T-MAX 100 camera expose setting

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by shampoo, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. shampoo

    shampoo Member

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    Hello.
    is anyone can give an advice,
    how can i set the camera setting expose for T-MAX 100.
    i had an experience that the contrast was usually very strong.

    thanks in advance.
    sha
     
  2. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    If you are developing yourself, perhaps you can tell us what speed you rated the Tmax at and what developer, dilution, time & temperature and agitation method you used?

    Contrast is generally a function of development rather than film exposure. Having said that, over-exposed film will have a higher contrast for a given development time.

    Make a contact print on grade 2 paper for the max-black time - that should show where the problem lies. Try setting film speed to ISO 64 and reduce development by 15% and see if you get an improvement.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  3. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    64 seems like a good starting point to me.

    ASA 64 seems to me to also be a good starting point. While 100Tmax is certainly capable of producing strong contrasts it more noticable characteristic is its responsiveness to development changes...a boon to careful worker who is prepared to use it to advantage....the bane of those that expect it will tolerate inexactness as well as say Tri-X,
     
  4. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    Contrast is a function of development (and lighting, etc.,) but overexposure leads to reduced contrast, not higher contrast for a given development time. The only variable of the 4 of under- or overexposure and under- or overdevelopment that increases contrast is overdevelopment. The other three variables reduce contrast, other things being equal.

    As shadows gain too much exposure and the delicate highlights move further up the tonal scale with overexposure, contrast is reduced since the negative now does not produce a black tone where it should. The scale becomes very dark gray through white instead of black through white, and this is effectively a reduction in contrast in the final image.

    Joe
     
  5. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Good point: I knew underexposure reduced contrast and assumed, without stopping to think about it, that overexpose would do the opposite...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    But underexposure normally increases contrast, mainly because you loose shadow detail.

    Thom
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I like EI50 for Tmax.

    I have used Tmax at one stop overexposure, EI50, and then developed in Rodinal at 1+75 for about 10 minutes at 68*F. Negatives are definitely not contrasty, but display a wonderful tonal range.

    Hope that helps,

    - Thom

     
  8. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Not in my experience - possibly if you underexposed by very many stops. My image of Salisbury Cathedral in the gallery is badly underexposed (about 3 or 4 stops) - shadow detail is there but very thin, and even printed at grade 5 is still too soft. Other images on the same roll with correct exposure fit grade 2 - 3 easily.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  9. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    But at the same time that shadow detail is lost highlights become darker and things that should be white or threshold gray slide down the scale becoming too dark. Now the scale is from black from the thin shadows to light gray instead of white in the high values which is an overall reduction in contrast.

    The effects of over- and underexposure on contrast are readily apparent on a proper proof sheet. There is no black on an overexposed frame and no white on an underexposed frame. The full scale from black to white is not present in either case so contrast is less than normal.

    Again, overdevelopment is the only one of the 4 variables that will increase contrast.

    Joe
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You gentlemen are obviously a step ahead of me. I stand corrected, and thank you for educating me. To me, underexposure usually involves more development time, and that got me mixed up.

    - Thom
     
  11. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    You might find one problem with Tmax 100 even if you get the development & speed set where you want them. Its extended red sensitivity that 'helps' with darker skies is a pain in the backside when it comes to shadow detail. The reflected blue light often found in deep shadows outdoors is not predictable with TMax. You find at times your low zone placement of the shadows under bushes, in the trees & in shade of buildings may be lower than you planned due to the sensitivity of the film. Lose shadows as a result. It can be unpredictable. I love the TMax reciprocity but just couldn't live with shadows that were unpredictable with the passage of the sun across the sky.
    Try running a test of the same subject with the changing daylight & see if you can meter & keep the shadows where you want them. I couldn't & changed to FP4+ as a result. Not perfect but at least now my shadow readings come out where I expect them to be.
     
  12. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I rate TMX-120 @ 200 asa...

    Developed in a Jobo ATL2000 with Photographer's Formulary TFX-2 @ 20c @ 8' ... came to this using densitometry
     
  13. Barney

    Barney Member

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    Exposure for T-Max 100 and others

    Do a ringaround as per Kodak's "Kodak Professional Black and White Films publication F-5. It is sold in large camera shops or you can order direct from Kodak. It will take approximately 5 rolls and a lot of your time. Test for Maximum Black and follow the instructions in the literature. You will learn a lot about Photography in Black and White, and a lot about T-Max films. Besides the T-Max developers you can also mix yourself and try Crawley's Fx-37. It is a little tedious to mix but was formulated for Tabular Grain films. You get good results with it and depending on the dilution you can increase the speed of the film nicely. The formula may be found in "The Darkroom Cookbook" by Anchell.

    Barney
     
  14. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    Forgive me for reviving an old thread but I am new to this fine forum and the above quote is so contrary to my experience, I need to comment. I would hate to think that a new shooter would shy away from this fine film because of misinformation.

    I shoot Tmax100 almost exclusively. I place my shadow and highlight elements not just to hit a Zone but to fall low, mid or high in a given zone depending upon what I want to do with the subject element in the scene. I record my target placement on a field card and check the accomplishment of my placements on a densitometer after development. I am so consistent and confident in this film, I know that when I miss my target, it is because I rushed my shot or allowed myself to be distracted. I am the weak link in the process - not Tmax 100

    Many of the top pros use Tmax 100 and John Sexton uses it almost exclusively. It is a professional film that will be very kind to the amateur or pro who exposes and processes with precision. With that precision, you will gain access to a supurb tonal pallet and the fantastic expansion and contraction capabilities this film allows. Master this film and you will approach a scene with absolute confidence that the material you have chosen will respond to your reqirements so you can worry about the composition and visualization.

    Tmax does not well tolerate estimated film speeds, sloppy metering nor poorly controlled development variables. If you allow a combination of these into your shooting, your negatives will be all over the map. This, however is not the fault of the film.

    What does it take to work with Tmax 100? You have to find out your personal film speed, meter precisely and develop with great precision and repeatability. I use my developer (TmaxRS) one-shot. I even put in ballast sheets of film (fully exposed to room light) to be certain that the developer is exhausted at a consistent rate. If this is too much like work, then stick with materials that are more compatible with your working style but please don't discourage others.

    If you are an amateur who is serious about black and white, if you are willing to be precise and learn to use professional materials that demand it, do not shy away from Tmax 100. To do so is to deprive yourself of a professional level tool that will give you capabilities found nowhere else.

    There - I feel soooooo much better.
     
  15. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Blaughn,

    Couldn't agree with you more, even though my own use is a lot less precise than yours seems to be, since I'm getting by without a densitometer.

    Konical
     
  16. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    I did the same for years. It is amazing how close I could come with a transmission step tablet side-by-side with the negative on a light table. Shooting snow scenes and keeping granularity finally convinced me that I needed to invest in a densitometer. I find 2-minute burn-ins to be boooooooooooooooring! Would rather hit a 1.2 density and sail through!!!!

    By the way, kudos to this forum. I have visited, briefly, many. There is less misinformation in this one than in most and respectful disagreement seems to be permissable.

    Nice
     
  17. Carol

    Carol Member

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    Thank you for reviving this thread as I had missed it and was about to ask the same question as the original post. I use T-Max100 as it is what is available to me. I was told to rate it lower and have done so. I always stick to the times and temps as advised. The problem I sometimes have is that if I get detail in the shadows, I lose detail in the bright areas, but I think that comes down to not bracketting. I know I should, but if the green light says the exposures right who am I to argue with it. Fancy trusting a led that doesn't even know what film is in the camera. I will do some experimenting with the next roll. I hate being such a slow learner.
     
  18. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    What you have described is a situation where the subject's contrast range exceeds that of your film. This is when manipulating the films normal contrast via modified development enter into the picture. Bracketing is NOT, repeat NOT the answer. When you bracket you simply loose a different end of the spectrum - detail in the shadows but blocked up highlights or good highlights and featureless shadows. If you want it all, you need to change the contrast of the film.

    If you use the zone system, meter for the shadows that contain information important to your picture and place them no lower than Zone 3. Then meter the important highlights and see where they fall. For the sake of this example, lets say you are shooting a sunlit snow scene and you want to keep the shadowed evergreen needles well defined while retaining the granularity of the snow. But, with the needles on Zone III.5, the snow is falling on Zone IX what do you do?

    Snow will block up at Mid to high Zone VIII and Zone IX will render nearly featureless paper-base white. You need to change the contrast of the film by modifying its development. In this example, you will want to shoot with the shadowed dark needles on Zone III.5 and then do a N-2 development (thus preventing the highlights from reaching their full potential density.) This will cause your highlight density to fall 2 stops lower than the metered Zone IX (a Zone VII) and you will have supurb granularity in the snow while having excellent detail in the shadowed pine needles. In other words, you have it all!!!!

    Lets return to the subject of bracketing for a moment. IMHO, bracketing is not a fine art tool. It has its place in a desperate moment where a more studied approach is impractical. I know, I use it every time I shoot pictures of UFOs. It does nothing to match the capabilities of your media with the contrast demands of your subject. As Maslow said: "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." Thus it is with bracketing - it is a hammer when you could use a sculptors tool to bend the pallet of the film to your subject.

    Remember, creating a fine print is challenging enough without saddling yourself with a poor negative. Get it right in the camera!

    Good Light!!!!
     
  19. Carol

    Carol Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to explain. Unfortunately I haven't mastered the Zone system (maybe one day) because I figured I would have to treat the whole roll of film the same and I tend to take lots of different types of photo on any one roll. For instance I might take some outdoor trees or stone work, a few night sky shots and even indoor flower shots. I know I'm all over the place, but that's how I learn.

    I think I will try picking my time of day and weather conditions a bit better for the outdoor shots. We are in Autumn (Fall) here in Australia now, so I had planned to try some outdoor stuff when there's some cloud about and hope it doesn't make my shots look flat. Thanks again. Carol.
     
  20. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    You are on the right track. It is a little known fact that God made early morning and late evening for photographers. These are the special times. Afternoons he made for naps!

    If you are a 35mm shooter, you can load your own film with a dozen exposures per roll. Then, if you run into a special situation where you need to bend the contrast curve, pull out your working roll and load one for that situation. You would do most of your work with a normal setting. Your normal roll would cover N and N+1 settings by selenium intensification of those frames where more contrast is needed. Your other situations will often constitute an N-1 where you could devote a dozen shots to those conditions.

    This gets expensive for MF shooters which is why interchangeable backs are desirable.

    Even if you can't employ it, A basic understanding of the Zone system will help you to understand how to get the most out of what you are using.

    Here's the secret, Carol. Achieve success where you are so you become addicted enough to abandon roll film in favor of Large format! Then you can join the exclusive ranks of people with more square footage of film that money!
     
  21. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Carol,

    I don't know exactly how you are processing, but you might try a 1:7 dilution of T-Max concentrate rather than the 1:4 in the standard Kodak recommendation. I've found that 10 minutes is a good starting point for "average" scenes.

    You mention night shots. If you haven't tried T-Max for those, you're in for a treat. It has excellent reciprocity characteristics with long exposures.

    Konical
     
  22. Carol

    Carol Member

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    Thanks for the input. I think I must already be addicted. I have had so many not-quite-right shots, normally I would have given up by now, but each time I learn some more and can't wait to try and improve my efforts. I just hope I can get some decent shots before I am too old and near-sited to use a camera and stand in the darkroom all night. :smile:
     
  23. Carol

    Carol Member

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    Sorry Konical. We must have posted at the same time. Your saying to try the developer a bit weaker, but dev. for a bit longer. I look forward to trying it out on my next roll and appreciate the advice. Thank you.
     
  24. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning (again), Carol,

    I don't want to take up any more Forum space on this, but feel free to send me a PM for more details.

    Konical