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  1. #21
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revdocjim View Post
    I developed the second roll of T-Max 400 in Fujifilm Super Prodol (SPD). I looked at various numbers on the MDC and found it all rather confusing. Anyway, I decided to use a very generic number and developed it for 7 minutes, the same as I did with the T-Max developer. The good news is that I thought the results were just fine!
    And, when you take time to fine tune the results you will likely get something even better than 'just fine' and turn to excellent. A developer undeniably has some characteristics that make it unique. In reality though, most of those differences can be overcome by altering technique. It's mainly a thing of sinking your teeth into it and finding the best way.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Any film will work with any developer (within reason, and excluding specialty films).

    Just try it. There is nothing telling you you will like the results until you've tried it for yourself. Shoot a roll of the TMax 400 and bracket a normal and Plus/Minus a stop. Develop in the Fuji developer according to the Neopan 400 time. Focus on shadow detail only when you inspect the negs. Pick the film speed you like the shadow detail in best, and now shoot an entire roll at that speed.
    In the dark cut the film in three pieces. Save two of them in a light tight container for later. Develop one third, and now inspect the entire tonal range. If contrast is too high, reduce developing time. If contrast is too low, increase time. Adjust until you have a good base line.

    This approach is MUCH better than finding something on the internet that somebody else did.
    Thomas,
    As I've re-read this post of yours I find myself unclear about the procedure you suggest. When you talk about bracketing, I presume you mean three shots of each scene with different exposure settings. Of course I can achieve that by adjusting the shutter speed or the aperture; but then you talk about picking the film speed I like best for shadow detail. I'm not sure what you mean by "film speed". Are you talking about shutter speed? Or ISO? Sorry if I'm slow to catch on. You then go one to say I should "shoot an entire roll at that speed." So once again, by "at that speed" do you mean at a particular shutter speed, aperture. Or do you mean picking an exposure value or EV comp value such as "minus one stop", "plus one stop" or "normal exposure"?

    Once again, sorry to trouble you with the elementary questions.
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  3. #23
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revdocjim View Post
    Thomas,
    As I've re-read this post of yours I find myself unclear about the procedure you suggest. When you talk about bracketing, I presume you mean three shots of each scene with different exposure settings. Of course I can achieve that by adjusting the shutter speed or the aperture; but then you talk about picking the film speed I like best for shadow detail. I'm not sure what you mean by "film speed". Are you talking about shutter speed? Or ISO? Sorry if I'm slow to catch on. You then go one to say I should "shoot an entire roll at that speed." So once again, by "at that speed" do you mean at a particular shutter speed, aperture. Or do you mean picking an exposure value or EV comp value such as "minus one stop", "plus one stop" or "normal exposure"?

    Once again, sorry to trouble you with the elementary questions.
    Hello,

    Film speed = shadow detail.

    If you shoot ISO 400 film, photograph in normal contrast lighting conditions, and expose the same scene three times; once at EI 200, once at EI 400, and once at EI 800 (EI = Exposure Index). Don't change aperture, only exposure time (double for EI 200 and half for EI 800; this is called bracketing).
    When you process the negatives, you judge shadow detail to see at which 'film speed' you had adequate shadow detail. It could be 200, 400, or 800, and you judge by printing the negatives, or making contact sheets. Use the same paper every time, for both contacts and prints. (If you scan it's a similar process, but I honestly don't know how to judge shadow detail with a scanner, so you're on your own if that's your process). Whatever your preferred film speed is (200, 400, or 800), for the results that you desire, that now becomes your 'normal' film speed (in normal contrast lighting). Exposure largely determines your shadow detail, which is why we're not focusing on developing time yet. This is half the part of "exposing for the shadows, and developing for the highlights".

    After you establish your own film speed, you focus on the rest of the tone spectrum, and "develop for the highlights", which is why you expose a full roll at your chosen film speed, cutting the film strip into thirds, and adjusting your development time to get the highlights and mid-tones to look good.

    With this approach of trial and error, you stand a much better chance at arriving at a film speed setting that works for you, and your personal film development time is also a bonus.

    In time you will notice that high contrast lighting will require a different approach, and low contrast yet another. But finding a good solid method for getting the right speed out of your chosen emulsion, and a calibrated development time will save you tons of trouble in the darkroom when you print, or when you scan your treasures. It's the least amount of care we should give our films to begin to fully understand how everything works and hangs together. It's a good start.

    If you change film, developer, or paper, you should do this process over again.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #24

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    Thomas, thanks so much! Your explanation makes perfect sense now and is very helpful. I will take some time to give it a careful try!
    As you suspected, I am scanning my negatives but can do exactly as you describe because while I often let the software automatically make some adjustments to the contrast and levels when scanning I can just as easily tell it to do nothing and scan the negatives as is.
    Pentax 67ii, Fuji GF670, Mamiya 6, Pentax 645N
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