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  1. #21
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewDunn View Post
    I think I might be confusing tonal compression, exposure density, and what actually happens on the shoulder of an emulsion.
    Tonal compression is relative. It can be measured in density.

    Shoot two shots of exactly the same composition, under exactly the same lighting; develop one normally, develop the other -1. Pick any two subjects common in each negative, measure the difference in each negative between the two. The "-1" negative will have a smaller density difference between the two subjects. Like the shoulder, the "-1" curve is flatter, the tones are compressed compared to "normal".

    The flatter the shoulder gets the more compression.

    The advantage of compensation, flattening the shoulder early, is to avoid burn and dodge work. The disadvantage is that contrast in the highlights is lower than it would be if burned in.

    If you already get all the detail you need without compensation, there is no advantage for you to compensate.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  2. #22
    MatthewDunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    The flatter the shoulder gets the more compression.

    The advantage of compensation, flattening the shoulder early, is to avoid burn and dodge work. The disadvantage is that contrast in the highlights is lower than it would be if burned in.

    If you already get all the detail you need without compensation, there is no advantage for you to compensate.
    So this is what I don't get - don't you want to strive to keep the range of exposure of your negative more or less on the straight line portion of the film curve so that you have even tonal separation from black to white? The "by flattening the curve early, you avoid burn and dodge work" seems completely counter-intuitive to me. That seems like you would wind up with compression of highlights that needed some kind of gymnastics to show the separation. Can you explain? I am dumb...
    "Once the amateur's naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur." - Alfred Eisenstadt

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewDunn View Post
    So this is what I don't get - don't you want to strive to keep the range of exposure of your negative more or less on the straight line portion of the film curve so that you have even tonal separation from black to white? The "by flattening the curve early, you avoid burn and dodge work" seems completely counter-intuitive to me. That seems like you would wind up with compression of highlights that needed some kind of gymnastics to show the separation. Can you explain? I am dumb...
    Matthew:

    The straight line portion of the negative is potentially a lot longer than the available straight line portion of many printing papers.

    So if you have an unmasked negative with a full range of tones, you need to either:
    1) prepare a print with blocked up shadows;
    2) prepare a print with burned out highlights;
    3) prepare a print with both blocked up shadows and burned out highlights; or
    4) use some combination of masking, flashing, burning and/or dodging to display on the print the information in the negative.

    A compensating developer may give a negative that prints straight in a way that is similar to the results obtained in number 4 above.

    Remember that a lot of negatives record scenes with less than a full range of tones - you don't need compression or compensation with them.
    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

  4. #24
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewDunn View Post
    So this is what I don't get - don't you want to strive to keep the range of exposure of your negative more or less on the straight line portion of the film curve so that you have even tonal separation from black to white? The "by flattening the curve early, you avoid burn and dodge work" seems completely counter-intuitive to me. That seems like you would wind up with compression of highlights that needed some kind of gymnastics to show the separation. Can you explain? I am dumb...
    Everybody has different priorities.

    It is obvious from their work that Elliot Erwitt and Ansel Adams had very different views about the importance of sky (and shadow) detail in their work. They are both "right". I could see Erwitt being happy using compensation (I have no idea if he does or does not), but I cannot see Adams being happy with it.

    Keeping important subject matter on the straight-line gives you the option of better highlight detail separation on the print on long-scale subjects, but that has to matter to you before you need to put any effort into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewDunn View Post
    I find that a slight increase in the contrast filter (if even necessary) gets me the print that I am looking for without having to dodge and burn
    This is the key statement from you, that tells me that your normal scenes (SBR), your normal photo development, and your normal paper; are a good match. This tells me your subjects are normal, rather than long scale.

    This tells me that even using Pan-F, as long as you're metering well, your subject matter will probably fit fine.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  5. #25
    polyglot's Avatar
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    As to the original question, I think the answer is simple. DD-X is no doubt fantastic for Pan-F and being one of Ilford's better developers, it is natural that they recommend it; the problem is that DD-X is very expensive in most of the world. So few people use it that there aren't a lot of people around to recommend the specific combination. Pan-F is such a good film that you can get excellent results with simple, cheap old Rodinal; the high performance features of DD-X (good shadow detail, smooth grain with minimal loss of resolution) aren't really relevant to Pan-F users.

  6. #26
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewDunn View Post
    That seems like you would wind up with compression of highlights that needed some kind of gymnastics to show the separation.
    Two more things on this idea.

    A distinct advantage of compensation (in theory) is that it affects the highlights almost exclusively and does not affect the mid and low tones. This theoretically allows scenes with a long scale subjects to retain snappy, well separated shadows and mid-tones and allows straight printing, no burn and dodge. Worthwhile goals. Highlight separation is sacrificed/compressed purposefully (whether the users admit it or not). In exchange for "better" mid and low tone separation and easy printing they are willing to give up some detail/separation in the highlights. (I need more coffee, there is probably an easier way to say that with less redundancy.)

    A distinct limitation of compensation is that in the real world it doesn't always work as advertised. What I mean by that is that the toe of our film curve is very well defined in terms of its relationship to what our light meters tell us, but in my years here at APUG I can't remember seeing any numerical x,y data defining where a compensated shoulder starts or ends with various or any developer/film/time/temp combos that would allow anyone else to truly duplicate the effect, let alone a comparison to the standard curve to be able to tell us how big the effect is. That begs for me the question; how would I shoot to purposefully take advantage of that compensated curve and what E.I. would actually works best? I'm not saying the compensation does not work, or that it's not real; the theory actually makes sense. What I'm saying is that without hard data it's like grandma passing down one of her recipes over the phone and saying add a little salt, a few eggs, a couple handfuls of flour, add water until it has a good consistency… the details are pretty sketchy, my result is probably going to be of lower quality than grandma's.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  7. #27
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Okay, I just remembered one place I saw this theory shown. http://www.apug.org/forums/forum216/...-negative.html

    Good article, it does ask that we think differently about subject placement/E.I. to be able to use the various curve shapes.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  8. #28
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    I develop my Pan-F Plus in PMK 1:2:100. I don't get a lot of staining which was, at first, disappointing, but when I printed the negs I found they printed beautifully.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewDunn View Post
    In the short time I've been here (and a much longer time lurking), it seems that DDX is rarely recommended as a developer for Pan-F. I only note it because I believe the Ilford data sheet notes that, among liquid developers, it is the "best" for overall image quality, grain, sharpness.
    Pan F Plus and DDX are a fine combination.

    http://www.philpankov.com/-/philpank...le.asp?ID=1420

    However, I found D-76 diluted 1+1 is also very good for Pan F Plus.

  10. #30
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I just finished toning two prints of old negatives. One from a Pan-F+/Rodinal 1+50, and another Efke KB50/Rodinal. Great films. The Efke has less grain, but isn't as sharp to the eye.
    They are just 6x9" prints, so pretty small.

    I'm sure a neg processed in DDX would have been equally nice, but probably with slightly more highlight contrast.
    "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

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