a little tech help-

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by don_mckeith, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. I'm looking for the film that has the best highlight tonality?..seperation?.
    I'm not worried about shadow detail, the shadows can fall where they
    will.So,... I'm hoping you tech guys that can read those film curve charts can
    recommend a film,rather than me having to test them all.

    or, is this strictly a function of exposure and development?....and film
    choice is irrelivant.If that's the case,I could use a little advice in that

  2. I'm guessing you wish to do high-key work, possibly in the studio or bright overcast light.

    TMax films are very good for such work. In fact, that's about all they are good for. (ducking and running for cover).

    Yes, you can certainly expose and develop for the same with most films, but TMax is just ideal. You will still have to custom expose and develop, but you get closer with TMax right away.
  3. Pico-

    that's very interesting....I have TX and APX100 in bulk,but I couldn't get the look I wanted with them.

    A while ago I bought 3 rolls of Tmax 100 to try out...I shot 2 and didn't like them.......so, I find this last roll of Tmax in the fridge and figure what the heck

    unfortunately my bright overcast day turned into a very dark and stormy day,so I shot it at 400---still, all in all. better than the others.I guess I'll get a couple more rolls and try it at 100 and 200 and see how it goes.

    Thanks for the reply
  4. Most mfgr recommendations are to develope too long requiring low contrast paper/burning in highlights.

    Agfa was the very worst recommending times that would give pure black and white. Cutting 50% would give quite nice negs. Ilford`s time for the non Ilford developers are 20% too high. Maybe they want you to get bad results so you buy their developers.
    Agfa time were so long I can not imagine any photo process requiring the bullit proof negs you got.

    So start somewhere with test pics, 6 pics on the front of a roll will do, pull out 12 inches , develope and see how they print. If the highlights are grey, develope longer. If they have no detail, develope less.

    Be consistent in your methods changing ONE variable at a time til you get what you want.
  5. Don't forget your paper. Different papers treat highlights differently. Read Ctein's Post Exposure and do some step tablet tests. IMO, some papers work best with non-tgrain films, other with them. In general, a properly exposed neg will have the highlights falling on the mostly straight line area, and few films today have the kind of rolling curve that something like Panatomic-X or Ektapan had, though there are certainly differences. You might want to do a ring-around with exposure and development to see what you prefer. Shoot a roll of the same subject, then clip it for the different development times. Watch out for highly diluted developers that can limit Dmax.
  6. Tri-X Professional TXP ISO 320 is designed for good highlight separation under controlled lighting conditions, e.g. studio lighting. It isn't available in 35mm, only 120 or sheet film. Or try a chromogenic (C-41) film.
  7. Thanks for all the advice--

    Being a hobbyist,I'm pretty weak on the tech stuff,especially printing,which imo,is the most difficult part of photography to become good at---amateur just don't get enough darkroom time to become really good printers....so my usual MO is to get where I'm going through exposure/development,and hopefully the prints just "fall out" of the enlarger(Heh,sometimes it works).

    of course it helps to have a film that leans in the direction you're going---the prints I take as they come,although I do try some voodoo on them sometimes.
  8. the answer is in your question.

    meter for the highlights ( since the shadows can fall where they may ) tmax 100 was a good suggestion because of it's uswept curve but i'd be suprised if you couldn't get good highkey results ( like harry callahan ) from an 's' shaped curve ( non tabular grain film ) . from my understanding this is the kind of metering rolfe horn uses to favor highlight tonality. hope this helps.
  9. The developer used has more effect on the film curve than the film itself IME. T-max developer gives a longer straight-line section to the curve than any other developer that I know of, and high speed films tend to "roll-over" sooner than slower ones. So if you pick a moderately slow film like FP4plus or T-max100, and develop it in T-max developer, you shouldn't be disappointed.
  10. yep,Rolf Horn---that would be a nice place to get to, but he's obviously a *very* good printer----and I'm not,so I'm looking for improvement,not perfecttion.

    I went through my old test prints that are destined for the dustbin to find something problematic(for me). Granted this was shot with an old uncoated meniscus achromat, a little too wide open,so its soft and low contrast, but when I saw the neg I thought it had possibilities------but I really couldn't do much with it.I'm pretty sure it's a straight print(maybe a 3.5 filter)-TX 400

    so, what if anything should I have done in exposure/development to improve it?What could I do with it now?(post development)

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