"portrait film"

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by tbarrent, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. Get them to talk about something they're passionate about, for an MD, just ask about their company.

    Fire off a few shots while they're talking, before the posed portrait, relaxes them and often makes for some good candids.
    bgelfand likes this.
  2. All of this trouble working with models and not wanting to be engaged with them sounds eerily like a long departed poster.

    In any case, I'd say if you want compelling and not disinterested portraits, let them go on about something they're interested in and just put on a persona of politeness even if you don't agree with what they're saying. Either that, or there's a certain conversational skill to shut down/deflect from hot button topics for you if you don't want to go there-work on it. Most people won't pursue a topic if they're not getting any response from you. If you consider them "idiots" in the first place, you're off to a bad start.

    With all of that said, we're drifting from the topic of the post. Ultimately, if you're seeking a certain look in your film, the emulsion itself is only half the equation. Most of your standard non-specialty films can be tweaked with developing time, conditions, and developer choice to change contrast and the sharpness/appearance of grain. You're not going to turn TX into TMX by developer choice, but I always like to compare TX in D-76 vs. Rodinal.

    D-76 tends to soften the grain a bit(the amount depends on dilution) but tends to cost sharpness. 1:1 D76 will give lower contrast but somewhat better defined grain than straight D76, the latter of which tends to soften the grain more. Rodinal, on the other hand, tends to give very sharp results with well defined grain, and at normal dilutions will also give fairly high contrast results. Rodinal is a bit of a unique developer in that it can be used at very, very low dilutions in what is called "stand development" to give fairly low contrast results and the ultimate in laziness(you just dump the developer in and walk away from it for an hour). The graininess still stays, though.

    Ultimately, though, 35mm Tri-X is still going to be a gritty looking, grainy film. I use a lot of it because I like it and know it, but it's there. Move to a larger format and the grain is less apparent. For a while now, I've been doing portraits with my Hasselblad and Tri-X(or my dwindling supply of TXP). My normal development for this situation is D76 1:1, and I like the results. Hanging in my office is an 8x10 candid I took of my wife using the 150mm f/4 Sonnar, a classic Hasselblad portrait lens(albeit I don't get caught up on the Zeiss glow :) ). On Ilford FB VC paper, it's a lovely, creamy looking portrait and makes me smile every time I see it(albeit as much for the subject as anything). I also have a tiny little contact of the same negative on Azo sitting on my desk at home, albeit the big one was printed at grade 1 and I don't have any Azo lower than 2.

    I don't like T-grain films, but YMMV.

    BTW, I haven't used it a ton, but Ilford's new(ish) Ortho Plus, which is a repurposed technical film made into roll film, is not super easy to take but when you do it can give really different and attractive results. My notes are in storage, but IIRC I settled on fairly dilute HC-110. Used with hot lights in the studio, particularly in larger formats(MF minimum, ideally 6x7, and preferably 4x5 or larger) it can give a very "classic" look to portraits that, with the right lighting, is sometimes called the "Hollywood Look." You're better off sticking to a mainstream Kodak or Ilford product before you go there.
  3. Troll alert!
    bgelfand likes this.
  4. I wasn't aware of the fact that a frame of film(or a digital sensor) could somehow capture the political feelings of a person.

    Aside from that, yes you can take a photo of anyone. To me, "portrait" implies some standard(whatever that may be) of capturing not just the person's face or whatever but a representation of the person. Maybe others view it differently, but actually connecting with the person can help you do that a lot better. After all, this thread was started on the premise of PORTRAITS.

    If you're paying a model for their time, yeah maybe you should keep it just business, but that's a different story.
  5. Oddly reminiscent of a member who's been back and banned a couple of times...
    Dave Luttmann and bgelfand like this.
  6. Ok, ok, I give in.

    Here is the answer to your question.

    Fomapan 100 in Rodinal 1+50.
    Dev for 9 minutes at 20°C.

    That will give you results.
  7. Make that stand development at 1:200 in the fridge for 2 days, and you're on to a real winner.
  8. No, No, No,. . .use Tri-X @ 100 & 1:1 Pyrocat HDC @ 11m.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  9. Bill you’re way off. Tri X in straight undiluted Acufine,73 degrees for three minutes, shakeN strongly every 15 seconds. A lazy idiot did that to two of my rolls one. ONCE.

    Rick H.
  10. Alternatively, if you really like Porta, one option would be to try processing it in traditional black and white chemistry.

    I'd never tried this before, but did a roll of unidentified C41 film last week as it wasn't worth the cost of commercial processing, nor worth buying a C41 kit for one roll.

    The results were surprisingly good.

    So worth a try.

    Start with times for Tri-X and adjust from there.

    (I know the OP is banned, again, but this might be of use to someone, one day)
  11. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... did you kill him...?
    I woulda killed him...
  12. C41 'Jessops Diamond Everyday 200', Rodinal 1+100


    The story of how I ended up shooting a roll of C41 film is far better than the photos themselves!

    Anyway, I find the results to be quite acceptable, though I doubt it would print well with that orange-brown mask.
    rodeo_joe|1 likes this.
  13. Not bad for a 200 ISO film in Rodinal.

    Maybe the multi-layer thick emulsion suppresses the grain a little?

    I really like the guy circled in his own street art.

    I'd crop it almost horizontal, losing the camera and tripod, but keeping the crowd beyond. And burning in the white-shirted guy that would end up as a distracting LH top corner.
  14. Thanks, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I'd even be tempted to try it again, but these days there's no financial advantage to shooting C41 over traditional B&W, so it'll only happen if I come across a random roll.

    I think it's actually my scanning setup that is the limiting factor, when I view these at 100%, I'm seeing a lot of artifacts from the Xtrans demosaic, rather than clean grain, so the digital files do it something of a disservice.

    I tried reshooting this morning with more magnification, but a 10 second exposure was beyond the capability of my improvised copying rig, too much vibration to get a sharp image.

    I see a little more detail if I disable the demosaic and just look at the green channel.

    Conclusion ? 16MP Xtrans is not sufficient to capture grain sharp 35mm frames, I reckon it needs 4-8 pixels per grain to get a true result, which is beyond my means.

    I'm not saying that there is 50MP of image there, rather that you need, say, 48MP of scan resolution to accurately capture 12MP of film, otherwise the demosaicing algorithm tends to exaggerate the grain. Based on my limited experience.

    Regardless, for a digital contact sheet and web posting, it works well enough.
  15. You need to use flash as your copying light source!

    WRT more pixels being needed for film copying: Not necessarily.
    My Sony a7riv has 60 million of 'em, and does pixel shift to get co-sited RGB colour. Does it get rid of grain and dye-cloud artefacts? Nope!
    All it shows is exactly how crappy 35mm sized film is.

    Plus there's no point going overboard with magnification, because diffraction will just defeat your efforts.

    24 megapixels from a straightforward Bayer-filtered digital camera is all you need; and it'll scrape every bit of detail off any 35mm film frame you're ever likely to encounter.

    Fuji X-Trans? Not convinced by it. Fuji have been piddling about with sensor geometries for decades and still haven't come up with anything close to a breakthrough technology.

    They still haven't tried true triad (RGB staggered GBR) filtering yet, nor a CRYB filter array. Both of which I believe would show more promise.

    Oh, FWIW. Here are pretty good digital reproductions of dye clouds and film grain: Apo-Rodagon-neg.jpg
    Pretty ugly huh?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  16. Financially, I agree. I buy my b&w in bulk...and it’s cheaper than c41. My Fuji X-Pro 1 at 16mp can’t resolve all the detail and grain from fine grained 35mm film. In most cases, 24mp is sufficient, unless one is using Fuji Astia 100, Velvia, Adox CMS 20, TMax 100...and other fine grain b&w on contrasts subject matter. In real terms, you’ll need more than 24 mp from interpolated Bayer data. Still, film has its own look that cannot be relocated by software...so I’ll stick with it for now.
  17. The de-Bayer algorithm assumes a color image.

    It would be much easier, and generate a proper full-resolution image,
    if it knew the source was black and white.
  18. NO, it's just D-76, 8 minutes and whatever temperature it's at.
    stuart_pratt likes this.

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