Favourite film for high, but soft grain when pushed

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by Dave Luttmann, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. What is your favourite film, when you want extreme grain, but soft… not crackling sharp? I’ve been playing with various ideas for a project, but I thought I’d check in.
  2. I haven't thought about extreme grain, but sometimes my favorite is still Panatomic-X, in Diafine at EI 160 or 250.
    (Different boxes give a different number, even if it is the same chemistry.)
    Dave Luttmann likes this.
  3. FP4 in Adox Rodinal at 1:25 mix produced soft grain for me, not extreme grain, but it's quite noticeable.
  4. And if you do want grain, 20 year old TMZ is great.
  5. Ilford Delta 3200 has large grain that is a bit soft, but I prefer TMax 3200 myself.
  6. PICT0115.JPG

    This is unexpired TMax3200 (TMZ) in TMax developer with the push to EI 25000 time.
    I suspect I don't believe it is even close to 25000, but it is lit by a full moon, and exposed
    for 1s at f/3.5 as I didn't bring a cable release to hold the shutter open longer.

    You can see some stars in the sky.
  7. TMZ002AA034.jpg

    This is 20 year old, or maybe 25 year old, TMZ at 3200.
    Dave Luttmann likes this.
  8. The developer used is going to play a big part in 'softening' grain. I'd suggest a solvent developer like full-strength D76 with Delta 3200. Or you can add a strong solvent like Sodium Thiocyanate at a rate of 1gm/litre working strength, to almost any developer you choose. You might need some extra restrainer, for example Benzotriazole, in there as well.

    Alternatively, you can 'cheat' and use a grain screen in printing. Altering the separation between screen and negative will regulate how soft the grain prints. All that's needed for the screen is a lightly and evenly exposed grainy negative.
    Dave Luttmann likes this.
  9. Sounds like a job for a developer that has a greater than average solvent action such as Microdol-X (or today's equivalent).
    I think, though, if I wanted that effect I'd use a grainy film and use my regular developer and soften the grain during post processing. If going pure analog you could make a print with the enlarger very slightly out of focus.
  10. I like the grain screen idea because you can alter the effect until you're happy. If you do it with film and developer, you're pretty much stuck with the result forever.
  11. You WANT grain?

    Here's Plus-X "use before" 5-95, shot on a Contaflex Prima in annum 2009
    Processed in D-76 according to original times and so on.
    Dave Luttmann and Jon Eckman like this.
  12. Thanks everyone! Good info here.

Share This Page