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Thread: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

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    ryanmills's Avatar
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    How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    Shooting TriX320 and developing with HC-110 in trays. I have tried shooting from 200 to 800 and developing with dilutions 1:15, 1:31 and 1:62. All changes done one at a time. Seems like no matter what I get a terrible tone curve. The histagram is shaped like a giant U and its a terrible middle gray. Is there anything I can try to push up the mid-tones or pull back the shadows and highlights?

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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    Sure your problem is not in the printing or scanning? Or some handling error? It certainly is no matter of film, speed, developer or development times. Tri-X at nominal speed developed to spec sheet time in HC-110 1:31 should come out excellent, and the combination is so forgiving that even the most extreme of your variations should be well within the limits of a very decent (and printable) negative.

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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    I use HC-110 exclusively, on everything from decades-expired film to fresh T-Max, and it took me a long while to understand how to finesse decent looking scans out of my scanning software even from good negatives. I would ignore the histogram and use your eyes first. With practice you can tell a good negative just from looking at it: whether it's flat, too contrasty or just about right. If you can see that the negative has detail in all the places you want it to, then maybe it's time to investigate the scanning side of things. At least that was true in my case.

    Jonathan

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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    Try a higher temperature e.g. 24C. (you will have to shorten your dev. time). You could also consider D23 1:1 at 24C.

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    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    If your setup permits scanning and editing in 16 bit, do so. This gives you plenty of latitude for curve adjustment.

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    ryanmills's Avatar
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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    Part of my issue is all i have is a v700 scanner, no enlarger. I have spent a TON of time with vuescan and epson scan. both really do seem useless to me but I really cant find much info on how to do it correctly. I tried Ken lee's page and its kind of how im doing it now but still, they all just horrible and the histogram is really bad, a giant U shapewith nonthing in the middle . About to throw everything out the window.

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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanmills View Post
    Part of my issue is all i have is a v700 scanner, no enlarger. I have spent a TON of time with vuescan and epson scan. both really do seem useless to me but I really cant find much info on how to do it correctly. I tried Ken lee's page and its kind of how im doing it now but still, they all just horrible and the histogram is really bad, a giant U shapewith nonthing in the middle . About to throw everything out the window.
    You have to hand adjust the curve with every image. I use the epson software with a similar scanner model (v750) and it works well. As said above, use you eye. Practice scanning the same image using different curves and looking at the results 100% in Photoshop.

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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    I have a different idea about your problem. The histogram shows what you photographed. Lets say in your image is hi contrast scene. This would give a u shaped histogram. I would try filters like red yellow or green, depending on the scene you photographing. Try more agitation while in the tray. Just some thoughts given the information you have given

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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    Quote Originally Posted by photobymike View Post
    I have a different idea about your problem. The histogram shows what you photographed. Lets say in your image is hi contrast scene. This would give a u shaped histogram. I would try filters like red yellow or green, depending on the scene you photographing. Try more agitation while in the tray. Just some thoughts given the information you have given
    I think that was my oddest result, I used fresh dev at exactly 68 degrees twice. First I shuffled 13+1 (13 old sheets, 1 new exposure), then I turned around and did the same thing at with 2 sheets using the excat same speed. I cant really tell the difference, if anything the 2 sheet is very slightly more exposed.

    @John NYC Im back in epson scan, any starting point on the best way to adjust the tone. I see I can do both levels and curves, do you normally adjust both for every photo?

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    Re: How to push up mid tones in developmental?

    Yes

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