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  1. #11
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    There are many of us who shoot Tri-X at 100 on purpose, and actually developing it pretty far too. Printed using high contrast filtration it makes for really interesting looking prints. Especially from 35mm.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #12

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    I found an orange filter that I didn't even know I had, and that alone gave me 3 stops. When I used itw/ the polarized I had 5, so it was a breeze shooting wide open w/ my top shutter speed of "just" 1/1000. I tried several different combinations and kept notes (shot w/ polariaer, shot w/ polarizer and Y. or Or. filer, etc). The metering drove me a little nutty because each combination called for a different iso setting, and my in camera meter was adjusting for things, but not always correctly, as the color filters were not being totally compensated for. I finally just used my hand held meter and went w/ those readings, as it was a lot faster to change the iso on that meter than the fiddedly iso setting on the camera. When I get it developed I'll post a few photos of the different set ups. Didn't see any vignetting in the viewfinder. I love this little 135 H lens. Think mine is from 1969. Really small and light.

    You have my interest Thomas. My attempts at shooting TRi-X under the rated speed by more than one stop has given me some negs w/ largish grain and/or flat tones, but working w/ that in the printing process might be fun. I could probably mitigate some of that if I used Acufine, but I prefer the tonality I get developing in D76.
    Last edited by momus; 07-28-2013 at 08:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13

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    Maybe I'm not reading your post right. If so, I apologize....

    You are going to take a portrait, right? Use 135mm and hope to use wide open. ISO is 400. You use yellow filter.

    I love taking portrait but the last thing I'd try is try to do that in FULL SUN. Extreme contrast and shadow will be very difficult to manage. Also, I would probably not use yellow filter for portraits. I just don't need it. I'm more inclined to use partial shadow. With it, it exposure should fall fairly reasonable even with Tri-X. Come to think of it, I've done this plenty of times with Mamiya M645Super which topped out at 1/400 or something.

    Maybe high contrast portrait is what you'd like to do.... If so, I'd just pick more appropriate speed, rather than try to use Tri-X.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #14
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momus View Post
    I found an orange filter that I didn't even know I had, and that alone gave me 3 stops. When I used itw/ the polarized I had 5, so it was a breeze shooting wide open w/ my top shutter speed of "just" 1/1000. I tried several different combinations and kept notes (shot w/ polariaer, shot w/ polarizer and Y. or Or. filer, etc). The metering drove me a little nutty because each combination called for a different iso setting, and my in camera meter was adjusting for things, but not always correctly, as the color filters were not being totally compensated for. I finally just used my hand held meter and went w/ those readings, as it was a lot faster to change the iso on that meter than the fiddedly iso setting on the camera. When I get it developed I'll post a few photos of the different set ups. Didn't see any vignetting in the viewfinder. I love this little 135 H lens. Think mine is from 1969. Really small and light.

    You have my interest Thomas. My attempts at shooting TRi-X under the rated speed by more than one stop has given me some negs w/ largish grain and/or flat tones, but working w/ that in the printing process might be fun. I could probably mitigate some of that if I used Acufine, but I prefer the tonality I get developing in D76.
    You don't find out what your materials are fully capable of until you start to hit the limits of what's possible.

    I don't do what I do to affect grain one way or another. I really don't give a rip about grain. It is ALL about tonality. Rich fat blacks that are heavy, and lots of tone where it matters. Most people I know get so hung up on grain and miss so much potential of the film.

    Experiment with your film until you have something you like. Overexpose, underexpose, overdevelop, underdevelop, etc. Just try many different things until you find what you like.

    The filters you mention can be useful, but not for every damned shot, because they seriously mess with how the film sees color.

    I also don't understand why people are so hung up on shooting everything wide open. Does it really make the pictures better, or is it just another gimmick to cover up something inadequate? Depth of field is a tool to control how much is in focus, based on how close to the subject you are, what lens you use, and how much of what's in the frame is important to show. Again, experiment, and don't lock yourself into a corner where you only see a small portion of what's possible.


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    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #15

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    This one was made w/ just the orange filter on the Nikkor Q 135 3.5 lens and shot wide open. The film is Arista Premium (rebadged Tri-X) shot at box speed, but w/ the 3 stops needed for the filter it was actually shot at 50 ISO. Developed in D76 full strength, which is my preferred method, and scanned on an old Epson flatbed. I like the resultsClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	72282 from the combination of the polarizer and orange filter too. This lens is actually way too sharp for people shots. I shot it in Florida high noon sun w/ a busy background to see if there was any flare, and to see if it could handle the bokeh thing. No flare, and it blurs the background out pretty well.

    If you need sharp, this lens will sure fit the bill. I'm waiting on a FD Super Canonflex R 100 2.0 lens for portraits, which I suspect is going to be too sharp too. If so, it's back to a poor man's Leica R lens, the Canon FD 85 1.8, or even the FD 135 2.5, a real sleeper of a portrait lens.
    Last edited by momus; 07-29-2013 at 09:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16
    Mark Feldstein's Avatar
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    Jeffrey gave you a good thought by changing to a different film for outdoor portraiture. OTOH, Tri-X is great stuff. There are (or used to be) Tri-X rated at 400 ISO or Tri-X pro (TXP rated at 320 ISO). I shoot TXP at ISO 250 and process it in either T-MAX Replenishment System developer according to the package directions. OR same ISO 250 in D-76 cut 1:1.

    I avoid using polarizing filters in any portraiture. ND filters at ISO 250 probably won't help you out much. Green filters help add contrast to male portraits and require about .5 stop filter factor. Yellow is ok for enhancing blue sky making it appear darker to emphasize some nice cloud formations. Avoid using direct sunlight on your subjects. Either wait for it to soften, shoot before 10AM or after 3, or put them in a shaded area and bounce light in using a chunk of white poster board and have someone hold it for you to maneuver it around or hang it on a light stand. You should get some pleasing results that way.
    Mark
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    Without guys like John Coltrane, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, life....would be meaningless.

  7. #17
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Feldstein View Post
    I avoid using polarizing filters in any portraiture. ND filters at ISO 250 probably won't help you out much.
    Mark, how do you figure that? If I shoot Tri-X at EI 250 in broad daylight, so that f/11 or f/16 would be 'normal' apertures for portraits for 1/250th shutter speed.
    Now, I want to shoot at f/4 instead. The difference from f/16 to f/4 in terms of stops is four stops. Put a four stop ND filter on the lens and shoot at the same shutter speed, but a four stop wider aperture.
    How is that NOT helpful?
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #18
    Mark Feldstein's Avatar
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    Welllllllllllll, if you start off by pulling ISO 400 TX to Tri-X to 250, you're knocking off 1.5 stops right there and still only gaining 1.5 stops over ISO 100. So in broad daylight as you mentioned, even using the sunny 16 rule, I'd say you'd be working at f-8 to start with without the ND filters.
    When you go through all this with Tri-X, I think you're just obviating the need for the faster ISO and the trade-offs of using it with the grain structure that you get with slower ISOs like Ilford Pan-F or Fuji Acros. But some like that kind of grain. Personally I try to avoid it which is why when I pull TXP I process it or have it processed in T-Max RS.

    And without being critical, I'm trying to understand why you want to shoot portraits at f4 anyway. I say that because generally, every lens has a sweet focus spot, usually somewhere between f8 to f11. So if you're working at f4 to soften the background, you may not be getting the sharpest image of your subject. There are many ways to play with camera placement and/or lens choice to manipulate depth of field aside from shooting near wide open in order to soften the background. But you know that, right? Why not use 5.6? How much background softening are you looking for?

    I'm also thinking if you're using a ND to knock off four stops shooting a portrait, you may have trouble trying to manually focus the image although at your calculation, probably just a 1.5 or 2 stop ND pulling Tri-X to 250 would suit the result you're trying to get or maybe just moving the person into open shade would eliminate the need for the ND filter altogether.

    What I'm saying is that I prefer to match the film to the purpose and unless it's impossible for me to move either my camera, the subject or both for background purposes, I much prefer shoot portraits to use the sharpest focus of the lens I've selected. I also don't like putting any additional glass in front of my lenses if I can avoid it.

    But if you like the results, afterall, that's what really counts. It still comes down to personal preference.
    Take it light ;>)
    Mark
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  9. #19
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Mark,

    With all due respect, the OP isn't asking what you like, but asking advice of how to use Tri-X while shooting at wide apertures in bright light. Incidentally, I agree with you that wide open isn't everything it is dreamed up to be, but that is way besides the point.

    Sweet spot of the lens? I'm sure it's there, but depth of field is a tool that should be exploited to the same extent focus, brightness, composition, gesture, and treatment of light should, so to lock into a single aperture and calling it best is missing the point of having several apertures available to you. I mean, why do you think they are there? That's right, to give you a choice.

    If you can shoot the same film in all lighting conditions, then everything becomes much easier at the printing stage, because you know what to expect, and in my experience that saves me a lot of wasted (expensive) paper. If you don't like Tri-X grain, that's too bad, but that is again not what the OP was asking about. It doesn't actually matter what film the OP is using, or what aperture they use, because it's a question that applies universally regardless of materials used.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but you are not focusing on answering the OPs question.

    So, again, if somebody arbitrarily wants to shoot at f/2.8 because they like what their lens does at that aperture, using ISO 400 film, but their shutter can't open and close faster than 1/500th of a second. If you rate TX400 at 250, you could shoot at f/11 at 1/500, but if you really want to open to f/2.8 you're going to overexpose four stops, or similar to EI 16. Now you're starting to push what's reasonable for Tri-X to manage, so why not put a four stop ND filter in front of the lens?
    It doesn't change how the film sees color, and it doesn't change contrast. It keeps all other things equal.

    To me that sounds like the perfect tool for the OP's needs, and it does answer the question, while explaining why.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #20
    Mark Feldstein's Avatar
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    Quote from Tom:

    . . .If you can shoot the same film in all lighting conditions, then everything becomes much easier at the printing stage, because you know what to expect, and in my experience that saves me a lot of wasted (expensive) paper. If you don't like Tri-X grain, that's too bad, but that is again not what the OP was asking about. It doesn't actually matter what film the OP is using, or what aperture they use, because it's a question that applies universally regardless of materials used."

    Yep. I get it now. Clearly THAT must be your Zen, the underpinnings of your photographic philosophy. While I'd strongly recommend you try another film of a lower ISO simply for thrill of doing something different, what you said above is your opinion as opposed to mine. And I have to say that generally, it leads to stagnation and a body of work that looks, well, (at least from a technical perspective) pretty much the same.

    So, I gotta ask; How can you possibly learn anything when you don't try new approaches to the same issues? In essence, that can't lead to "Good art". It seems to act as a barrier toward expansion and more complete use of the mind and the camera as a tool of the mind and that in turn, I think, obviates excellence simply by leading one to act strictly out of habit. To me, that all leads to boredom and would lead me to question why I chose a profession so intimately associated with art and finding new ways of visual expression along with creativity and a universe of technical variances. And yes, that's my opinion too. yet to some, mind boggling I'm sure.
    Mark

    As the Great Buddah once said: "Don't just DO something SIT there !!!" Jay Weinstein, Ph.D. Northwestern University 1976.
    Last edited by Mark Feldstein; 08-11-2013 at 01:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    _________________________________
    Without guys like John Coltrane, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, life....would be meaningless.

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