Trying to achieve LARGE grain chemically.... how?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tkamiya, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I need some input from folks who has done this type of things already.

    For an image I'm trying to create, I need large and chunky grain - just as if I used Delta 3200. But with a caveat .. I need to shoot this scene in broad daylight and I need slower shutter speed coupled with large aperture. 1/60 or slower and f/2.8 or f/4 is necessary for this image.

    As a reference, the level of grainyness I'm looking for is Delta3200 in 35mm format processed with D76 for 13 minutes. When enlarged to 8x10, it has very obvious grain. Unfortunately, I only have ND4 and it won't reach nearly slow enough shutter speed or large enough aperture. (I've tried...)

    I've also tried Tri-X pushed 2 stops in XTOL. Way too smooth and way too fast.

    I've been researching and I hear processing Tri-X with Dektol will result in large grain. I've also read Rodinal will also create large grain.

    Right now, I have Tri-X, D-76, and Dektol handy. I'm willing to buy new developer if necessary.

    Here's the question - which will result in grainer image? Or is there another suggestion to achieve this chemically?
     
  2. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Shoot with a very wide angle lens and enlarge extremely.

    Overexpose it. (Sounds like your plan already with long exposure and large aperture).

    The Dektol may do the trick.

    PE told me the rule of thumb, develop for as many minutes as you dilute it. (1:5 for 5 minutes, 1:9 for 9 minutes etc.)

    You will end up with a very dense negative. That should be plenty grainy by the time you print it.

    p.s. Wait for more replies from people who have done it. (I've developed a few negs in Dektol but didn't try to print it yet.)
     
  3. Double Negative

    Double Negative Member

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  4. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    One thing you can do is to shoot with a wider angle lens or from farther away and then enlarge the snot out of it when printing. That will give you some grain.

    Do you have a polarizing filter? I know you say you only have and ND filter, but many people don't think of a polarizer as being a ND filter on its own. That will cost you two stops worth of light. The polarizer combined with your ND might do the trick.

    As far as devs go. Yes, Dektol will give you grain, so will Rodinol. I wouldn't go D-76; too much sulfite to reduce grain unless you went 1+3 with it, but I would still prefer Dektol or Rodinal.
     
  5. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thank you, Bill. I'll give it a try.

    I want LARGE and CHUNKY grain....!
     
  6. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Try Rodinal at a higher temperature. I believe this may get the grain you desire.
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Jim,

    Yes, I do have a polarizer as well. I'll bring it along next time I go shoot the scene. As to wide angle lens, it won't work for this scene because then, the size relationship between foreground item and the background will change. This is a very important part of this particular image. In fact, I have a particular lens and a particular position to make this composition happen.

    I'll report back when I have something. Thank you all!
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Double negative,

    So far, I have not been able to cause reticulation even when I process very sloppily. Maybe use ice water to wash? Reticulated film has this fish scale like appearance. That's not what I'm looking for. Thank you for the idea though.
     
  9. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    If you want the Delta 3200 look, you should shoot Delta 3200. Use a 5-stop ND filter.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    what other sorts of paper developers do you have on hand ?
    what format film?

    dektol might give you lots of chunky big grain ... but other PAPER developers might too ..

    you might try over exposing and over developing your film
    in whatever developer you use, and process it a bit warmer than 68 ...
    i hate to advertise coffee, but you might also give caffenol c a whirl
    it gives nice grain .. not sure how chunky but nice ...
    and it sometimes looks weird, thin, foggy, but enlarges like a dream

    bill is on the money, wide angle and enlarger too

    have fun !
    john
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    John,

    I only have Dektol but I can mix my own. Oh, I also have Ilford warm tone developer but I'm not sure if it's still good.... (I forgot about it)

    I can't do wide angle trick. It will mess up my composition. Foreground/background proportions are very important in this image.
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    The wide angle is just to put a smaller image on the film. Don't move closer. My first thought was to use a Minox. Have you ever tried one of those?
     
  13. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Reticulation looks much different than big grain. If you want to reticulate, I'd try soak in a strong, hot alkali to swell the emulsion then soak it in room temp a strong-ish solution. I only did this once, but it worked pretty well. If you want to have big 3200 grain, use 3200. You can get enough filteration some combination of ND filters, polarizer, and a red filter. Or use lith if the color works for your image.
     
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  15. AdClem

    AdClem Member

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    But proportions in an image don't change with a changed angle of view. Relative size of objects in the frame only change when the camera to subject distance is changed. As long as you maintain the position from which you have determined your ideal composition, then you can indeed use a wide angle lens and enlarge the desired part of the negative, thus increasing the grain. The relative sizes of the foreground/background will remain the same.
     
  16. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Now I see what you are trying to say. No, I don't have or have ever used Minox.... Although I have used a "spy camera" that came with a magazine subscription in the 70s.... It had a very small roll film that resembled super miniature 120 roll. I wonder what it was?

    I think I'll try Dektol and ND4. Then go from there.
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    But I also have a nagging feeling that there is a way to get big grain that hasn't been brought up.

    There must be a combination... All the things we try not to do because we want fine grain, do the opposite.

    Rodinal doesn't claim to be a fine grain developer. (Neither does Dektol).

    Fog the film. Overexpose it.

    Maybe additional unusual processing steps like a desensitizer (*as I recall it will degrade the image but allow developing by inspection). Afterwards do an intensifier...

    *I had read the paragraph in my reference book wrong, they weren't saying desensitizing degrades the image. Three sentences were strung together in an overview ... It was describing desensitization, intensification, reduction.

    But this gives me an idea: Do both! Intensify and Reduce the negative. By the time you are done with it, the negative should be a wreck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2013
  18. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    That was probably a HIT camera...
     
  19. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Have you tried cutting down some X-ray film to fit in the camera? It's ISO 200 and has evident grain even in 8x10
     
  20. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I have not tried X-ray film. I don't have any.... and I have a huge stock of Tri-X. I wasn't aware X-ray film has such a high sensitivity in visible light spectrum either.
     
  21. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I think Tri-X pushed in Dektol will give a good start. I would also use the wide lens as already suggested, so you are cropping and enlarging a small section of the frame, therefore enlarging the grain more than if you utilise the full frame. I saw some nice results recently made with a half frame camera and Tri-X in Dektol.
     
  22. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Fomapan 400 in 1+25 or 1+50 warm Rodinal (>25C) with strong agitation.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i hate to suggest this, but make some caffenol c real sloppy and add print developer to it ..
    don't measure any of your ingredients ( THAT'S KEY!)

    and add print developer to it, make sure print developer is spent, kind of brown it will work best that way ...
    ( this works great with black ansco 130, if you have any of that USE IT or add about 11g/L of glycin to your dektol, they are similar )

    overexpose your film by about 4 stops and stand develop it in your soup for about 25-30minutes ...
    make sure the developer is kind of warm ... ( above 68, less than 75º )

    with sheet film you will get VERY dense film, but with roll film, nice contrast, fog/stain and prominent grain...

    you might do this without the coffee &c and stand develop your film in half spent, half fresh dektol
    maybe dilute 1:10 for about 25 mins, agitate every 12 mins ... or do it in the coffee stuff for half the time
    and then your dektol 1:7 for half the time ...
    change developers mid stream something harsh, something not harsh .. as bill said, you want to wreck your film !

    if you can get away with not shooting your subject full frame stand a bit back and let your
    composition swim a bit in your frame so you can use the magnification to your benefit.

    sounds like a fun project !
    john
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2013
  24. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Here's what you do. Put the lens you were going to use on the camera. Set up the image so you're standing where you would be to snap the shutter. Then switch to the wide angle - and don't move. As long as you do not change the distance between the film and the subject, perspective will not change with focal length.

    The caveat is to not use a lens wide anough that it has all sorts of funny geometric distortion that makes straight lines curved or wavy.

    Aside from that - I agree with what others have said given your available materials. Use the grainiest film to begin with. Assuming the scene has an average luminance range, dilute your D76 to 1+3 and overdevelop big time. Don't underexpose the film. If anything, overexpose.

    Dektol will work great too, but you'll have to experiment first to find the right dilution. The standard paper dilutions will give very high contrast. Not sure if you want high contrast or not.
     
  25. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Try shooting Delta 3200 at 200. Develop in Dektol for a thick negative. Enlarge using a high contrast filter.