ultra-fast films?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by temujin, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. temujin

    temujin Member

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    hi all, i have been experimenting with push-processing lately, but have not been happy with the results. i am trying to get an effect of emphasizing grain. i have been working with hp5 and tri-x at ei 1600 in rodinal. i have achieved the grain i wanted with these combos, but the contrast is simply out of hand.

    i am wondering if maybe i would be better off trying an ultra-fast film like delta 3200, neopan 1600, or tmax 3200. with the higher nominal rating of these films, i won't be pushing by as many stops, so the contrast should be more under control. i worked with delta 3200 a long time ago, but with d-76, not rodinal.

    i know, some of you are saying- why and the hell would you push-process with rodinal? well, i want grain, grain, grain! if there is a better developer for this, please enlighten me.

    what i am not entirely clear on is this: what is the nominal speed rating of these three films? i think i heard somewhere that delta 3200 is actually asa1000. is this true, and what about neopan 1600 and tmax 3200?

    also, would i be better off working with a push-process developer, such as microphen? let me emphasize that i want pronounced grain, but not extreme contrast in the negs. thanks...
     
  2. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Look, Rodinal isn't all that good with fast films at box speed. Pushing with Rodinal is just foolish. If you want grain, then use TMZ or for an even more "popcorn" grain look, Delta 3200. Shoot either at 1600 for normal looking contrast, at 3200 for more. Process either in dilute XTOL or D-76.
     
  3. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I'm not surprised you are disappointed with the results from pushing Tri-X and HP-5+. The main effect of pushing these films is to increase contrast. With the right subject matter it works well, but more often it does not. TMax P3200 at 3200 or 6400 will show significant grain in enlargements from 35mm. The grain is usually globular. You might try it with Rodinal, which emphasizes grain. Rodinal produces sharp, elongated grain with Tri-X. I'm not sure what the shape would be with P3200. Kodak used to make some high speed instrument recording films that had quite coarse grain. I don't know if they are still available or it similar films are available from others. Another trick that has been used to maximize grain is to use a monobath to process the film. I haven't tried it, but if you are in a mood to experiment:

    Calba's Grain Maximizing Monobath
    Monobath formula for maximum grain
    Stock Solution A
    Water (45C) 700 ml
    Metol 2 g
    Sodium Sulfite (anhydrous) 50 g
    Hydroquinone 20 g
    Sodium Hydroxide 10 g
    Potassium Bromide 2 g
    Stock Solution B
    Water (25C) 300 ml
    Chrome Alum (optional) 20 g
    Sodium Thiosulfate 70 g
    Mixing instructions: Add chemicals in specified sequence. Always use cold water when mixing potassium or sodium hydroxide due to risk of heat reaction. In this case, reduce the original amount of hot water to 600 ml, and add the Sodium Hydroxide to 100ml of cold water prior to adding to Solution A.
    Dilution: Mix both solutions together to make 1L just before use.
    Starting point development time: 5-7 mins at 30C
    Notes: This is a monobath formula, so no fixing is required! Chrome Alum is not required with modern emulsions. As with any monobath formula, results can vary greatly depending on film type, and there is a risk of fog/staining, so you are advised to run a test roll before processing any important negatives.
    Ref: digitaltruth.com
     
  4. poutnik

    poutnik Member

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    here is Ilford Delta 3200 6x7cm shot at EI 3200 developed in Rodinal 1:40 (though developed as if it was rated at 6400). Enlargement to 30x40cm is wonderful, the guitarist on the shot has it framed and hanging on the wall.

    here is Ilford HP5+ 6x7cm shot at EI 1600 developed also in Rodinal 1:40. Both optical and digital enlargements to 30x40cm look really great (and in the case of this image, it's a 80-90% crop). But for the HP5+ at that EI to look good, the light must be rather special - more diffused and soft. Otherwise it will not work so well.

    If you are interested, I will look up the development times and agitation rhytms too...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2007
  5. poutnik

    poutnik Member

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    Addendum: I wrongly wrote that it was developed in Rodinal, but actually it was developed in R09. If Ilford films work (react) same in these developers as do Foma films, R09 results in more pronounced grain, and 1:40 R09 should be equivalent to Rodinal 1:50. For more info on differences between R09 and Rodinal, check this thread.
     
  6. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    If you want grain then you should try overexposing the film instead of pushing it. I personally can never see the point of pushing film. It is what it is, you can't make it something it is not, unless you can rewrite the laws of physics.

    Expose Neopan 1600 at around 640, Tmax around 1000, and D3200 around 1200, all at their actual speeds. Rodinal is a great developer for this. Neopan is my favorite for grain and has beautiful tonality as well. Look at my website, under "Pacific Coast". "Island and Stack" and "Monster Stack" really stick out with this treatment. Most of those images were shot on Neopan 1600 and developed in Rodinal. Some were shot on D3200 in 120 also developed in Rodinal, but they don't show grain on the website since the images are so small.

    Remember overexposure will increase grain. Pushing just increases problems!

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Patrick
     
  7. poutnik

    poutnik Member

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    Patrick, overexposure is a nice thing. But I usually push a film because of a (relative) lack of light - like shooting people in a dim bar/club - and in these cases overexposure is not an option. You just have to make do with what light is available and what you can handhold (and how much action you want to freeze, and so on...)

    On the other hand, when shooting static subjects (and landscape generally is static) and/or using a tripod, you can overexpose as much as you like. But to me using a fast film with a tripod for landscape is not the way to go. Unless you like the resulting grain/tonality.

    (and yes, it's best to shoot at the actual speed of the film, which usually is much slower than what is written on the box - I know too, that Delta3200 is actually in the 1000-1600 EI ballpark)

    So I perfectly understand the need to push the films. And I can only understand overexposure of these fast films (which is feasible for landscapes and the likes) as a specific artistic approach.
     
  8. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    .

    i know, some of you are saying- why and the hell would you push-process with rodinal? well, i want grain, grain, grain! if there is a better developer for this, please enlighten me.

    also, would i be better off working with a push-process developer, such as microphen? let me emphasize that i want pronounced grain, but not extreme contrast in the negs. thanks...[/QUOTE]

    I recommend that you shoot with Forma Action 400 and develop in DK 50, Dektol or for that matter Rodinal. Dektol will provide the most grain but DK 50 will give better tones. You might want to try Action 400 rated at 800, souped in DK 50 at 80F for about 2 1/2 or 3 mints.
     
  9. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Use a wide angle lens and crop. Without any developing magic you can double the grain size with a 25 mm lens.
     
  10. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    That an idea, it is one of the wonder I never thought of it.
     
  11. poutnik

    poutnik Member

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    That is equivalent to:

    shoot with smaller format and/or enlarge more.

    Of the relatively slower films, Foma 400 Action has a rather pronounced grain, if that is what you're interested in. Also develop in R09 (either Foma or Adox) not in plain Rodinal - you'll also get more pronounced grain. (check the R09 thread I linked in my previous post, especially the comparison Robert Vonk [Fotohuis] did - R09 and Rodinal results are not the same).
     
  12. temujin

    temujin Member

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    thanks for all the useful info. i think i will experiment a little with delta 3200 and tmax 3200 in different developers to find the right combo for me. but for my style of shooting, i really need to rate these films at at least 1600, and 3200 would be even better. the reason- i shoot in a lot of relatively dark interiors, i prefer to handhold, and i don't like flash. so i need as much speed as i can get.
     
  13. temujin

    temujin Member

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    since i've got some rodinal on hand, i think i'll try the delta 3200 in it at ei 3200 just to see how it looks, before trying other developers. does anyone know what developing time to use for delta3200 at ei3200 in rodinal 1+50? the massive developing chart only lists data for this combo at a dilution of 1+25, but i've never particularly cared for the look which i achieve with that dilution.
     
  14. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    I'm surprised there's no mention of PMK pyro with the Delta 3200. It's an interesting effect, because the mids and shadows are really gritty but the highlights are much softer from the stain. A nice edge effect if you have a highlight next to a shadow. Someday I'll learn to use that scanner I bought (about four months ago) for some examples.
     
  15. poutnik

    poutnik Member

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    temujin, my development times for Ilford Delta 3200 shot at EI 3200 (and developed as if it was shot at EI 6400 to try to bring out more details):

    * R09 1+40 @ 20°C for 45min, continuous agitation first 30sec, then 1 inversion every 5th minute.
    * Tetenal Ultrafin liquid 1+20 @ 20°C for 45min, continuous agitation first 30sec, then 1 inversion every 5th minute (or every 10th minute, have done both).

    But first really do some tests to find if this will work for you, or how you have to modify the times...
     
  16. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    Les McLean has a fabulous book that gives some ideas on grain. I tried some of his techniques, and although I haven't printed the results, it's worth a look. He's able to push Delta 3200 to 12,500 & 25,000 in rodinal. My results came out a bit underexposed, but it's worth experimenting.

    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Black-White-Photography-McLean/dp/0715314483

    the other thing you might want to try is combining Delta3200 @ 6400 with an f/1.2 lens. I love this lens, even though it is manual. (Nikkor 50mm f/1.2)