"1940s look" on B/W enlargement

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Adam, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Verchrome PAN was a PANCHROMATIC film, Verichrome was an ORTHOCROMATIC film.
    Verchrome PAN replaced Verichrome around 1956. AFAIK in the 1960's it was
    available in 126, 127, 828, 116, 616, 120 and 620 but don't count on it.

    It was intended to replace Verichrome, but was significantly faster. It
    did not matter much as the exposure latitude was wide enough that you
    could expose it in cameras with fixed exposures for Verichrome.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Mar 19, 2007
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  2. Sort of. The original question was "how do I use modern materials to produce
    a print that people will think was made in the 1940s. (to paraphrase it).

    Since the original poster had no idea of what made a photograph look
    that way, or even how "that way" looked, the discussion has been about
    the look, the techniques and the materials used at the time.

    The more product names, the more information about exposure, processing, etc,
    the more he can research further.

    One question I had that was never answered (and maybe no one knows) is can
    you still buy a general purpose orthochromatic film? I know there are still
    orthochromatic lithograph films out there (albeit harder to get than a
    few years ago), but is there a general purpose one?

    I think the closest modern equivalent to a 1940's film is (whatever it's
    called this week) KB25, which was sold as Adox KB14. It's panchromatic,
    so it's not the same as Verichrome and similar films, but it's not
    as red sensitve as other modern films.

    However I don't know if it matters. one may be able to get a similar
    result with panchromatic film and a green or blue filter.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Mar 19, 2007
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  3. Ah, but it is very hard to do, first you have to know
    how to do everything right before you can consistently
    know how to do everything wrong.
    Getting it wrong is the basis of all comedy and all
    tragedy. How much more valid can one get?
    Just overexpose them in the enlarger and jerk them out
    of the developer after 15 seconds, dilute the developer
    4x if you are using RC paper. Or use really smelly old
    tar-like developer. If you have trouble getting the
    highlights fogged just flick the room lights on for a
    short flash, exposing the whole sheet of paper.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Mar 19, 2007
  4. Adam

    pico Guest

    Nicholas is right-on. Most of the photographic prits of that period were
    horrid, and just as he cites.

    I guess you had to be there. :) I was.
    pico, Mar 21, 2007
  5. Adam

    pico Guest

    Oh god, shoot me! Digital enhancement to reproduce crap! It's time to die!
    pico, Mar 21, 2007
  6. Adam

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    March 21, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    Thanks for the kind words! But I can assure
    you the breadth of my knowledge is but a
    pencil smudge next to Richard's...

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    website: www.heylloyd.com
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Mar 21, 2007
  7. If you are at all scientific, you will not like that book. I know the zone
    system quite well, having studied Ansel Adams' Basic Photo Series books,
    both the early edition, and the "new" revised edition. But Minor White's
    book is just about incomprehensible. The later one, by White, Zakia, and
    Todd is even worse because it seems more scientific. I wonder if Zakia even
    read it; he is known as a good photo scientist and sensitometrist, but the
    book is very sloppy technically.

    Minor White was a great photographer; perhaps he was a good teacher, but he
    was way too much of a mystic to teach the technique of photography.
    Well, if you really want an imposing textbook, consider "The Theory of the
    Photographic Process" third edition, edited by T.H.James. Out of print, but
    well worth looking for.
    Jean-David Beyer, Mar 21, 2007
  8. Some even come with an integrated error-correcting device.
    Jean-David Beyer, Mar 21, 2007
  9. Adam

    UC Guest

    Too kind, your words are. The book is a disaster, unscientific from
    beginning to end. It would be laughed out of any philosophy of science
    class, by the poorest students in the class.
    He may have got one or two things right, but that was only when he was
    reporting what photographers actually did, not why they did it.
    UC, Mar 21, 2007
  10. Adam

    Adam Guest

    That's an accurate summary. I may try playing around with prints from
    that one negative, but what I really ought to be concentrating on is how
    to make the best possible prints using modern materials.

    Adam, Mar 22, 2007
  11. Adam

    Adam Guest

    In that case I will move it to the bottom of the pile!
    I'll have to wait until my budget recovers from the course I'm in now!
    This is by far the most expensive course I have ever taken. NOT
    counting tuition, college fees, and the textbook, I have spent over US
    $400 on supplies so far, and I already owned a suitable camera (some
    students had to buy a camera as well). Thanks for all your suggestions!

    Adam, Mar 22, 2007
  12. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Don't worry about me -- I don't even know HOW to manipulate digital
    images. Remember, I chose the "film" course, not the "digital" one!

    Adam, Mar 22, 2007
  13. Adam

    pico Guest

    So UC is cashing in his three-credit class in Philosophy, and I'll bet
    it bounces.
    pico, Mar 22, 2007
  14. I don't know what you have been looking at but even
    drugstore prints of this period were not as bad as you
    describe and prints made by amateurs and pros were about as
    good as modern materials, at least as far as tone rendition.
    Technical data for old materials is available and does
    not show the kind of limitations being described.
    Too often people who want a 30's or 40's look are
    getting their ideas from either poor photomechanical
    reproductions in magazines or books or from badly degraded
    prints, or bad scans on the Internet.
    Reprints can be poorly made and all too often are.
    BTW, Edward Weston made some pretty bad prints. For
    instance the Huntington has a collection of overly dark,
    just plain bad prints Weston made over a rather long period
    of time.
    Please find someone who has a collection of family
    snapshots from the periods you are interested in and see
    what they really look like. Photography is a very old
    technology and, while it has certainly been improved in the
    last seventy years, it was pretty much perfected before
    that. Even in the 1880s photos with good tone reproduction
    were being made.
    Richard Knoppow, Jul 22, 2007
  15. Tri-X 400 and Tri-X Professional 320 are completely
    different emulsions with different tone rendition. The
    ISO-400 film is a general purpose, medium toe, film. The
    ISO-320 version is a very long toe film intended for
    obtaining brilliant highlights in commercial work. It is
    useful for some types of portraits. The difference is not
    large but quite noticeable if a direct comparison is done.
    At one time Kodak made a number of films with the long
    toe type characteristic, for instance, many of its portrait
    films had this sort of curve.
    Richard Knoppow, Jul 22, 2007
  16. Yes, but what is sought is not the reality of old photographs
    but the perception of old photographs.
    Exactly, they are looking for just that: bad reproductions
    of bad photographs. The question is "how to do it in PhotoShop?"

    I imagine it changes by family, but the photos in my family
    albums are, almost without exception, technical junque.
    I think it has something to do with Scottish genetics:
    "Ye'll no be wantin' that two-penny lens, this old
    bit o' broken whisky bottle will do you fine. And no
    be gettin' those expensive 'enlargements' -- the Lord
    d'nae take with graven images and flattery."

    Though, to tell the truth, the countenances of my forebears
    are of a quality that is best not preserved.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jul 22, 2007
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