What film can be pushed for in-the-dark use?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by AlvinYap, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. AlvinYap

    AlvinYap Member

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    Good day everyone!
    What B&W 120 film (or 135, if the 135 format film is better) is good for pushing to 1600 or even 3200?

    I have shot Delta 400 & 3200, but never pushed them before - and I don't like the grain of delta 3200. Thanks! I'm going to shoot at a dimly lit diner, no flash allowed.

    Thanks again!

    Alvin

    PS: The ilford news is making me very, very sad :sad: Delta 400 is my film of choice...
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Portra 800 pushed two and rated at EI 2000? That has quite low graininess for that rating. Oops, this as APUG. Under no circumstances must you do what I have just suggested, then use Photoshop, OK?

    Pushing is such a subjective issue. Here are my totally unreasonable opinions from my direct, recent experience:

    Tri-X in Diafine or DiLuxol Vitesse at EI 1250 or 1600. These are both two-bath developers that give good speed and low graininess. DV is currently unavailable, but I think that it has the slight edge on Diafine for shadow detail and graininess. It is a Barry Thornton developer. A formula that produces very similar results to Diafine is available if you want it, otherwise you'd have to get it mail order. Over on the Rangefinder Forum your fellow countryman Peter gets his from Freestyle I think. It lasts forever. DV lasts a long time. I managed to develop 32 films in the only litre I ever had before accidentally contaminating Bath A, so I can't say whether or not it lasts as long as Diafine. Hopefully DV will be available again. It is also sold as a dry kit. You can get a bit more speed out of these two-baths by developing twice, but you need a very good wash inbetween.

    Otherwise I use Xtol diluted 1+3 to 1+5 for pushing Tri-X and TMY to EI 1600 or 2000. You have to watch your minimum solution quantities, and use distilled water. I haven't had the same success pushing Delta 400 this way - that's responded better to DD-X at 1+4. I've never tried it at higher dilutions.

    With one exception that I'll mention in a minute, EI 2000 is my preferred speed limit for 120.

    Because I find that I'm shooting at f/1 or f/1.2 at 1/15 with EI 2000 in the sort of places I do my thing in, MF is not really an option even with EI 3200 - so I use 35 mm. So I can use TMZ for speeds over EI 2000. Again, I develop in dilute Xtol.

    And now for the ringer: HP5+ at EI 3200 developed by dr5, one of the generous sponsors of APUG with whom I have no commercial interest. I've had results that please me from HP5+ at EI 800 (in Ron Spillman's Resofine) but it has never been my film of choice at higher speeds. It's a soft film to begin with, which helps when pushing - the softness at EI 800 is one of the things that endears me to it for gentle people pictures. Remember this is my personal opinion, and I don't have to justify it to anyone but myself, for my own work.

    Anyway, back to the story. dr5 will develop HP5+ to EI 3200 and I'm quite impressed with the results. I'm not sure that it is any better in terms of shadow detail, graininess or tonality than TMZ at EI 3200 processed to a neg in dilute Xtol, but it is close, and I think that it has a better dynamic range based on my limited comparative testing. That's quite important. The drawbacks are the geographical location of dr5 (and hence the turnround time - I've never had it back in less than two weeks), the cost if you are on a budget, and the fact that you end up with a dense positive, so your choices for the next step are constrained. I haven't made comparisons with HP5+ at EI 3200 developed by dr5 and developed to a positive by other methods, by the way. That's on my to-do list.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well for years I shot XP1 at Rock concerts at 1600 ISO, doing the C41 processing myself in a Photocolor kit

    With XP-2 Ilford seemed to no longer recommend the push processing but I carried on regardless with no drop in quality.

    XP-2 gives far superior grain and tonality pushed compared to conventional films. Have to admit I've not used it for a while, probably 3 or 4 years, now shoot concerts digitally. I think like Les Mclean I see digital as just another alternative in the making of an image. ie the choice beteen B&W, Colour neg, slide, Polaroid, alt process etc. So I have to use the most appropriate medium to achieve the required results.

    Notice you profile says 35mm RF which is an advantage as less camera shake so better at slower shutter speeds, I've shot at indoor wedding meals at 30th sec, f2 on 200ISO film and had great results with my Leica. So use your meter to determine just how much you thimk you should uprate.

    Ian
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Ian,

    If you liked XP-2 pushed two and rated at EI 1600, and if you were still shooting film you might be pleasantly surprised by the current Portra 800 pushed two and rated at EI 3200. My lower rating of EI 1600 to 2000 is because of my preference for shadow detail. Portra 800 has improved its pushability a lot recently.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  5. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    take a look in my personal gallery for some examples of 35mm Tri x in Diafine (the 6x6 stuff is not tri-x). I rate it at 1250, and have good shadow detail. In fact, most negatives are too dense for my film scanner (which is how I upload 35mm stuff). I guess you could rate it at 1600, but I can't speak for how it would turn out.
    BTW, I develop 4 minutes in bath A and 4 minutes in bath B, with 5 second agitations every minute (using an 8 reel tank).
    I really like tri-x in Diafine. For interior shots (contrasty in nature), it's great.
     
  6. sparx

    sparx Member

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    I have used Fuji Neopta 1600 (rumoured to be Delta 1600) at night at a concert with the only lighting coming from the stage. There are a couple of pictures in my photo gallery of Paul Weller. I have also pushed HP5 to 1600 & 3200 and devved in ID-11 as per Ilford instructions.
     
  7. chrisg

    chrisg Member

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    This goes back a few years but, if I recall correctly, I had no problems rating HP5 at EI 1000 - maybe even 1200 - when I developed with Edwal FG7. The FG7 gave too high contrast for my liking however so I gave up on it. You might try DD-X with Delta 3200. It's supposed to be well matched. It's not as high contrast as FG7 and gives a little extra speed. I particularly like it with HP5. It gets me an extra half to full stop, but that's probably not fast enough to meet your needs.

    Chris
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I might just give it a try, still like to keep abreast of whats possible. All my uprated colour work was shot on the Fuji P800/1600 transparency film. But I do now ocassional do my own colour printing so it's an option.

    Here's an XP-2 shot I've just scanned and uploaded for Andre
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=2465
    Tonally there's a lot of detail. Mr P chain smoked through out his entire appearance :smile:

    Thanks for your comments Helen

    Ian
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I dug out two examples of pushed B&W, with pushed colour slide for comparison. These should be regarded as being practical examples of low-light photography rather than controlled scientific comparisons. They were all taken in similar lighting conditions and with the same metering technique.

    In order:

    Kodak EPJ pushed three stops, rated at EI 2000, f/1.2 at 1/15

    TMZ rated at EI 3200 and processed in Xtol 1+3, f/1 at 1/30

    HP5+ rated at EI 3200 and processed by dr5, f/1.4 at 1/30 (taken in brighter light than the other two)

    The HP5+ is more contrasty, but the slide has a wider density range than the TMZ neg so the achieved relative exposure range is is similar - but this isn't a proper test of that. The TMZ is smoother and has lower graininess.

    None of these examples show good shadow detail. In this level of light I accept what I can get at what I regard as the practical shutter speed/aperture limit in the circumstances. The first two could be described as 'underexposed'.
     

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  10. AlvinYap

    AlvinYap Member

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    Thanks everyone! I'll be going to locate some of these films tomorrow :smile:

    Thanks again!

    Regards,
    Alvin
     
  11. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    That is odd. Being a chromogenic film, it should do well with pushing. Maybe they needed to prop up Delta 3200 sales....
     
  12. ThomHarrop

    ThomHarrop Member

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    When we tested T-Max P3200 for Kodak we shot it as high as e.i. 50,000. That was developed in T-Max developer. It was a bit grainy, but what the hell.