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  1. #1
    eric-holmes's Avatar
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    New order placed :)

    Just placed an order for a bunch of B&W chemistry. Although I have developed before in cafenol, I have never used true chemicals. I am really looking forward to it. I ordered 3 rolls of HP5, 35mm. Any special way you would recommend shooting this? I assume I will shoot one roll at box speed but I am undecided about the other rolls right now. My last roll was T-Max 400 pushed to 1600.
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    Minolta X-370, Kodak Autographic, Ciroflex TLR, Argus C3 rangefinder.

  2. #2

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    You are in the decision place - do I sacrifice one roll to find out exposure and development, or shoot a roll of usable images and roll the dice? With the former, you pick a good subject, and shoot a whole roll, tripod, consistent light (cloudless sun is best), making, in sequence, 3 or 4 bracketed shots, over and over again. Then, go to the darkroom, cut the roll into 3 sections, in the dark. Each section will have at least one of each of the bracketed sets. Determine 3 development times which bracket the recommended time for this film and developer. If you have a tank big enough for 3 reels, then start with one, then add one at the right time (maybe during an agitation cycle), then the third, so that when you take them all out, you have three development times, each one having all exposures. The result will be a nice matrix of all combinations. Spend an afternoon in the darkroom, and find the one you like.
    Or - shoot one roll at recommended exposure and development, figuring it will be at least printable, and then tweak it from there.

  3. #3

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    In a variation of what George has suggested, I would: take a meter reading off an 18% gray card at box speed in constant light, click off a couple of frames with the lens cap on, bracket + about 3 stops down to the original reading by half stops then the original, then to - three stops by half stops. Develop to mfg's recommendation. Make a test print from the unexposed frame to see where the black first stops. Cut the paper you print on into pieces and with a pencil on the back of each one write the exposure (ie +1 etc.). Expose each at the time you found the black stops. The one that comes out 18% gray is your personal ISO for that film/chemistry/paper combo. From there you can modify to taste. You have a standard to work from. For example, if the closest gray print is different than the original reading off the gray card your system perhaps shutter speed is not what you think it is. That way you can adjust for it and get properly exposed negatives.

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  4. #4
    jp498's Avatar
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    I'd bracket the first roll over and under a stop, three total of each subject. Shoot some high contrast scenes, low contrast scenes, normal contrast scenes, scenes with important shadow detail, scenes with important highlight detail. Then develop. Every combination of film and developer will have different results and you need to pick what you like.

  5. #5
    eric-holmes's Avatar
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    I appreciate the responses, but I think they might be a little more advanced than where I currently stand in my film en-devour. I was thinking more along the lines of shooting a roll at box speed (400), one roll at 800 and developing for 800 and the last roll shot at 200 and developing for 400.

    I was also trying to think about what to do while developing. Whether or not to mix my developer in a 1.1 solution and what the difference would even be.
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    Minolta X-370, Kodak Autographic, Ciroflex TLR, Argus C3 rangefinder.

  6. #6

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    The last line in my original post - "shoot one roll at recommended exposure and development, figuring it will be at least printable, and then tweak it from there." is still an ok place to start, if you want to simplify things. What I mean by tweaking from there is, next roll, vary exp or dev based on shortcomings of the first roll.

    Why do you want to shoot at 800, which basically underexposes by one stop from box speed, or two stops under if you wind up with 200 as your norm? Do you know you will need this? (eg. low lighting conditions, or high shutter speed requirements)

  7. #7
    eric-holmes's Avatar
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    Slightly dark conditions and I like the was the film looks with slightly more contrast and grain. I thought my t-max came out pretty cool looking when pushed to 1600.
    http://www.ericholmesphotography.com
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    Minolta X-370, Kodak Autographic, Ciroflex TLR, Argus C3 rangefinder.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by eric-holmes View Post
    Although I have developed before in cafenol, I have never used true chemicals.
    So are you implying the components of Caffenol are false chemicals?

    Seriously, the speed to shoot at will depend on what developer you intend to mix with those chemicals. For example, if you just ordered PPD and Glycin, then you'd better expose well below box speed. But for typical developers, I suggest shooting a roll at box speed and developing with the suggested time, examining the results, and modifying things from there.

    Mark Overton



 

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