Halation/blooming on HP5+

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by epavelin, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. epavelin

    epavelin Member

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    Hi,

    I've recently come back to B&W darkroom work after several years shooting exclusively colour transparencies. I've decided to standardise on HP5+ developed in DD-X for now. My problem is that I've noticed significant "blooming" of overexposed highlights into surrounding areas, including the film rebate. I've attached a sample scan of a small section of a 6x6cm negative showing this (shot against a bright sky, exposed for the shadows). I've only shot a few rolls so far, but it seems to be occurring with different lenses and cameras, so I suspect a film/development problem.

    I'm developing in DD-X 1+4 for 7.5 mins in a Jobo CPE2+ processor at 20C.

    I'm guessing this is some kind of halation effect. Am I doing anything wrong? ... or is there any way of avoiding this? I don't recall seeing this effect before, but I'm probably more fussy now than I was when I used to do B&W 10 years ago!

    Thanks in advance for any tips,
    Ed.
     

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  2. trexx

    trexx Member

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    Over agitation in the Jobo for the developer you are using is my thoughts. On the right side you can see it bleeding down into the picture also. Not sure of the fix if wanting to keep using the Jobo. The 7.2 min is about 15% off the MDC time of 9min so that seem right. I use the Jobo tanks in inversion mode for B&W because of this and the negs come out too contrasty.
     
  3. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I've seen that plenty of times, doesn't strike me as anything unusual to be concerned about. Those are areas of extreme brightness bleeding into areas of less or no exposure, just like you figure. Some lenses will control that better than others, and some developers can control that to some degree as well. I would say take care with your exposures and don't overdevelop otherwise don't worry about it, unless it really bothers you in your actual prints.
     
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    epavelin

    epavelin Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts trexx and erikg. I will try developing the next batch by hand in case it is related to the continuous agitation in the Jobo.
     
  5. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Bromide drag. Probably you have overfilled the tank.
     
  6. jmal

    jmal Member

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    Looks like overdevelopment to me. DDX gives more speed than many developers and I find that I have to cut Ilford's recommended time in order to develop properly.
     
  7. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    What you've got there happens all the time when there are massively over exposed highlights in the frame. There isn't much you can do about it, save reducing the exposure a bit. All films will exhibit "bleeding" when subjected to these conditions. Some handle it better than others. Ilford's materials handle it well, as do Kodak's and Fuji's. The worst I've seen is the Chinese Lucky Pan which bleeds profusely if you stare at it cross-eyed.
     
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    epavelin

    epavelin Member

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    Thanks again for your thoughts. I'll develop my next roll by hand to check whether it's an agitation issue, otherwise I guess I'll have to learn to live with it!
     
  9. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    What erikg said. If you bracketed exposures (and there is a frame with significantly less exposure) check to see if the problem exists in a frame with less exposure.

    Neal Wydra
     
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    epavelin

    epavelin Member

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    Neal- yes, it's less pronounced in the frames with less exposure. But of course, so is the shadow detail!
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I had this on a negative for the first time in years last month, it was caused by localised severe over exposure, in a some what similar situation. In my case I was shooting ruins of an ancient Byzantine city city which were in the shade, on a very bright sunlit day, I thought I'd shielded the lens sufficiently from the direct sunlight with branches of a tree, difficult to tell with a TLR, a lens. The exposure from the sun must have been about 12 stops over the rest of the image. My second shot was fine as I moved position slightly.

    In this case a church interior, lets guess an exposure of around a 30th @ f4, but a meter reading outside might have been 125th @ f16 (sunny 16) that places the light come through those top windows at least 7 stops over exposed but if that's sunlight then that over exposure will be even higher.

    It's definitely severe over exposure, it's not due to processing or bromide drag, and there's little you can do to prevent it.

    Ian
     
  12. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    To me it's definetly a bromide drag issue. Notice how the "smear" is present only on areas where there's no silver halide (ie the upper border of the frame). This make me think to a constant agitation issue too, where there's no change in direction. With inversion agitation and a not overfilled tank you will not experience this problem.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Alesandro, if I showed you my negative it has very similar bleed into the rebate, it's actually much worse. It's most definitely not bromide drag or an agitation issue as all the other 11 negatives on the roll are perfect. I don't have access to a csnner or darkroom for a few weeks or I'd post a scan.

    You can't over fill a developing tank :D Well you can if the developer over flows, but extra developer will have no adverse impact on the films processing or problems like this.

    Ian
     
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  15. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Hello Ian,

    I've never filled a tank to the brim, so I can't make any comments. But let's say (for the sake of the argument) that you leave no air inside by totally filling it. Wouldn't it affect agitation? I think there wouldn't be much flow that way. I'm not saying that it's bromide drag (I'm too inexperienced to say anyway), I'm just curious.
     
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  16. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    It is simply a case of a very long subject brightness range and the light in extremely bright areas is overexposing the film and diffusing sideways through the film's layers and bleeding into shadow areas. Try keeping the SBR at 7 or so and you won't have this problem. I would estimate the SBR in your scene at 10-12, way beyond the normal capabilities of the film.

    -Fred
     
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    epavelin

    epavelin Member

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    I didn't overfill the tank. I filled it just slightly more than the minimum for rotary processing. The blooming appears equally on all four edges of the frame, so I doubt it is bromide drag. It's definitely related to extreme overexposure- probably something I need to learn to control.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Happens all the time on very heavily exposed areas. It is not processing at all. It is due to the light moving laterally through the emulsion. Processing may increase or diminish it, but does not cause it. I especially get it when there is a direct light source within the composition, and I am using high-speed film such as HP5 or Delta 3200 and overdeveloping. This is because I use these films often in the very situations that cause it: very high-contrast situations in which I expect (and usually want) the highlights to be toast. The issue is not exclusive to high-speed films in any way, however.
     
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  19. jmal

    jmal Member

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    All the posters are correct when mentioning the SBR, which is why I said it was overdeveloped. You can't always control the SBR, so you must reduce development to tame the bright spots. And, with a speed increasing developer you must really reduce development.
     
  20. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    I have this issue all the time, though it really isn't an issue and I don't worry about it because film seems to behave this way consistently when subjected to severe overexposure.
     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    Your negative looks correctly exposed, but is overdeveloped. You blocked up the highlights, and need to hold back development until you have highlights with detail that print. Unless you don't want the detail, of course, in which case you're doing fine.
    The 'blooming' as you call it - don't worry about it. Just print the darned things after you get the development calibrated.
    Also, Ilfotec DD-X is a pretty avid developer with lots of activity, and it's easy to overdo it. You may just wish to try to reduce your agitation to something like every two or three minutes. But you have to lengthen your developing time a little bit also to get the mid-tones right.

    - Thomas
     
  22. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    Yes, what he said....
     
  23. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Its localised overexposure/overdevelopment with a bit of halation thrown in most likely. Happens a lot if you expose for shadows and develop fairly normally where there is a really high value area in the frame. Only solution is to expose for shadows, reduce development and then deal with the resultant low contrast elsewhere on the neg (or accept it as it is). Happens lot here in Afghanistan because of the intensity of the sun.

    I should add that if you shoot roll film it is hard to avoid as the majority of the frames may not be suited to the reduced development required to deal with this frame. Not sure if teh image shown is the whole neg or not either
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Changing the development time won't stop the root cause of this problem of the excessive exposure, it's more a case of having no control over the balance of the lighting, if a shot like this was important you'd really need to return when the lighting was more favourable. It's better to look out for potential burnt out areas like this and avoid including them in the image where possible, this is where a Spotmeter is particularly useful.

    It's quite possible there's also a degree of flare involved, not necessarily from the lens but due to internal reflections in the body of the camera.

    Just measuring a similar scene with a Spot meter I get a reading of 7 off a mid tone interior wall and 17 off some bright clouds, if the sun was included then the reading would be off the scale well over 20. There's no technique available that will bring that level of localised over-exposure under control and retain any details in the rest of the print.

    I tend to leave a little airspace, but too much developer generally doesn't do any harm at all.

    Ian
     
  25. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    Ian, I didn't suggest that the 'blooming' could be cured. Simply that the negative looked overdeveloped. :smile:

    Editing the post now... What I would do with negatives like this is doing some form of reduced agitation with a compensating developer. Using Tri-X I shot the attached shot inside the Wisconsin State Capitol building, with a brightness range similar to that of the OP. I then used Pyrocat-MC for 13 minutes at 1+1+100 at 70*F/21*C agitating gently for the first full minute, then again two gentle inversions at 9, 6, and 3 minutes.
    Gives me fully printable negatives.
     

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  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Thomas, I wasn't meaning to contradict the suggestion of over development, but add internal flare as another possibility for the increased density. Looking at your image I rather suspect that there's considerably more light bouncing around up in the roof of hat Capitol and that there's nothing close to the extremes of shadow & burnt out highlights seen in the OP's image. If there had been then your negatives would have suffered the same light bleed.

    I made a point of measuring a similar situation to the OP's image with a Spotmeter this morning and the extremes just cannot be tamed even with far more drastic contraction than you used. Modern films don't really allow much more then N-2 or N-3 contraction, while in the OP's case I'd estimate the highlight are 7 - 10 stops over exposed, assuming placing them on Zone VIII. There's no way even with N-3 development you could make an impact on that degree of localised over exposed.

    Ian