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  #31  
Old February 24th, 2010, 06:37 AM
Jim Galli Jim Galli is offline
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Dawid is right of course with this exception. As the film gets larger the scans do look better. So keep that on the back burner in case the day comes when you long for some good black and white again. You can get into the LF market very cheaply now as most have abandoned for digi color. An old Burke and James 5X7 with a piece of vintage glass up front is a machine to be reckoned with. And processing these "alternative" sheets one at a time in a darkened room with 3 Yankee plastic trays is a return to simplicity that is most rewarding. Turn on the stereo and turn off the lights. A few minutes later you flip the switch back on for the inevitable "rush" as you see a BIG negative with lots of potential staring up at you. Also fun is to put cheap resin base paper in the 5X7 as the media and use that instead of film. Then you are scanning a 5X7 piece of reflective material that needs only to be inverted for the final image.

I've also noted that as the scanners have improved pretty drastically the 35mm scans have gotten more usable over time.
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  #32  
Old February 24th, 2010, 09:39 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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You guys are of course right about MF/LF being easier to scan and delivering much better results than the 35mm film. However, do not discount 35mm fully yet, as it can be quite good when scanned properly.

Cheers,

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Last edited by Cem_Usakligil; February 26th, 2010 at 01:02 AM. Reason: typo corrected
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  #33  
Old February 24th, 2010, 05:33 PM
Wendy Thurman Wendy Thurman is offline
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While wet printing is certainly preferable to negative scans and it's the route I would take if it were at all possible for me, an all-out darkroom setup here is out of the question. In my case, there's always "tomorrow"- I can print the negatives some other time. In the interim, the scanner alternative is workable, though far from optimal. Quite simply, one does what one can!

At the moment, my aim is to re-acquire a lost familiarity with film and the nuances of processing it and to additionally acquire, for the first time, a working familiarity with the Leica rangefinder. Scanned negatives afford me a glimpse into what is possible.

Wendy
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  #34  
Old February 26th, 2010, 12:00 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
Hi Dawid,

You did not come over as being harsh, do not worry about that :-). And I respect your opinion and experience. What I meant to write is not that I disagree with you, I don't. But since under my circumstances I am not willing to develop/print analog material myself, then your rightly formulated total chain value proposition will also dictate that I do not need to try after all, lol.

My experiences with B&W prints produced by dispassionate mass producing photo labs is that they have always been mediocre. And I don't have any professional custom labs in the neighborhood to have the prints done there manually. Even if I did, it would cost me an arm and a leg. Of course I know that you'd do the job a million times better, there is no dispute about that :-).

I have the EF 70-200 L IS f2.8, EF 100mm 2.8 macro, EF 50mm 1.4 and EF 17-40 L f4. The only one which is slightly exotic is the last one due to the extreme wide angle. Re. the scanning of film, although I have complained that it is PITA, it also happens that I am quite good at it. I know all too well the problems associated with the 35mm format, the dust, the grain, the whole works. I can get pretty good results, it is just that it takes a lot of time to get there.

Cheers,
Cem, we are on the same page then. I must admit, if I had a DSLR, and no darkroom, I would also not be tempted to shoot 35mm. They are really too similar, the only advantage to shooting B&W film would be the greater highlight dynamic range (in my experience, it really is vastly greater than even the most carefully processed RAW file). The unique tones might be another reason, but most RAW files could be processed to come close. This comes at the expense of all sorts of other nonsense, though.

This is why I suggested perhaps a medium format camera, even the cheapest can usually produce a "look" that is not reproducible with a typical modern 35mm lens, and almost makes it worth the pain. Even a $30 Yashica TLR is wonderful in that regard, i.e. the out-of-focus rendition of the (simple) lens on this camera is unlikely to be achievable with any modern lens:


Ultimately, we should all do what feels like "fun" to us :-) And continue pushing our own boundaries...

Last edited by Asher Kelman; February 26th, 2010 at 01:36 AM.
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  #35  
Old March 1st, 2010, 03:03 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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David, your MF work is still threatening my wallet:) There again, perhaps a cheap enlarger would just threaten my, already limited and very precious, time.

Here's a shot from the back end of last year - Adox CHS25 film in xtol, hand held in a dark place:) Zeiss Ikon and 50 C-Sonnar iirc.

Edited to add another from the same day that seems to go with

Mike



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  #36  
Old March 1st, 2010, 05:11 PM
Wendy Thurman Wendy Thurman is offline
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The first one is very nice, Mike. It has a timeless, quiet feel to it.

Wendy
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  #37  
Old March 1st, 2010, 10:12 PM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
David, your MF work is still threatening my wallet:) There again, perhaps a cheap enlarger would just threaten my, already limited and very precious, time.

Here's a shot from the back end of last year - Adox CHS25 film in xtol, hand held in a dark place:) Zeiss Ikon and 50 C-Sonnar iirc.

Edited to add another from the same day that seems to go with

Mike
Mike, both images are very quiet and atmospheric, and I love the "look" I am seeing from the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar. I would love to try Adox CHS25, I have for the time being getting comfortable primarily with two films, Ilford FP4 and HP5, with a bit of Panf F thrown in (which I love, but cannot get easily here in ZA).

My time is certainly also limited, but it is so worthwhile to pick up an enlarger and make some analogue prints. I realised this week-end again, after a great darkroom session, why I am in love with silver-based black and white. Especially 6x7cm, the prints have such richness, even when it's a not-so-sharp hand-held snapshot with my RB67 at slow shutter speed. There is real "substance" there.

Two years ago, medium format was a mystery to me, and now I cannot go back. All I think about is to one day get a Mamiya 7II rangefinder to compliment the R-Beast-67. This is what is holding me back from Leica, to be honest. There is just no beating a 6x7cm negative for darkroom work.

(P.S. Yes, I know a 4x5in does beat it, but that is another story for another day... I have not ventured there yet :-)
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  #38  
Old March 6th, 2010, 03:39 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Wendy, David

Thanks for your comments. Yes the Sonnar is a wonderful lens, that can change your perception on the need for absolute sharpness! The colour is great too.

I've just had a quick revisit of the first, darkening the print a bit and cropping very slightly - can you let me know if you think this improves it?

I also managed to leave my Ricoh GX200 on a train the other day in a coat pocket (!) so my film cameara is my carry around again:) Frustrating, but all things work to the good.

Thanks

Mike


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  #39  
Old March 6th, 2010, 01:56 PM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
I've just had a quick revisit of the first, darkening the print a bit and cropping very slightly - can you let me know if you think this improves it?
Oh yes, I much prefer your second version, much "richer" and more purposeful. That's be a nice negative to make an analogue print from, for sure.

Sorry to hear you lost the Point 'n Shoot! Glad you're seeing the positive in the situation, though... I have become so addicted to 6x7cm negatives, my RB67 has become my "carry around" lately, with the little olympus seeing less use this month. I get pretty interesting looks from people though, that's for sure - it's not a discreet camera to be carrying around.

Ironically, using it (waist-level finder) is more discreet than bringing a small OM-1 body up to the eye to take the shot... go figure :-)
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  #40  
Old March 7th, 2010, 02:56 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Thanks David, I'm pleased you like it. I'm trying to imagine you wandering around with your RB as a 'street' camera:)

Here's another from the Sonnar - a quick test roll of Acros I shot and developed in Xtol.

Sonnar meets acros metts a beer!

Mike


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  #41  
Old March 7th, 2010, 03:12 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
... Sonnar meets acros metts a beer!
Blasphemy! Leffe is not just a beer, it belongs to the royalty of trappist beers from Belgium. ;-)

Good picture BTW, I like the Acros tonality and fine grain.


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  #42  
Old March 8th, 2010, 09:57 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
Thanks David, I'm pleased you like it. I'm trying to imagine you wandering around with your RB as a 'street' camera:)

Here's another from the Sonnar - a quick test roll of Acros I shot and developed in Xtol.

Sonnar meets acros metts a beer!

Mike
Hi Mike,

The RB67 makes a splendid street camera in my opinion. I know this sounds crazy, because it's a tank, but (apart from the rather loud "ker-schlunk" when you actually press the shutter) it's quite discrete, people generally don't have a clue what it is, and it's a very vibration-free camera, I can hand-hold it to slower shutter speeds than any other camera I've used before. It must be the weight, combined with the leaf shutter. Anyway, it's a lovely cantankerous old thing.

These are some images I finished printing this week-end, all of them hand-held snapshots, i.e. using it in the guise of a "street" camera, even though they were not taken on "the street" per se.


(RB67, 50mm at f/4.5, 1/8s hand-held, 8x10in analogue print)


(RB67, 140mm at f/4.5, 8x10in analogue print)


(RB67, 250mm at f/4.5, 8x10in analogue print)
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  #43  
Old March 8th, 2010, 01:47 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Dawid - all lovely, but the second is just beautiful. The moment perfectly caught and the print is just looking beautiful

MIke
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  #44  
Old March 10th, 2010, 06:31 AM
Wendy Thurman Wendy Thurman is offline
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And here's a contribution- Leica M6, 50/1.4 ASPH, Tri-X in D76:


Wendy
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  #45  
Old March 10th, 2010, 10:52 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy Thurman View Post
And here's a contribution- Leica M6, 50/1.4 ASPH, Tri-X in D76:

Wendy
Hi Wendy,

When did you shoot this picture? Just a technical comment, you appear to have severely back-focused, the ground behind the subject is in clear focus. What aperture did you shoot at?

P.S. An M6 and a 50mm Aspherical lens is one of the leanest, meanest (and most expensive!) setups around for doing 35mm black and white, I'd love to see more of your results...

For 35mm, I am quite happy with my Olympus OM-1 (specifically because of two incomparably special lenses in the system, the 90mm f/2.0 Macro and the 250mm f/2.0) but I would love to migrate to a Leica M-series one day for the fast wide-angle lenses. The SLR wide angle lenses have never quite done it for me, although I do love and use very often the Olympus 24mm f/2.0.

There are such bargains to be had in film systems, for the money of selling my Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L I could purchase one of only a couple of hundred 250mm f/2.0 lenses ever made, tested in the 1980s to be the best commercial camera system lens ever up to that point. I find it spectacular in every way. The closest one can find today is a Nikon/Canon 200mm f/2.0, and at 4x the price. This (one of my first test shots taken with the lens, about 3 months ago) was taken wide open at f/2.0:


(Olympus OM-1, Ilford FP4+, 5x7in silver-gelatin analog print, print scanned with Epson V700)
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  #46  
Old March 10th, 2010, 05:50 PM
Wendy Thurman Wendy Thurman is offline
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Dawid-

The photo was shot about ten days ago- second roll of film out of the Leica. I forget the aperture but would guess it was around 5.6-8. I have the .85 finder which I now know has flare issues (repairable) and I am struggling a bit with the rangefinder system in general but am improving. I am also not yet where I want to be with the processing; I need to experiment with some differing temperature and dilution combinations. I'll shoot some Pan-F today and see where that leads but I've got to hit on a better developng technique. It would seem that my darkroom competency has deserted me. After using DSLR's, going back to the basics has been humbling but enjoyable.

Another shot but it's too grainy. I've got to experiment with a temperature and dilution that gives better results with Tri-X:


Nice look from that 250/2 but I am really taken with your work done on the RB-67. I've used one of those and really like the cameras.

Wendy
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  #47  
Old March 10th, 2010, 06:27 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy Thurman View Post
After using DSLR's, going back to the basics has been humbling but enjoyable.
Yes, that's true and apples to all of us. I cannot imagine I have 1/10 of the capability in wet darkroom processing compared to my skills with digital files! It's still especially enjoyable because there's magic there of surpise that's missing in digital!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy Thurman View Post
Another shot but it's too grainy. I've got to experiment with a temperature and dilution that gives better results with Tri-X:

I would expect Howard Hughes, himself, to step out of the plain when it lands and pat the craft on the side as he strides to his waiting limo.

Asher
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  #48  
Old March 10th, 2010, 06:32 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Dawid Loubser View Post


(Olympus OM-1, Ilford FP4+, 5x7in silver-gelatin analog print, print scanned with Epson V700)
Dawid,

When I saw this picture, I wondered why the detail in the rear right was out of focus. Now I see it as a feature of the great f 2.0 lens. you are so right that the film cameras offer some of the best value ever in optics. People are cheating themselves by not shooting at least some film, even 2 rolls per month.

Asher
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  #49  
Old March 10th, 2010, 11:59 PM
Wendy Thurman Wendy Thurman is offline
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Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Dawid,

When I saw this picture, I wondered why the detail in the rear right was out of focus. Now I see it as a feature of the great f 2.0 lens. you are so right that the film cameras offer some of the best value ever in optics. People are cheating themselves by not shooting at least some film, even 2 rolls per month.

Asher
People are saving themselves psychotherapy costs by not shooting film. This is driving me crazy.

Wendy
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  #50  
Old March 11th, 2010, 01:12 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Originally Posted by Wendy Thurman View Post
People are saving themselves psychotherapy costs by not shooting film. This is driving me crazy.

Wendy
Wendy, if a process you're using is driving you crazy, I can recommend to switch to a completely different process / alternative. For example, I started out printing (on multicontrast paper) using standard Ilford contrast filters. The process of guessing the correct contrast filter drove me crazy, and I could never get the dynamic range I wanted.

Then I switch over to split-grade printing (two exposures on the paper using only min. and max. contrast filter) and I never looked back, I can now almost always exactly get the look I want, without caring about contrast grades (or having to adjust exposure times in relation to them).

I have been lucky on the film developing front though, I started out using a local D76/ID11 equivalent developer diluted 1+1, and I've not yet felt the need to change anything, have not been unhappy with a single roll since day 1.

P.S. Pan F in your M6/Summilux combination will be heaven, I am sure of it. I absolutely love Pan F, a very special film. I hope I'm not flooding this thread with mages, but this is one of my recent prints (9x12in) I made from a 35mm Pan F negative. I exposed the Pan F at ISO32, and developed as for ISO50, since it was a decade-old second-hand roll that was not carefully stored (that I got for free):


(Olympus OM-1n, Zuiko Macro 90mm F2 at f/8.0)

Last edited by Dawid Loubser; March 11th, 2010 at 01:13 AM. Reason: Language errors
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  #51  
Old March 11th, 2010, 01:17 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Dawid,

When I saw this picture, I wondered why the detail in the rear right was out of focus. Now I see it as a feature of the great f 2.0 lens. you are so right that the film cameras offer some of the best value ever in optics. People are cheating themselves by not shooting at least some film, even 2 rolls per month.

Asher
Hi Asher,

Yes, I wanted to produce an image that had something "different" about it, usually an image like this would not be shot with a supertele lens, and would be stopped down for maximum depth of field I think.
It's really a lot of fun to have such extreme control over depth of field.

Still, as Wendy has commented, the really special B&W is on larger film formats, and my first love is still 6x7cm Mamiya.
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  #52  
Old March 11th, 2010, 01:34 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Wendy, Hang in there - you will get to manage your deveoping:) TriX is fairly grainy in any case, particularly if you are used to super smooth digital. Pan F is a great film, but can be a bit sensitive to development. Also, it is a bit of a stretch to shoot it at iso50 even fresh.

You might also consider Fuji Acros in xtol or D76/ID11 and FP4 in rodinal (1:25 is best in my view). Acros is very fine grained, scans beautifully and has more shadow detail than you might imagine.

I also like HP5+ in xtol as a faster film.

One other thoght is that your scanning process may be making the TriX grain more obvious?

Mike
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  #53  
Old March 11th, 2010, 01:42 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Originally Posted by Wendy Thurman View Post
Another shot but it's too grainy. I've got to experiment with a temperature and dilution that gives better results with Tri-X:


Nice look from that 250/2 but I am really taken with your work done on the RB-67. I've used one of those and really like the cameras.

Wendy
Thank you for the compliment Wendy... I like this second shot of your more. I have been thinking about the grain in your images though: I am seeing grain which I would expect from Delta3200, or TMZ P3200, certainly not from Tri-X.

Either you're getting a lot of grain aliasing during scanning, or your development process is not right, perhaps using far too high a temperature? (I think that exaggerates grain).

For example (and here I go littering the thread with images again!), this is a 35mm frame of Kodak TMZ P3200 exposed and developed as per Kodak's instructions for ISO 3200. I didn't do anything special, developed in stock D76/ID11 equivalent (which I mixed from powder) and printed via a diffusion enlarger (I mention this, because a condenser exaggerates grain, and scanning super-exaggerates grain!) on 5x7in paper, and partially toned it in Thiocarbamide toner.



Even though it's a ISO3200 film, and I really didn't do anything "special" to reduce grain, it has orders of magnitude less grain than your (ISO320?) shot. So something must be wrong? I say this, because I am a total amateur with this film stuff, and mine just seems to work out.
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  #54  
Old March 11th, 2010, 05:45 AM
Wendy Thurman Wendy Thurman is offline
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I just shot and processed a roll of Tri-X controlled tests- half on a tripod of grayscale taped to the wall and a lot of text- lables, book covers, etc. Went with D-76 @ 1:1 (I'd been using full strength). I was very careful about the developer temp- exactly 68F and backed off the agitation from 30 full sec at immersion to five sec then five sec every 30. The film is rinsing now- I'll throw up an image once it dries.

Dawid, keep the images coming- they serve as motivation!

Wendy
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  #55  
Old March 11th, 2010, 06:49 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy Thurman View Post
I just shot and processed a roll of Tri-X controlled tests- half on a tripod of grayscale taped to the wall and a lot of text- lables, book covers, etc. Went with D-76 @ 1:1 (I'd been using full strength). I was very careful about the developer temp- exactly 68F and backed off the agitation from 30 full sec at immersion to five sec then five sec every 30. The film is rinsing now- I'll throw up an image once it dries.

Dawid, keep the images coming- they serve as motivation!

Wendy
Hi Wendy,

You may find that agitating a bit less (yours sounds a little vigorous to me, I do more like 5 sec every minute or two, gently) and using D67 diluted 1+1 might give you gentler grain.

Not that I am against grain, mind you, but the only times I like excessive grain is when shooting very high speed film to begin with. And I have never seen any form of grain on any print I've made from a 6x7cm negative (have only done up to 9x12in) - even if it's a high-contrast print of an ISO400 film. Still looks smoother than Pan F in 35mm :-)
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  #56  
Old March 11th, 2010, 07:32 AM
Wendy Thurman Wendy Thurman is offline
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I am getting somewhere- this is what I expect Tri-X to look like:



The reduced agitiation probably helped. The scan software- or my unfamiliarity with it, I should say- is a large part of the problems I've been having. The initial scan setup was far off what I should have been using for B&W. The tonal range in this image is long, grain is more than acceptable, and the focus is spot-on (the "Ritz" text on the box of crackers). Even though I was scrupulous about the developer temperature this time around, on the previous rolls the temperature was 2F higher (70F). The 1:1 dilution could well have something to do with the improved results as well.

This is promising.

Wendy
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  #57  
Old March 29th, 2010, 11:55 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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An untouched scan from Acros - shot yesterday - this could also fit the paths therad...

Mike


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  #58  
Old March 30th, 2010, 12:00 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
An untouched scan from Acros - shot yesterday - this could also fit the paths therad...

Mike,

Most certainly, but you need a title as good as the picture!

Asher
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  #59  
Old March 30th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
An untouched scan from Acros - shot yesterday - this could also fit the paths therad...

Mike
Nice image, Mike. Quite atmospheric...
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  #60  
Old March 30th, 2010, 11:01 AM
John Angulat John Angulat is offline
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Nicely done Mike, very nicely done!
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B&W "...through the keyhole (from Alice in Wonderland)" Using selective focus in B&W. janet Smith Still Photo: Approaching Fine Photography 10 March 14th, 2009 09:52 AM
Canon 50 1.4 L fringing vs 50 1.2 L (Asher) Allen Maertz Lenses: DSLR and Rangefinder, MF adaptions to 35mm such Zoerk 2 April 30th, 2007 01:58 PM
Shooting around the house Nikolai Sklobovsky Photojournalism - Street - Documentary 0 December 16th, 2006 02:31 PM
A Serious Thank You To Asher Kelman Mike Spinak Layback Cafe 8 August 26th, 2006 07:47 AM


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