Underexposure or underdevelopment?
Old 05-24-2013   #1
domagojs
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Underexposure or underdevelopment?

Hi!


I'd like to ask about your opinion what happened here?

Here's the straight scan from Vuescan:




The light: nice contrasty mid-day light on a sunny day in a shadow.
Camera: Nikon FM (recently tested all shutter speeds and they were perfect)
Film: Rollei Retro 100 (bought from maco direct, expired in 01/2012, kept in freezer, this roll was in the fridge)
Developer: Foma Rodinal R09 (newly opened for this roll, very, very faint yellowish color)
Development: 13 minutes at 20C (as per mass dev chart)
Fix: 6,5 minutes, negs look completely fixed to me, i.e. rebate is completely transparent

So, what do you think, is it underdeveloped or underexposed? The majority of the roll has this gray look to it...
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Old 05-24-2013   #2
anjoca76
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To me it looks a little underdeveloped. And did you fix it long enough? It's still a very usable image if you adjust the contrast in post.

I've never used that film before. Maybe it's a "muddy" film to begin with.
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Old 05-24-2013   #3
domagojs
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It's completely fixed, I updated the post with that info. Thanks for pointing that info was missing!

RE the film, it's actually very crisp combo Rollei Retro 100 (Agfa APX 100) + Rodinal...

I'd be really bummed if an unopened bottle with expiration date 04/14 is not working...

UPDATE: i agree, it's perfectly usable scan, but i'm wondering what happened there...
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Old 05-24-2013   #4
Dwig
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I suspect it is underexposed, though a key piece of information is missing.

What is missing is info (reliable description or an appropriate scan) on how the "clear" unexposed film between frames compares to the deepest of the shadows in the image.

If there is any greater density in the shadows than exists between the frames then it is certainly an underdevelopment issue. Developement has very little effect on the shadows.
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Old 05-24-2013   #5
charjohncarter
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It isn't a very difficult exposure situation for the FM so I, also, would say underdevelopment. The other clue is that there is sufficient shadow detail. If it were underexposed those areas would be much darker with zero detail. As the shadows develop to completeness quickly, I again would say underdevelopment.
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Old 05-24-2013   #6
Brian Legge
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It looks like a metering issue to me. The subject is darker than both the background and highlights in the scene. The meter probably gave an exposure 1-2 stops less than you'd want.

More development would increase contrast. To a degree, you can approximate some of this by increasing contast either when scanning or in post. I tried bumping it up a bit which brightens the foreground but the image rapidly loses shadow detail.

Personally, I love negatives that that are 'gray' like that. It means you have plenty of information in your negative to work with.
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Old 05-24-2013   #7
seblock
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i second brian on underexposing as a result of little off metering. looks like correctly metered on the highlights (the pillows) lead to few stops underexposure in the actual subject which is in the more shadowy area here.
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Old 05-24-2013   #8
domagojs
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thx guys for your support! i could almost agree it was the metering in this one, but the whole roll is like that... and i believe i metered with the camera by framing the important part of the scene, so I'd expect it to be a bit overexposed, if anything...

@dwig: i tested the neg with silverfast's densitometer (hardly the real thing, i know) and it showed the same for parts in the shadow as for the blank space between the frames. so that would again mean it was the metering?!

hmmm, hard to tell, the best thing would be i shoot another roll and see what comes out :-)
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Old 05-24-2013   #9
sepiareverb
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Bracket a few scenes on your next roll to help fine-tune exposure/development. I like to see over and under-exposed frames when learning a new film and/or developer.
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Old 05-24-2013   #10
jordanstarr
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...you shot in the shade and this is what happens. If you shoot the whole roll in the shade and overdevelop it, you'll increase the contrast and make it look "less muddy" and in the shadows without compromising the other negatives, but you will blow out your highlights that way in the background. If you isolate the pillows, you can see it's pretty good - hit your blacks and have texture in the whites. But it is likely slightly under developed, slightly underexposed and shot in the shadows (a notoriously low-contrast condition), which makes for a bad combination.

However, we can really know unless you have a digital shot of the negatives against a lightbox.
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Old 05-24-2013   #11
mdarnton
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Underdeveloped. I don't see any lack of shadow details to speak of--the only black is in the stuff off to the right that looks dark colored anyway, and with that much detail in the shade, I'd expect you have to work harder in post to bring in the sunlit spots. So I'm going to say that the exposure looks good, but I'd expect more contrast, which means underdeveloped. Since you're saying the whole roll is that way, I'm definitely going for underdevelopment.
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Old 05-24-2013   #12
FrankS
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As previously mentioned, it would be very helpful to see a picture of the negs on a light table, and a close up of an image including the frame rebate (is that the right term?) and the film edge.

It may be the consequence of the scanner output settings.
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Old 05-24-2013   #13
charjohncarter
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Here is a discussion of under vs over development:

http://photo.net/black-and-white-pho...g-forum/00WFpv

It is not too long, but ON.
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