complete newb to film - help needed please
i have just bought my first film camera (hasselblad c) after being digital for 2 years.
if anybody can answer a few questions for me it would be much appreciated!
first, what do you do with exposed film when you are out and about? how do you store it your backpack??
and, do you really have to load and unload film in complete dark?? do you have to have a changing bag??
after reading loads about b/w film, i think i will start with T-Max 400. i have read the developing tables with times / temps for this film exposed at 3200, 1600, 800 / 400.
400 & 800 have the same figures, does that mean i can meter for both ratings, develop and get both ratings on the same roll?? seems too good to be true!
No need to load and unload your mags in total darkness. Avoid direct sunlight, though. You can always turn your back to the sun. Do your best to keep the film from getting hot and humid.
Although you CAN expose film at different Exposure Indexes, with roll film it is a bit tricky because most films require different developing when exposed at different personal speed ratings.
My advice: keep it simple. One film; one Exposure Index; one film developer, for many months until you get the hang of things and the "look" of your technique.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Well, you certainly started with a top of the line camera!
1. You do not need to load and unload the camera in the dark. That's only for loading the film on developing reels. The film is on a paper strip which protects it. Upon removing a roll from the camera, make sure it is fully wound off, then there is an adhesive strip you moisten and wrap around the roll to keep it from unwinding.
2. Exposed film, as I explained above, is protected with the paper strip. Just put it in your pocket, backpack, camera bag, or whatever you use to carry your equipment and film.
3. T-Max 400 is OK, although I prefer slower films for daylight use as they are finer grain. I use Ilford FP4, ISO 125 for my daylight work. Delta 400 is for low light work, similar to the T-Max 400. I may be old fashioned, but I believe in using the slowest, finest grain film that will do the job. This must be tempered with the aperture and shutter speeds required. I would rather have a little grain than a blurry shot because I had to use too low a shutter speed. Something that comes with experience.
4. I would choose one film speed per roll, and develop for that speed. Mixing speeds can be problematic.
5. I would recommend you choose one film, one developer, and one speed, and practice with that until you get things under control and can obtain good negatives. If you keep jumping around, it will be difficult to understand what combinations do what. Once you have one combination under control, you can expand to another.
I recommend you spend time studying these forums and other forums that pertain to film and developing. Also, there is a wealth of information on the manufacturers web sites. Kodak, Ilford and others have a lot of information. We can also recommend some good books on the subject when you are ready.
All this is my opinion - others may have different ideas.
Good luck - there is so much you can do with exposing and developing your own film and then, is you get to it, printing your own pictures in a darkroom. I've been doing it for more than 60 years and still love it!
Welcome to APUG. And congrats on your new camera - you will enjoy your Hasselblad!
In each of my camera bags I keep one of the light-tight black plastic bags that photographic paper comes in. I find this a useful thing in which to store exposed rolls. It is not necessary to store the exposed films in a light tight bag, but these strong bags last for ages and also keep dust, moisture etc off the rolls when I am out and about in the weather.
You don't need to load and unload your Hasselblad in complete darkness. Just try to do it in subdued light. So if you are out in the bright sun, turn your back and load/unload in the shadow of your body. (oops - I now see that John has already given this same advice above!) The faster the film, the more subdued the light you should try to load/unload in.
Last edited by Ian David; 04-17-2009 at 07:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
wow, such good answers, and so quick as well!
thank you people.
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Others have posted good information. I've a few minor points to add:
- I like to use a "belt-and-suspenders" approach to protecting my exposed film. For 35mm, I store it in the plastic film canisters that 35mm comes in. These are rare for MF film, though. AFAIK, only some Adox films (available from Freestyle) come with such canisters. Failing that, an opaque plastic bag, as Ian suggests, sounds good. You might be able to find something else handy around the house, like a candy tin.
- Although complete darkness isn't required to load and unload a medium format camera, subdued light is a good idea. Get indoors or into the shade if possible.
- Film developing times are generally suggested starting points. Depending on where you found them, the identical EI 400 and EI 800 times for T-Max 400 may have come from different people and so may not be directly comparable. This is true even if you got them from the same source, such as Massive Dev Chart.
FWIW, the Kodak docs say explicitly that there is no need to change dev times for TMY shot at 800 and souped in T-Max developer.
In my experience however, negs come out thinner than I'd like if I don't add about 30-45 secs on film shot at 800.
I agree with the point about loading in subdued light.
Had an assistant load and unload a roll of 120 in bright sunshine on a sunny beach and it had definite fogging along the edges of the film; the first and last few frames were really badly affected.
If there isn't any shady areas, use your own shadow - load it with your back to the sun and if need be, hunch over it as well. The better protected ffrom bright sunlight when loading and unloading, the better chance it won't be fogged.