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Thread: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

  1. #81
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe O'Hara View Post
    At the risk of stepping into, as an unbeliever, what might be a religious war , I find that in all but
    the most extreme high contrast situations, Tmax 400 developed in D-23 1:4 with reduced agitation gives very
    nicely printable negatives on Ilford MG Warmtone. Under these conditions I back the ISO down a half-stop
    or so (and I'm one of those who like to place "open shadows" on Zone IV). MGW is so soft in my experience that
    I had to goose up my film development times considerably compared to MG Classic.

    I don't know, but I can imagine that that dilution of D-23 might cause the Tmax 400 to develop a significant
    toe that requires the extra exposure. In any event it's not a big issue because I'm not photographing moving
    subjects most of the time anyway.

    When things get really nuts (e.g., at the seashore with wet sand), WD2H yields easily printable negatives at
    the cost of one full stop of effective film speed. Low tone separation is excellent and highlights are perfectly
    tractable.

    I mostly use D-23 because it's so much easier (no need to mix things at the last minute), but I always have
    the pyro mixed up and ready just in case. Sometimes I make two negatives and try different development on
    each one. I own a densitometer but I've never bothered to use it. I employ just the little bit of science I need
    to accomplish the art that I'm interested in.

    There are many paths to the goal (good prints of good pictures, in my case), so the usual disclaimers apply
    to my practice.
    Joe, I like tones that go from black to white like your here. It provides good contrast that I find pleasing.
    https://www.josephoharaphotography.c...8514#h6f42c453

    Now this one seems to bring out the shadows too much. It tends to flatten the tonal range.
    https://www.josephoharaphotography.c...8514#h6edd4f11

    Do you recall the processing you did on both and how they relate to your processes describe here?

  2. #82

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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    No, you don't know what TMax is capable of; otherwise, you wouldn't write things like that.
    Drew, tmx is very well explained in the datasheet. Cuves have absolute units, in Lux x Second, so there is no doubt about what it does. No miracle, at -3.3 under exposure 0.1D+FB, and no shoulder.

    I guess you know how to see in the curve what exact density you have for each exposure level, easy to check it!

    The tmx curves match what is found in practice, of course. Kodak datasheets are very good.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 24-Jun-2019 at 03:35.

  3. #83
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    I know that when I'm asleep, Pere. There is no right or wrong in these various technique options. Some ice skaters play it safe and use only the center of the rink, while others prefer the thrill of using the whole thing. Does that analogy register with you?

  4. #84

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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I know that when I'm asleep, Pere. There is no right or wrong in these various technique options. Some ice skaters play it safe and use only the center of the rink, while others prefer the thrill of using the whole thing. Does that analogy register with you?
    Drew, let me show OP how the TMX datasheet is interpreted, for D-76:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    First we find speed point, this is 0.1D over Fog+Base, the curve with normal contrast (0.62) is used to determine the speed point.

    The meter point (-/+0) is exactly 1H unit (logarithmic) at right in the Horizontal axis, each 1H is the same than 3.3 stops (3 1/3 in fact).

    As in the vertical axis we have density then we can predict density for each over or under exposure.

    _____________________________________

    D-76 is a bit compensating, T-MAX developer isn't:

    T-MAX has a normal development time of 7:45. We the 7min curve that's the closest to normal contrast:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    __________________________


    Before we shot, we may predict (approx mental calc) what densities we'll have in the highlights and in the shadows, to know if shadow detail will be well recorded and if highlights will be relatively easy to print.

  5. #85
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Drew, let me show OP how the datasheet is interpreted, for D-76:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TMX.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	53.4 KB 
ID:	192742

    First we find speed point, this is 0.1D over Fog+Base, the curve with normal contrast (0.62) is used to determine the speed point.

    The meter point (-/+0) is exactly 1H unit (logarithmic) at right in the Horizontal axis, each 1H is the same than 3.3 stops (3 1/3 in fact).
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...2&d=1561419559
    Curious about the Density ratings on the left and scanners. Does the 3.0 mean that any scanner with a dMax of at least 3, would be able to capture the dark areas on the negative?

  6. #86
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    The more relevant question would be how much of that extreme density is really usable. That's why I advocate using as much of the lower section of the curve as possible in high contrast scenes, at least until it starts leveling off into the toe per se; otherwise, you can risk either going onto the shoulder at the top or ending up with so much density it's hard to deal with. The published curve is what it is, and tells you jus enough to get started, but by no means what the curve can become with different parameters. I have plotted many TMax curves. It all depends on the degree of exposure,specific developer, and degree of development. One curious feature of TMX is how it can develop a slight hump in the middle at full development, just the opposite of the sag one is likely to encounter with other films, or even with TMX underdeveloped or minus developed.

  7. #87

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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Curious about the Density ratings on the left and scanners. Does the 3.0 mean that any scanner with a dMax of at least 3, would be able to capture the dark areas on the negative?
    Yes, of course.

    The question is what noise the scanner has at what high densities, but for negative film an scanner + Ps has no problem to process/print densities that would be a nightmare in darkroom printing.

    In the case of the cheap Epsons they reach 3.1D well, but we need to use the multi-exposure (ME) feature to go beyond to reach 3.4D, multi-exposure lowers noise if insanely high densitie are there. Silverfast bundled version of the V850 includes ME, but the V800 not, and that feature has to be purchased separately upgrading software.




    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    The more relevant question would be how much of that extreme density is really usable. That's why I advocate using as much of the lower section of the curve as possible in high contrast scenes, at least until it starts leveling off into the toe per se; otherwise, you can risk either going onto the shoulder at the top or ending up with so much density it's hard to deal with.
    Of course, but this requires spot metering very accurately and having our shutter speeds checked with a shutter tester, because we won't have a "safety factor".



    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    The published curve is what it is, and tells you just enough to get started, but by no means what the curve can become with different parameters.
    but it is a very good starting point, probably other factors have more impact: the way we meter/develop, aperture calibration, shutter calibration, transmission loss in old lenses, bellows compensation...

    As you say, it is an starting point... If we use diluted very developer with low agitation then we may want to plot a new curve, or just we can see how highlights are rendered for each overexposure level.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    One curious feature of TMX is how it can develop a slight hump in the middle at full development, just the opposite of the sag one is likely to encounter with other films, or even with TMX underdeveloped or minus developed.
    I find this specially critical for darkroom printed portraiture, as it matters in the depiction of shadings, so in the face volumes. With hybrid we bend the curves like we want...

  8. #88
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    I doubt anyone is going to do a good job scanning and then printing if they can't print it well in the darkroom, Pere. PS is a mimic, that's all. If it's not sufficiently on the film to begin with, you're not going to recover it well digitally. You might be able to dub and fake something else in; but that's a different story. Maybe there's a Dr. Frankenstein or two out there who can dig up disgusting dead negatives and spark some life back into it using PS; but it might turn out to be a monster. Restoring damaged antique photos is easier that way. As per curve control, I've been doing it for years using exclusively darkroom methods. But if someone prefers a digital tool kit instead, that's fine. As far as needing to spotmeter accurately, yes, this is especially important when optimizing TMax films. But it's no harder than what people who shoot color chromes need to routinely do. If that's just too big a hurdle, then switch to more a forgiving type of film.

  9. #89

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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I doubt anyone is going to do a good job scanning and then printing if they can't print it well in the darkroom, Pere. PS is a mimic, that's all.
    To me it's way more difficult to nail a print in the darkroom than in Ps, of course I'm a rookie printer, but I find the PS fexibility in the curve control way beyond darkroom techniques.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1503043

    Still, a sound darkroom print is fantastic, to me it's the way to go.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    As far as needing to spotmeter accurately, yes, this is especially important when optimizing TMax films. But it's no harder than what people who shoot color chromes need to routinely do. If that's just too big a hurdle, then switch to more a forgiving type of film.
    Well, also switching to a more forgiving processing, a well diluted developer with reduced agitation contributes to control highlights while not imposing a particular contrast grade. Tray developing is specially suitable for that.

  10. #90
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Retain highlights with Tmax 100

    Please keep in mind, Pere, that the model of TMax exposure and dev I've been proposing is somewhat the missing link to optimizing it under certain conditions that some have overlooked. It's not the only method I use even with this particular film. In fact, right behind me at this moment is a very nice framed portrait taken on 8X10 TMX where I broke just about every one of my own "rules" given in this particular thread, and did so deliberately. But it was knowing those parameters to begin with which allowed me to do that successfully.

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