It's not just dye clouds. All film has a certain amt of mfg zits and blemises which show up at higher
levels of magnification, esp on open skies or low contrast areas of skintone. If you shoot a grainy
35mm film for the sake of conspicuous grain, these might not show up. But nothing is more miserable
or monotonous than spotting, whether done manually or in PS. Those old Kodak ads gave me a kick
when they advertised "4x5 quality using 35mm film", referring to the introduction of Tech Pan film with a low-contrast developer. Yeah, you could get a lot of detail, but every area of homogenous
tone in a large print would be specked with random zits too. I recently optically enlarged a 6x7
Ektar shot to 20X24 and had the same issue. Much of this doesn't show up on an inkjet print because they aren't all that sharp to begin with. In the old days, the pro labs kept someone on payroll who did virtually nothing else than spot portrait prints all day long. Not a career I'd care for!
Tell me about spotting in PSHOP. <*groan*> Four hours despecking a 6x17cm tranny, multiply that by six. And they say d***** is the future. No thank you.
But nothing is more miserable
or monotonous than spotting, whether done manually or in PS.
Isn't Trent Parke of Magnum a devotee film noir using Tech Pan film? I don't know for sure, I seem to recall his name and something Kodak in the same sentence a long time ago.
I took a couple of 6X7's to Maui last year, one with Ektar film in it, the other with b&w film. It's a damn poor substitute for 4x5 film but I had a reason. I wanted to get up on Haleakala looking down on all the wild clouds from above. I got exactly the atmospheric conditions and color of light that I was hoping for, but also the inevitable high winds which would have turned a view camera into a kite. Just for the hell of it I printed a 20X24 CDUII print from one of the Ektar negs, and properly
plus-masked it for holding full contrast. Nice image, but I spent about two hours spotting the sky in
each print. Photoshop spotting would have worked better, but still been a pain in the butt, and I
can't stand the look of most digital prints for crisp high-contrast subject matter, maybe certain other
stuff. Besides, I've got my color darkroom and no incentive to change. With large format film the
amt of spotting on that size print would have been essentially zero.
You know, spotting is one of the things, I prefer to do digitally. Your transparency/negative is only exposed for a short time, and then it can safely go back in it's sleeve or box. You work all your spotting magic on a copy, which can then be sent to a lab, for a spot-free print to be made.
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
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The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....