I "accidentally" printed a negative today which was "Mortensoned": Exposed for the highlights, developed until the fog started getting visible (by inspection).
It's great. That's all I'm willing to say about it right now
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
You do realize you're going to have to post it now?
Originally Posted by Ole
"Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."
Of corse - but it's going in the print exchange first. Then, when I get back from the North Sea in two weeks' time, I'll see if I can "uncrash" the PC that my scanner's connected to. And the there's the unavoidable disappointment in seeing a BIG LF picture reproduced on a squinty little screen...
Originally Posted by garryl
I'll give it a try
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
While we're on Mortenson, why did he develop cold? Is there some advantage to doing stand development in the refrigerator? Does it delay the onset of fog? Is it possibly something only applicable to the very different films of his era?
I've found I actually prefer stand hot with films that can take it. I do my TMY pushes as 20-25 minutes stand in 1:1 Xtol at 90-95F, works great, a little fog but zero speed loss. Delta 3200, however, seems to lose speed into the fog at anything over 68F, even at 15 minutes.
Having read this thread and the Mortenson article on unblinking eye, one question stands out for me. Could this be one path to one of my holy grails of shooting available light, handheld, with my graflex in the EV range of what would be 4-8 at iso100 using a shutter speed no slower than 1/30. With my 4.5 lens, that means that I need an effective film speed of around 250 at the high end, but at the darker end, I'd calculate I'd need a probably unachievable exposure index of 8000.
Given the absence of LF film >iso400, would it be reasonable to say that the Mortensen method might be one way to find out what my greatest working exposure index between 240 and 8000 might be? Is the goal with this method to develop the film as long as possible until just before you get to an unacceptable level of base + fog?
I do development by inspection fairly often, but I haven't the slightest idea how one judges b+f before the film is cleared. This leads me to believe that maybe a series of time/temp tests are in order to establish a baseline, after which DBI is used for routine development to know just when to pull a given neg. Am I on track so far?
I figure I could shoot a stack of 4x5s of a 21-step wedge on a light table, putting zone V at step 11 at ei 800 or so, then cold/stand processing it as described, pulling a sheet about once every half hour starting at one hour and comparing the b+f of all of them once they're dry. A little challenging to do without an actual densitometer, but this might also be my excuse to get the method of substituting a spot meter down.
Does this sound like anywhere near an adequate way of determining what my maximum speed would be with Mortensen method would be?
Final question (for this post, anyway) -- what kind of film would likely yield a higher effective speed: the one with the highest ISO rating, or the one with the lowest base + fog?
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I've found that most modern films/developers do very little after a half-hour or so. When I tested max push shadow speed a few months ago I found the 400s grouped pretty close, with HP5 generally 1/4 stop ahead, Tri-x 1/4 stop behind, D400 and TMY in the middle. I've been happy with stuff I've shot at 4000 on TMY (my choice of 400s because I mostly shoot available darkness on 6x9, where grain and acutance are a bigger deal than 1/4 stop of shadow speed.) Stand/other compensating development seemed to offer no shadow speed advantage vs. more mainstream options, but allowed max possible shadow speed without sending the highlights into orbit. T-Max RS developed around 15 minutes offered a tiny bit more shadow speed than everything else I tried (Xtol 1:1 stand, Microphen, Speedibrews, Acufine) but gave truly horribly blown highlights. Microphen gave the best highlight control, but I liked the grain and acutance of the dilute Xtol better.
Originally Posted by kwmullet
I shot multiple sets of step wedge on 35mm, 6 shots per set, opening the camera in the dark to cut a slit between sets. I had a scale below the target that I marked the EI on by moving a piece of black tape. I developed strips from several different films on one reel in whatever the developer du jour was. A little more work, but a lot less film than burning a sheet of 4x5 for each test.
The only film I had trouble with losing speed into the fog was D3200, and it was definitely temperature related. But none of the others did this--TMY and TMZ worked great at 20 minutes stand in Xtol 1:1 at 95F. A little more fog, but resolving the same steps they did at 30 and 45 minutes at 72F.
Hello, I'm new here so I hope this is acceptable, could not pass this one up. I have Mortensen's "on the negative" in front of me.
1) Does anyone still use the Mortensen method? Everyone since the 50's does, Kodak took it to heart and changed the film speeds and development times to slightly under expose and slightly over develope, giving the max. spread to the highlights and mid-tones without blocking-up. They took f/64 to heart with the diffusion enlarger.
2) Meter for the highlights and develope to 'gamma infinity'. Makes perfect sense, it gives the max. density range to the negative that the paper can handle but that is not what he was doing. He metered for the highess detail he wanted texture in and slightly underexposed (zone 7.5?) and developed to gamma infinity, by inspection (1 to 2 hours) with specific films and developers and printed with a CONDENSER enlarger, expecting the 'Callier" effect to block the highlights. These negatives would look weak by contact printing. He also suggested braketing by 2 stops either way as insurance.
3) He did list the films and developers this could be done with, the films this could ALMOST be done with (not to exceed 150% standard dev. times) and films this could NOT be done with, the then new Plus-X, Super-XX and Tri-X, their D-max is too high for the old papers to handle.
4) He did not say anything about cold / stand developing, gamma infinity is max. development before base/fog is increased, which would ruin the effect he was after.
5) For direct sunlight, 10 - 3, or overly contrasty backlit scenes he suggested over expose / under develope (the zone system)
6) As for the anti-christ and f/64, I guess he liked great looking girls wearing a smile, can't blame him.
All in all I guess the Mortensen method is 'to expose for the highlights and develope for the paper', works for me.
Hope it's a help, happy holidays