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  1. #11
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Calculating your own film speed is not an easy task and bracketing as has been suggested here is certainly not the way to go. You are bound to get one exposure correct in the bracket but depending on the contrast range in the subject you are not certain to give the film the correct development. The factors that govern the quality of information on the negative are both exposure, which determines how much information you get in the shadows, and development which controls contrast and the density of the highlights. hence the old addage "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights"

    The Zone System is one way to go but it can get complicated and is not necessarily the best way for 35mm or roll film. The subject of personal film speed is quite involved and too long to explain in simple terms here and I ask your indulgence, for I would suggest that you have a look at my book, Creative Black and White Photography where I have given a detailed, but relatively simple description of working out your own film speed and how to deal with extreme high or low contrast situations. Please forgive the plug for the book for I don't believe that members of photographic forums should use them for personal publicity.

  2. #12
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    I do not mean to step on Les's toes. One other website that has some information regarding this is Barry Thornton's website. http://www.barry-thornton.co.uk/pfs.htm refers to the task of finding your own film speed. Read this article after you read the article on the zone system on the same website.
    Cheers, Shesh

    Not to know what happened before one was born is always to be a child - Cicero

  3. #13

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    There are actually several sites and many books that discuss personal film speed. Know because I went through this earlier this year, it is not hard to do, but requires preparation, attention to details and burning some film up on test shots. Les, I don't feel that you were plugging your book at all (keep looking for it, quess I will have to order it)..the whole concept of a personal EI is something some grasp and other do not - at leat right away.

    Since I do not have Les's book, I can't say if his explanation is easier than some of the ones I have seen...some become way to complicated. LooK around, find an explanation that makes sense to YOU and then go for it ...it is the basic building block for exposure/film development and printing.

    Good Luck..
    Mike C

    Rambles

  4. #14
    gma
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    Please excuse the long pause between replies. I was just looking over the comments again and I noticed that you use Ilford Delta 100 film. I think traditional grain films are better for pushing and pulling than the "T grain" emulsion films. Precise exposure and development are critical to obtain good negatives with the "T grain" films. Traditional emulsion films such as Ilford FP4 or HP5, Kodak Tri-X, J&C Classic 200 or 400, EFKE 100 or Foma 400 can be pushed and pulled easily for better and more consistent results in my opinion.

  5. #15
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    The film speed that is appropriate for you depends on the shape of the characteristic curve, how you do your metering, and what you expect to see in a print. Bracketting exposures for a given test scene will show you how to develop when you shoot a scene with that same brightness range. Your tests for film speed thus should include a set of bracketted exposures for each of a set of scene brightness ranges.
    Gadget Gainer

  6. #16
    Helen B's Avatar
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    Patrick's brief reply is the best explanation I have ever read - so complete, and only three sentences. The first sentence is a gem that should replace the inadequate 'Expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights'.

    Best,
    Helen

  7. #17
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    One advantage of the chromogenic films (XP2, etc) is that you can expose at different exposure indices on the same roll and usually get good to satisfactory results. At 100 you get finer grain but less sharpness, at 800 you have better stopping ability for action but slightly increased grain, etc. These films print very similar to conventional films.
    John Harvey
    Colorado Springs, CO
    harveyje@usa.net

  8. #18
    Juraj Kovacik's Avatar
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    It is only my opinion, but I like Delta 100 at 100. It is a great film. I've used it at 200 and 50, but at 100 it fit me best. I develope it in ID 11, slightly, very very slightly below rewcomandet time. JK

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