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Alessandro V.
31-Mar-2011, 07:16
Hello everyone,

I am writing to you because I need some help in developing some images correctly...
I am new to 4x5 format and so I decided to make a test to get started (obviously).

What happened...

I've shot around 50 sheets of TMAX100 with my 4x5 camera and, at the same time, I was shooting the same pictures with my 5D mark II.
At the end I loved so much the pictures I've taken with my 5D mark II that I would be very upsed if now I will ruin the work I have done with the 4x5 camera. Basically the digital version is just a backup in case something goes wrong with the developing...

Technical datas...

First of all I was using flashes, if that matters...
I was shooting with my 5D at 160 iso overexeposed (according to the lightmeter) +1 Stop.
I decided to do the same thing with the 4x5 camera so if with with the 5D I was shooting iso 160 at f/11 I decided to shoot TMAX100 at f/8 (I know it's not very precise).

My Aim...

With the 5D I was shooting setting the camera contrast very high and I really loved the effect. I would like to reach a similar result with film.
I've tried to read a bit around and I've understood that TMAX100 is already contrasty and it's easy to loose shadows and highlights details if overdeveloped.
Somebody was suggesting of rating it at 64 and then using an even shorter developing period.
At this point I was getting a bit confused:
I overexposed the film because I liked how it looked digitally therefore my first idea was to develop the film for the standard time in order to, effectively, reach the +1 stop look.
Now I am worried about developind the film for the correct amount of time because I don't want to loose completely all the details in the shadows and highlights (even if if I cut some of shadows and highlights I don't really care).


Could you please help me to solve this problem...?!
Any reccomendation about developer, time, temperature, etc?!

Thank you very much indeed!


Best

Jay DeFehr
31-Mar-2011, 07:27
Alessandro,
If your meter is accurate, and everything in your technique is transferrable, and as far as I can tell, you didn't overexpose your TMX. If I read correctly, you've effectively exposed it at EI 80, in a roundabout way. EI 80 does not represent overexposure with TMX under most circumstances. My advice is to develop normally, and increase contrast in printing, if needed. If you intend to scan your negatives, it's an even stronger argument in favor of developing normally and increasing contrast in post.

On a technical point, overexposure will not cause a loss of shadow detail, just the opposite. More exposure will "find" more detail in deeper shadows than less expsoure would. Over development increases contrast, which can cause difficulties in printing in getting highlight detail to print down without blocking shadow values, so it becomes a one or the other proposition.

So, develop normally, and have fun printing!

Mark MacKenzie
31-Mar-2011, 07:37
But, if I understand, you then opened a stop on the TMax..... so you are 1 stop overexposed according to the digital camera meter which was metering what exactly?

So if you have 50 sheets to develop, why not start at TMax shot at 40 asa? Then develop each following accordingly.

I look forward to seeing your results.

Drew Wiley
31-Mar-2011, 08:16
Unlike many other black-and-white films, TMX is a tough cookie to swallow if it's significantly overexposed. The shadows and midtones will have good gradation, but any upper highlights will probably shoulder off and be tricky to recover detail from.

David de Gruyl
31-Mar-2011, 08:19
40 asa?

One stop from 160 is 80, which is 1/3rd stop extra exposure. In other words: nothing to worry about. (almost all negative film does better being exposed at a little bit less than box speed).

How many are you developing at a time? That is the level of risk. You have 50 sheets, and none of them will be ruined by developing being off by 1/3rd of a stop. In fact, none of them should be ruined by being off by a stop in the overexposed direction. (that depends on the method of printing, as Jay mentioned).

Personally, I'd be more concerned that the meter in your camera does not have any basis in objective reality.

Peter J. De Smidt
31-Mar-2011, 08:19
I usually shoot TMX at EI 50. You should run some basic tests using whatever meter you plan on using in the future. If that's a dslr, then that's what you should test.

ic-racer
31-Mar-2011, 09:36
Depending on the subect brightness range and the amount of lens flare, you would likely need to expose TMX to an EI around 12 or so to get the highlights up near or over the shoulder to spoil the negatives. Though, depending on your enlarger light source, you may have some difficulty printing very dense negatives.

jp
31-Mar-2011, 09:46
Develop a few sheets and see if you get what you like.

If you're scanning, you can get pretty much whatever curve you want out of the negatives.

If you are printing in the darkroom, I prefer to add a little contrast with VC filters rather than remove contrast. Ideally, neither is necessary, but minor adjustments when printing are beneficial.

I'd have to see the look you are going for to recommend a developer.

engl
31-Mar-2011, 09:50
One stop from 160 is 80, which is 1/3rd stop extra exposure. In other words: nothing to worry about. (almost all negative film does better being exposed at a little bit less than box speed).


Measuring with the 5D was done with the camera set at ISO160 and +1EV, which essentially means it was metering at ISO80. However, the same settings were not used on the large format camera, one more stop of light was added.

So in other words, the film was exposed at EI 40, metered with the 5D meter.

Since the goal was a slightly overexposed look, and DSLR meters usually measure somewhat lower than meters for analog photography (they have to, due to how tone curves are used), I would not worry about it and start developing normally. A stop one way or the other is not a big concern with BW film, and developing could be adjusted as you see the result from the first negatives.

If you are looking for the slightly overexposed look, you might even find that you should have overexposed more than you did, due to the different characteristics of BW vs. digital and the way a DSLR meter behaves :)

David de Gruyl
31-Mar-2011, 09:58
Measuring with the 5D was done with the camera set at ISO160 and +1EV, which essentially means it was metering at ISO80. However, the same settings were not used on the large format camera, one more stop of light was added.

So in other words, the film was exposed at EI 40, metered with the 5D meter.

Since the goal was a slightly overexposed look, and DSLR meters usually measure somewhat lower than meters for analog photography (they have to, due to how tone curves are used), I would not worry about it and start developing normally. A stop one way or the other is not a big concern with BW film, and developing could be adjusted as you see the result from the first negatives.

If you are looking for the slightly overexposed look, you might even find that you should have overexposed more than you did, due to the different characteristics of BW vs. digital and the way a DSLR meter behaves :)

I agree with all of this (except I skipped the "+1EV" part because he wants it to look the same).

EdWorkman
31-Mar-2011, 10:21
Try developing a couple of sheets.
I have had trouble with blown highlights, so i "overexpose" and shorten developement
Try two at the time Kodak recommends. [so so you can say you did and compare]
Try two more with 10-15% less, if necessary, depending on how you liked the recommended time.
If you shot 50 sheets you MIGHT lose one or two, but there is no reason to keep a development time that's "wrong" for your techniques?subjects/etc.
It might require more sheets, but 4-6 max should get you close enough.

Alessandro V.
31-Mar-2011, 11:23
Hello,

thank you very much for all the responses!

Actually I am getting even more confused than I was at the beginning... :-)

I'll try to explain what happened a bit better:

I was shooting in studio with just one single flash, camera top right (no flare can be involved).
I measured the light with an external light meter (Sekonic 750) with 2 different iso set.
The reading was similar to this:
ISO 100 f/11,3
ISO 160 f/16
(I might be wrong now, but the exposimeter is perfect...)
(time was not an issue as I was using flash)

Anyway I decided to overexpose either the digital pictures and the ones on film.
So my setting were:
5D mark II: ISO 160 f/11
4x5: ISO 100 f/8

I know I have been imprecise but at the moment I had to take a decision without much time to think. Changing continuosly the flash power output was not an option unfortunately...

Thank you very much for your help!

Best

Peter J. De Smidt
31-Mar-2011, 11:41
That really shouldn't be a problem. If you like, you can set up everything the same way and shoot a few test frames. Try normal development. If it looks good, then that's what you should use to develop the "real" sheets. If it's too contrasty, try developing 15% less, and if too low in contrast, try developing 15% more. If you can't test, then develop one sheet from the shoot normally and evaluate.

grahamcase
31-Mar-2011, 15:27
I think follow EdWorkamn's advice. Just jump in and develop a couple normally - no developing adjustments. One of the people who taught me large format suggested he ALWAYS over exposes his 4x5 by about a stop, so you should be OK.

BetterSense
31-Mar-2011, 17:34
It'll be fine; stop worrying about it. I shoot TMX with no meter and guess, and the pictures look fine. I've printed negatives out of pinhole cameras that must be 5+ stops overexposed and you can get a wonderful print out of them. There's no such thing as proper exposure; just pretend you did it on purpose.

Alessandro V.
5-Apr-2011, 02:30
Great,

I've strated developing everything with standard dev times and it seems to be fine.

At the beginning I've made a test and I developed two sheets for 6.15 sec.
Then, because I thought the water was not actually 24C but more close to 20 (it's a shame I don't have a termometer) I increased the time to 7.30 but the results seems to be the same.
Is it possible or I am missing something?!

I'll scan the negatives and I'll post the results when I am done.
I still have to go through 30 sheets today.... :-)


Thank you to everybody!

E. von Hoegh
5-Apr-2011, 11:42
Use a thermometer!!!!! Even a cheap one should give repeatable results.
The idea is to change one variable at a time. Be careful when mixing to get the same dilutions/concentrations. What about your agitation? this must also be consistent.