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Thread: Shadow Detail

  1. #1

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    Hi, I am new at developing my own black and white film and prints. I am shooting FP4 + & Tri X and developing in either ID 11 or Rodinal. My shadow areas are pure black when I print. I have great mid tones and great highlights, how do I get more detail in the blacks?

    Thanks,
    Woody

  2. #2

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    1st look at the negative.. is there detail in the shadows (the light bits) there? No detail there means no detail can get on the print. You might need more exposure or different metering technique. If there is detail on the neg, then try a lower grade contrast filter/paper.

  3. #3

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    I'll look when I get home from work. Would toning the negative in selenium help if there is a little bit of tone in the shadows, but not as much as I like?

  4. #4
    ann
    ann is offline

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    What exposure index are you using for this film? Shadow detail is a product of exposure. Toning will place density on the negative but not detail.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  5. #5

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    I've been shooting the Tri-X at 320, and the Fp4 at 100 with equal results. I love the look of the Tri-X in Rodinal, nice smooth grain, but I just can't get any shadow detail.

  6. #6

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    what about your metering methodolgy?

  7. #7

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    I normally use my 35mm in matrix Mode, or use a Minolta Auto meter in incident mode with my Medium format camera.

  8. #8
    bmac's Avatar
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    Have you thought about buying one of the Calumet film speed test kits?
    hi!

  9. #9

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    Without seeing the negative or print, it just sounds like you are underexposing and over developing your film.
    Try just the opposite.
    Over expose and under develope.

    You'll sure to get better shadow detail and if the length of development is controlled correctly, you have good printable highlights as well. The contrast of the negative will surely be flatter than what you've been use to, but the contrast is controlable via VC enlarging papers in most instances.
    - William Levitt

  10. #10
    clay's Avatar
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    I've gotten nice, easy to print 35mm negs lately when using my camera in 'idiot mode' by rating Tri-X at 200, and using N-1 development. (For me, rollo pyro at 1:2:75 for 7 minutes) Loads of shadow detail, highlights are still printable, and low contrast subject matter can be 'encouraged' with the #4 or #5 VC filters. If the scene is really high contrast, I will overexpose an additonal stop. With variable contrast papers and roll film, I think over-analyzing the exposure and development is not as necessary as the days when my darkroom had only #2 and #3 Kodabromide F paper in it.

    That said, my main cameras are ULF, and I take a lot more care when exposing and developing a $6 piece of film! But you can't carry those beasts everywhere.

    Clay

    Attached is a jpeg from a 35mm neg shot and developed using this technique. I estimate the subject brightness range on this one was about 8 (indicating a n-1 development, which I was going to do in any case)
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


    http://www.clayharmon.net - turnip extraordinaire

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