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Thread: Flat

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Large Format
    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings
    And thus the myth of "pushing", right?
    Pushed film never has the appropriate contrast or shadow detail, in my opinion. While increased development will affect film speed and exposure to a certain extent, densitometric tests don't indicate that it is on the order of the magnitudes that some propose.

    There are of course, situations where underexposing and overdeveloping will be the only alternative to not achieving an image. There are trade offs in these situations. There is no free lunch.

  2. #22
    gainer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    Exactly. Perfection XR-1 was supposedly a true push developer, but I never used it. The one thing which does increase effective speed is semi-stand development. If I'm going to be developing that way I'll rate my TMax at 400 instead of 200, but that technique is only aesthetically viable for certain types of subject matter.
    Every time I see this satement, I wonder how it is done. I suspect that each photographer has a personal way of rating film, but the procedure is never specified. I wonder how it happens that "box speed" works for the way I use it, but not for many if not most others.

    The ancient rule, even older than I, was "expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights" so I set my exposure meter at 4 times the box speed and read what is often called Zone III. I don't always have the luxury of shooting a whole roll of film on the same scene brightness range, but the shadows are taken care of by the exposure and the highlights by printing contrast, sometimes by burning. IMHO, the wide range subjects can be dull when a straight print fits the paper range, so need dodging and/or burning no matter how you develop the negative. If you develop to get the scene on grade 2, you often find that you need grade 3 with burning in of the highs.

    Enough lecturing from me.
    Gadget Gainer

  3. #23
    c6h6o3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Large Format
    Quote Originally Posted by gainer
    Every time I see this satement, I wonder how it is done.
    I'm not sure which statement you mean, but if you're referring to how I rate the film I just set the meter on either 200 or 400 and read the shadows. I then place the Zone IV mark on my Zone VI-modified spot meter next to whatever number I just read. Then I check to see where the highlights fall at this setting and develop the film accordingly after I make the picture. How did I arrive at the 200 setting? It's the one that consistently yields the best prints on the paper I use.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Daventry, Northamptonshire, England
    Quote Originally Posted by hammy
    I shot and developed a roll of HP5 today (35mm). My photos have all come out very "flat" looking.

    I've never taken shots on an overcast day. Today was very overcast.
    In overcast situations, is this flatness just plain unavoidable?
    Are there any ways or tricks to improve this (ie: Shooting techniques, developing)?
    Assuming this thumbnail as a scan would turn out exactly like this as a print, I'd just try increasing the print contrast to see what improvement that gave you. This shot looks almost identical to a print I deliberately did at grade 1 to see what would happen. I was amazed at the amount of flat grey veiled look it produced.

    It required grade 4 eventually to suit my taste. The difference was substantial. It's worth "wasting" 4-5 prints just to see what effect the different grades have on the print. You only need to do it once and that way you can have a permanent comparison stuck to your darkroom wall.

    Most printing books recommend this as an exercise for a beginner. I am sorry I didn't follow this advice sooner.


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