Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,501   Posts: 1,543,325   Online: 921
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    17

    Tonality and negative size

    Hallo,

    I am wondering what the physical reasons are that a larger negative size yields a much imporved overall tonality of the negatives. Is it just a side effect of the fact that parts of my subject will be projected on a larger area of film, thus covering a larger amount of grain as compared to a smaller film size?

    Regards,
    Philipp

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Valley Stream, NY
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,216
    That's about it. The less magnification you need to do to get to a particular print size, the better it's going to look.
    Frank Schifano

  3. #3
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Milton, DE, USA
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    6,980
    Blog Entries
    29
    Images
    19
    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Yup. You got it. More silver halides being exposed by less of your subject area. Less enlargment needed for a particular size, hence less grain evident in that print.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    17
    Hi,

    Sorry if I was unclear in my question, but I'm interested in explaining the difference in tonality, i.e. the grey values present. Of course, if you print a small and a big negative on the same paper there will be less perceptible grain on the print coming from the bigger negative. That's a given.

    But what is a bit puzzling to me is, that if you enlarge two differently sized negatives on two sheets of paper that have the *same* size, the one coming from the larger negative will usually still look better. That is the effect I'm trying to explain.

    Regards,
    Philipp

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Valley Stream, NY
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,216
    And that's exactly what we're saying. The appearance of grain is actually the space between the grains. Enlarge it less and those spaces become less apparent. As the spaces become less apparent the tonality becomes smoother. It's really quite simple. You're thinking about it too hard.
    Frank Schifano

  6. #6
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,895
    Images
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by philipp.leser View Post
    Hi,

    Sorry if I was unclear in my question, but I'm interested in explaining the difference in tonality, i.e. the grey values present. Of course, if you print a small and a big negative on the same paper there will be less perceptible grain on the print coming from the bigger negative. That's a given.

    But what is a bit puzzling to me is, that if you enlarge two differently sized negatives on two sheets of paper that have the *same* size, the one coming from the larger negative will usually still look better. That is the effect I'm trying to explain.

    Regards,
    Philipp
    I am not sure I am understanding your question. From this it sounds like you take two different negs of different sizes and make prints of the same size from them. That implies that with similar cropping the larger negative will involve much less magnification. If you are magnifying them the same, say using the same lens, same head height, just different sized negs of the same film, I see no reason for the tonality being different.

    So, less magnification = less apparent grain = smoother gradations between gray values.

  7. #7
    JPD
    JPD is offline
    JPD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweden
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    772
    The overall tonality is generally the same on a 24x36 mm and a 4x5" negative, but there are more room for grain in the details on the larger negative (if you used a lens with the same angle). If an apple in the 24x36mm mm negative contains 1000 grains, and the same apple contains 10,000 grains in the larger negative, there will be more room for different tones on the latter.

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    West Midlands, UK, and Turkey
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    16,264
    Images
    148
    Actually all being equal and a film like APX100 it's not just about film size.

    You can get superb tonality from 35 mm films, and as long as you don't over enlarge they can sit alongside images made on 120 & LF. Of course a larger format helps but eqyally 35mm is capable of superb tonality.

    Ian

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cambridge, MA USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    895
    I agree with everything said here, but I think something's been left out.

    There is a general consensus that 35mm film should not be developed to the same extent as larger formats. That's to say, that 35mm film is generally developer to a lower CI and printed using a higher VC filter or paper grade.

    I've read in numerous places (I think the "Film Developer's Cookbook" was one) that 35mm negatives are usually targeted for a Grade 3 while MF and LF negatives are targeted for a Grade 2.

    The reasoning is that a 35mm negative is simply too small to give useful highlight separation in an enlargement of any size. I think this is caused by excessive light scatter in the negative - but I could be wrong and I don't happen to have a source handy right now that explains it. Since there's nothing much to gain from extending the development and a price in sharpness and grain to be paid, it makes sense to be conservative in the development of a 35mm neg.

    And I've found that largely true. It's certainly possible to obtain fine grain and terrific apparent sharpness from a 35mm negative at sensible enlargements - but I have never seen what I would characterize as smooth, textured highlights. Pyro helps a little, diffusion heads help a little, long-toed papers can help a little - but the differences can be substantial in even an 8x10 print with both a 35mm and 6x7 negative.

    Given the susbstitution of greater paper contrast for less development of the negative and the limited highlight gradation available in the enlargement- I would also expect the gradation to be different for a 35mm negative.

    For the record, I think most of us fall into the trap of trying to print our 35mm negatives too large. I can't tell you how many obviously lousy 16x20 prints from 35mm I've seen at places like the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

    I stick to 8x10 and 5x7 and trust that if the photo is any good at all, the viewer is willing to get closer.
    Digital Photography is just "why-tech" not "high tech"..

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,281
    Images
    20
    I think what you're asking about is the phenomenon of "local contrast." Try searching on this, and you'll find various attempts at explaining it, few entirely satisfying. A bigger negative just has more information and can convey more fine detail.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin