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  1. #31
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by markbarendt
    I'd suggest shooting a single roll of a single subject with a mid-tone reference (a face or gray card or...) under unchanging light starting at maybe 4 stops under and bumping up in 1-stop increments to 5 stops over, 10 shots total. Develop normally then print "to the mid tone" so that the mid tone matches in all ten prints.


    Forgive me for being the new kid on the block, but this doesn't make sense to me. Can you help me out with a bit more explanation?


    Mark's suggestion will give you 10 negatives of the same scene. Each will record the mid-tone reference in a different density.

    When you print those 10 negatives, you can adjust your printing time in order to render the reference the same tone on each of the resulting prints. So the reference mid-tone will look the same on each of the prints. The other tones in the scene will look different though, and it is your observation of those tones that will tell you what exposure to use for the most pleasing results.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Mark's suggestion will give you 10 negatives of the same scene. Each will record the mid-tone reference in a different density.

    When you print those 10 negatives, you can adjust your printing time in order to render the reference the same tone on each of the resulting prints. So the reference mid-tone will look the same on each of the prints. The other tones in the scene will look different though, and it is your observation of those tones that will tell you what exposure to use for the most pleasing results.
    Ah, got it. That makes it clear to me! Thx, Mark and Matt!

  3. #33
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    Started with Tmax 100/D76 and a Pentax K1000 myself. Very easy to learn on. Moved up to a Nikon N2020 for auto-focus... quickly decided after comparing them that my Nikon FM2n was a lot more fun for me to use. I have to send it out to get repaired though. So, my advice would be to choose one camera for your main shooting and keep a similar camera for a backup if you have access to something like that. Depending on whatever it is you're using. I also have a Yashica T4 on the side for more simple shooting.

    Also, I have samples of Rodinal and HC110 to test out. Have never tried either, strangely enough.

  4. #34
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    Hi,
    As said before: Tri-X and D76 is a traditional combination. You can't go wrong and there is a lot to learn about/with it.

    Just a few remarks:
    1)There are several threads here about Kodak as a company changing and selling parts. I don't want to start an OT discussion here (see all the other threads) but there is a possibility that Tri-X might get discontinued or taken over by an other company (changing the formula?). So if you plan to make one film your film for years, Ilford FP4+ (ISO 60 -150) and Ilford HP4+ (ISO 400 - 800) might be a saver choiche.

    2) When I started developing film I didn't like powder developers. It didn't desolve always properly (me being clumsy) and it should be mixed best minimal one day before using it. So I switched then to Kodak HC110 because it's a liquid and can be made on the spot. Later I switched to Amaloco 74 and Rodinal.

    3) Before choosing one film "for life" I would try several films first in a small test. Try Ilford, Fomapan and Fuji also. However I'm not so sure how long Fuji will make its B&W films either.
    Buy three rolls of every interesting type and shoot these types of film in the same settings/on the same subjects. Develop all and print some images of every roll. Priting photos is a better way of testing than scanning negatives.
    Then decide what worked best for you and start to learn this type of film-developer in depth first for about a year.

    4) There is a nice website http://filmdev.org/ where you can find examples of many film-developer combinations. I used this site first for my basic "research" to find an other "standerd film" besides Tri-X and decided on testing/learning Ilford FP4+ in several devopers myself. I also checked the many threads on APUG forum and LFP forum on the quality & experiences on these films.

    5) Don't forget: whatever you choose, have fun and catch that lightbeam!

    Bert http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
    "Have fun and catch that light beam!"
    Bert from Holland
    my blog: http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
    my Linkedin pinhole group: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup


    * I'm an analogue enthusiast, trying not to fall into the digital abyss.
    * My favorite cameras: Hasselblad SWC, Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T2, Nikon F4s, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras

  5. #35
    Aron's Avatar
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    I consider suggestions for other developers than D76 or for "trying" many different films to find one's favourite to be counter productive. Before one has a firm grasp on what the process does, what certain limitations it has and finds what has to be changed to come over them no meaningful comparison can be made.

    Printing, consistency and a notebook are of key importance. A good thermometer and an incident meter (we all have our own preferences regarding metering so I'm not pushing it) will aid in consistency.

    Looking at other people's scanned results over the internet is hardly helpful. The results a scanner gives has little relevance to how a given negative will print. Judging negatives by the eye and how they scan always carries the potential for having difficulties with early negatives when one wishes to print them later.

    There is a decade of success packed in D76 and Tri-X. Buying a hundred rolls of it and lots of paper will help you stay on the right track. Worry only if it gets difficult to obtain, until then, use as much of it as you can.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewDunn View Post
    Ah, got it. That makes it clear to me! Thx, Mark and Matt!
    It will also show you your basic limits with the film.

    My guess would be that from about 1 under to about 2 over you will find that you can make good quality prints that give you basically what you expected from the scene from any of those frames. They may be so close that you can't even tell the difference.

    Depending on the subject matter and intent for a shot you might even have more room than that.

    I'm not suggesting this to encourage wild shooting, accurate shooting make printing easier and does improve quality, but understanding the limits of your film allows you to bump up against them when it is to your advantage.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  7. #37
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    A big help in this process is to get a look at other people's good negatives. It helps to see developed film that prints well to have an idea of what to aim for when developing your own negatives. Triple ditto when printing. Reference prints are a great idea, as they can show you what is possible. If you can find someone who will make/give you a reference print, be sure to get their directions on how they made it - it does you no good to look at a print of Ansel Adams' "Clearing Winter Storm" for example, if you don't know how much burning and dodging and bleaching and toning and contrast filtration went in to making it.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Originally Posted by markbarendt
    I'd suggest shooting a single roll of a single subject with a mid-tone reference (a face or gray card or...) under unchanging light starting at maybe 4 stops under and bumping up in 1-stop increments to 5 stops over, 10 shots total. Develop normally then print "to the mid tone" so that the mid tone matches in all ten prints.


    Forgive me for being the new kid on the block, but this doesn't make sense to me. Can you help me out with a bit more explanation?


    Mark's suggestion will give you 10 negatives of the same scene. Each will record the mid-tone reference in a different density.

    When you print those 10 negatives, you can adjust your printing time in order to render the reference the same tone on each of the resulting prints. So the reference mid-tone will look the same on each of the prints. The other tones in the scene will look different though, and it is your observation of those tones that will tell you what exposure to use for the most pleasing results.
    Yes, that's about it. But I would add this bit of advice: Don't use a grey card. Use something with texture, such as a towel. It is much easier to judge when there is some texture in there. Especially the three or four stops under will be difficult to tell apart from base plus fog if there is no discernable detail.

    Rodinal and HC-110 tend to produce a slightly drooped mid tone curve, which makes their shadows look a bit darker. Another way of putting it is to say that they develop to a slower film speed than D-76 and Xtol. To develop to the same mid tone contrast means essentially rating the film slightly slower, but the highlights might suffer unless you compensate for them. On the other hand, this is exactly the Rodinal "look" - sort of moody and dark lower tones. So it is kind of pointless if you use Rodinal for its "look" and then try to lift the shadows too much. In any event you can't get a Rodinal negative to look exactly the same as an Xtol one. Likewise it is not possible to make Acros look like Tri-X, although one can come close if you know what you are doing. It would be an interesting experiment, but in the general sense it defeats the purpose of having variety of materials and methods. So to obtain a "normal" curve for a developer and film combination is perhaps a better aim, "normal" in the sense of getting the look and tonality that you want from it. Consistently (goes without saying).

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    It will also show you your basic limits with the film.
    Frightening as this would be to most people, it would also show that barring extreme subject brightness ranges where the shoulder comes into play, Tri-X 400, HP5+, FP4+, Delta and TMax all have substantially the same "tonality".

  10. #40
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Frightening as this would be to most people, it would also show that barring extreme subject brightness ranges where the shoulder comes into play, Tri-X 400, HP5+, FP4+, Delta and TMax all have substantially the same "tonality".
    Yep, can be frightening until you see it work. This test does wonders for getting people to relax about their exposure settings, gets them out of the mindset that views proper exposure kinda like an right/wrong answer.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

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