Zonie's!

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by ann, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I have been having a great discussion with someone regarding testing and within that discussion the following issues have come up :
    1. he wants to have all film and formats developed for the same times
    2. where did the idea come about with using grade 3 as a standard for 35mm film.

    Now, i know i did not just come up with the thought that grade 3 was a better option for 35mm , but i can't remember how and why that became a standard starting point.

    I have started doing a lot of research to figured out where i came up with this thought as well as it has to do with the short toe of 35mm film.

    Does this ring a bell with anyone else? If so how, where, and why.
    Is this just an old wives tale?
    When i learned the Zone system there was no such thing as MC papers and i made my negatives to print on graded paper (3). And so far no book that i have opened even goes into this area.

    With regard to option 1, i think it is going to be a nightmare. Has anyone else ever tried this.

    Which leads to another question about why the same film, different format has or may have different development times. I always thought it was due to the type of emulsions.

    it is amazing how we use information for a long time and stop thinking about why, etc. So this has been a great opportunity for me to re-think a few things.
     
  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Different formats of the same film have different development times because of the agitation cycles and methods used to develop them. A roll of 120 film developed in a small tank will need one time because of the rather rough agitation caused by the inversion of the tank and the reels inside. The same 120 film will need a longer time if developed in a large tank because the agitation is much more gentle. Sheet film has another time because the sheets are shuffled once every minute or 30 seconds. It's agitation is also more gentle than small tank.

    Different films need different times because of the emulsions used. The only way to get the same times using the same developer would be to use different dilutions. This seems like more work than it's worth. He should stick to one type of film.

    Because of the small size of a 35mm negative, it seems to lose contrast when enlarged above 8x10. So grade 3 paper tends to be used more often as the standard when printing 11x14 or larger. You could just develop the film longer, but you risk blowing out your highlights.

    I hope this answers your questions.

    -Greg
     
  3. Poco

    Poco Member

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    I think the idea of pushing the contrast in the printing stage is due to the finer grain that comes from "underdeveloping" the negative -- something that is more important in 35mm than larger formats (assuming fine grain is the goal). I've seen lots of recommendations for "thin" 35mm negatives on the web, but none in books. It's probably one of those informal rules of thumb that used to pass between photographers verbally and now does so on the web.
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Well, this just re-afirms my thoughts,but better written.

    I was beginning to think i was losing it :D

    do you mind if i use your explanation?
     
  5. garryl

    garryl Member

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    Substitute the phrase "delicate" for thin. I have several books from the
    30 & 40's that use this term when addressing 35mm development.
     
  6. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I remember that we were taught that the negative needed just enough exposure and just enough development to maintain the information and BR. That was one of the values of testing, to determine those elements. Reminded me of making a negative that was on the edge of a sharp blade, balanced just so, not falling off.
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    This is my experience with the questions that you posed.
     
  8. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    As to all films in one dev for the same amount of time: two bath developers (Diafine) are said to have this possiblity. I never had the courage to try it out.
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    thank you gentlemen, it is nice to know i am not out in left field.

    Donald;
    i have a saying i use all the time
    You can have anything you want , you just can't have everything.


    you also tweaked my memory with regard to were i got the orginal thoughts about this, I studied with a fellow who had worked with Fred Picker.
    My instructor was the first person i worked with who changed my world around and made sense.
    I know that Fred can still bring out the flame wars but it made a huge difference in my life as i was just struggling along, self taught and not knowing which end was up .

    I will get back with this fellow and share the collective thoughts.

    Suggested to him that this would be a good place to visit and hang out to get some good advise from people who care and know what they are talking about. We shall see.

    Another favorite saying
    "you can lead a horse to water; you can't make it swim on it's back" It is the old school teacher in me. :D
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Ann said

    Another favorite saying
    "you can lead a horse to water; you can't make it swim on it's back" It is the old school teacher in me.


    Thanks for sharing...I had never considered trying that. Another task for another day!!!
     
  11. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    FWIW, Rodinal 1:100 for 18 minutes is a handy universal single time/developer/dilution trick I have run across. Used that way, it probably won't screw up any film so badly it won't print. But it probably won't be 'the best' either. I have processed rolls of TMax400, Tri-X and Delta400 together in that brew when the shots are not terribly important and I'm in a hurry. The results were printable in all cases. At that dilution, it acts as a compensating developer. Effective film speed is reasonable also. About 250 to 320 for ISO400 rated film.

    Stupid photo tricks 'R Us
     
  12. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I've been using Diafine for about 2 years ( actually, same two 1 gal mixtures) with all films from 35mm to 4X5. Do like its convenience but doesn't have versatility that zone system requires ( +- dev times). It does make my darkroom work alot simpler ( TF-4 another great product for its simplicity of use). Can spend more time/effort dodging & burning.
     
  13. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Back in the old "Camera 35" days, there was a monthly columnist, Mike Edelman, I believe, who claimed his 35mm portraiture work would rival that of 4x5. His technique, and the first place I ever read it, was the minimally exposed and developed negative printed on grade 3 paper.

    I recall how much I looked forward to reading his column every issue...
     
  14. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I remember something like that. I recall a statement about HC110 Dil B and Tri-X in a particular combo that was darn near grainless. I achieved that goal on one roll of film a long time ago and never figured out how I did it.
     
  15. mark

    mark Member

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    This may have nothing to do with nothing but I noticed in my first darkroom class that my test prints-each at 4x5 looked nothing like my 8x10 or 11x14 attempts at a final print, the larer prints were flatter and lacked the life of the small test prints. Since I had to do what the instructor wanted in his darkroom I could not use any filter at all. He was a jerk. The PIA pinstructor told me it was my fault and graded me down. A year or so later I had the opportunity to attack the same negatives with free graded paper. For some reason contrast decreases in 35mm negatives as the grain gets further apart in enlargements. Like you I just started printing at grade 3 to start and then moved from there. Maybe this is something many have stumbled on and never really gave it much thought.

    I wonder what happened to the PIA.
     
  16. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Perhaps he moved on (quickly, I hope). these types of instructors drive me crazy:rolleyes:

    Good for you to keep working and having the instincts to recognize that as the prints get larger the contrast shifts.
     
  17. gma

    gma Member

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    I first used 35mm (Plus-X) in 1964. At that time all the magazines recommended grade 3 paper as standard for 35mm. It was because of grain. Thin, underdeveloped negatives were assumed better for 35mm because they limited grain buildup. When I saw the wonderful tones of LF photos I started to question the grade 3 standard. I started using Adox KB 17 and Kodak Panatomic-X. They yielded denser negatives with more contrast that worked very well with grade 2 paper. Then I started developing Plus-X and Tri-X to get better negatives (with more grain) to print on grade 2.
     
  18. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Member

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    You may find the following quotes helpful. They are from Zone VI Newsletter #47 by Fred Picker. The first paragraph is from page one, the second from page six.

    "In the last Newsletter I began a review of improved proceedures that would appear in a revision of Zone VI Workshop if I were to revise it."

    "In a revised book, for 35mm only, I would suggest doing a development time test using grade 3 paper rather than grade 2. There are several reasons: 1) A shorter development time dramatically reduces grain. 2) The grade 3 paper -assuming quality paper- will print a strong black even through the dense 35mm base; a grade 2 usually won't. 3) Because 35mm is often used in fast breaking uncontrolled situations where "hot" areas can accidentally appear, the short development of the negative will reduce the contrast and give you two grades -grade 2 and grade 1- below "normal" to step down to. The trade-off (there is always a trade-off) is that the low values will be underdeveloped in the negative and you will lose separation. But I think that in the kind of work that 35mm should be used for, the loss of low value crispness is a worthwhile exchange for strong blacks, smoother high values, reduced grain, and easier-to-print negatives made under contrasty conditions. If you try the grade 3 approach for 35mm, check your first "proper proofs" carefully; you might find that you need an extra half stop of exposure to compensate for the decreased development."