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  1. #41
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    The simplicity of your system is great John.

    I've considered going strictly C-41 several times simply for that reason. In the end though I still enjoy "real" B&W films and there's no C-41 B&W in 4x5.

    One of the things C-41 taught me well though was that a standardized contrast rate could essentially fill all my needs regardless of the exposure placement. I can't remember the last time I used plus or minus developing.

    I need to play with the one time idea with my DD-X and WD2D+, it would be nice to have one process.

    I giggled at your description of agitation, I've used a fair number of those myself.

    Flickr and APUG galleries do have great value for considering lighting, composition, toning, square vs rectangular, focus and DOF type things. Similar to the end you suggest on the one film thread I have setup searches on Flickr with parameters like " TXP or (delta 400) " and it can be interesting guessing which shot is which film but, 2 of the lessons I've learned are that 1-equally acceptable and unacceptable results appear to be possible from most all films it is truly hard to see which is which, and 2-most online photos simply don't have the size or quality level that are needed to learn much about any film's grain or tonality.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble View Post
    That is a given. I'm beginning to see what Michael R 1974 was worried about. jnanian, when one conducts a scientific experiment everything is standardized and the only variables are the ones being tested or the ones that can't be feasibly elimnated. Furthermore as I mentioned previously everything is disclosed in detail in the materials and methods section of the published report. Even things like the film's lot number and expiration date are recorded in case the manufacturer later says they had a bad batch. There is no way you would let different people agitate the developing tanks unless they have already been certified as doing it in the exact same manner. As long as sufficient movement of fluid occurred the exact method of agitation is immaterial. What is important is that it is not extreme (shaking a martini), that it is done in the exact same manner each time, and that the exact manner in which it is done is documented. In today's digital world a short clip showing how exactly the agitation was done can even be placed on the web. At most the variables should be film, developer, and length of developing time... at least as far as the developing stage is concerned. Perhaps there are other variables that can't be eliminated that I am overlooking.
    i was using extremes in differences in agitation methods as an example because people often times see photographs
    and negatives &c and they literally think their film will look "just like that" if they process it in whatever magic soup they have.

    Also I wouldn't use sheet film. That is not the most common type of film used. My inclination is to use medium format film because you still have a nice big negative to work with but it is still a roll film. Medium format film is great because it would be easy to set up your camera and just swap backs with different films. The problem is not every emulsion is made in medium format nor large format for that matter. So again to standardize 35mm across the board is the logical choice. Initially just to keep things reasonable the first experiment should just be with the top sellers at each ISO. But it's nice to standardize on 35mm in case one desires to do future experiments on funky emulsions only available in 35mm.
    does it really matter what format the film is? film is film is film. tri x 400, hp4, hp5, tmx fomapan, &c are exactly the same ... it is just presented differently.

    The problem is a lot of us don't do too much darkroom work. You will get a lot of scanned negatives. Scanners, at least of the cheap (<$1,000) variety are black boxes. I have no idea what my scanner does to the information it reads off of my negative so there is no way for me to make a negative to negative comparison. I think there is a software package that is at least capable of holding exposure constant from scan to scan. But the fact remains you still don't know what the exposure was to begin with.

    Check out this site. I use it to see if what I am doing with a new developer is at least reasonable.
    the problem then is that scanners don't really show the film and everything else. if someone had a light box and took a photograph of the negative with a numeric camera
    maybe that would be better because at least it is what is there, not a reinterpretation of what is there, by a magical beam of light. and even then it won't really work
    because sometimes film is so dense that a light box won't shine through it. ... morgan+morgan / morgan + lester used to do these exact same types of experiments,
    their results were published in a tome called the photo lab index ... i was lucky enough to have a long conversation with the chemist who
    did all the lab-work. he was a brilliant guy.

    http://www.amazon.com/Photo-Lab-Inde.../dp/0871000512

    the only thing the PLI doesn't have is photographs made with the developers and film. if you don't have a copy of it, maybe
    you should hunt one down, it is a pretty good resource.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    The simplicity of your system is great John.

    I've considered going strictly C-41 several times simply for that reason. In the end though I still enjoy "real" B&W films and there's no C-41 B&W in 4x5.

    One of the things C-41 taught me well though was that a standardized contrast rate could essentially fill all my needs regardless of the exposure placement. I can't remember the last time I used plus or minus developing.

    I need to play with the one time idea with my DD-X and WD2D+, it would be nice to have one process.

    I giggled at your description of agitation, I've used a fair number of those myself.

    Flickr and APUG galleries do have great value for considering lighting, composition, toning, square vs rectangular, focus and DOF type things. Similar to the end you suggest on the one film thread I have setup searches on Flickr with parameters like " TXP or (delta 400) " and it can be interesting guessing which shot is which film but, 2 of the lessons I've learned are that 1-equally acceptable and unacceptable results appear to be possible from most all films it is truly hard to see which is which, and 2-most online photos simply don't have the size or quality level that are needed to learn much about any film's grain or tonality.

    thanks mark

    yeah, i try to keep things as simple as possible ... now i don't even bother agitating most of the time, i just leave the room
    i forgot the "raise the plastic wand in the tank up and down or spin it" and " raise and lower the coath hanger in the tupperware of developer"

    you are right, about the galleries, they give one an idea but it is hard to see the real thing ... and if we put our noses to the screen, it doesn't really
    do the same thing as sticking our noses to the print

    i am on the edge of doing c41 and e6 processing these days ... i always remembered hearing how crazy difficult and all consuming it was,
    but it seems with the current state of packaged chemistry it is even easier than processing b/w. i had hoped i could do the first development
    in coffee ... and the second development in whatever is in package #2, but i guess i can't

  4. #44
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    Nope, no coffee me thinks. Just did 4 rolls of C-41, the mixing/measuring is a bit more complicated than 1+4 and the like, and the temperature control requirement makes a JOBO or similar tool important if you want to do it easily and regularly. Once past that it is standard and simple and there are no worries about which C-41 film is going in the tank.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #45

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    hi mark

    i am thinking of using the unicolor / arista kits and they are just mix and go
    no crazy measuring ( except for the bleach+fix ) even then it seems to be mix a+b to get ab ...

    i don't have more than just a sink .. no temp control jobo ( just a thermometer ) so i will have to drift
    thats OK, i don't mind drifting, and liked the F+F movie tokyo drift so ..
    otherwise its a water jacket and hand tanks, but i am thinking of saving the water ..

    who knows maybe if i do the e6 and i figure out what dev1 is, maybe i'll substitute sumatranol130 for it instead
    i don't mind a wrench in the machine if it gives me unique and fun results

    probably not the right thing to post in a thread about scientific method and normal negatives

  6. #46
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    If the end result of this kind of hair splitting were to project negatives on a screen, I'd see some point to the exercise. But, since I never do that, and print as skillfully as I can on paper with the negative I've produced, there is absolutely no point to this for me. If the film's speed and grain are adequate to the task, and if I've learned its characteristics from experience, I standardize on that film, developer, time and temperature, and always produce a negative I can print from. One's time, apart from making photographs, is far better spent looking at as many photographs and paintings as you can cram into your day, and figuring out why they're so good, than in anal analyses and comparisons of minutia unless they dramatically alter the way you work.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  7. #47
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi mark

    i am thinking of using the unicolor / arista kits and they are just mix and go
    no crazy measuring ( except for the bleach+fix ) even then it seems to be mix a+b to get ab ...

    i don't have more than just a sink .. no temp control jobo ( just a thermometer ) so i will have to drift
    thats OK, i don't mind drifting, and liked the F+F movie tokyo drift so ..
    otherwise its a water jacket and hand tanks, but i am thinking of saving the water ..

    who knows maybe if i do the e6 and i figure out what dev1 is, maybe i'll substitute sumatranol130 for it instead
    i don't mind a wrench in the machine if it gives me unique and fun results

    probably not the right thing to post in a thread about scientific method and normal negatives
    Drift works fine, that's where I started, not as consistent but... That's what you want.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    i think it would be an interesting experiment to have a thread that is only one specific type of film, and people post attachments to it showing whatever film and a note as to how it was developed ... granted there will be a million photographs that all look the same, but there will be a handful of images on either end of the spectrum that show the extremes the film can handle, so if someone wants extreme grain or extreme tonality or both they can see an image like that, and use whatever method stated as a starting point, realizing their results may look nothing like the posted results ...
    maybe that is what the OP was asking for ?
    I must admit that I don't see what a hundred different photographs of a hundred different scenes taken with a hundred different cameras would tell me about the film.

    I think I can refine my question even further:

    What is the difference between Tri-X and HP5+?

    And from all your comments, I believe the answer is:

    All "normal" BW films are essentially identical. The variation caused by processing and printing far exceeds any inherent variation from film type to film type.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Arctic amateur; 01-27-2013 at 08:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #49
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    IMO you "get it" Arctic Amateur, I'd expand and refine that thought a bit more:

    All BW films within a given speed class can provide essentially identical results. The variations caused by shooting style, lens chioce, subject choice, lighting, metering technique, exposure placement, processing and printing far exceeds any inherent variation from film type to film type.
    I'd also say that that "reality" doesn't mean individuals won't find favorites for themselves.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    does it really matter what format the film is? film is film is film. tri x 400, hp4, hp5, tmx fomapan, &c are exactly the same ... it is just presented differently.
    How will you standardize developing tanks, reels, and agitation technique if you are using 35mm, MF, and large format? And as I said in the statement you quoted many emulsions are not available in MF and large format. If you used some emulsions in large format and some in 35mm you would just be creating a garden to feed the trolls. Trust me I've been to enough scientific conferences and watched preeminent experts debate. It would be better not to even do the experiment. Do not introduce any variables unless you either want to test them or you simply cannot feasibly eliminate them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    i was using extremes in differences in agitation methods as an example because people often times see photographs
    and negatives &c and they literally think their film will look "just like that" if they process it in whatever magic soup they have.
    You can't control what people will do with your data. Your job is simply to produce the best data possible and do the best analysis possible. Also in good scientific papers the authors always discuss short comings with their experiment or results. It helps to preemptively answer a bunch of letters to the editor.

    Quote Originally Posted by jovo View Post
    If the end result of this kind of hair splitting were to project negatives on a screen, I'd see some point to the exercise. But, since I never do that, and print as skillfully as I can on paper with the negative I've produced, there is absolutely no point to this for me. If the film's speed and grain are adequate to the task, and if I've learned its characteristics from experience, I standardize on that film, developer, time and temperature, and always produce a negative I can print from.
    This is an anectodal statement with no objective independently verified data to back it up. It is exactly the type of thing Michael R 1974 was warning us about...

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    So, people who might be fine photographers but are not experts in the science, should not write about the craft from a scientific perspective if they do not have data and details on the testing methodology to present. That is what most books and articles are filled with.
    jovo, even in the decimated world of analog photography there are still a lot of people and organizations that could benefit from a good quality study. It would cost a tiny fraction of the amount of time and money people spend on debates about different emulsions and switching emulsions. Frankly I'm astonished it hasn't already been done. I really wonder what analog photography periodicals have been writing about all these decades. I suppose they didn't want to take the chance and declare not much difference between two of their sponsors. I guess mystique sells issues.

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