Larger grain please?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by jason_m.|1, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. How do you get grain the size of bowling balls?

    Like in this image by Robert Capa:

    I have tried taking 3200 speed film and pushing it to 12500iso and developing in
    D-76 1:1, wasn't big enough. I tried taking fuji 1600iso, pushing it, and then
    deliberately trying reticulation and(rinsed with 120 degree water, then 33
    degree water, switched back to 120 degree water, went back to 33 degree
    water...6 times over) it looked like normal 400iso speed film.

    So anyone have any suggestions to getting the largest grain size possible?
  2. Use the fastest film you can get, then develop it in a dilute developer with a minimal amount of sulfite. Short of abusing the film, that's how you do it.

    Another trick is to frame the subject loosely in camera, then crop aggressively. The more you enlarge the image, the more apparent the grain becomes.
  3. Old film? They've just made it so much better since then! The occasional 100 foot roll from the 1950's or 1960's shows up on eBay, say Tri-X, Plus-X, or Super-XX. Old 35mm movie film will do as well.

    Or, try and score rolls of Kodak 2475 Recording film. Gorgeous grain, nothing like the tabular grain of TMZ, Delta 3200, or Fuji 1600. Don't expect a lot of speed out it anymore, and boy is it hard to find in any quantity.

    Rodinal at higher dilutions is probably the grainiest developer.

    Problem is, it has to be old fast film, so you will have substantial base fog.
  4. Also, you could send your film to the same Army lab and have it processed by the same Army techs that screwed almost all of Capa's film that he exposed during the D-Day landings.
  5. I should do that!
  6. Try your 3200 film in Rodinal.
  7. well looks like we have a consensus on rodinal, will do. I had another thought as well: I once saw a 35mm camera that shot the frames in vertical rather than horizontal orientation. That would help my cause too, any know of a camera maker and model that does that?
  8. Try Rollei R3 film, it has huge, raunchy grain. I have developed it with Xtol and HC-110 dil-B, couldn't tell a difference. With whatever film you have on hand you might want to try a high energy developer like D-19. D-19 and Rollei R3? I can't imagine such horror.
  9. try 3200 tmax shot asa 12,000 and try as high as 24,000 process it in HC110 dil B.also, john's suggestion of recording film is a great one as well.also use HC110 Dil B
    By the way the Capa film was processed at Time/Life labs AND many rolls were shot with only a few surviving because the film was put in water that was over 100 degrees.
    When the film came out of the dip and dunk machine most of the emulsion was floating in the tank!
    not a happy night at time/life labs.
    I know this story because I worked there in the 80's and it was still the talk of the lab!
    leslie kossoff
  10. you could try adding reticulation to the barrage of Rodinal + Fast film + push + loose framing. Not grain per se - but adds a certain grain like effect. Also, print at Gr4+ and yey, daddy grain!
  11. The simplest way is using of paper developer.
  12. There's Calbe R-09. It is supposed to be the old Rodinal, read grainier.
    Additionally, you may develop at 24 or even 26 degrees C.
    If I'm not mistaken, Rolley R3 is APX400.
    I exposed and developed APX400 (135 size) for 1000ASA in 'modern' Agfa Rodinal(1+100), grain is already pretty impressive (8x10 paper). At 20?C!
    You _may_ get even more grain by underdevelopment in measures, targeting the 'general' use of paper grade 4 to 5 for your kind of negs; depending on the paper used you get additional 'paper grain' otherwise not achievable.
    The use of a red filters may help too, weird enough.

    Todd: At which dilution did you use Xtol? I never used HC-110, isn't it pretty close to Rodinal in terms of grain?

    Cheers, Pete
  13. Try Dektol 1-9 for 5 minutes with Tri-X.
  14. Hello Pete,

    I have never used Rodinal... I just mixed Xtol to the prescribed 5 liters so, I suppose this is straight, undiluted. I had tried it from what I read that it was to give full emulsion speed with less pronounced grain which was of interest for me with Rollei R3 but I couldn't tell the difference from HC-110 Dil B, which also has a shorter development time so, it must be more energetic than Xtol by comparison. Perhaps, this isn't a good comparison or evaluation of Xtol since R3 is just a grain monster developing it to it's nominal speed of 400 I think it is.
  15. jtk


    Capa's D-day film may have been heavily over-exposed and/or heavily over-developed... try that, but it might make one-pass scanning difficult.

    That image doesn't look *anything* like the long-mourned 2475...which had incredible tonal scale when rated at 800...never lost highlight details.

    Try printing an overly dense neg on lith paper or duplicating it on 35mm lith film (if you don't have a darkroom).
  16. HP5 rated at 3200 and devved in Ilford PQ Universal, diltued 1+6, 20 C, 8 minutes.
  17. frequent agitation during developing and use paper developer.

    with lots of agitation you'll have to cut your development time by a minute or more depending on HOW much you agitate.

    oh, and don't forget to print your negs on 20x30 paper.
  18. I only seem to have Pan F 50iso in 35mm format and efke 25iso in 120 format. If I pushed PanF to 3200 and developed it in stock D-76 for 30 minutes would it work?
  19. No you need a fast film to start with PanF+ in rodinal even has small grain... And it would be impossable to push it that far 1 stop at the most maybe 2 but then you get a litho look of just black and white no mid tones.
  20. Hi Todd,
    you did right to use Xtol as stock solution if you wanted to get R3 grain down. Xtol, however, is no _real_ fine grain developer even at stock concentration but controls grain nevertheless in a great way (sharp and small - at 1+1, even sharper and bigger at 1+3). I asked because I wanted to guestimate what to use HC-110 for.
    Cheers, Pete
  21. Jack up the alkalai in your developer with Sodium Hydroxide--you'll have to tinker with the ISO and developing time using test rolls.
  22. From the example you showed here, I think the result is mainly due to telephoto lens (long focus length) and high contrast printing. If you check the depth of field, it is almost nothing.
  23. I'm with Larry - Dektol - although I used it 1:2 with Tri-X -underexposed and pushed.
    How about Dektol with 2475 recording film?
  24. Hi Todd, you are absolutely wrong! It seems to be, that you've not processed the ROLLEI R3 film properly. The ROLLEI R3 MUST BE in any case PRE-SOAKED, to obtain crisp sharp and very fine grainy results, because of its 3-layer film base. The best combi with the R3 is ISO 25 - 100 in ROLLEI RLS, and from ISO 200 - 6,400 in ROLLEI RHS! But, don't forget "pre-soaking" of the film with 3 - 4 minutes please.

    I like to recommend to you, to download the proper English data sheet and the development chart for the ROLLEI R3 under

  25. Rodinal 1+25 - no question. The worst (or best, depending on your point of view) grain of any developer I've ever used.

    D-76 and Xtol are FINE GRAIN developers no matter what dilution you use.

    Also Ilford's Delta3200 has the coarsest grain of any film I've tried, even beating the old 2475 recording film, IMHO.

    One more thing. You could simply frame your shot using a small section of the frame, that'll automatically increase grain size in the final print.
  26. What if he used HIE and pushed it with Rodinal? What that be pretty grainy?
  27. This:

    is 100 feet of 35mm Tri-X from 1963, $15 Buy-it-Now. I can't find any reference to Kodak Specification 415, but I presume it's sprocketed, but with movie camera sprocket holes (B&H), which are a curved on the narrow ends.

    I promise this will have more grain than today's Tri-X. Plenty of base fog, too.

    It's not really normal Tri-X. It is movie negative stock. It should be close enough, but you're on your own with processing times.

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