Sky Starts As Grey Value In Test Strip

Ian-Barber

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How would you compensate for roll film which have multiple exposures from different lighting conditions. I don't suppose there is an easy answer to this if any at all.

Would PyroCat help in situations with high contrast with its staining qualities ?
 

alexmuir

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If your rollfilm camera has interchangeable backs, you could keep one loaded for N, as well as ones for N+ and N-. You then choose the one that suits the conditions.
Alex


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David M

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There isn't an easy answer to the problem of mixed exposures on one roll. Careful and thoughtful exposure helps a lot.
If I may be candid, before trying exotic developers, you need to discover what a normal negative looks like. All the major film manufacturers have invested millions in creating the advice they give and it's advice worth taking.
 

Alan Clark

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How would you compensate for roll film which have multiple exposures from different lighting conditions. I don't suppose there is an easy answer to this if any at all.

Would PyroCat help in situations with high contrast with its staining qualities ?
As it happens there is an easy answer, or more than one because , as David has said, different photographers use different means to achieve their objective.
Here is the approach I use. For 35mm and roll film I use HP5. It gives me everything I want. I like the look I am able to achieve with it in the final print, both in the darkroom and digitally. It scans easily. It has inherent low contrast and therefore gives you a head start when trying to avoid a build up of contrast.
All kinds of developers have been touted as so-called compensation developers. Pyrocat HD, which you mention, does work very well. But I have found that ID11 and Perceptol work equally well, when used in dilute form. I use both but prefer the look I get with ID11, with HP5. ID11 is normally diluted 1:1. But if you dilute it further, to 1:3 you get a compensating developer. But with very long dev. times. I found that the 1:2 dilution does just as good a job in this respect. So my method with 35mm and 120 is to use HP5, rated at 200 ISO, i.e. overexposed by one stop. This will be exposed on bright sunny subjects, less contrasty subjects in the shade, and on other subjects when it may be quite bright but the sun may not actually be out.
I develop the film for 14 minutes in ID11 diluted 1:2. And I get a range of negatives which are not wildly different in contrast. The contrasty ones, taken in bright sun, will usually print in the darkroom by going down to, say, grade 1.5. The flatter negatives , taken in flatter light, will probably need grade 3.4 or even 4. Other negatives, exposed to hazy sun perhaps, will print on maybe grade2.5 or 3. In other words there is enough leeway in the multigrade system to cope easily with the variation of different contrasts on the roll of film.
And these negatives scan well.

Alan
 

David M

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I think you'll find that in fact, this is a much smaller problem. It you had taken half the roll in the Cairo at noon and the other half in a fog in Sunderland there might be difficulties. In practice, serious photographers tend to use a whole roll on an expedition so the all negs have roughly the same contrast. And I think you underestimate the flexibility and power of darkroom printing. Almost all negs need some some manipulation to attain a fine print.
John Sexton, who knew Ansel well, commented on the amount of after-work that AA did. If anyone was going to produce the perfect negative, that printed perfectly with no trouble, then it was Ansel.
The most we can realistically hope for is that all the information is captured. We can't expect the neg to make our prints for us. It's nice it prints easily, but it's a luxury we can't always have.
Magic bullet developers are for people who have problems photographing unicorns.
 

Alan9940

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Where Alan uses HP5, I use FP4+ developed in either Pyrocat-HD or Clayton F-76+. I find FP4+ to have a long tonal scale easily handling high contrast scenes such as those we have here in the desert southwest USA. I will disagree...slightly...with the comments regarding staining developers such as Pyrocat-HD. In my experience, I've found that they can handle very high placement of high values and still retain detail. I suspect that since the stain adds density, the actual silver density stays slightly lower on the curve. I'm not a technician. I respond only to what I've seen in my own prints.

Ian, you may want to investigate D-23; simple to mix as it contains only Metol and Sodium Sulfite. The Metol, being a soft-working developing agent, contributes to this developer's compensating nature. Just a thought...
 

Alan Clark

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Alan, I think we actually agree about Pyrocat. I did say it works very well in high contrast situations. It was my number one developer for a long time when the raw chemicals were easy to buy.
I also agree that FP4 can do a very good job. It's a film that I really like and use a lot.

Alan
 

David M

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I have discovered this PDF. I didn't know it was available online. Well worth perusing.
There's no doubt that he could make very decent prints, even if you prefer a different style. And he didn't even have Multigrade, so no split-grade trickery for him. He favoured simple HC110, of course. If one man* can do it, so can another.
For me, a secret delight is that some of my favourite images were made from negs that are not perfect.

https://manualesdecine.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/the-negative-ansel-adams-series-no-2.pdf

*As I typed the word, I wondered how many women we have. As we all know, there are and have been, some very distinguished female photographers. Perhaps another thread?
 

martin-f5

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I was told by a professional printer that there are no perfect negatives and no straight print does what you need for a fine art print.
Even old Ansel had to adjust with dodging and bruning and contrast control while exposing the film and developing it.
Today it's much more easier using MC paper but not easy without knowing your film dev. combination and, this is not known that much, your paper.

Having a well exposed negativ makes it easier but has also to be adjusted for the print.

Not knowing what your paper is able to show in blacks and how the curve starts and ends it's sometimes a lottery.

Beside making photographs on film it's a weekend job just to print greysteps on a paper.

Last weekend I had to photograph a text sheet on film for using it on a selfmade CD cover,
just black text on a white paper and it took the whole Sunday for getting a negativ which could be printed in darkroom.
 
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Alan9940

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I was told by a professional printer that there are no perfect negatives...
My negatives are perfect! :rolleyes: Wait...I think I feel my nose growing longer as I type!! :D

Seriously, though, one of the reasons I so enjoy the 10x8 camera is because contact prints seem to print themselves. I rarely do any dodging/burning and/or other "trickery" to get a good print. Using this format is certainly harder in the field, but for the mole in the darkroom it's easy going...
 
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