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  1. #1
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Barnbaum - Zone IV Shadows

    I know Barnbaum advocates placing shadows on Zone IV, and also cutting the ASA in half for standard developers. So, he is essentially saying, "for an ASA 400 film, set your meter on ASA 100, and place the shadows on Zone III."

    From there, you would want to develop a Normal neg so that you maintain the same optical density spread between Zones III and VIII, which is 0.91, only now your Zone III is around .54, Zone VIII is around 1.45, giving you tons of shadow detail.

    I am testing several films (TX400, HP5, and TMY, FP4) with XTOL, and I was wondering if this technique would lead to blocked highlights. Barnbaum says most modern films don't shoulder off, but I figured I'd ask the experts.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

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    TMY won't shoulder (at least not if developed in Pyrocat-HD).

    I guess I should state that I have never had that combination blow the highlights out.

    Of course your tests will answer your question for you.
    Best,
    John Bowen

  3. #3
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I've not found a shoulder in normal use of TMY or the -2 version in T-Max RS. I have at least one 4x5 neg where I forgot to stop down resulting in three stops overexposure from what I intended and I had metered at 200 yet that negative turned out to be my favorite of that subject that day.

    This sort of generous exposure WILL increase grain though. This doesn't matter to me with TMY in 4x5 and matters little with most other films and medium format but it starts to matter in 35mm or if you make large prints.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto View Post
    I know Barnbaum advocates placing shadows on Zone IV, and also cutting the ASA in half for standard developers. So, he is essentially saying, "for an ASA 400 film, set your meter on ASA 100, and place the shadows on Zone III."

    From there, you would want to develop a Normal neg so that you maintain the same optical density spread between Zones III and VIII, which is 0.91, only now your Zone III is around .54, Zone VIII is around 1.45, giving you tons of shadow detail.

    I am testing several films (TX400, HP5, and TMY, FP4) with XTOL, and I was wondering if this technique would lead to blocked highlights. Barnbaum says most modern films don't shoulder off, but I figured I'd ask the experts.
    Tri-X 400 will shoulder off. Bruce uses Tri-X P 320 which will not shoulder.
    Mark
    Mark Layne
    Nova Scotia
    and Barbados

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I rate my tri-x at 1600 and place the shadows on VI...
    A speed index or 'rating' is applicable only to the person using it. It is non-transferable to anyone else, unless you transfer the camera, meter, shutter, lens, meter, metering technique etc...

  6. #6
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    I rate my tri-x at 1600 and place the shadows on VI...
    Haaaa. I love a good inside joke

  7. #7
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    A major limiting factor with exposure is the degree of enlargement. More so than the film shoulder. You don't have as much flexibility with the smaller formats.

  8. #8
    CPorter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto View Post
    ......... and I was wondering if this technique would lead to blocked highlights.
    Yes------underrating a film without taking provisions for controlling the highlight density on the negative with development can definitely lead to blocked highlights. The fact remains, regardless of a pronounced shoulder or not, you still have to develop the density range of the negative to fit within the the exposure scale of the paper.


    An opinion on the clip----AA must still be scratching his head in the grave to know that he was doing it all wrong all those years by not placing all shadows on Zone IV , if he had only known, what a great photographer and printer he would have become.

  9. #9

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    If he is using the long toed 320 TRi-x more exposure will shift the shadows to a steeper part of the curve for more contrast. It won't shoulder off in the normal scene contrast range. Just set the development time to maintain the negative contrast to match your paper. But I'm not sure this is needed for the other normal toed films. Tmax even has a shorter toe and should have good shadow contrast without added exposure. This may be a special case based on the film he is using.

  10. #10
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto View Post
    I know Barnbaum advocates placing shadows on Zone IV, and also cutting the ASA in half for standard developers. So, he is essentially saying, "for an ASA 400 film, set your meter on ASA 100, and place the shadows on Zone III."
    Exactly, and I agree with him. You just don't get good shadow detail unless you do this (well, at least I don't). This is why I've gone back to HP5+ and development by inspection. While TMY will hold detail to well > density 2.00, you can still end up with a negative that's unprintable through excessive contrast range. I've found that with TMY I need a slow, soft working developer like Harvey's.
    Jim

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