Help me to understand what lessons I should learn

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Max Power

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A couple of weeks ago I exposed a roll of Delta-400 at an EI of 200 and developed it in ID-11 at 1+1 for the recommended time. I did it to compensate for a slow shutter speed and (inherent) leaf shutter failure on a Canonet. It was a very sunny bright day.

Last Saturday I went about printing a few of the better frames. I noticed that I needed to use a 3 or 3.5 filter in order to get reasonable contrast and any definition in the highlights. I usually get grade 2.5 without any filters from Delta-400 at an EI of 400.

OK, please help me to understand what 'lessons' I should be getting out of this experiment.
I believe that one of the lessons here is that shooting at a lower EI blows the highlights and that shorter development times lower the contrast. Furthermore, it would seem that the skin tones are much harsher and that the graininess is much more evident.

Have I understood correctly here?

Thanks,
Kent
 

Paul Howell

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When you expose film at a higher EI and develop it "normal" you are overdeveloping which will increase the grain and contrast. If you think your shutter is not acurate you may want to run a test roll at differnt speeds develop normal and see which film speed works for you equipment.

Paul
 

Donald Miller

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When you overexpose a film by one stop as you did here you push all of the density up the film's characteristic curve. Depending on the film and it's characteristics you may end up lumping the highlight densities on the shoulder of the film's curve and will not arrive at ideal high print value separation. This would account for a lower negative contrast.

Over exposing film is not equal to expanding development. Overexposing film will not normally increase the apparent grain in a film...whereas expanding development will normally increase the apparent grain.

We always expose for shadows and develop for highlights. In other words development is what gives us the latitude to arrive at the desired density range of the negative which must match the exposure scale of the paper.




Max Power said:
A couple of weeks ago I exposed a roll of Delta-400 at an EI of 200 and developed it in ID-11 at 1+1 for the recommended time. I did it to compensate for a slow shutter speed and (inherent) leaf shutter failure on a Canonet. It was a very sunny bright day.

Last Saturday I went about printing a few of the better frames. I noticed that I needed to use a 3 or 3.5 filter in order to get reasonable contrast and any definition in the highlights. I usually get grade 2.5 without any filters from Delta-400 at an EI of 400.

OK, please help me to understand what 'lessons' I should be getting out of this experiment.
I believe that one of the lessons here is that shooting at a lower EI blows the highlights and that shorter development times lower the contrast. Furthermore, it would seem that the skin tones are much harsher and that the graininess is much more evident.

Have I understood correctly here?

Thanks,
Kent
 

Ole

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Max Power said:
A couple of weeks ago I exposed a roll of Delta-400 at an EI of 200 and developed it in ID-11 at 1+1 for the recommended time.

<snip>

Furthermore, it would seem that the skin tones are much harsher and that the graininess is much more evident.

Was that the recommended time for "pulling" to 200?
If so, you have a (slightly) overexposed, underdeveloped film. Not even Delta should get blown highlights from one stop overexposure, unless exposed in an extremely high contrast situation.

Contrary to common belief the most effective way of increasing grain in a print is to underdevelop the film, then print on a higher contrast. So that part at least seems correct: Grain is really finer, but much more obvious with the higher printing contrast.
 

gainer

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If you know your shutter is slow, you should underexpose. If it is slow enough to blow the highlights, it is REALLY slow, and overexposure just made it worse. There is a fair amount of high end leeway in most film-developer combinations and ID-11 or D-76 should not diminish that even at 1:1. I have found that overexposure will increase grain.
 
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Max Power

Max Power

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Hey everyone, thanks for the answers so far, I'm grateful for the confirmations.

The camera is a recently CLAd Canonet...The fastest shutter speed is 1/500 and the smallest aperture is f16. I was shooting on a cloudless afternoon and there was extreme contrast because everything was snow covered. As all of you taught me, leaf shutters, due to their geometry, 'fail' at high speeds...That is why I had to pull the film because it was certainly overexposed shooting at 1/500 and f16 with an EI of 400.

Am I correct to assume that the highlights were fairly blown because of the extreme contrast? There is some useable detail in the highlights, just not as much as I usually get from this camera/film/developer combination.

Thanks,
Kent
 

Ed Sukach

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Max Power said:
The camera is a recently CLAd Canonet...The fastest shutter speed is 1/500 and the smallest aperture is f16. I was shooting on a cloudless afternoon and there was extreme contrast because everything was snow covered. As all of you taught me, leaf shutters, due to their geometry, 'fail' at high speeds...That is why I had to pull the film because it was certainly overexposed shooting at 1/500 and f16 with an EI of 400.

Forgive me for a moment: I'm backtracking a bit to get these parameters clear in my mind...

Do you have objective data that indicates that the shutter "failure" is such that your actual speed was 1/250th second instead of 1/500th (one stop), or are you assuming from something written somewhere that it must be so, because it is a leaf shutter?. I would wonder then, what the true shutter speed would be when set to 1/250th..??? Offhand, from what you write ... I might guess that the exposure was indeed correct and the "pull" was unnecessary - and undesirable.

What "factor" did you use for changing the development time for a one stop (for an ISO change from 400 to 200) "Pull"? That, in itself, is nebulous... I've read that time should be decreased anywhere from 30% to 50% as a START - and working times determined from experience with a particular film / developer combination.

Normally, snow-covered landscapes, on a day with bright sunlight, have a great deal of contrast. I wonder - how did you determine exposure ... reflected meter reading, incident, from a gray card, or ...?
 
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Max Power

Max Power

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Ed Sukach said:
Forgive me for a moment: I'm backtracking a bit to get these parameters clear in my mind...

Do you have objective data that indicates that the shutter "failure" is such that your actual speed was 1/250th second instead of 1/500th (one stop), or are you assuming from something written somewhere that it must be so, because it is a leaf shutter?. I would wonder then, what the true shutter speed would be when set to 1/250th..??? Offhand, from what you write ... I might guess that the exposure was indeed correct and the "pull" was unnecessary - and undesirable.

What "factor" did you use for changing the development time for a one stop (for an ISO change from 400 to 200) "Pull"? That, in itself, is nebulous... I've read that time should be decreased anywhere from 30% to 50% as a START - and working times determined from experience with a particular film / developer combination.

Normally, snow-covered landscapes, on a day with bright sunlight, have a great deal of contrast. I wonder - how did you determine exposure ... reflected meter reading, incident, from a gray card, or ...?

Hi Ed,
The whole 'leaf-shutter' failure thing came about after a bit of observation and some reading. I had noticed a while back that on sunny 16 days with D-400 at an EI of 400, I had slight overexposure. Later, I came across a chart in the Kodak Professional Guide which noted that when meter readings indicated 1/500 and f16, one had to close down one full stop in order to compensate for leaf shutter geometry. I'm fairly certain that the shutter speeds are OK because with the same film/dev/equipment combination at other speeds and f-stops I get the exposure bang-on.

I didn't use the Canonet's meter (although it is accurate), because it would have given a false reading and locked up the shutter due to the bright conditions. I used incident readings from my hand-held meter.

The development times came from the Ilford .pdf chart. I had never used an alternate EI for Delta-400 before because I had never needed to. Being the first time, I decided that the best point of departure would be Ilford's time for D-400 at an EI of 200.

Thanks, I appreciate the help...I'm learning a lot here!

Kent
 

Paul Howell

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Max Power said:
Hey everyone, thanks for the answers so far, I'm grateful for the confirmations.

The camera is a recently CLAd Canonet...The fastest shutter speed is 1/500 and the smallest aperture is f16. I was shooting on a cloudless afternoon and there was extreme contrast because everything was snow covered. As all of you taught me, leaf shutters, due to their geometry, 'fail' at high speeds...That is why I had to pull the film because it was certainly overexposed shooting at 1/500 and f16 with an EI of 400.

Am I correct to assume that the highlights were fairly blown because of the extreme contrast? There is some useable detail in the highlights, just not as much as I usually get from this camera/film/developer combination.

Thanks,
Kent


I shoot in very high contast lighting most of year, (Arizona) and my hight lights are not blown, I still think your high lights were blown by 2 factors:

1. As already mentioned if your shutter is slow (the film is getting more light not less) then you need to underexpose

2. Then you cut your film speed in half and develped at normal

So you overexposed by at least 2 stops.

Regards

Paul
 
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