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  1. #1

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    HAALLLPP!! Negs WAAAY too contrasty - what gives?



    Tri-x 400 shot as rated developed in hc110 at 75 degrees with a dilution of 1 + 63 for 9.5 minutes (instructions were found online) developing tank was slowly spun intermittently with one inversion towards the last minute. Fixed for 5.5 minutes using ilford rapid fixer and washed for 5 minutes - no clearing agent was used. Negatives were very purple once done - anti halation layer I believe and so I ran it through 1.5 minutes of fix again and washed for 4 more minutes. Anti halation layer still present and negs were super contrasty for scanning. Any ideas?

  2. #2

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    Assuming the girl's face is the intended subject, it looks as if the negs are under exposed. Did you use the in-camera meter? If so, maybe all of that light sneaking in from the background fooled the meter into underexposing the faces.

  3. #3

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    …and by extension, if the exposure in these photos were adjusted to land the faces on the correct value, then it looks as if the backgrounds would be quite bald. That could be overdevelopment or it could be that there is too much difference between the brightness of the face and the background for any exposure/development regimen to handle.

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Further to what jon has posted, it doesn't look to me that the contrast is too high, rather it looks to me that the scanner is struggling with a wide subject brightness range. That is a common challenge when scanning. It also makes printing in the darkroom more difficult, but I'm better at dealing with that difficulty .
    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

  5. #5

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    I think you may be right.

  6. #6

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    1st shot is underexposure. Bright light behind girl tricked meter into underexposure. Open the lens 2 stops in that situation.

    2nd shot doesn't look that bad. In that poor lighting (more back lighting) there is no real way to get the face and hair really the same value. Also, the large aperture has the face in focus while the back of the head/ hair is apparently not so in focus, which is OK and as it should be.
    Last edited by momus; 03-03-2014 at 08:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    As for the purple tint remaining, in my experience I have needed to wash further. Don't just let the sink run, use the Ilford recommended fill/agitate by lifting the spool up and down 5x then dump the water. It's been pretty obvious when the tint has started to go away with this as the water shows some color. Some of the time I need to do this cycle 15-20 times before the dump water is clear for a couple of successive cycles and the film leader is clear.

    It looks like you shot these in fairly low light levels in tungsten light, exacerbating the underexposure. I may be wrong there but it sure looks like indoor/crappy mixed light, which never really looks good on b&w film IMO.

  8. #8

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    Tri-X purple is pretty standard, isn't it? Tab-grained magenta is something else.

    Given the lighting situation- face in shade with sunlit background- the fact that you can see so much detail in the sunlit building of #1 says that the face was underexposed.
    Last edited by Dan Daniel; 03-03-2014 at 10:46 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixcinater View Post
    As for the purple tint remaining, in my experience I have needed to wash further. Don't just let the sink run, use the Ilford recommended fill/agitate by lifting the spool up and down 5x then dump the water. It's been pretty obvious when the tint has started to go away with this as the water shows some color. Some of the time I need to do this cycle 15-20 times before the dump water is clear for a couple of successive cycles and the film leader is clear.

    It looks like you shot these in fairly low light levels in tungsten light, exacerbating the underexposure. I may be wrong there but it sure looks like indoor/crappy mixed light, which never really looks good on b&w film IMO.
    I shot them both outdoors but I used my pentax om-4 and I have no idea what type of light meter it uses. I assumed center weighted - I've been shooting my FA2 recently so we'll see...

  10. #10

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    Can we see a photo of your Pentax OM-4? OK, some advice here: center weighted, averaging are just 2 words that describe the same thing. Not a nickle's worth of difference between the 2. Both are equally valid descriptions of a guess. Put somebody in the shadows with a sunlit wall behind them, and bingo--an underexposed negative, except where it's over-exposed. What I see is 2 pictures made by somebody who has not done enough homework of what their film speed is on any given camera he owns. I think they're both under-exposed.

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