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Old 01-23-2008   #51
dpetrzelka
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That's it - I'm in.
I've been meaning to really commit to a film/developer combo, and stick with it - this seems like a good place to start- fresh!

What is a good process for first figuring out development times on a new film? (i've always gone for box speed + recommended dev. time) - its time for me to really learn about developing.
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Old 01-23-2008   #52
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There's an old saying that the lousier your negatives are the better the printer you'll become.

Start by shooting bracketed ecposures at half stop intervals, from two stops under to two stops over. Pick a shutter speed that allows only adjusting the f-stop. That's five frames. Use an incident light meter. Have black, wite, and an assortment of tones in the picture. Repeat this sequence six more times in different lighting conditions, indoors, outdoors, tungsten, flourescent, window light, street lighting, whatever. Develop the film according to the directions.

Next, make a 4 X 5 or 5 X 7 print of each of them on the paper you normally use. Make the best straight print you can, and NUMBER THE BACKS with a Sharpie to match the frame numbers. With motion picture stock you'll need a fine point marker to number the film frames yourself...LOL

You want to print the under and overexosed frames so you can get an idea of the film's exposure latitude. Try to see which frame is best holding the shadow detail you want without blowing the highlights. That's the one you'll use to decide on what ISO to use. If the contrast looks right you're HOME!

If not, then take another roll and shoot the ENTIRE ROLL at that ISO and cut it in half. If your first roll looked a bit flat develop half at 10% longer and half at 20% longer. If it was too contrasty do 10% and 20% less time. See which time gives you the contrast you want. At 20% over or under you may need to cut exosure or increase exposure about half a stop to control the overall density. At 10% it probably won't matter.

Just don't get caught up in getting "the best possible negative" or you'll never need to learn the finer points of printing like using split filter, dodging and burning through different filters, using cotton swabs with hot developer on areas of the print, ferracyaniding the highlights, all that good crap....
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Old 01-23-2008   #53
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Al - thank you for explaining that so clearly. Its refreshing to find a group of guys on here who will take it down to basics without complaint. The +_ 10-20% to adjust contrast makes perfect sense.- Thanks

But this will drive you crazy - I had to pack up my very pathetic darkroom a few years ago- for the near future this will all be going through the scanner for on-screen/digital output.

The developing of film, my home-made tube amps, and vinyl collection are my analogue retreat from the digital.
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Old 01-23-2008   #54
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You're welcome! Just remember that life is full of variables. Use another darkroom to develop the film and if the water is more acidic you might have to give a bit more time in the developer, or less if it's alkaline, to EXACTLY match your original test negatives. These differences can be easily compensated in the printing. No two films will print the same, no two developers will develop the same. If at all possible try to stick to one film, one developer. I'm a big believer in "KISS" which is an acronym for "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"
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Old 01-23-2008   #55
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I agree wholeheartedly with Al here. The KISS rule makes life so much smoother!
If you are going to scan your negs, you probably will find that you have to adjust your processing. I have find that if I shoot and soup for wet darkroom I need to "tweak" the negs in the scanning process. Just a little bit more contrast is usually all it takes (which is good as that is all I know how to do).
Your establishing your own filmspeed and processing times does require some "wasted" film. We all do it differently and my negs dont look like anyone elses, but they work.
Some time ago a bunch of us were sitting around talking about this. We were bl/w shooters and know each others stuff well, having printed each others negatives for exihibitions and shows. Someone piped up "OK, does anyone have a perfectly exposed, standard negative". Dead silence ensued - and then hysterical laughter "What the hell is a perfect negative" We have all seen those "How To" books and between us there are probably 20-30 000 rolls on file. Not one of us could lay hand on something that even came close to those illustrated "perfect" negatives!
Among the great printers, it is not that perfect negative that counts, it is how well they could print what they considered the best shot. Gene Smith was well known for producing impossible negatives and some of the best prints you will ever see. If you look at Ralph Gibson's negatives, the "how to" book's would discard them as mistakes, yet his prints are stunning.
The trick is to establish a style commensurate with your shooting and printing that will give you what you want. Also, it all depends on what you are shooting - a "street" shooters rquirements are different from a landscape photographer or portrait shooter.
My rule with a new film stock is to shoot it as I would my reference film (Tri X @400asa) and run that together with the TriX. Looking at the negatives I usually can extrapolate the speed it shows and the "range". Next roll is then shot at what I think is right (still with the same developer -usually a D76 or similar) and check again. The trick is to shoot those rolls fast - set a day aside for it and turn off phones and thell the family that once you have taken pictures of them indoors, outdoors in the shade and in sunlight you dont wont to be disturbed. Now set out with one camera, one lens and at least 5 rolls of film.
So the bystanders will think you are nuts, but shoot everything! High contrast (that black car with a chrome grill in bright sunlight), the steps on an old building in deep shade - well you get the idea. Keep it to an area where you can come back and shoot more or less the same thing again with rolls 2/3/4/5.
Once you have five rolls with a variety of stuff on it, go home and soup them. As Al suggested, do roll 1 20% less developer, roll 2 10%, roll 3 what you thought it should be, 4 and 5 +10% and +20%.
Now, if you are scanning, pick the similar subjects from each roll and scan them - look and see which are corresponding to your view and taste.
You might be surprised in several ways. Once what you thought was the right way, might not be your right way and by forcing yourself to shoot things -just for exposure and testing -you will probably find some pictures that are worthwhile that you never would have taken otherwise.
The trick is not to change anything except the developing and your "sense" of exposure. The camera and lens stays the same throughout.
File away the negatives and mark the files with the variables and one day when you decide that scanning is not all there is and you get back into darkroom again - you know what you need to do for a print.
We live close to a bech (across the road) and I probably have between 10-15 000 negatives of the trees, the sand piles, the driftwood, people and dogs etc among my "tests". Great excuse too for a walk on the beach and a coffee at the cafe'. Oh, I also have pictures of the people behind the counter of the cafe (f2 @1/60 with XX and I usually go to 2.8 with TriX)! They know me and just ignore the camera - the dogs on the patio are even better, a dog-biscuit and they will pose happily (stop down a 1/2 stop for Bella -a black lab and open up 1 stop for the white terrier and keep the camera well back from Hero, a Great Dane with an amazingly long tongue and a penchant for dragging it across the front element of the lens!).
Photography should be fun and if you dont have to make a living from it, it is even better. being obsessed by it is OK too!
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Old 01-26-2008   #56
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Hi All,

My fresh 400' roll of Kodak 5231 +X arrived Thursday. Very quick shipping directly from Eastman in NYC. So now I have 400' of XX and 400' of +X motion picture film to play with, in my new Leica M2, Voigtlanders, and Minolta SRT's. Life is good Heading to the photo store today, to buy a brown plastic half-gallon photo bottle, in which to mix the remaining stock solution of Adox MQ developer I'm using to start this project.

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Old 01-26-2008   #57
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Brown plastic "photo" bottles are the rip-off of this century and the last century! Get a bleach jug and rinse it out. If a trace of residual chlorine was a problem you wouldn't be able to use chlorinated tap water either. Yes, the "brown" does keep some light out but you can easily store it in a closet if you don't have a dedicated darkroom. You can usually buy a jug of bleach for less than the cost of an empty "photo" jug.

I use 2 liter soda bottles, storing them in the dark. I drink the soda anyway so the bottles are free.
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Old 01-26-2008   #58
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"I use 2 liter soda bottles, storing them in the dark. I drink the soda anyway so the bottles are free".

That's a good idea, Al. Thanks! So I found some recyclable white plastic bottles in the basement, cleaned them out, and mixed some more developing solutions. Another 1000 ml of the Adox Borax MQ Developer, so now I've 2000ml of stock developer solution, even enough to run my 8-reel Honeywell Nikor tank And also mixing up 64oz of stock Ilford Rapid Fixer, diluted 1:4, so that's a "speedy" fix. Now I need to do is load Kodak Snapcaps from bulk, and shoot movie film. Near as I can determine, I haven't done any real darkroom work since the mid '90s. So this is going to be fun.

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Old 01-26-2008   #59
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The soda bottles are designed to hold in the pressure of the corbonization, so they really are air tight. I mix up a gallon, then fill one 2 liter bottle to the very top and put the rest in a second bottle about 3/4 full. You can squeeze some of the air out if you want, but it really isn't needed if you're going to use it up in a few weeks or so.
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Old 01-26-2008   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokton48
Now I need to do is load Kodak Snapcaps from bulk, and shoot movie film.
I'm starting to reload 35mm cassettes from the local mini-lab. Just tape the fresh stock to the old leader and load them in Mr Watson, Lloyd, etc... So far it's working fine

I did have to sort through the box and pull out any that were too mangled from the leader retrieval process, but that was about 70 out of 500 total. I'd love 70 or so IXMOOs (I only have 5...) but this has got me thinking that bulk loading has never been cheaper.

Now just to shoot all the Forte & Agfa & everything else in the fridge so I have space for some XX. My own M2 is starting to feel left out...
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Old 01-26-2008   #61
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I find this thread very interesting.

I could save great deal if I bought 400ft of double XX from US. I pay Trix 10 rolls for $55 here in Sweden 25 rolls cost same as 72 ones DoubleXX.. OMG

Anyone has tried pushing the Double XX a few stops up? (Iso 400, 800, 1600)? I really don't mind grain and I'm not interested of grainless films
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Old 01-26-2008   #62
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"My own M2 is starting to feel left out..."

Hey, what's not to like about this film? And, it was introduced in 1959, the same as the birthdate of my M2. So it seems appropriate. Yes, I need to visit local photolabs and start scarfing up their throwaway reloadable cartridges to load with XX.
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Old 01-26-2008   #63
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"reload 35mm cassettes from the local mini-lab. Just tape the fresh stock to the old leader and load them in Mr Watson, Lloyd, etc..."

I have been using the empty cassettes from labs for years. There usually is 1/4 inch of film left out after they are done. I slip the bulk film under this 1/4 in and into the cassette and then use scotch tape to attach them together.

This is done in my Watson loader. Close the Loader door and proceed as normal. I have been very satisfied with this method.

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Old 01-26-2008   #64
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My M2 is a '59 as well...

If it's possible to wring out a good 1 - 1.5 stop push out of the XX, it makes it much more attractive to me.
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Old 01-26-2008   #65
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I have exposed XX at 400 and developed for the same time as Tri-x. There probably or might be a problem in the shadows doing this but the negs looked good. I would run some experiments before this became my standard speed.

Tom A I think has experimented with faster speeds with XX maybe he will jump in and give his experiences.

I read where XX could be used at 640 in Diafine. I will have to try this. I will report if I get some data on XX at a faster ASA in Diafine.

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Old 01-26-2008   #66
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I wonder what Acufine would do with Eastman XX - its a speed increasing developer, the can says to rate Tri-x at 1000. I'll see about running a test on that as well.

It looks like we should put together some archive of all these test results.
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Old 01-26-2008   #67
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Dan,

Did you get the film I sent you? Should be to you today.

With Acufine try 1000 ASA & 400 ASA and regular speed at 250 ASA on the same roll to see if there is any loss of quality between the speeds. Thats what I intend to do with Diafine that I have.

I might have a chance to do that tomorrow, weather permitting, with possible snow tonight I don't that would be a good subject to push film.

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Old 01-26-2008   #68
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You can get about 400 out of the XX with similar times as with Tri X (D-76 10,5-11 min) and Rodinal 1:50/ 12 min ( "lumpy" grain though). The XX has a fair bit of latitude, but watch the shadows, they block easily.
First shoot yourself in with it at 250asa and then start pushing it - you can probably gain about 3/4-1 stop without too much loss of quality, but trying for 800 is probably "chalk and soot" time!
Will be interesting what the diafine/acufine will do with it?
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Old 01-26-2008   #69
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Leo - I won't be home until tomorrow morning, but the film should be safe in the cold we're having. (I'll let you know when it arrives- thanks).

I've never used Acufine, but have a few cans of the powder in a box somewhere- after I try the Xtol, I'll give the Acufine a shot.
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Old 01-26-2008   #70
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In a web search I just found these numbers:

Eastman Kodak Double X 5222 - ASA 80
Rodinal 1+50, 5-6 min
D76 1+1, 7-8 min

ASA 250
Rodinal 1+50, 9- 10 min
D76 stock, 8 min
Microphen stock, 6 min

Asa 800
Rodinal 1+25, 10 min

ASA 6400
Rodinal 1+40, 25 min, 25-57 C teplota, prvních 10 minut hojně míchat, pak nechat ustát.


Unfortunately I can't read the additional text on the page, as its a language I don't know (my name is Czech- but I can't read it). Maybe he's saying these times are way off - who knows?
Here is the website: http://www.fotopruvodce.cz/clanek.ph...111445&hledej=
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Old 01-26-2008   #71
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Wow 6400 asa! That would be substantial grain with a film like XX. Thanks for the times. My estimated time for 250asa and 1:50 Rodinal seems on the button here. I would be tempted to add 30 sec to the 10min, just to get the shadows up a bit. I might try it tonote or tommorow as there are 8 rolls sitting in the darkroom at the moment. Maybe 5 in Rod 1:50/10.30 min and finish off two more for tomorrow and do them in Adox again at 7 min.
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Old 01-27-2008   #72
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A little google turned up some examples of 5222 @ 400 ASA in Diafine:
http://randomphoto.blogspot.com/2006...hite-film.html

Looks maybe not *too* bad. I know I have an expired 100' of this stuff that I need to evaluate. I've got a backload of film to process, but I'll see what I can get done this week.
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Old 01-27-2008   #73
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Looked at the web site and Eastman XX in Diafine didn't look to bad. I will try and shoot a roll tomorrow and develop in Diafine. I have some mixed up and it won't be hard to try.

I will try ASA 400, and ASA 640 and the regular speed 250. I'm not going to try much higher until these results prove promising.

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Old 01-27-2008   #74
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I just developed my first two rolls (thru my new Leica M2) of Eastman 5222, and I'm very impressed. Rated it at EI 250, ran it through ADOX BORAX MQ, for seven minutes at 68F, exactly. Agitation was fifteen seconds initially, then 5 sec every subsequent minute. BTW how long should you wash this stuff after Rapidfix? I did 40 minutes (no hypo clear) is that overkill?

Negs are still drying, but I'm pretty good at "eyeballing" them. They are -lower- contrast, it's very good that highlight details (even bracketed with overexposure) do not appear to "blow-out". Absolutely lovely midtone tonalities. "Old Tri-X" looking images, but frankly, I like that "60's retro" appearance. That is exactly what I am after. Shadow detail is quite copious at EI250. So I'd say it's a true EI250 motion picture film.

No doubt about it, this '60's vintage film is quite pushable -- I'd not imagine not much over 400, with any real shadow detail. Well over that, it'll be interesting

BTW, Guys, you can run films more than once through Diafine, if you rinse for five minutes after the "B", then go back for another round, right into the "A" & "B" a second time. With a fillm like this, I'd be interested to see the results. It -should- increase the speed even more. Can't imagine it would be any more than just highlights, but who cares when you're shooting in the dark?

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Old 01-27-2008   #75
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My normal washing Cycle after developing is to do three rinses of the tanks.

First rinse fill tank and 15 slow inversions, dump, second rinse fill tank, 20 inversions, third rinse 25 inversions. Takes about 3-5 minutes for all. Make sure rinse water is close to developing temp. This method saves time and water. I think it was developed by Ilford labs maybe Agfa I can't remember, but I have never had faded negs from to short of a wash cycle.

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