View Full Version : A Day at the Beach - Speed Graphic
Just a few shots from a family outing to show how I'm progressing with my old friend.
A few things -
I'm still having problems with uneven developement. Not agitating the Diafine enough in the B solution?
Close the shutter after focusing on the ground glass but _before_ pulling the darkslide :bang:
And then remember to put the dark side out so you don't forget which are shot and which aren't :bang: :bang:
I really need more film holders or else a couple of grafmatics. Anyone willing to trade? :angel:
But I'm having fun and thought I'd share it with you all.
3 and 4 look like some streaming. I don't see it in the other two. I just botched a roll of 120 at a friend's wedding (wasn't the official photographer) because I shook it too soon in diafine. I grabed it out of reflex and shook it just once at about 30 seconds. Everything washed out, I think because of that - even the closest flash shots were thin, so I dont think it was just my exposure estimation.
When I worked in the shop, we used to use the little open/close tabs to indicate whether a shot had been taken. The little things that look like a bent piece of wire. Over the slide = unexposed.
You might be better off doing tray development with D76. It's tedious but it works well. The D76 will give you more time to work with the trays.
I think your pixel radius is a little high when you do unsharpmask but that's strictly personal taste.
The skies look weird... not just the streaking, but the grain (type) pattern is very strange. If that's from scanning, then that's one thing. But if it's in the neg, yeow! Why Diafine? I know some people swear by it, but I've never seen the attraction other than convenience. I'd try Rodinal, DD-X or other developers.
Most of the reason for Diafine is that's all I have. I also have no place to do tray developement.
I think the sky oddness is a scanning artifact as it doesn't look that way to my eyes on the neg; I'll try a smaller radius on the unsharp mask and see if that helps.
Thank you all for the comments. I always find them helpful.
William, the two attached pictures were taken between 35 & 37 years ago with a Miniature Speed Graphic, 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film and a 101mm coated Ektar lens. One is a Winter picture taken from the southern-most tip of the Catoctin Mountains looking across the Potomac River into Virginia. That's the northern-most tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The second is a flash shot on a late Winter's evening of a car that tried to run over a parked snow plow. It hit the blade on the front of the truck at a pretty good clip. It twisted the car into the mess you see here. This picture was in the local paper the following morning. This was taken just South of Frederick, MD, on what was then Rt. 15.
I only used two developers in those days: D-76 and Dektol. The negatives were souped in one or the other but I'd guess D-76. When you find the right combination, your Speed Graphic shots will blow 35mm away.
Beautiful work. I'm planning on getting some D-76 and stop bath (and 2 bottles, too) the next time I get the money ahead. I can make my medium format stuff look wonderfull with the Diafine, but the Tmax in 4x5 just doesn't have the same look. I've also considered Pyrocat-HD, but I think I want to get some experiance with one of the classic developers first and see if I can do better than presently with that first.
Of course, this may well be more the Tmax 400 than anything as well... Pity Kodak stopped making Plus-X in sheet film and JandC is sold out of thier house brand 100.
William, I'm not familiar with T-Max in 4x5 sheet film. The two I posted were taken on either Plus-X or HP-4 rated at ISO 125 or possibly 160. (I don't think either was on Tri-X but I really can't remember the code for any of it and the boxes these negatives are stored in are Ilford which doesn't show the "notch codes" the way that Kodak boxes did.
Some of my negatives are undoubtedly GAF sheet film.
If you keep this Speed Graphic thing up much longer, I'm going to have to dust off mine that I inherited from my father! That's all I need..... MORE cameras to fool with! LOL :)
Oh! I'm so glad somebody else is out there, spreading the graflex love! :)
One thing I've found beneficial is to forsake sheet film in favor of a rollfilm back. I use a dry erase marker on my groundglass to mask off the 6x9cm frame, and I enjoy all the economy of medium format with the slow, meditative bonus of large format. The results are easily scannable, easily printable, and don't require tedius tray development or dodgy film holders.
One thing I've found useful is to exercise the shutter a few times before pulling the darkslide. That will ensure that your shutter isn't set to preview, and might help you obtain more consistent shutter speeds.
I should add that your choice of the waterfront is one of my own favorite places to take a view camera, I've a few in my own gallery. :)
How did you get that much horrible grain? TMY shouldn`t look like that, I get less grain even in 35mm. I`d try another developer...
Here`s a 4x5 Tri-X example.
Edit: That Scooter image is a 8x10 contact print... here`s 4x5 Tri-X:
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