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  1. #1

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    Under-exposed or under-developed?

    Is there a quick way of judging whether thin negatives are under-exposed or under-developed? I've just started experimenting with MF film (this particular batch is Ilford HP4 in Rodinal 1:50); the exposures were fairly long, so I was guessing at reciprocity adjustments. Also the camera is old so I'm not sure whether shutter speeds are accurate. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2

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    look at the shadows (lighter bits in the negative)... Do you have detail where you expect it (can be hard to analyse if you weren't thinking about it when you exposed it). No detail... most likely underexposed. Under developed negs will not have much in the way of dense areas. Since you used Rodinal, I'm going to say it wasn't your developer gone off!

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    And just to add to what Nige said about checking the negs for shadow detail to determine underdevelopment--

    make a contact sheet at the minimum time to reach maximum black in the unexposed area of the film, and if the results are flat, then your negs are underdeveloped.

  4. #4
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    FP4+ has an interesting reciprocity curve. You can look it up at Ilford's site. If you have underdeveloped, the images will lack contrast when printed. Underexposure will show no shadow detail in the print.

  5. #5
    wdemere's Avatar
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    I always thought that the frame counters and film type label on the edges of the film would appear faint if the film is underdeveloped. Those are pre-exposed onto the film right?
    "I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America." -- Alexis de Tocqueville

  6. #6
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdemere
    I always thought that the frame counters and film type label on the edges of the film would appear faint if the film is underdeveloped. Those are pre-exposed onto the film right?
    True. They are a good indication of what has happened - but they are not extremely accurate.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    True. They are a good indication of what has happened - but they are not extremely accurate.
    I always look at those but so often I rate the film at half speed and develop accordingly at which time my images are very good and the lettering is at mid density. If the lettering is strong and your image is weak - I'd say underexposed.



 

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