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  1. #1
    Bobby Ironsights's Avatar
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    pushing film HARD!

    Hi guys!

    When I started photography I was obsessed with lack of grain, tonal scale and blah blah blah.

    Well, now I've changed my ways, and I've ignored that last roll of ISO25 in the bottom of the fridge for months.

    Instead, I've started pushing my film to take photo's in low light situations like get togethers with my friends, and started to enjoy (perversely) that grainy photojournalism look.

    So, the only real data I've got is Anchell's cookbook, and it worked quite nicely.

    I pushed a roll of arista 400 to 800, and a roll of tri-x 400 to 1600.

    My negatives were overly dense, if anything. I realise now that it should be easy to push the arista 2 stops, and the tri-x 3.

    But anchell stopped with 3 stops in new tri-x.

    Now I'm curious, just how fast CAN film be pushed and still get a useable image?

    Iso 6400?, ISO 12800? ISO 25,600? ISO 50,200?

    How fast is TOO fast? And is there a limit with my D-76/tri-x 400 combo

    This isn't idle foolishness, I'm really interested! (so it's non idle foolishness)

    I know I may have to do some personal testing, but I'd rather not re-invent the wheel if I can help it.

  2. #2
    Mark Antony's Avatar
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    If maximum EI is your goal, then a film like Kodak T-Max 3200 (TMZ) can be pushed in XTOL to EI 25,000 (19 mins) Ilforld Delta 3200 can also be pushed to 12,500 if processed in DD-X or Microphen (17 min).
    I have pushed TMZ to 12,500 and the results were OK, I have a little test of TMZ at 3200 here:
    http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/200...-max-3200.html
    If maximum grain 'photojournalist' look is what you want then Tri-x will get you there at 3200 in D-76/ID11 but I prefer TMZ/Delta the Delta has better tone with more grain IMHO.
    test:
    http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/200...elta-3200.html
    Mark

  3. #3

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    I've often wondered if it were really possible to 'push' film. Certainly, film can be over-developed. However, if the initial exposure was not enough to reach the film's minimum exposure threshold, all that will happen is the density will build up in areas which are above the threshold but not below it.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by panchro-press View Post
    I've often wondered if it were really possible to 'push' film. Certainly, film can be over-developed. However, if the initial exposure was not enough to reach the film's minimum exposure threshold, all that will happen is the density will build up in areas which are above the threshold but not below it.
    you can use extremely dilute developer to combat this, though

  5. #5

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    My negatives were overly dense, if anything. I realise now that it should be easy to push the arista 2 stops, and the tri-x 3.

    When pushing expose for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may, but pushing will increase base fog so the negative may look dense.

    Iso 6400?, ISO 12800? ISO 25,600? ISO 50,200?

    I tested TMAX 3200 in Acufine, Clayton F76, and Edwal 12, I was able to push to 25,000 with Acufine, 3200 in Clayton and Edwal 12. Tri X to 3200 in Acufine. A year or so someone posted that he pushed Tri X in Dinafine to 3200 by running it though A and B a second time after a long wash. I have not tired this tech but may be plausible.

    How fast is TOO fast? And is there a limit with my D-76/tri-x 400 combo

    I think tri-x and D76 will work at 800 or perhaps 1600 but I dont know if D76 is the best choice for pushing, I would try a couple of developers that were developed for max film speed such as Acufine or Dinafine. Xtol gets good reviews for pushing. In the 70s I pushed TriX in Rodinal to 3200, a very distintive look when printed on grade 4 paper.

  6. #6
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Maybe you could do a combination of hypering and push processing.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  7. #7
    kman627's Avatar
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    A while back I pushed Neopan 400 to 3200 in HC-110 Dilution B for 18 and had very minimal grain. I think I could have easily gone 6400 or 12500 and had reasonable grain. Shadow detail was pretty null, but the negs were not too dense and printed easily. So far though it only seems to work with 3200, I tried pushing neopan 400 to 1600 and 800 and both times there was far more grain than at 3200, very strange. I'll soon try 6400.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2008904331_8980ac549c.jpg   2000988960_6c8f6fd875.jpg  

  8. #8
    Murray@uptowngallery's Avatar
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    There is a guy on rangefinderforum.com who has been pushing film into the 5-figure range.

    Whether it meets the definition of pushing or not I can't argue, but there are some threads there about how he does it .

    I think he uses very dilute Rodinal and what someone else labeled accelerated stand development - basically long development time with long-spaced agitations that are more like normal development agitation.

    He'll answer questions if you can find him.

    His avatar has a tagline something like 'I'm your pusher'.
    Murray

  9. #9
    CBG
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchro-press View Post
    I've often wondered if it were really possible to 'push' film. Certainly, film can be over-developed. However, if the initial exposure was not enough to reach the film's minimum exposure threshold, all that will happen is the density will build up in areas which are above the threshold but not below it.
    There's always an argument over whether pushing involves a change of speed or whether it is just over-developing. I'm not sure it's not a very useful argument. Whatever you call it, additional development takes an abbreviated subject scale - abbreviated by minimal exposure - and boosts it to make a more standard density scale on the negative.

    In this case it sounds like the OP also may enjoy the graphic effects that vigorous development can create.

    Both are valid goals, even if many attempts to use them fall short. The best work resulting from seriously pushed processing validates the process.

    C

  10. #10

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    You often read threads about people pushing film to 25000, or whatever crazed speed, and I always wonder the same thing: How were they metering? Unless I know what they were metering for, I don't buy the claims. We've all seen what happens to shadow detail when you push more than 3 stops; it just disappears. I'm not a big zone system guy, but you show me what zone V looks like at ISO 25000. Pretty garbage, is my bet.

    Regardless of that, I too like the look of pushed film much more than the lazy tonality of a overexposed / underdeveloped photo. Grain and contrast appeal to me. Tri-x at 800 or 1600 in hc110 is right up my alley. I push more for the look than I do for the boost in speed. I reckon if you're shooting in light that requires iso 25000, than you're better off getting a fast lens like a noctilux, and shoot wide open. Or grab a tripod. Or learn to shoot at 1/8. That sort of thing.

    It is a wonderful revelation, though, when you realize that grain and tonality are not the end all and be all of an image!

    Good luck,

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