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Thread: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

  1. #1

    HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    Help!

    I was doing a shoot this morning, nudes on the beach, with some lovely young models, and got about halfway through and decided then to do a couple of fuji-roids for their scrap book. It was then I discovered that I had overexposed the film by like 4 stops! I know if I process normal (for me that is in straight D76 for 8 minutes) I will have totally blocked up negatives. I really want to seperate the highest tones (I thought I was 1.5 stops under) and had planned to push the film to get better seperation in that region of the curve.

    If anybody out there has a suggestion(s) on how to save these negatives I would be eternally grateful. I was thinking of doing water bath, a short dip and dunk, maybe a split process with a real weak D76 for 5 minutes followed by a kick at the end in straight for 30 seconds, or some other technique. I also have Microphen in my lab (a pretty hot speed developer) and was thinking maybe that would work if I use it for 30 seconds and then soak undesturbed in water for 5 minutes or something like that.

    I shot like 60 sheets of 4x5 before I got wise, so I have lots of opportunity to try various approaches. Fortunately I figured it out before I burned through all the film (I shot an additional 75 sheets after I got a correct exposure on the fujiroid).

    Also, I use a Pentax Spotmeter V, and checked the battery voltage with the little B button, and it was in range. Any ideas why the meter would have been so far off? I had the right ASA setting, and am just at a complete loss.

    A little common sense would have gone a long way here. I should know better, after shooting for 40 years. The old "fun sun, f16, time = ASA" should have told me to shoot at 1/200th or so at f16. I was shooting at 1/15th at f16. OUCH!!

    Thanks everyone in advance.

  2. #2
    Wayne venchka's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    I did something similar with PanF+ roll film. I had NO way to experiment. Called for drastic measures.

    Rodinal. 1:100. Normal agitation for the first 5 minutes. No agitation for 55 minutes. It worked better than I had a right to expect.

    Since then I have come to believe that 1:200 and very gentle agitation for the first minute. Say 20 inversions in 1 minute. Then let sit for 2 hours.

    Somewhere between the two approaches lies the answer.

    You won't waste more than 2 sheets.
    Wayne
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  3. #3

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    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    Interesting things happen to film when you massively overexpose. You actually get a reduction in contrast. You may actually get usable results, though the effects will be kind of strange in terms of the usual ratios of light to dark. I suggest you experiment a lot. You may get a usable result with normal development - though it will require a very long exposure in the enlarger. It may then make sense to reduce development and increase agitation to get better contrast. But I won't make any predictions.

  4. #4

    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    Thanks. Really, two hours! I guess without agitation the developer gets locally depleated. I'll give it a try. When this is all done I'll post the results of all the methods. It should be a valuable lesson for us all to remember some common sense.

  5. #5

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    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    Well at least you'll have plenty of detail in the shadows.
    Pyrocat HD is a developer that would help keep the highlights from blocking up on you.

  6. #6

    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    Thanks. I'll try that method as well. With enough sheets shot incorrectly hopefully I can salvage something of this. The two women were beautiful and we had a great shoot at the beach, so if I can save one or two I am happy.

  7. #7

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    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    Wait until you get all the feedback.

    Over-expose some other negatives, and try your recommended techniques on them first.

    Get an InfraRed viewing device, and watch your film as it develops. Development by Inspection is always a good idea, but even more helpful when things go awry. Learn how a normal negative looks first. Then, you'll be able to judge when development is over.

  8. #8

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    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    As Ken recommended, since these are important negs, overexpose a few test sheets and try them with a few different development regimes.

  9. #9

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    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    I'm still trying to get my hear around the idea of shooting 135 sheets of 4x5 in one day....

  10. #10
    sepiareverb's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! HP5 4 stops over, need processing advice!

    I run HP5+ shot at ISO 50 in Microdol-X 1:1 for 9 1/2 minutes @ 68 with minimal agitation for the second half of the development time. Works great for extreme contrast scenes.

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