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IanBarber
23-Mar-2017, 13:40
Ive been thinking about semi stand development after reading some of the comments from a previous post I created.

My understanding is that this method when used right through minimal agitation, reduces the density in the high values whilst at the same time possibly increase detail in the low values and increase mid tone contrast separation.

I am interested in trying this if only to see if I can see any difference in the high values which may make them easier to scan.

Workflow

Add 1 stop extra exposure to compensate for film losing speed in HC110 (read this in the Negative)
This is my thinking of a workflow for Kodak HC110 in a Paterson developing tank. Total developing time 40 minutes @ 20C


Use dilution 1:119 (G) HC110
Pre-soak the film for 2 - 5 minutes
Constant agitation for 60 seconds
Let it stand untouched for 20 minutes
2 gentle inversions
Let it stand for a further 20 minutes


Does this sound as though I am on the right track

interneg
23-Mar-2017, 16:01
Adequate shadow exposure & non-excessive development of highlights are all that is necessary - if you are using a reasonably competent scanner. Indeed, the better scanners make it remarkably easy to extract details from negs so contrasty that you'd need to use contrast reduction masking in the darkroom to get them on to anything other than grade 00.

Work out a time for a contrast index in the mid-low 0.5s and leave it at that. Maybe bump it upwards a bit if you shoot in really flat light. The rest is fairly pointless commentary. Fiddling around with semi-stand will waste your time, money, film and energy.

Negs developed to that sort of system will scan nicely & print well in the darkroom on MG papers. If you want to exaggerate midtones you'll need to learn masking techniques for contrast control & make a somewhat different type of negative. That's about it.

chassis
23-Mar-2017, 16:31
Exposure - many people shoot 1-2 stops slower than box speed.

Pre-soak - I don't use it.

Agitation - 60 seconds continuous seems a bit much. I give 5 vigorous shakes of a BTZS tube, then 3 minutes later 3 more vigorous shakes. Total development time 13-14 minutes.

Scanning - you can see the histogram of the raw scan in your post processing software. If you have what you consider a high contrast or difficult to manage negative, scan that one and compare it with the semi-stand negative. What you may see in the semi-stand negative is lower overall density and less contrast, which is to say smaller overall histogram range.

Which is better, is for the artist or client to decide.

Greg
23-Mar-2017, 16:46
I just use Diafine to achieve the same thing. Several articles in VIEWCAMERA magazine recommended using Diafine for developing negatives to be scanned.

I did a simple 3 negative comparison of HC110 dilution B, Rodinal 1:75 with a 9% Sodium Sulfite solution, and Diafine. Diafine produced the "best" negative for scanning, and the other 2 the "best" negatives for printing directly from. 4x5 negatives printed 8x10, so sharpness not a factor. Subjectively judging contrast, shadow and highlight detail, and tonalities to my liking... so might not be the same for another person.

stawastawa
23-Mar-2017, 21:32
sounds like a goos place to start ian!
I would use a well defined pre soak time, just to make it more repeatable in the future.
If you can measure density I would be curious to know what your results are. certainly post some raw and adjusted images when you get them!

IanBarber
24-Mar-2017, 01:57
I just use Diafine to achieve the same thing. Several articles in VIEWCAMERA magazine recommended using Diafine for developing negatives to be scanned.

Can you remember the article number, I would like to read this if I can still get a copy

interneg
24-Mar-2017, 02:46
It should also be noted that what you are describing would count as 'stand', not 'semi-stand' which is really 'reduced agitation intervals' - ie not more than 5 mins between agitation cycles. Michael R of this forum took apart most of the hyperinflated claims for stand development over on apug several years ago - all it often appears to do is encourage uneven development.

If you get that Imacon scanner you mentioned in another thread, you won't need to indulge in techniques dreamt up to compensate for the awful performance of certain epson scanners. ie you can process normally, with no silly fiddling about.

Pere Casals
24-Mar-2017, 04:46
It should also be noted that what you are describing would count as 'stand', not 'semi-stand' which is really 'reduced agitation intervals' - ie not more than 5 mins between agitation cycles. Michael R of this forum took apart most of the hyperinflated claims for stand development over on apug several years ago - all it often appears to do is encourage uneven development.

If you get that Imacon scanner you mentioned in another thread, you won't need to indulge in techniques dreamt up to compensate for the awful performance of certain epson scanners. ie you can process normally, with no silly fiddling about.


To me Stand/semistand development is well documented compensating technique. Another one is intermitent water bath during development. Another is 2 bath developers that also plays with component exhaustion.

This is well explained in "Darkroom Cook Book" for example. Then one can take advantage or not for some situations.


Stand/semistand development has a clear effect in the negative. It is true that we can use Photoshop to equal more or less the results, as digital image manipulation is very easy. For that we'll even need Adaptative Contrast enhacement for microcontrast.


IMHO for genuine optical prints Stand/semistand development (with diluted developers) will offer unique practical effects.

> Controlling highlights by local developer exhaustion.

> Perhaps better shadows.

> Enhanced microcontrast in highlights and (perhaps, depending on factors) in mid tones.

> Enhanced adjacency effects



Stand/semistand development is a tool, this is for sure. Some people master that tool and it's useful for them. Some say they don't need it.


Personally I've used only once Semi stand, I think I got very interesting effects and I'm motivated to investigate more to see if it's worth for me.


One super clear thing, reduced_agitation + diluted_developer will help controlling contrasty scenes. We can do N-2 by reducing dev time, for N-3 I find interesting reduced agitation / more dilution. Still one needs to avoid uneven development, for example developing sheets in tray, I used a paper safe in my test.






If you get that Imacon scanner you mentioned in another thread, you won't need to indulge in techniques dreamt up to compensate for the awful performance of certain epson scanners. ie you can process normally, with no silly fiddling about.

V500 can be awful for some jobs, sure. V750 is not awful at all, but a very competent cheap machine. Regarding BW / LF few jobs will have visible benefits with drum. With the drum you would obtain slight better microcontrast in BW, specially in some situations, but as you have a digital file then microcontrast can be perfectly adjusted with Adaptative Contrast tools, doing better job than best camera_lens + drum_scanner is able.


If you are to print "1m high only" it looks to me that better drum dpi has no meaning, as printer has not dots enough to even print the V750 image quality, so the drum additional pixels will be binned and not useful at all.

Are you to print 3m mosters and see the image at reading distance? In that situation IMHO it can be a clear difference, drum sligtly better if camera had absolutely no shake when shot, and aperture under /32: a diffraction limited image (or with minimal shake, easy calculations) does not benefit from a better scanner (Drum vs V750).

We can branch a separate thread to (calmly) discuss that again.


Of course a 1m BW print from 35mm film will benefit from drum or LS5000 compared to V750. But for BW sheets a benefit is really difficult to obtain over V750.

IanBarber
24-Mar-2017, 05:10
Interesting Pere, and a nice explanation.

I know semi/stand has been discussed many times before and I was hesitant to even start the post but I am interested in the process and the more information I can gather from more experienced users, the more I will understand it.

To be fair, I am printing no larger than 13x19 on an Epson 3880 printer so your comments regarding drum scanning is interesting. You mentioned Adaptative Contrast tools, anything in particular or just fine curves adjustments and masking.

Michael R
24-Mar-2017, 05:29
You'll have to try it and see. Minimal agitation techniques require experimentation.

When it comes to total negative contrast, reduced agitation techniques only result in compression/compensation when paired with compensating-type developers. Very few general purpose developers fall into this category. For example, two developers commonly used with reduced agitation (dilute HC-110, dilute Rodinal) don't really work this way. The results are often people seeing what they want to see.

That said, when it works, greatly reduced agitation can potentially be useful IF the developer promotes edge effects. The resulting exaggerated edge effects (sometimes called "micro contrast") can enhance the perception of overall midtone contrast and sharpness (ie the same effect as using an unsharp mask). Whether or not this is desirable is completely subjective. It should be noted, however, depending on the emulsion and developer, edge effects may or may not be increased by reducing agitation. This is complex.

It also goes without saying one must watch carefully for uneven/mottled development when using semi stand techniques, and develop a process which avoids these pitfalls to the greatest extent possible. Many of the examples I see look terrible.

I know very little about scanning so I can't help much there. Based on what I've read, it seems when a negative is destined for scanning, people generally prefer the negative to have a relatively straight line characteristic curve.

RSalles
24-Mar-2017, 06:05
Just as a side note: you'll probably see a film speed gain - in stand 1:150 1 hr with Agfa Rodinal I had a +2/3 of film speed increase compared to N/normal development.
I don't use HC-110 as a developer for semi or stand, as I find this developer too aggressive in highlights shaping, and grain structure - having a nice micro-contrast in shadows zone as a counter effect. The most successful combo for stand &semi-stand I had was with Agfa Rodinal instead. I usually use HC-110 for normal agitation and continuous agitation, a BTZS. If you have the time to search I have a dozen of photos with reduced agitation at my flickr page - https://www.flickr.com/photos/sallesrenato/

Cheers,

Renato

djdister
24-Mar-2017, 06:29
My 2 cents - I've only found edge effects to be desirable for tiny format negatives, rather than for LF, but to each his or her own.

Pere Casals
24-Mar-2017, 06:46
Interesting Pere, and a nice explanation.

I know semi/stand has been discussed many times before and I was hesitant to even start the post but I am interested in the process and the more information I can gather from more experienced users, the more I will understand it.

To be fair, I am printing no larger than 13x19 on an Epson 3880 printer so your comments regarding drum scanning is interesting. You mentioned Adaptative Contrast tools, anything in particular or just fine curves adjustments and masking.


Sorry, I said adaptative and is Adaptive ( not native english :) )

"is an excellent tool to lighten up shadow areas, which are too dark, without changing mid-tones and highlights. Thus, image details get visible in dark, low-contrast image areas that otherwise would remain hidden." , see sample images...

http://www.silverfast.com/highlights/aaco/en.html

This is only a commercial definition of it. But IMHO this is a wide concept of digital tools.

There are a lot of commercial tools with that. Adjusting contrast locally is a major tool for all Image enhancing software.

Some tools even recognize context. Man/Woman, Children/Yuong/Old, Race... Then it locates face, eyes, lips, cheek. Then it locally applies sharpening/softening algorithms, contrast, saturation, LUTs...


Intelligent Adaptive Contrast may apply locally a sharpening algorithm with different radius and strength depending on detected structure. If it detects a fine texture it will sharpen strongly with suitable small radious. If it detects an out of focus area it will do nothing (it would increase noise) or even it can try to deliver a better bokeh.


This can be made manually, imagine you have a portrait. Perhaps you will select eyes and sharpen it, while softening cheek. Also there is a cloth in the portrait with fine texture... you can apply there the right sharpening algorithm.


Popular imaging enhancing software (Perfecty Clear, Instagram site) have a wide range of cooperative filters that work together, beyond tonal relationships it may apply optimal sharpening settings depending on the local context with the right radious.


You can apply same sharpening for all image, of you can use regions and masks to apply different settings for each region. Automatic software can do that, often the way is undisclosed, you just have an slide: more or less effect !!




Scanners


In the Epson range IMHO it's worth to end using the V700 to V850 range. Then one must learn when a more expensive flatbed or a drum can make a difference or not.

I concluded next, for me:

1st priority: V700 to V850 do all machine

2nd priority: dedicated roll film scanner, for 35mm only (120 scanner is too expensive for me, and not necessary)

3rd priority: Use drum service for some slide shots with interesting deep shadows that no flatbed will read well.

Pere Casals
24-Mar-2017, 06:48
...


I agree

Greg
24-Mar-2017, 06:50
Can you remember the article number, I would like to read this if I can still get a copy

Main article at:

http://www.tmax100.com/photo/pdf/devforscan.pdf

Pere Casals
24-Mar-2017, 06:55
My 2 cents - I've only found edge effects to be desirable for tiny format negatives, rather than for LF, but to each his or her own.

Well, perhaps it depends more on the enlargement ratio than on format. Perhaps a 1m print form 4x5 may show some adjacency effect...