APX400 accidental pull

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Juha Juntunen, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. I accidentally shot a roll of Agfa APX400 with my camera film speed set to
    ISO/ASA 100. The subject matter was landscape/city photography from a high
    above place. The day was relatively bright.

    I have done some push processing, but have so far not tried to seriously
    pull any film. Any basic pointers how I should approach this? In my current
    understanding two stops overexposure on contrasty subjects is too much if I
    proceed with normal processing without any compensation. Should I for
    instance cut developing time in half, or would it be better to also use a
    diluted developer?

    My developers of choice right now are TMax (1:4), ID-11 (stock) and Rodinal,
    if anybody would know to give more specific recommendations for any of
    these. Thanks!
    Juha Juntunen, Sep 22, 2005
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  2. Juha Juntunen

    Peter Guest

    APX 400 has huge overexposure latitude, you have nothing to worry
    about. Develop it normally. You will get slightly more grain than
    you would if exposed normally and your printing times will roughly
    double. If there are shadow areas in your pictures, you will get
    better detail in the shadows.
    "Pulling" film reduces contrast. Unless you are sure you want to do
    that, you shouldn't. You probably will want to use slightly shorter
    times than Agfa suggests, but that's what I do for normally exposed

    One attractive possibility is to use a speed losing fine grain
    developer like Microdol-X or Perceptol. This will compensate
    for the overexposure and give you finer grain than normal developers.
    Microdol-X/Perceptol loses nearly one stop of speed compared with
    D76/ID-11. Many people normally set their exposure meters to one stop
    overexposure, so in Microdol-X/Perceptol your negative won't really
    be overexposed at all.

    I ran a test roll of APX-400 earlier this year in which I did a
    series of exposures one stop apart. I developed in Xtol 1:1 for
    11 minutes. Frames exposed 8-10 stops over looked nearly solid black
    but would print OK if the enlarger was left on for rather a long time.
    I bet any of these will work fine. Microdol-X or Perceptol are worth
    trying especially if you are shooting 35mm.

    Peter, Sep 22, 2005
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  3. Peter - thanks for your reply and help! I honestly did not know the exposure
    latitude margin would be enough to recover from this kind of a situation
    without development time adjustment. When I now look at characteristic
    curves of B&W negative films, I think I understand where this is coming
    from... This is definately an easy approach anyways, since development times
    with these typical stock solutions are a little bit on a short side even
    when not adjusted in any way.

    If I were to use adjusted (reduced) development time in order to obtain
    close to normal density negative, what would the resulting grain and
    contrast be like compared to the above method?
    This is definately something I need to keep in mind for future reference and
    try at some point.
    Juha Juntunen, Sep 23, 2005
  4. Juha Juntunen

    Peter Guest

    Two stops over is not a serious overexposure with the vast
    majority of negative films - colour or B&W. Some very slow
    films can be an exception to this: Panatomic-X had little
    overexposure latitude.
    Reducing development decreases contrast which in turn requires
    a higher grade printing paper. While reducing development reduces
    grain, printing on a high contrast paper gives most of it back.
    It is generally good to aim for a negative contrast which prints
    well on a middle grade of paper such as grade 2 or grade 3. That
    gives you some room to adjust the printing contrast up or down.

    Reducing development time by about 20% should give you about
    one grade less contrast on the negative and require one grade
    higher contrast in printing. It will also require a small
    increase in exposure, but less than one stop.

    Film is still fairly cheap and there is much to be said for
    trying out the various combinations of exposure and development
    for yourself. Two stops over on APX 400 is really nothing to
    worry about: just go ahead with normal development.
    I've actually not been terribly impressed with Microdol-X.
    It does give less grain on APX400, but it is not as good as
    using film of inherently finer grain such as APX 100. But if
    you have a roll of APX 400 exposed at 100 it might be just
    the right thing. It seems to have better keeping properties
    than claimed on the package because I've used Microdol-X which
    had been kept in a full glass bottle for more than a year
    without any obvious problem.

    I tried T-max 100 in Microdol-x based on advice I read in this group.
    It delivered the claimed almost invisible grain, but I was less
    than thrilled with the look of my prints. I like T-Max 100 in Xtol 1:1
    much better, and the grain is nearly as invisible.

    Peter, Sep 23, 2005
  5. Juha Juntunen

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    September 24, 2005, from Lloyd Erlick,

    My guess is that you will actually prefer the
    prints made from these negatives to prints
    from "correctly" exposed negs.

    I use an EI 400 film for portraiture, but I
    rate it at 200. Shadow performance is
    beautiful. I've made prints from negatives
    overexposed compared to this rating (i.e.,
    I've exposed as if rated at EI 100, as yours
    are) and found the results beautiful. The
    negs are more dense, of course, but skin
    tones and shadows are better than good. Judge
    from prints, not the way the negs look to the
    eye. Prints take more work to make, at least
    if one is used to 'normal' negs, but they can
    be extremely beautiful. I'm sure there are
    many people who set their meters two stops
    slower just to get theses results.

    I would not use the developers you mention.
    Microdol-X undiluted would probably yield
    very pleasing tonality.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    net: www.heylloyd.com
    Lloyd Erlick, Sep 24, 2005
  6. Juha Juntunen

    Mike Guest

    Many photographers routinely expose ISO 400 films at EI's of 200 or even 100
    to get better shadow detail, it also "places" the film's exposure latitude
    to one stop over and one under rather that two stops over and 0-stops under,
    useful if you are using an old camera with problematical metering or no
    Mike, Sep 24, 2005
  7. Peter - thanks for this information and for sharing your experiences. You
    have no idea how helpful this is to me, as concepts and theory are still
    sort of forming and coming together in my mind.

    When I went to re-stock some film and other things today, I bought a one
    liter kit of Perceptol. I was thinking that now that I have this so called
    overexposed film, I might as well give it a shot. I finished developing the
    film only a moment ago using stock Perceptol, 14 min. development time @ 20
    deg C / 68 deg F. Even if the film now lost one stop film speed, the
    negative is still quite high in density and seemed 100% black first. Under
    closer inspection, when placed against light, it seems like all necessary
    details are well in there. I have not made any prints, yet, but I am pretty
    confident now that those will turn out great. I also shot a roll of APX 100
    during the same day right after this overexposed film, partially covering
    the same subjects. This second film turned out normal in density, when
    developed with Tmax 1:4 7 min. Therefore it will be interesting for me to
    compare the final prints from these two negatives, another one being much
    higher in density, when it comes to for example the forementioned shadow
    detail and other things.

    In the end, what seemed like a major setback at first (wrong film speed in
    the camera), turned out to be a rather fortunate mishap after all. :)
    Juha Juntunen, Sep 25, 2005
  8. Juha Juntunen

    Jan Keirse Guest

    Digital truth has 1 entry for APX 400 exposed at iso 100:
    See http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.html, choose your film and All

    Kind regards,

    Jan Keirse, Sep 26, 2005
  9. Juha Juntunen

    UC Guest

    This would not be an 'accidental pull' but 'accidental overexposure'.

    B&W film tolerates huge amounts of overexposure. Therefore, just
    process normally.
    UC, Sep 30, 2005
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