I prefer Tmax or Delta films, unless I use box speed. Haha!
Seriously though, I like the Tmax etc. but I find they have no leeway when underexposing.
Originally Posted by AndreasT
And which etc.?
And you meter how?
And you develop how?
And shoot it at EI 100, 400, ... ?
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Micheal, I am happy with the shadow detail, the information is there, as well as the highlights, usually. I suspect I'm dealing with overdevelopment. Some of the scenes I've shot have been very contrasty but many have not been. Even if I shoot in shade, when I go to print that negative, the blacks build up fast, but the highlights are blown and that's with a #2 filter. With T-Max 100 and 400, I spend a lot of time with the #00 filter, trying to burn in the highlights. My last set of negs were a a nightmare. Even with a strait #00 filter, the darks would build up in seconds, before the highlights, and that was stopped down to f/22 and f/32 on the enlarger.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
My film development is very consistent. These are the steps:
1. Develop, continuous agitation first 30 seconds, 3 inversions in 5 seconds, every 30 seconds thereafter. Always at published times.
2. Stop bath, continuous agitation, 30 seconds.
3. Fixer, 8 minutes, same agitation scheme as step 1.
4. Fill tank with water, agitate continuously for 30 seconds, repeat.
5. Perma wash for 2 minutes, same agitation scheme as step 1.
7. Final water wash. Fill and dump tank 10 times, taking 1 minute to fill tank.
8. Photo-flo and hang.
I fill two pans with 20c water and place all chemicals used in the bath. All chemicals are brought to 20c, just before I start. Water rinses are also temperature controlled to 20c.
I've got a glass calibration thermometer that I use to make sure my dial thermometer is accurate.
Chemicals in the darkroom start at 20c and may drift to 21c.
My light meter is a Sekonic L-508, calibrated by Quality Light Metric. I almost always use incident metering, pointed away from the subject, to the camera.
Last edited by kbrede; 01-20-2013 at 10:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Kenton, what type of enlarger do you use, condenser or diffusion?
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Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin
Its a Beseler 23c with a condenser head. It seems to work fine with 35mm and Tri-X negatives but when I switched to 120 all hell broke loose. But I've never tried printing anything other than T-Max in 120. The top bellows is adjusted to 6x7 and its using a different lens obviously. Those are the only change from 35mm.
Etc. means Delta and Acros. Tmax 400. Out of photographing experience and looking at my ciurves, I find that these flat grain films rise very suddenly, nothing happens then when they rise they go very straight. If you underexpose there is no detail in the shadows. My point of view. With more conventional film (especially good old Efke) the toe is gentle in its rising and with an accidentally underexposure you would still be able to salvage a bit more detail.
Originally Posted by markbarendt
For a negative to print the same on the same grade of paper when comparing a condenser and diffusion enlargers, the negatives need to have different density ranges. Because of the light is more parallel with a condenser, a greater portion bounce off the film grain effectively increasing the contrast of the negative. This is called the Callier Coefficient. If the manufacturer has only one set of development instructions, they are usually for diffusion enlargers. So, if you are following the instructions and using a condenser enlarger, you are over processing. I don't believe this is the complete answer as to your situation, but it probably plays a factor.
Originally Posted by kbrede
This is a chart from Photographic Materials and Processes that compares the required negative density ranges for different paper grades printed in both a condenser and diffusion enlarger.
There is something you wrote that is somewhat puzzling, " Even with a strait #00 filter, the darks would build up in seconds, before the highlights, and that was stopped down to f/22 and f/32 on the enlarger." Is there something about the f/Stop that you believe is significant? I think there's something in this sentence that might help solve your problem.
Have you tried making a print without any filters? What about making a printed using graded paper? Maybe your processing is off with the 120 film. A simple test sensitometric test will tell you what you're getting. BTZS explains how to do it well enough to achieve something meaningful. You can also read one of your negative. If the density range should match the paper LER and you're still getting overly contrasty prints, then it can't be the processing.
The problem here is that what you are experiencing, too contrasty with 00 filters, seems to extreme if you are correctly doing everything you say and based on your positive experience with 35mm. I think we are missing a few pieces of the puzzle.
It does sound like contrasty negatives, but it is hard to say without seeing the negatives (and the original scene) if the issue is entirely one of too much development, or if perhaps there is underexposure as well.
Originally Posted by kbrede
When you say the shadows quickly go black when printing (and you say you are closing down the lens - which should not be a variable here) it makes me suspect there may be some underexposure in addition to the obviously high contrast. Not sure. Can you possibly post a scan of a sample TMax negative?
On the other hand, there might be no problem at all with the processing if the scenes are simply high in contrast, and/or higher in contrast than the scenes you had been shooting with Tri-X. If it turns out there is simply too much contrast in the negatives plain and simple, try developing less. As you play with reduced development times you may have to give a little extra exposure. But first just start by developing less and see what happens to contrast. As Stephen noted, the manufacturer instructions for development times are typically for diffusion enlarging. They will typically recommend reducing development time by around 15% for condenser enlarging. But 15% overdevelopment would not bring you down to a #00 filter. Something strange here.
I have a few additional questions :
-Is your tank plastic or metal?
-Have you checked the temperature of the developer when it comes out of the tank?
-Are the TMax negatives relatively neutral in colour or do they have any kind of strong tint to them (magenta, purple)?
I don't want to overcomplicate this. In the end, you have to use materials you get good results with, so if you prefer Tri-X, no reason to use TMax. The only point I want to make is while the conventional wisdom is that the TMax films are significantly more difficult to work with than say Tri-X, this has not been my experience in testing. They are a little more sensitive to exposure and development variations, but I find them to still be quite forgiving. In particular, the notion TMax films are inherently prone to "hot" highlights is suspect based on my data.
Last edited by Michael R 1974; 01-21-2013 at 07:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
That's what I was thinking. Processing for the wrong type of enlarger won't account for the degree of apparent contast Kenton is experience. His statement about the f/Stop made me think that there's something he might not be telling us because he doesn't know all the influences. That the negatives are fine or slightly contrasty but the problem is doing something wrong elsewhere. We need to start to eliminate some of the possibilities beginning with the film processing. Either testing using a step tablet or finding the density range of one of the negatives he has used to print.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974