Exposure or Dev Issues?
I posted the following question over in the fim/dev forum a while ago but no takers - I realise this could cross a number of forums so I thought I'd try here too. The question was as follows:
I have just acquired a Contax 645 and have put 4 films through it. I rated the film @ 200 and have used spot and average meter reading for a number of candid portraits taken indoors whilst at work. I have dev'd the film in pyrocat HD 1-1-100 @20c for 11mins but the images are very thin. Just read up on the camera and I am setting the film speed correctly - manually setting to 200. The dev is probably 4 months old stored in dark brown bottles - I dev'd some sheet film in trays last week with no probs - these are being dev'd in tanks. I am going to make up some D76H and see what happens with a roll tomorrow to see if it makes any difference. Any ideas - portraits have been taken under flourescent and natural window light so can't imagine that will affect things too much?
I know that the lighting inside work is very flat which is why I have tried to use natural window light. Off into town right now so will expose a roll or two when I get back and try making up some dev with the chemicals I have in the d/r - I know I have stuff for D76H as I checked last night. I could really do with the extra speed too?
Thanks in advance folks, Cheers, Carl
Last edited by Ole; 12-18-2006 at 01:54 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Fixed the title :)
Carl, you don't mention what you metered. I'm guessing, but from your description of the subject I'd say you metered from the face or skin tone, if so I think that is the cause of the underexposed negatives. In the situation you describe I'd base my exposure on the deepest shadow which would give you at least two stops more exposure with a significant increase in detail throughout.
Originally Posted by CarlRadford
Are you pushing or pulling the film? What film are you using?
Flourescent lighting to me means, 1/30 f2.8 at 320/400 asa. 200 asa would mean about 1/15 f2.8. These are pretty much the speed of most flourescent lights that I know of.
The above figures are from HP5+ and Neopan 400 both developed in D76 1+1 and arrived at from many years of shooting under flourescent lighting.
Les - metering off the face but did not give extra stop to put skin tne on ZVI which is where it should be. Is it better to exposure still for shadow and put that on ZIII than concentrate on having the skin tone in the right place?
Mick - I'll give your suggestion a go too. I am a fan of Jane Browns work and in her book Faces I think she states she used 2.8 @ 1/60 for nearly everything. How are you rating your HP5+ and how long in the dev? I did some film tests with ID11 a while ago and had it down at 250 for 11:30 in ID11 1-1?
Thanks again folks, Carl
Carl, I've never heard of Jane Brown, so I cannot comment there.
Presuming you are using HP5+ I'll give you my figures on that.
I rate it at 320 ASA, dev in D76 1+1 for 10'45" and print those negs in a diffused enlarger with a colour head at or near grades 2 3/4 through to 3 1/4. Most commonly at about grade 3.
You will have to work out exactly how your combination of camera, lens, film and enlarging combination work out.
Metering off a caucasian face I open up 2 to sometimes 2 1/2 stops under flourescent from the actual reading.
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Pedant's corner: Jane BOWN FLUORESCENT
More to the point: Are you using HP5+? You don't say. For this film, I agree totally with Mick about the meter setting (I actually use 250) and dev time (10.75 minutes in D76 1+1 for average contrast subjects). Unless you have extensive experience of Pyrocat and its keeping properties, you are adding to the problem by using this dev, although apparently it was still alive and kicking last week when you did some sheet film.
As regards exposure under average room lighting, again agree with Mick - 1/60 at f2.5 to 2.8 should be close. Since fluorescent lighting is usually even, a reflected (center-weighted or averaging) meter reading will be accurate, also an incident reading of course, the lighting as you say is very flat so additional development time will not hurt. If you attempt to meter for shadow and place this on zone III (i.e. close down 2 stops from the indicated exposure) don't meter a shadow on the floor, this will mislead you into overexposing 2 stops or more. Since you are presumably interested in faces. meter these, as other have said, and open up 2 stops from the indicated exposure for Caucasian skin to place the skin tone on zone VII. Agree that it sonds like an underexposure problem.
Would even advocate HP5 @200asa, D76 1:1, 11 mins 20c. BTW, using Dixactol (is this not a pyrocat type dev?) usually gives me thinner looking negs. This would exacerbate the underexposure problam a little.
Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.
Have images on film...
ran two rolls through the contax 645 - all rated @ 200. I exposed some metering off the face and giving 1 or 1.5 stops more exposure, some were exposed at 1/60 @ f2 and f2.8 - need to look more closely later as the films are currently washing but negs look ok - a little dense but then I'm so used to looking at pyro. I supposed the next thing is to use these exposure settings and try it on with pyrocat hd just to see what happens.
Thanks for the advice folks, Carl
All the above answers are true. My experience is that trying to taken photos in fluorscent lit offices is difficult due to low contrast. I have found that more developing to raise contrast helps a lot. Otherwise everything looks underexposed even though technically it may be ok.
I have no idea what is in Dixactol. However, I would expect that HP5 would be underdeveloped in 1+1+100 Pyrocat-HD FOR 11 minutes at 20 C. What agitation method did he use?
Originally Posted by Blighty
Everything is analog - even digital :D