Pushing and pulling color film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Ed_Davor, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    I've never pushed or pulled color film before, I really never saw the need for that, but lately I've been thinking of trying such techniques for getting different looks

    So, As I understand the yellow (blue) layer is the one most sensitive to pull and push processing, so it chainges contrast more than other layers.
    Which means when pushing color neg shadows tend to go blueish, while highlights tend to go yellow. It is vice versa when pulling.
    They also say when underexposing and pushing film, you get smokey shadows

    1.Is all this a myth or is it true?
    2.And what about reversal film, does it get the same color shifts or is it the effect reversed?
    3. How much contrast is gained with one stop, and how much with two stops when pushing either color neg and color reversal
    4. When say comparing the grain from say 100ISO film pushed two stops vs. 400ISO film from the same line of products, which is grainier in general?
    5. Does anyone have any examples of pushed reversal or negative one or two stops (color film of course)? Or better yet a nice comparison with normally processed film of the same scene


    thanks
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ed;

    You have the essentials down right for negative color film. Basically, negative color responds like regular B&W film, but with a layer order dependance. However, much as you have it right, the effects are much milder than you seem to believe. Also, depending on film, with a push the fog goes up.

    I pull Portra VC about 1/3 or 1/2 stop regularly when I make internegatives, but that is about all. They look pretty good. I'm happy.

    With reversal color, a pull or push works by a different method. A push increases fog in the first developer which decreases Dmax thereby making the EI appear higher. Blacks become smoky and contrast goes down. A pull reverses this.

    Some films are designed to be more pushable than others. This is mentioned on the Kodak and Fuji web sites.

    PE
     
  3. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    So, are you saying that when you push reversal, the contrast gets decreased (the oposite of what happens with negative), yet fog level goes up just like in color neg?

    I assume the layers have the same relative response to push/pull as like in color neg, which then makes them behave the oposite way than in color neg.

    So I if I pushed reversal (in exagerated case), the contrast would go down, the fog would go up, shadows would go warm, and highlights cold?
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I think you have misunderstood me.

    Negative fog in reversal goes up. It happens in the first developer. This means that the dmax goes down. In reversal, fog in the first developer decreases the depth of blacks when the dye image forms in the color developer. The actual contrast may go up or down depending on film and the response of the mid scale silver image.

    Shadows often go grey or blue in reversal films and colors are muted.

    I have done it, but have no examples here to post. I never liked pushing at all for eithere negatives or positives. I have only used a pull process for internegatives and they look reasonable.

    PE
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    The density range of pushed slide film goes down, but the curve steepens. So in one sense contrast goes down, in another sense it goes up. I use pushed Ektachrome 320T EPJ (one, two or three stops, rated at 640, 1000 and 2000), Portra 800 pushed two stops and rated at 1600 to 2000 (not worth pushing neg film one stop, little to be gained by pushing three) quite a lot, and pushed E200 and EPH P1600 occasionally. P1600 is a 400 speed film in normal E-6, but designed for pushing two.

    Portra 800 has a lot of latitude to begin with, and the steepening of the curve when pushing doesn't cause much of a problem. EPJ has very little latitude at a three stop push, but one stop has little effect. E200 also pushes one or two stops quite well.

    I've started to arrange my snaps in the link below by film type. Look in the list of portfolios on the left hand side. There aren't any pushed Portra 800 examples in there, but there are some examples of pushed EPJ and P1600.

    I personally wouldn't push a slow/medium speed colour neg film to use as a medium/fast speed film because I like to give fairly full exposure to colour neg to keep the shadow detail from becoming grainy. However, I do use E200 as an all-purpose daylight film when travelling because pushed E200 is close enough to faster film to avoid having to guess in advance what quantities of each speed I will use.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    I think I understand, it's like watching a high-contrast movie a a washed out TV screen
     
  7. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Hello Ed Davor,

    I have done quite a bit with pushing E200 to extremes, all the way to 4 2/3 stops. The amount of exposure compensation increases with each stop, so it is not linear. I have spoken with some Kodak engineers to try and share my tests, but they don't want to spread the word more due to being unable to guarantee results. There is definitely more tendency to go bluer, so less need to use strong blue filtering. I often make do with just an 82A or 82B.

    I have also used 320T to 2000, and numerous rolls of P1600, all the way to 3200. Of those two, I got my best results with P1600 at 800, which is actually a push at the lab. I almost felt that 320T was too blue in nightclub images, nearly to the point of needing light orange filtration. Some musician stage imagery I shot on P1600 and E200 (both at 800) convinced me to just stick with E200 pushed.

    The Kodak reps last year gave me some Portra 800 to try with push processing. I sort of agree that if it is only 1600, then maybe just underexposing and processing normally might work better. Going up to 3200, then Portra works nicely, and seems like a viable replacement for P1600 (which is now vastly overpriced). My other issue with Portra is that the lab that does 90% of my processing does not push negative films, which means shipping out pushed Portra, often not a good choice for my work.

    Kodak E200 is a quite amazing emulsion. I wish Kodak would also make it in Readyloads. There was some thought that it might get updated to finer grain structure, but now maybe less likely. It is medium contrast, so pushing still leaves it at acceptable contrast levels.
     
  8. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Thanks, but I'm not really looking for a film that pushes great.
    I really have enough speed at my disposal. What I'd use push processing for is getting strange shifts in contrast and color for a more stylistic look, that's why I was asking about all these "problems" with pushing and pulling.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You might like the results of cross processing then.

    PE
     
  10. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    that's a bit too extreme for my taste, but thanks for the advice anyway
     
  11. FilmIs4Ever

    FilmIs4Ever Member

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    There are other ways of punching up contrast and saturation, with filtration, lighting, film emulsion, or even modifying C-41/E-6 chemicals. You can make the developer more or less contrasty to a limited extent. Also, you can push process easily if you're doing your own processing (labs make pathetic excuses as to why they won't/can't). Just as with B&W, contrast and grain goes up, while tonal scale is decreased. Hope this helps.

    Regards.

    ~Karl Borowski