B&W development: first try.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Jim Hutchison, May 5, 2004.

  1. Doing my first roll was fun! Other than knowing I'll need distilled
    water to use for the final rinse with a wetting agent, I *think* I got
    everything else right.

    But after scanning the results, I have some questions for you
    experienced folks. Should I expect REALLY grainy results from
    Illford's 3200 ISO when scanned above 1400 DPI? Take a peek here for
    a sample difference between 700 and 2800:
    http://www.jamesphotography.ca/cat_compare.jpg The photos have not
    been altered in any way - just a straight scan on my Minolta Dimage
    Scan Dual III.

    Any feedback would be welcome. Thanks...


    jim h



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  2. Looks about right to me. 3200 is very grainy film and the lower res scan
    doesn't resolve it. Try a slow speed film with your scanner.
    Robert Feinman, May 5, 2004
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  3. Jim Hutchison

    bmoag Guest

    Not only grainy but low contrast. There are developers and techniques for
    development that help to minimize grain but any very high speed film has
    grain. Higher dpi scans show the graininess more clearly. If you want to
    hide the grain there are ways to do this with Photoshop or there are
    plug-ins that help to hide the grain.
    bmoag, May 5, 2004
  4. Jim Hutchison

    Alan Browne Guest

    I think you should show both at 100% crops first off. No telling what
    the noise or grain is on the right side if it has been reduced in size
    afterwards... (assuming that the scale shown is in dpi).

    It is possible that at 1400 you are getting grain aliasing. You have
    nothing to lose by scanning at a higher dpi to see if this is reduced.

    Not sure why you prefer a 3200 speed film ... perhaps you want lots of

    What was the dev temp... if below 20C, can result in higher grain even
    if the dev time is longer.

    Alan Browne, May 5, 2004
  5. Jim Hutchison

    Mike Guest

    to lose by scanning at a higher dpi to see if this is reduced.
    I love Kodak and Ilford 3200-speed B&W films. Great for indoors, bars,
    night scenes, dusk, etc.
    Mike, May 5, 2004
  6. Thanks everyone for the input! I in fact did develop at exactly 21
    degrees, so the graininess is to be expected from what I gather... I
    like 3200 for it's speed. I simply hadn't expected the grain to be
    resolved by a 2820 DPI scan!

    It's all in the learning.

    What are some of your favorites B+W films for sharpness and skin
    tones? I'm thinking of portraits... I heard a green filter does

    jim h



    -free downloads
    -prize for every 1,000th visitor
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    Jim Hutchison, May 5, 2004
  7. Jim Hutchison

    Mike Guest

    Agfa APX 100
    Kodak Plus-X 125
    Mike, May 5, 2004
  8. Jim Hutchison

    Bandicoot Guest

    I must admit I've developed a liking for TMax3200 for skin tone - though
    obviously not for the sharpness aspect!

    Fuji Acros100 is nice, and Ilford FP4 is excellent.

    Bandicoot, May 6, 2004
  9. Jim Hutchison

    Bob Hickey Guest

    ....I don't think a very hi-speed film was a great idea for a first try. Try
    a couple of rolls of HP-5 or FP-4 in ID-11/ D-76. or if you really want nice
    smooth grain and a portrait film, take a shot with FP-4 in Perceptol. The
    whole idea is to make your own standard neg so you can compare changes and
    troubleshoot glitches. There are too many variables that will change your
    exposure index and dev. time to just read it off the chart and get the best
    results. The scanner itself is a variable. Bob Hickey
    Bob Hickey, May 6, 2004
  10. WHY are you 'scanning the results'? These films are intended to be
    enlarged on photographic paper. Get thee to a darkroom!
    Michael Scarpitti, May 6, 2004
  11. Well, if you are looking for really creamy white skin tones, a green filter
    will do the job: filters out much of the flesh color. Some skin blemishes
    carry a lot of red, as I recall, and so are reduced. The 'look' is
    somewhat of a school-of-portraiture thing, but in the end, it's your

    The grain enhances the realfotografik essence of the image; a traditional
    expectation thing, I think. For some things, I really like it. For
    others, not. YMMV

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 6, 2004
  12. Awww... what the hell, Michael, what's your problem? LOL!!!!

    Having said that, there's an argument that B&W photography is well advised
    to remain purely an emulsion technology. Don't know as I've an opinion on
    the matter, though I may yet get my lazy butt outa my computer chair and
    get mine up and running again.

    I think what can be said is that if you are going to soup your film, you
    oughta give emulsion printing a good go as well. You think that what
    you've done is fascinating, if you haven't watched a print come up in the
    developer, you have missed one of the most special experiences in

    If you are going to mess about with different films, developers,
    time/temperatures, agitations, rinses, yadayadayada, you should have the
    chance to explore the complimenting technology of the print as well.

    Ever tried solarizing a print? How exhausted does your Dektol have to be to
    really work well (newfangled solarization products are cheating!!!). Is
    light source an issue. And then there is the entire business of print
    tonality to explore. It's a very rich area of exploration, as its been
    around a long time, and it makes fotoslop into a kids toy in comparison.

    You wanna really do something? Make your own paper! Crafting an emulsion
    print is a real art form, and one that appears to be on its way out....

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 6, 2004
  13. Jim Hutchison

    Peter Irwin Guest

    The green filter should actually darken red blemishes.
    If you need to lighten red, you can try an extended red
    film such as Ilford SFX 200 or Kodak Technical Pan.
    It used to be common to take pictures of men with ortho
    film (which has no red response) because rendering the
    red of the skin as dark was interpreted as masculine.

    If you are shooting under photofloods or 3200K studio lights,
    you may want a yellow-green filter such as a Wratten 11(X1)
    or 13 (X2). Incandescent light contains a lot of red
    and so the red will appear rather light in the photograph
    if a filter is not used. When you shoot candids under normal
    houshold incandescent light, you can't afford a two stop
    loss from an X1 filter, but with photofloods and 400 speed
    film (and maybe even 125 speed) you probably will have enough
    light to spare. It is good to have a bit of practice playing
    around with different filters and films so that you can see
    what the various combinations do.

    Peter Irwin, May 6, 2004
  14. Jim Hutchison

    Peter Irwin Guest

    It is quite amazing. I can remember the first print I did when
    I was a kid (I think I still have it somewhere), and watching
    a print develop still seems rather magical. Watching a print
    re-appear in the toner after bleaching is pretty special too.

    Peter Irwin, May 6, 2004
  15. Jim Hutchison

    Lionel Guest

    Yep. ISO 3200 is very fast, especially for film. The trick is to use it
    for shots that look good with a lot of grain. ;)
    Lionel, May 6, 2004
  16. If you don't mind a little heresy I suggest trying color negative film.
    You can try filter effects after you scan it in. I have a discussion
    on this in the tips section of my web page.
    Robert Feinman, May 6, 2004
  17. Good lord! Right you are! I cannot imagine what I was thinking when I
    typed that response. Must have been a really bad senior moment!

    Thanks for the correction, and I shall recheck the automatic brain engage
    function... LOL!!!!

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 6, 2004
  18. Second attempt at developing B+W.


    Ilford Delta Pro 100 ISO, scanned on a Minolta Scan Dual III.

    I didn't know how easy it could be...

    jim h



    -free downloads
    -prize for every 1,000th visitor
    -scanning service

    Even a bit of humour...
    Jim Hutchison, May 6, 2004

  19. I've only invested $50 so far - a darkroom is out of the question
    right now!

    But ya, someday I will...
    jim h



    -free downloads
    -prize for every 1,000th visitor
    -scanning service

    Even a bit of humour...
    Jim Hutchison, May 6, 2004
  20. Thanks everyone for your feedback. I did another roll (ISO 100 this
    time)... Ended up under another subject though. "B&W development:
    second try..." with some links.

    jim h



    -free downloads
    -prize for every 1,000th visitor
    -scanning service

    Even a bit of humour...
    Jim Hutchison, May 6, 2004
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