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Thread: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

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    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    Two 7"x17" negatives identically exposed.
    Top negative is Pyro processed for 24 minutes in a tray with continuos agitation pushing highlight density all the way to 1.79 above film base plus fog.
    Bottom negative is Pyro processed with a Semi-Stand processing method for a total time of 45 minutes with only one agitation cycle at the halfway point of 1 Minute in length. Highlight density is only 1.33

    Conventional wisdom would dictate that a negative of 1.79 would be much more contrasty than a negative of only 1.33 highlight density. Push processing such as the 1.79 negative merely pushes tonalities farther up the "same slope" of the film's straight line. Minimal Agitation forms of film processing actually "increase the slope" of the straight line effectively separating the identical tonalities in the 1.33 negative more abruptly than those tonalities in the 1.79 negative.

    Cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails HorseShoe_Negs_Tray_EMA.jpg  


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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    Steve,

    The 1.33 negative would print nicely on Azo/Lodima. Is there an advantage using your development method for contact printing on these papers? What differences do you see in the print (contact)?

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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_4622 View Post
    Steve,

    The 1.33 negative would print nicely on Azo/Lodima. Is there an advantage using your development method for contact printing on these papers? What differences do you see in the print (contact)?
    The easiest and shortest way to explain how the Minimally Agitated Neg would be different is the neg would appear to have a grade # 3 Contrast looking print when using grade # 2 Contrast paper. It's a very powerful technique

    In response to the suggestion the negs are reversed, they are not, the neg on the bottom shows greater separation while having a lower highlight density

    Thanks for commenting


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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    This looks interesting. How is mid tone separation compared to the minimal agitation - in the final prints?

    Any downside in negative or image quality that you have found?
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    If I am stupid then, I am sure knowing you, you will be gentle.
    And if I don't get it then at least 50 other people don't as well.
    The highlights (white on positive print and dark on the negative) are clearly darker on the bottom negative. Can you clarify for us who don't know what we are seeing, what's going on?
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

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    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherman View Post
    In response to the suggestion the negs are reversed, they are not, the neg on the bottom shows greater separation while having a lower highlight density
    Is your monitor turned upside down?

    The highlight densities of the lower neg are MUCH greater than those of the upper neg on my screen.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    Can you clarify for us who don't know what we are seeing, what's going on?
    I was not asked, but let me say what I see...

    A common photographic process does translate on film light levels to a density scale. For each lux·second exposure level we have a certain density level described by sensitometric curves.

    Minimal agitation with diluted developers do more: it enhances microcontrast locally, in special for mids and highlights.

    EMA is not only about controlling highlights to prevent excessive density, it also plays with local/selective developer exhaustion. It improves microcontrast because the faster consumption of developer in the white spots of a texture restricts the amount of developer available for the darker spots of the texture, and this increases the local microcontrast without increasing the overall negative contrast.

    This can be demonstrated very easily with photoshop, just taking a crop of an EMA negative (of a texturized area) and displaying the histogram. The histogram of the same area is always way wider that the one with a regular development, being both negatives developed to the same general contrast.

    Then we have a question: is this good ?

    In general this is good, because the image resembles more what a human eye would see in the natural scene, as eye uses an organic reading method that uses locally adaptative contrast evaluation, this is organically performed in several ways, including chemical resources exhaustion. EMA also compensates for flare...

    I made personal analisys of EMA shot using local histograms, and personally I've no doubt it works like this, not speaking about a subjective impression, but measuring local dispersion of densities at micro scale compared with overall contrast.


    Another question is we want that effect or not, or when we want it...

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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherman View Post
    The easiest and shortest way to explain how the Minimally Agitated Neg would be different is the neg would appear to have a grade # 3 Contrast looking print when using grade # 2 Contrast paper. It's a very powerful technique
    What is the advantage of having a grade 3 print on grade 2 paper?

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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Is your monitor turned upside down?

    The highlight densities of the lower neg are MUCH greater than those of the upper neg on my screen.

    - Leigh
    Leigh, this is true, scanner had to be in auto mode with different levels, because the mean gray level of both are exactly the same, see it with Ps, F8 Information, and mask regions containing one of the negatives. IMHO the images show the different local contrast, and the 1.33D, and 1.79D have to come from a densitometer. But you are right, the sample images do not tell the truth about max density.

    IMHO both negatives should be scanned at the same time (on bed, without the V700 holders) with all auto choices diasabled.


    Quote Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
    What is the advantage of having a grade 3 print on grade 2 paper?
    You obtain a look that otherwise would require CRM+SCIM+"etc" . For sure masking techniques and Alan Ross way selective masking would provide more control.

    Well, in fact with A Ross selective masking we have total local contrast control: http://phototechmag.com/selective-ma...onal-darkroom/

    With EMA we just have higher microcontrast for the same overal contrast. This is good for a sharp look.

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    Re: Minimal Agitation Negative versus Tray Processed Negative

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    This looks interesting. How is mid tone separation compared to the minimal agitation - in the final prints?

    Any downside in negative or image quality that you have found?
    Image quality is enhanced to a degree not possible with any other forms of film development, mid tone contrast is exaggerated but because the process is organic there is a smoothness that is present. Downside is only one sheet of film is processed at a time and sometimes it is a 45 minute processing time. Other sheets can be processed in separate tubes to economize on time spent processing fillm


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