Overexposing then pushing

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by FDP, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. FDP

    FDP Member

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    I usually always underexpose my b&w film (400 speed) by 2 stops then push accordingly when developing. My results have been mixed. Some shots end up tremendous while others leave a little to be desired. I'm figuring this is a combo of underexposing + my metering.

    I'm always looking to try different things and this time around i popped in some Delta 400 (all i had in the fridge) and set my ASA to 200. I've also been metering and overexposing by another 1 to 2 stops depending on the scene (exposing for the shadows). I have a feeling that shadow detail will be fine but where i worry is lower contrast and images not being as sharp. I'm wondering if pushing by one stop will help bring back some contrast? Anybody ever try this and have pics?

    At this point it isn't even about the subject anymore. I am in testing mode and just burning through film trying to come up with something i'll be happy with.

    Then comes the next question which is which developer. I currently have DD-X, D76 and HC-110. I usually use the DD-X when pushing by 2+ stops. I'd love to give the HC-110 a try.

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. trendland

    trendland Member
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    Yes pushing will (normaly) result higher contrast - pulling goes in other direction.
    What was your intention FDP ? Did you underexposure just to see what happens ?

    with regards

    PS : Good workflow from my point (experiment with films) because you will learn and will not forget.
    More efective in comparison to read books (I hate books BTW - have read just a Hand of books in my full live)

    PPS : And there have been not a single book about photography and I will not read a single one !!!!!
     
  3. Andrew O'Neill

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    Your shadows will be quite luminous...but by pushing (increasing dev time), your highlights will be quite dense as you've increased the contrast. You'll probably end up with a negative that would be difficult to print. I'm not saying don't do it. Try it. You never know. It might be a look that you like... for some subjects.
     
  4. Pentode

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    If your results were mixed with pushing, why not start back at box speed and normal processing, get a baseline to work from and then change only one thing at a time until you find a combination you like?

    It sounds to me like you're trying to change too many things at once. It's hard to know what changes have the most impact when you do that.
     
  5. OP
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    FDP

    FDP Member

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    I've been underexposing to get faster shutter speeds since i tend to shoot at all times of the day both indoors and outdoors. The thing is, some of my negatives have been pretty dark and murky which is probably more my fault in terms of metering.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    FDP

    FDP Member

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    Yup, i'm not expecting much even though i have read good things about this process. I've seen some examples of overexposing tri-x by 3-5 stops then pushing one stop and results have been fantastic.

    Yes, that would be the smart thing to do but i'm hard headed that way. When i was researching the topic i found an interesting article about trying things this way so i figured why not give it a try. If things don't work out, i'll go back to box speed.
     
  7. trendland

    trendland Member
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    Pretty dark and murky isn't too bad - from my point !

    LOOK (sorry I have no example in bw by hand) :

    3953d375fd6be324.jpg

    This is "pretty overexposed" with slide film ! It isn't such bad - Times better than some right exposed from the same shooting.

    with regards

    PS : With bw you get a real great exposure tolerance of several stops. If you want the
    extreme best characteristics from your film you have to develope your films very correct and in addition (most want not belive) you had to exposure ALSO BW Films very correct.
     
  8. OP
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    FDP

    FDP Member

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    I don't use slide film but i tend to use this method i have outlined above for my colour negatives minus the pushing. Colour is easy and results are fantastic. B&W not so much...well i shouldn't say not so much because half the time it looks great and others not so much. I just want some consistency but i know that is not always easy with a roll of 35mm and different lighting situations.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

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    Modern negative film has up to a 14 f/stops when used at box speed. There is no reason other than faulty equipment or out of calibration light meters to very from box speed. Are you taking light readings which include the sky? Light readings should include the subject and not the sky.

    Shoot box speed and use the nominal developments and most of your problems will go away.
     
  10. OP
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    FDP

    FDP Member

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    Here are a few where underexposing and pushing has worked for me. Others, where i tend to be shooting in the streets during the day tend to be somewhat too contrasty and grainy.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. wiltw

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    Do your first understand that every meter tries to render everything it sees as MIDDLE TONE GRAY?
    • If you meter a bride's dress, the reading will record the white dress as MIDDLE TONE GRAY!
    • If you meter a black cat in a coal mine, the reading will record the cat and the coal mine both as MIDDLE TONE GRAY!
    That is why you need to use Exposure Compensation at times, to tell the meter 'you are not seeing middle tone brightness target'!
     
  12. OP
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    FDP

    FDP Member

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    I am metering the darkest shadows i want detail in of my subject
     
  13. trendland

    trendland Member
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    FDP it looks like you are a "newbe" if that is true EVERYTHING is right (I hope)! If we are talking about your experience of more than 20 years - we should talk about some issues you have missed.
    I do photography since more than 40years and (I am not no far that I am proud of my workflow) so there is enough to do to come to superb results.
    So slow down and give yourself a little more time to understand and to get experience.

    with regards

    PS : A light Tripod may help at sets from low light. If you want to test some things try also to
    overexposure your bw Films 1 - 2 stops and use pulled developing workflow.
    Perhaps you'll like it more (contrast comes more less same is to grain) if you want max. contrast just try other bw Films with different developers. To higher contrast not to much you should not go over
    1 stop underexposure (from my point) sure this is just in regard to "normale" motives.
    In night scene it can be a problem die to highlights.
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

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    I do that too, but I can still get those details at box speed and sometimes I am forced to use a tripod. Over-, under-, -exposing, -developing usually cause loses in subject brightness range, contrast, tonality, ... and these losses generally are not worth the minimal gains.
     
  16. trendland

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    75% middle gray.....:whistling: depending on metering systems. I can't say if you normaly will care much on metering? So each photographer used his method. I have (up to now) never understood the zone system B.T.W. :D....perhaps I just will not follow zone - rule:kissing:!

    But if you intend to work in darkroom - the right developer will do more in regard of characteristics than a 99,952 correct Nikon metering - would you agree ?

    with regards
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Exposure controls shadow detail. Only with expired film or special films or sometimes up to 5 stop over exposure do highlights bunch up or compress. So, with modern fresh film, essentially you are only eliminating or promoting shadow detail with changes in exposure (exposure index).
    Development matches your negative density range to the enlarger/paper combination.
     
  18. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber
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    You will be in for a treat when you find yourself printing a few negatives on Grade 2
     
  19. pentaxuser

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    It may be only me whose is confused about what exactly you are doing but I take it from under-exposing by 2 stops you set your film speed at 1600 when using a 400 film. You then meter the darkest shadows in which you want detail. Let's say that is zone III so zone III is now metered but as the meter only reads middle grey(zone V) you then expose at 2 stops under( zone III) . However the whole film is rated at 2 stops under (1600 v 400) Are you getting any detail at that lower shadow level at all? It seems contrary to what is needed for any real shadow detail below zone V.

    If you shoot in light conditions where shutter speeds are too low for the kind of photography you do and you do not want to move to a higher speed film such as D3200 then sacrificing shadow detail may be the only course of action left, of course

    In your first post you spoke about rating D400 at 200 which is overexposing by a stop. You then mention metering and overexposing by another 1 to 2 stops depending on the scene so do you rate at 100 then 50? The shadow detail is likely to be "very open" at such film ratings i.e. even at normal dev times for a 400 film a zone III shadow at 50 will be very open i.e. you will see detail there that you would not normally expect to see. Is that your objective?

    I am a little confused here

    pentaxuser
     
  20. DREW WILEY

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    Sirius - what have you siriuously been drinking? Fourteen stops?? Well, certainly not fourteen printable stops unless you like mush or blowouts. A few "straight line" films like old Super XX or Bergger 200 could handle 12 stops; among roll films, Efke R25 would do it. The only thing that realistically does that now is Fomapan 200. Or one might try some exotic developer regimen; but there's typically a penalty in terms of microtonality. What the OP was mentioning was Delta 400. If he's referring to the roll film version of that (vs sheet film), it has a mile-long toe with miserably anemic shadow separation unless it's significant overexposed relative to box speed. But all this refers of course to informed metering which knows exactly how shadows are placed, as well as highlights. Delta 400 might be OK for low-contrast scenes; but it would be one my last choices for anything contrasty. I don't care to go around preaching the Zone System; but in such cases, it's not a bad idea.
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

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    I never tried these specifics but overdevelopment will increase contrast; best to overexpose slightly(+1/3 stop) and develop normally!
     
  22. trendland

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    I remember well the R3 film (Rollei R3) the recomanded E.I. from Rollei was ISO 6 - ISO 6400 ..:surprised: !
    It was a couple of years behind (hope I remember correct) what the hell was going on there ?
    The same time Ilford indeed gave a "tolerance" of 1 4 stops! I repeat : fourteen !
    Guess Sirius Glass haven't drink too much but refered on Ilford's anouncements !

    I can't say for sure but I would like to state : Today Ilford can't remember any longer of their announce ment >10 years ago !

    What happend in 2003 - 2005 ? Manufacturers of films came under pressure from digital !
    So it was just a kind of special marketing anouncements ?
    Perhaps - but (just from my point) it is a correct statement ! But we should regard this in a various
    context. I remember comercial prints out of the midt 60th till the beginning 70th (also from lab developing of the films).
    I never noticed that there was something wrong with that prints.
    But I should add : " That kind of comercial prints from consumer labs have a restricted quality !
    That is the same case also today - with that exeption that you are willing to pay much more for a special lab print (in high quality)!
    (With an experienced darkroom workflow from your own you can of course print bw in better
    quality than special comercial labs are able - some of us I should say have a reputation to get
    superb bw prints - unreachable from comercial labs)

    WITH 14 stops exposure TOLLERANCE :surprised:? OF COURSE NOT !

    These 14 stops are in regard of a general possibility to get a print in bw what normal amatheuric
    photograpers would find OK ! We would waste such prints from Ilford Films 7stops underexposure as trash !
    I remember to LOOK on comercial lab developed films out of the end 60th and I can't belive what I noticed : Such lousy negatives I never saw from own workflow out of the midt 70th!
    So what was the reason ? Lousy workflow of cheap comercial labs? Bad characteristics of 60th bw film? Total failed exposure ? I guess it was a part of this all:sick:!
    But the prints are not soo Bad if you are not looking with that experience view of today !
    Conclusion : It is possible to reach prints of normal - borderline characteristics with 14stops tolerance (like Ilford recomanded in the past) because of what ?
    Because of more than 14 stops for example 20 stops exposure tollerance would result such a bad
    quality that normal housewifes (without any experience in amatheuric photography and without any experience in darkroom) would give it back to the lab that printed / or would waste that prints into scratch !

    Indeed there remains allways a group of people we all know who would state : Wow that is looking VERY NICE ! I LOVE YOUR OUTSTANDING PHOTOGRAPHY ! (10 full stops underexposed :pinch::pinch:)
    "EXPOSURE TOLLERANCE" is not a relative term - it is a manufacturers "Trademark"

    So we shoud write it in this way " Exposure Tollerance (C) "

    with regards

    PS : R3 had different layers - if I remember correct the main layer was at ISO 400, a second layer was at around ISO 50 !
    But don't beat me therefore (if I am not 100% sure) . The ISO characteristic from a couple of experimental developing (to reach ISO 6400) I definitivly noticed was just ISO 400 !
    I guess at ISO 50 the second layer was located.

    So 1) ISO 50 was in charge of ISO 50 / ISO25 / ISO 12 / ISO 6 and in other direction on
    2) ISO 100 / ISO 200 / ISO 400

    I reached superb quality at ISO 400/ISO800 B.T.W.

    So the 2. characteristic was ISO 400 : ISO 200/100/50/ AND ISO 800/ ISO 1600 / ISO 3200

    AS a result ISO 640O was pure phantasie :angel:. ISO 6 is ALLWAYS POSSIBLE (with low speed bw Films depending on a nice kind of bw developers )
     
  23. Sirius Glass

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    Yes, fourteen stops with TMax 100. It is has a very long straight line, however I never said that you could get fourteen stops on paper with straight printing. Rather the fourteen stops is on the film and it is your job to get it on to the paper. It information is there to use.
     
  24. faberryman

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    Sounds like you are placing the shadows in Zone III where they belong, so you are not really overexposing at all. Sounds like you are just metering correctly.
     
  25. laser

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    The box ISO and D76 will provide the best results 95% of the time. Use Sunny 16 Rule to calibrate.
     
  26. blockend

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    A film negative properly exposed and developed contains a broad range of tones, from solid black to pure white. Such negatives will print or scan easily, even if they require interpretation later in the darkroom or sliders to individual taste. Sometimes conditions make this impossible - imagine a backlit snowy landscape, or dense twilight fog. In those situations we have to expose or develop for something other than mid grey.

    I would definitely begin with box speed, an appropriate developer and advised time. That will give you a norm from which you can meter consistently. Experiment once you have mastered the basics and are confident in your gear. Don't worry about being a beginner. We all start somewhere and there's no such thing as a stupid question if you don't know the answer.
     
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