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  1. #11
    Ole
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    There's also been a change in the popular developers - in Europe Neofin Blau and Rodinal were the most popular developers, but they are now facing stiff competition from Xtol and the like. Both the Neofins and (dilute) Rodinal give high acutance and coarse grain.

    Try an old film (EFKE KB100 was a fast film when it was called ADOX KB100) and a sharp developer (Neofin was originally formulated to get the best possible results with the ADOX films). Forget T-Max, Delta, and even Tri-X and HP5+. Certainly forget about D-76, Xtol, and all other "compromise" developers. Go for Neofin, Beutler's, or FX-1. They will all give about one stop more speed, which is great when the light is poor. Don't overdevelop, but use a harder paper grade instead.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  2. #12

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    Chris, read Image Clarity by John Williams for answer to your question.

    I'm most influenced by the West Coast photographers (Adams, Weston et al). They were rebelling against those who thought photography should emulate other art forms. Today, Photoshop is the easy way to emulation. The strength of film photography (B&W) has been the clarity of image & tonal range. On occasion, you can create a print that transcends the rendering of the subject; then the print becomes an object. Shortcuts - grain, cross-processing film, etc. - are available to those who want to achieve the print as object goal.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  3. #13
    gma
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    Tri-X and just about every other film emulsion made by a major manufacturer is different than 40 years ago. As I understand, the principal differences are reduced silver content, finer grain and reduced development times. I think there probably are many, many subtle changes in film technology that we are unaware of. I am not opposed to improvements and I like to be able to produce reduced grain prints when I want. I also welcome the chance to use the European "retro" emulsions of Forte and EFKE.


    gma
    [FONT=Century Gothic][/FONT][SIZE=7][/SIZE][COLOR=DarkOrange][/COLOR] I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up!

  4. #14
    gma
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    Tri-X and just about every other film emulsion made by a major manufacturer is different than 40 years ago. As I understand, the principal differences are reduced silver content, finer grain and reduced development times. I think there probably are many, many subtle changes in film technology that we are unaware of. I am not opposed to improvements and I like to be able to produce reduced grain prints when I want. I also welcome the chance to use the European "retro" emulsions of Forte and EFKE.


    gma
    [FONT=Century Gothic][/FONT][SIZE=7][/SIZE][COLOR=DarkOrange][/COLOR] I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up!

  5. #15
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    I hope there are still some photographers who like to use film with visible grain structure when it benefits the subject. So far I have not seen any examples in the galleries. Maybe it is just that the scanners are depriving us of the real qualities of the actual prints. I believe that most people are trying to avoid the presence of grain in their work. Does anyone have an opinion?

    gma
    Might be that back then most of the enlargers were condensor types, which made for nice crisp grain images, and on top of that many photojournalists pushed thier Tri-X a good bit on a regular basis because of the unpredictable lighting and the need for a higher shutter speed to catch the action. Theres been many a football or basketball game I've shot on Tri-X at EI 1600 to 3200 developing in anything from Acufine to HC-110. All in available light as the flash was hardly able to overpower the ambient lighting. Grain was so big the pictures hardly needed a halftone screen to print on the press.

  6. #16
    David R Munson's Avatar
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    I will shoot Tri-X and develop in HC-110 until I die. Long live grain, long live celluloid!

  7. #17
    gma
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    Back in the old days a lot of 35mm photographers, press and amateur, used Tri-X exclusively to be able to get available light shots under almost any condition. I was not one of them. I always used the slowest film possible for the occasion, usually Panatomic X developed in Microdol. Also Adox KB 14 and 17.

    gma
    [FONT=Century Gothic][/FONT][SIZE=7][/SIZE][COLOR=DarkOrange][/COLOR] I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up!

  8. #18
    lee
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    shoot trix and process in hc-110 or Rodinal and make 16x20s. That ought to give you grain. Maybe process the trix in Dektol and I know that will give you grain clumps. You could shoot it (trix) at 1200 and process in D76 straight. Make 16x20s. That is how I remember film being shot in the 1960's or 1970's. YMMV.

    lee\c

  9. #19
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    I like grain. Grain can be good. Grain can also be bad. Just like everything else.



    Honestly, I cringe when I hear people refer to anything having to do with photography in terms of right, wrong, good, or bad. IMO anything can be right, wrong, good, or bad, depending on how it is used. If I'm doing a newborn shoot, with their blotchy skin and hairy backs, I'm probably going to go for grainless and smooth out the textures -- it contributes to the softness of the subject matter.

    On the other hand, when I'm shooting kids jumping on a bed with a photojournalistic approach, grain can contribute greatly to the feel I'm looking for. I just did a fashion session in which I photographed a male underwear model in the bathroom of a dilapidated building. The shots were gritty by nature, and I used Tri-X pushed to 6400 to increase that effect.

  10. #20

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    Cheryl Jacobs said...

    "I just did a fashion session in which I photographed a male underwear model in the bathroom of a dilapidated building. The shots were gritty by nature, and I used Tri-X pushed to 6400 to increase that effect."

    Cheryl...dilapidated buildings contribute to grit. I am surprised that you let the guy wear underwear this time. That may be a regressive tendency from your previous gallery posts.

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