those circumstances.

    Portra 400 is "just OK" at 800 dev'd normally in daylight conditions. Shadows are pretty darn muddy, if it's low light, it'll look terrible.

    Ektar 100 goes really blue and contrasty when underexposed, warm and softer when over exposed. If you shoot at 200, regardless if you push it or not, it'll probably look terrible.

    BW400CN if shot at 800, push it two stops. Like Ektar, this stuff doesn't like underexposure. Often times, best off to shoot Portra 400 and convert to B&W later.

    If you're shooting low light skip the color because you'll probably have nasty looking light, push your Tri-X, shoot Neopan 1600, or work the Delta 3200.


    my $0.02
     
  4. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I agree about the B&W stuff, shoot delta or push triX but I've discovered Delta 3200 shoots great in all light situations so even in broad daylight shot at 3200 developed @. 3200 it looks really nice.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    Thanks for the info, the film is already shot and I am already back in the states so shooting a different type of film is out of the question for now. I've seen examples of Portra 400 pushed to 1600 with great results (search Google). Understandably "great results" is subjective but I am simply asking wether or not it would be wise to have the lab perform a push process.

    Pushing/pulling is just an exposure thing since a pushed film will simply be underexposed by X stops. I slightly overexposed my photos to combat this so I was wondering what I should have the lab do.

    FWIW I do all my own 120 film and my 400 speed Ilford XP2 Super looks great at 1600 with no adjustment to development times. I have never shot Portra before so I was curious as to what would work best.
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Why do you need to push? Why not correctly expose in the first place?
     
  7. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    Because I figured I would decide wether or not to push dev times since I heard conflicting information before my trip.
     
  8. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    how many rolls do you have? if you have a lot, why not take one roll, whichever would have the MOST push, and push it to that, see how it comes out, if you don't like it, then don't do any more that far, pull back, try another, that will give you an answer without TOO much waste.
     
  9. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    Right now I have

    x1 roll Ektar shot at 200
    x1 roll BW400CN shot at 800
    x1 roll Portra 800 shot at 800
    x2 rolls Portra 400 shot at 800
    x1 roll Portra 400 shot at 1600
     
  10. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    you're worrying too much, shoot the 400 at 1600 and push that, with CN films there's not as much to worry about, if it's too contrasty, push the next one less.
     
  11. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    yeah i'm probably worrying about this too much. honestly i'm thinking of just getting the film shot at:

    1600 pushed 2 stops
    800 pushed 1 stop
    200 pushed 1 stop
     
  12. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    This is probably the last time I push film before figuring out what dev times work best :tongue:

    edit: So would it be safer to just get the push done or develop at box speed?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Just for clarity:

    "Pushing" film refers only to a modification of the standard development process.

    It has nothing directly to do with exposure.

    If you meter using a higher than box speed EI, you are intentionally under-exposing the film.

    If you under-expose, you can save a portion of the image by using a push development to increase the contrast of the near-shadow parts of the scene - often at the expense of highlight detail.

    Instead of referring to it as "pushing" film, it would be better to refer to it as "intentionally under-expose" film.

    I think that you understand this, but may not understand how confusing the nomenclature can be.

    EDIT: and as for the question about whether to request that the lab "push" the development, the answer depends on whether you want the contrast increased. "Pushing" won't help (much) with the shadow detail, but it will improve the contrast in the near shadows. So if the scene and lighting were low in contrast, then a "push" would be potentially useful. If the scene and lighting were high in contrast, then you will lose quality in the highlights if the film is "pushed".

    If the scene and lighting were high in contrast, only you can decide what is more important - the near-shadow contrast or the highlight detail.

    I think it is useful to remember that for most (or possibly all) of the films you list in your first post, Kodak recommends no change in development for film exposed at one stop less than the ISO speed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013