How to develop Delta 3200 at EI 12800?
Last night I was at a jam at a bar, photographing my brothers band. I had a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 in the camera. Wanting to get some face shots, I put on my 135mm lens, but to get a decent shutter speed, I had to underexpose 3 stops with my meter at 1600 (which is the maximum of my meter).
So it seems I have shot the film at an EI of 12800 (+/- a stop here and there)
I will be developing this film in HC-110. Does anyone have an idea for a developement time and an agitation regimen? Massive dev chart has nothing, and neither does the inside of the film packet...
Is there any advantage to using Dilution A instead of B, other than a shorter dev time?
Many thanks to all who answer
I myself would use Dilute A in this mess. One trick you can use, if you care to do so, is to use HC110 Replenisher as a developer. No matter what you do, you are going to be lucky to get a useable neagative. Eastman publishes a formula for a home brew developer for maximum emulsion speed. That would be my first choice; plus incantations to Odin.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
I would really hate to have to buy or mix a new developer, since I really like HC-110, and hopefully this will be the only time a mess like this happens. If I do dev it in Dil A, how long would you think it should take? 30 mins?
To me, a useable negative in this situation would be anything that shows an image. Grain and contrast be darned.
And yes, incantations sounds reasonable, and perhaps a small sacrifice of livestock ;-)
Everything depends on how accurate your metering was.
Your film is ISO 1000. That means if you exposed it at 12,800, you are automatically 3-2/3 stops underexposed across the board; every tone, every picture. You can go ahead and assume that this is four stops for sake of simplicity. Look at that this way: assuming ideal metering methods (spot meter and tonal placement), everything that should have been a skin tone at zone V or VI is now totally without detail at zones I or II. Things that fall at these densities cannot be pushed any notable amount, and certainly cannot regain detail.
However, there is hope, because you never know what happened when using an in-camera meter in such a situation. Your camera was likely overexposing and underexposing all over the place, so you may be able to get something out of the roll.
In other words, you are hoping that your metering was "bad", and you overexposed some shots.
It is a tricky situation. It's hard to figure out what to do. You know you won't be able to push extremely underexposed tones, and pushing will just add contrast and grain and mush things up. Yet if anything came out well exposed enough to push, the push *would* help.
Therefore, I think what you need to to is decide what to do based on the contrast at the show. If it was the kind of low light that was very flat, push away and see what you get. The contrast won't hurt you. If it was the kind of low light that is very contrasty, I would take care not to push too much, as it will just add unneeded and unprintable contrast, which could ruin a shot that *did* happen to be a usable exposure.
I expose Delta 1000 when I want a very flat image or when I want to place tones. I expose it at 2000 when I want to up the contrast one grade across the board, and 4000 when I want to up the contrast two grades across the board. I never really meter in situations in which I would need to use 8000 or 16000. I just shoot at whatever I can get away with, develop more than I do for 4000 and see what I get, then plan on using intensification and/or "extreme" printing to salvage what I can.
The key is knowing the film, and not expecting something from it that it cannot do. When I know I am going to extremely underexpose like you did, I shoot things that would be better suited to a graphic, grainy image with abnormal contrast.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 04-03-2009 at 03:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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I remember seeing referrences into producing really high ISO with Tmax 3200, even up to ISO 64,000 iirc. Reference Kodak's Tmax film techpub. They list for a development of ISO 12,500 and up to ISO 25,000 with Tmax developer and XTOL at a higher developing temperature. This gives you a place to guestimate a comparable development with HC-110 dil. B by comparing the more nominal published ISO vlaues and development times of these developers. I personally didn't see a noticeable difference in the final results between my tests of Xtol vs. HC-110 dil. B other than HC is a more of an energetic developer(slightly shorter dev time) producing a similiar amount of grain so, I don't think changing to another developer is required for this.
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Truth be told I didn't meter very much. I used the maximum aperture of the lens, and the minimum shutter speed I can get away with handheld, which is 1/125th of a second. A few test measurements along the way showed me that with my meter at ISO 1600, I was three stops under. But I never changed any settings on the entire roll.
Aperture of f/3.5 and shutter speed of 1/125th of a second under a few dark red stage spot lights on the entire roll. I would say the lighting had a very pronounced contrast, the stage was barely lit except for the red spotlights on the performers faces.
I was planning to scan the negs and email them to the performers, I do not "need" to make prints of them, unless of course there's a spectacular shot in there somewhere. (not likely) Will that make a difference in what's good developing?
it would be interesting to tell us what metering mode your camera has. Let's say, for the sake of the argument, that you have center weighted metering. The meter sees the performers (bright, lit by spotlights) and the background (very dark), then makes a guestimate that the scene is very dark and suggests longish exposures. The truth is that you might be able to process it as if it was shot at 6400 ISO, in other words one stop less than your estimated 12800. Now, honestly, I don't know if matrix metering would be more effective in a situation like that, but I assume that it might be fooled as well. Spot metering is the way to go for such cases...
Hi. The camera is an Olympus OM-1n, I believe it has average metering?
Center weighted metering then, easily fooled by the lighting conditions. I'd say develop as if it was shot at 6400 ISO.
That sounds reasonable.
I have developed another film from that night, metered and dev'ed at 3200, same model of camera but with a faster lens. It came out pretty balanced regarding darkness/lightness. It was also shot at 1/125th speed but with an aperture of f/1.4 instead of f/3.5.
I'll go for 6400 and see what happens. I really hope that all the frames aren't blank. Should I post a link here to the scans, when I'm done?
Oh, and do I still go for 10 seconds of agitation every minute?
Thank you everyone