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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy K
    Ok, I think I'm almost there! So far we have:

    When shooting, reduce exposure for better contrast.
    Invert when developing instead of tilting.

    One last thing (and this may be a total bozo question but please bear with me!)

    less agitation = less contrast and more agitation = more contrast?
    less development time = less contrast and more development time = more contrast?

    I know these are basic things, I just need the clarification!
    Yep you got it in one or is it two Ask all the "bozo" questions you want I do and have learned much more here that way. Better an educated bozo than a real thicko

  2. #12
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    Excellent! Thanks folks, to quote one of our colonial friends 'Ya gotta love APUG!!'

    I think for daylight shooting I am going to stop trusting in camera metering. Having had the same muddy results from both the Praktica BX20 and the Olympus OM10, but less frequently from cameras with no meter, I think it's time to set both to fully manual (instead of shutter priority) and use my light meter a bit more!


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    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  3. #13
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    If you have a meter in your camera, and a hand held meter, use both to meter the same scene and compare the difference. If your more consistant with the hand held, add the difference to your TTL and it may help.I also find Rodinal is sometimes not the best dev. for film exposed to low contrast conditions. (please forgive me Father Morten) Check out the footnotes on http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.html I looked at Rodinal with all films and some have foot notes pretaining to low contrast conditions. Looks like it is not just time and dilution, but ISO rating when exposing, as well.

  4. #14

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    After a while Andy you will get the feel for the negs. So depending on the conditions you shoot under and the film your using you will change the times and agitation by instinct. Another good reason for processing your own negs rather than letting someone else use them. I still get it wrong occasionally but that's all part of the fun of using negs. Good luck and have to say you nailed those night shots perfectly.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy K
    Although I have been photographing for thirty years or so, I have only been developing my own film for a few months. Recently I have noticed a lot of my negatives seem to lack contrast.

    My usual method is to follow the film makers directions regarding agitation ie. for Ilford films agitate for the first minute and then ten seconds a minute thereafter and because I use Rodinal I follow Agfa's recommended development times for various film speeds.

    I always have developer, stop, fixer and rinse washes at exactly 68 degrees. I use Rodinal 1+50, Jessops Econostop stop bath at 1+4 and Jessops Econofix also at 1+4. Recently I have been using Ilford Rapid Fixer. With the same slightly 'muddy' results.

    However, after my recent foray into night photography and using a partial stand development technique I have noticed those negs have fantastic contrast. (developed for 15 minutes, agitated the first minute then 10 seconds a minute for six minutes then stood for eight minutes).

    So where am I going wrong with the other negs? Am I agitating too much or too little? Or could it be something else i am doing? (by agitation I mean tilting the tank at about a 60degree tilt in a circular rotation, put a desert spoon in a coffee mug and run its stem round the rim and you'll get the motion I mean)

    It is also a possibility the metering is off in my camera, but I have had the same muddy look (see attachment for what I mean by 'muddy') from my Praktica BX20, Olympus OM10 and Voigtlander Vito CLR, so I figure the problem must be somewhere in my developing technique.
    I think you're worrying too much :-)

    How do the shots look when printed? If they're missing detail in the shadow's you're underexposing. If the detail is there but the neg is contrasty ask youself what the light was like when the photo was shot ... Contrasty perhaps? If not maybe overdeveloped.

    I find that there is way way to much analysis going on these days, the aim (IMO) is to take a decently exposed interesting photo.

    Zone system begone :-) I use my eyes, not some method.


    Graham

  6. #16
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    Graham,

    Look at the difference in these two attachments. I get the muddy look of the first 75% of the time. I want the look of the second all the time! Not that I use any real system other than my own judgement, if the zone system helps me do that (and I am not aware of having used it yet), so be it.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbroadbridge
    I find that there is way way to much analysis going on these days, the aim (IMO) is to take a decently exposed interesting photo.
    Agree! A lot of us (myself included) worry too much. Should I rate it a bit lower, develop a bit less, another dilution, another agitation pattern et.al.
    I am about to settle on which films I will use primarily and then use more time on composition and finding interesting places to photograph.

  8. #18

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    I think worrying is natural when something is important to us, but I agree that the print is the objective. That said, getting a good neg makes it much easier to get the final print we want. Now it's back to the darkroom for me to nail a print from one of the negs I didn't get the way I wanted it and it's a swine to print it the way I want.

  9. #19

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    To up your contrast you can do the following: raise the temp. of your chemistry, agitate more often; agitate more vigorously; increase the amount of developing agent in your developer; develope. longer.


    Remember that exposure controls neg. density and developement controls contrast.

    Change only one variable at a time and don't shoot anything important while your're running your test rolls. Try to find a scene that has it all: whites, black and grays. Experiment! Film is cheap!

    It's hard to use night photos as a judge. They have plenty of contrast already.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy K
    Graham,

    Look at the difference in these two attachments. I get the muddy look of the first 75% of the time. I want the look of the second all the time! Not that I use any real system other than my own judgement, if the zone system helps me do that (and I am not aware of having used it yet), so be it.
    Well A is a bit flat and B has a bit more life.

    What were you trying to make people *feel* when you took that pic?

    As far as I'm concerned, making people feed *something* is the point.


    Anyway, have fun

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