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Hybrid workflow, how important is film selection?
Old 11-03-2016   #1
robert blu
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Hybrid workflow, how important is film selection?

I like the hybrid workflow which combines the joy of using film cameras with some of the benefits of digital technologies.

I know of course the difference in the images from a 100 iso film and a 400 or 1600, grain contrast etc.

A recents thread about the Tmax film (which I never used, just bought a few rolls now) has brought me to think if for a fixed speed, let's say 400 iso it's still very important to use a specific film to obtain the desired result when after scanning you can "develop" it as you prefer, changing contrast, exposure and other variables with the software.

I personally selected two film, 100 and 400 iso because find them easier to scan. I'm interested how other lovers of hybrid workflow think about this.

robert
PS: just to be clear a have friends who say the hybrid workflow has both disadvantages from film and from digital but this is a different story
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Old 11-03-2016   #2
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Yes, to me 100 and 400 films are different on scans and prints. But larger (negarive size) you go, less different it seems to be. Pushing to 1600 makes 400 films looks the same.
In general, scanning reveals a lot of the film structure. So, Kentmere, Polypan F and so on will look different. While on wet prints it is not as significant as on scans. I remember thread on APUG with tests for wet prints and this is what I see on my prints as well. Scans gives me not only too much film emultion details, but scratches. Wet prints often prints with scratches invisible. But I like both comparing to BW digital, I'm able to do.
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Old 11-03-2016   #3
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I'm a hybrider, and have never wet printed.
I find generally that underexposure is the biggest killer, but overexposure comes in a close second. There's a limit to how dense I can scan through.
Like you said, contrast can be added later, so it's not super important.
But, while I can see the film structure and grain easily on the monitor, and pick one film from another, once printed the differences shrink. For instance I can see the difference in an 8x10 between RPX25 and Foma400 and TMAX400 in a print, but not between Foma400 and HP5+. The post processing style outweighs and difference in the film to a point.
Taking all that, I choose a film based on ease of use for an acceptable negative. Ease of use includes things like how flat it dries, its availablity, cost, and how much I like the prints.
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Old 11-03-2016   #4
lawrence
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With a hybrid workflow the character of the film is still very visible, therefore film selection is important. I also choose both a medium (100) and high (400) speed film. Given what the average digicam can do, it seems a bit silly to call 400 'high speed' but then I'm something of a traditionalist
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Old 11-03-2016   #5
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I've been a TMax 400 and 3200 fan in a former life as a part time sports photographer, but today I use Kodak BW400CN and lately Ilford XP2 -- I can send out these films for developing when my backlog is getting too large, since they are developed in the standard CN41 color film process. CN41 at home is not more difficult than B/W chemistry if you manage to keep fluids at 38° C (I bought an old semi-automatic JOBO processor for that).

Both films also scan easily and you can use ICE/FARE (that your scanner likely features) which does not work on traditional/real B/W film. Helps a lot against dust and small scratches.
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Old 11-03-2016   #6
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I also find important how straight the film it gets when it has dryed after developing. Film like Plus-X and Tri-x had curled a bit for me, while Kentmere (both 100-400) dry flat. Its easier to scan that way,at least for me.

I usually use 100 and 400 films (Delta 100 and Tri-x) but lately been use Plus-X at 100 because I found a expired 100ft roll.
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Old 11-03-2016   #7
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Robert,

New to scanning. Still have to download Vuescan and set up my Nikon LS-8000.

I kinda made negatives for wet printing (denser), but I used Diafine with Acros and Tri-X. For some reason these are the two best films that work well with Diafine.

Anyways from what I glean the added density I made in my negatives by adding exposure for more contrast and more shadow detail I think will be alright with the LS-8000. Also know that I likely slightly underdevelop by only doing 2 inversions per minute instead of three. I underaggitate for two reasons: finer grain; and enhanced midrange.

I take advantage of Diafine's compensating effect that moderates contrast, and know that the highlights kinda get a stand like development, where the Part A gets depleated early in development. The results are like HDR film because of the added highlight and shadow details.

Anyways from what I have heard these negatives should scan well. I'm not so sure that grain will be so pronounced in my scans. Acros basically has no grain, and the way I process Tri-X it is almost as equally fine grained due to the short development times (3+3). I use an 8X loupe that is for viewing medium format negatives and I have to "A"-"B" Acros and Tri-X side by side on a light table to see the slightly bigger grain on Tri-X.

My thinking is that my films will have a very "Digital" look due to the small grain and wide dynamic range. If I can scan my negatives properly the files won't be flat, and I won't have to add contrast in post. Anyways this is my dream. Please tell me if I'm delusional. LOL.

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Old 11-03-2016   #8
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Film choice is important, and I find that scanning picks up subtleties in grain and even scratches and imperfections, just like printing from a condenser enlarger does. I have settled on HP5+ @Ei200 and develop in HC-110 Dilution H for 12 mins @ 20°c with 30 seconds initial agitation and then 2 invertions at 4 mins and 2 more at 8 mins. This I have found to be correct for my needs with good shadow details and well preserved highlights. I treat Tri-X the same and also Delta400. All respond well to this method with barely any post processing needed. Examples on my flickr below.
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Old 11-03-2016   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bragg View Post
Film choice is important, and I find that scanning picks up subtleties in grain and even scratches and imperfections, just like printing from a condenser enlarger does. I have settled on HP5+ @Ei200 and develop in HC-110 Dilution H for 12 mins @ 20°c with 30 seconds initial agitation and then 2 invertions at 4 mins and 2 more at 8 mins. This I have found to be correct for my needs with good shadow details and well preserved highlights. I treat Tri-X the same and also Delta400. All respond well to this method with barely any post processing needed. Examples on my flickr below.
John,

Thanks for posting. Your link shows that good negatives scan really well. I presume you pull the filmspeed for a fuller tonality and pretty much what you see on the negative is pretty much what gets recorded as is.

For me this is a big deal. Minimizing post processing seems like a way to preserve the film look.

Thanks again.

Cal
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Old 11-03-2016   #10
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Cal,

Check out my process for scanning with the Coolscan. Post processing is quite important to make sure you get full control of your image. The trick is just to not overdo it. A lot of people don't quite know when to stop with their edits. Hence the poor tonality and clipped highlights you commonly see on RFF and elsewhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNN5cS9Vlf0
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Old 11-04-2016   #11
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Thanks for the many interesting answers. Time ago I decided for Delta 100 and 400 (yes lawrence, I'm as well one who consider 400 iso as "high iso" which I think denotes my age as photographer and as person!) and in some cases the cromogenic BW (Ilford xp2s) because easy to have them lab processed and to scan.

I scan with a Nikon 5000ed (vuescan which I'm not so able to control and NikonScan on an old Mac I kept for this reason) and I'm not sure if we can scan the real grain of the film (speaking of 35mm) but I'll try in the next week an alternative to Delta just to evaluate it.

robert
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Old 11-04-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKRCAT View Post
Cal,

Check out my process for scanning with the Coolscan. Post processing is quite important to make sure you get full control of your image. The trick is just to not overdo it. A lot of people don't quite know when to stop with their edits. Hence the poor tonality and clipped highlights you commonly see on RFF and elsewhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNN5cS9Vlf0
JM,

Thanks so much for the link.

Cal
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