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Thread: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

  1. #51
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    Yes. It's a little weird, but the single-sided film is more expensive. There's a plethora of info on that thread. Start reading it back-to-front and you'll get the hang of it pretty quick. I think all my example photos from the years have disappeared due to a hosting change but there's lots of good examples there still you can peruse and see what you like (and what the film/dev/etc. was).
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  2. #52

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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    Hi Brad

    Well it was certainly good to see Lori with a Giant T

    regards

    Andrew

  3. #53
    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    Quote Originally Posted by RLangham View Post
    Really? That's fantastic. I could really get on board with that. Do you know a current distributor of that type of film? I made a cursory search through my regular channels and most of the x-ray film I found was considerably more expensive than that--in fact, generally more expensive than my trashy Shanghai Pan 100.

    Where do you get yours?
    https://www.zzmedical.com/analog-x-r...-ray-film.html

    https://www.zzmedical.com/analog-x-r...-ray-film.html

    Ektascan is single-emulsion; easier to handle & slightly sharper images but more expensive. The rest are double-emulsion (front & back). The main difference between green & red is where their respective spectral sensitivities fall.

    EI changes throughout the day when shooting outside: as high as EI80 at noon and as low as IE25 before 10 AM or after 2 PM depending on latitude & time of year. Clouds & shade will also affect the EI depending on how much blue/green light they filter.

    Consider "stand" developing to tame the contrast. Many of us use very dilute Pyrocat, Rodinal, or other compensating developers with x-ray film.

    You'll need a guillotine paper cutter to trim to size. Something like the Dahle 18e.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

    seezee at Mercury Photo Bureau
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  4. #54
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    FWIW this is similar to the paper cutter I use for film and it works fine, at 1/8th the cost:
    https://www.amazon.com/LETION-Cutter.../dp/B07MCCL2N3

    I have not found any need to change my EI when shooting green-sensitive emulsions. That seems to be more of an issue with blue-sensitive films. I do have to be careful with the very green-dominant scenes here in the south.
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  5. #55

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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    The second coating of emulsion on the back doesn't cause problems? I'd imagine there would be a second, slightly out-of-focus negative on the back that would make it harder to scan. Since this doesn't sound like it's an issue you've had, why doesn't this occur?

  6. #56
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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    You are correct and the dual-emulsion images are slightly softer but not really anything to get worked up about. You can remove one emulsion with bleach if that's of interest. It's a pain in the butt though and not worth the bother IMO...and I used to do it on every sheet.
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  7. #57
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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    Quote Originally Posted by RLangham View Post
    The second coating of emulsion on the back doesn't cause problems? I'd imagine there would be a second, slightly out-of-focus negative on the back that would make it harder to scan. Since this doesn't sound like it's an issue you've had, why doesn't this occur?
    Handling the double-sided is a little trickier due to scratching the emulsion against the bottom of the tray or such during the development process.
    I stopped using the double-sided because I was getting significant loss of sharpness making carbon prints (very thick emulsion)...but no problem with platinum printing (no emulsion).

    A portrait: 8x10 platinum/palladium print from double-sided x-ray film, and a detail. Not the greatest reproductions, either, sorry. This negative was processed by the crew at the local hospital -- they got a kick out of seeing something else besides images of body parts!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bryce, 8x10P.jpg   Bryce, Detail.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #58

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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    Hmm... I like the tonal range. The overall feel of the photograph is timeless. Feels like it could have been taken in 1950 or ten minutes ago.

    Handling the double-sided is a little trickier due to scratching the emulsion against the bottom of the tray or such during the development process.
    Not necessarily a problem for me. I use a two-sheet 4x5" daylight tank that doesn't involve either side of the neg touching anything. I bought it from China after finding out that I am terrible at tray developing. (Which explains why I have only developed one of my dry plates.)

    As for prints, I only do hybrid photography. I mostly get my 4x5" scanned by a mom-and-pop lab (who put in the bare minimum of effort, unfortunately,) so printing is less of a concern than scanning. Does it scan well? Note that my lab tech, John A., does not handle it well when he encounters something that he's never seen before.

  9. #59
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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    Definitely light on the red sensitivity (Cut, load, and process film under a red safelight). My son Calder all of a sudden had freckles I never noticed!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Calder, 8x10P.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #60
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    Re: Is it worth it to use the Speed Graphic handheld from time to time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    News shooters for decades used them and did just fine. If you want to use it that way - why would we try to discourage you?
    Remember that the old "f/8 and be there" came from the time they were the main tools of Press Photographers.
    I believe Frank Thorp V is shooting handheld speed graphic along with a handful of other things. He's in DC covering Congress for NBC News.
    enjoy your coffee

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