Very Thin Negative

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David Ruby

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I messed something up on a close up shot of some leaves this fall. My 4 x 5 neg is so light I almost didn't think I had anything at all.

So far, I've printed it with my grade 5 filter and I still can't seem to get much visual interest out of the pic. My guess is that If I could get more contrast there would be hope. Is there anything in the developing of the paper or some sort of toning that I might try?

Due to the thin neg, there really isn't any seperation of tones. Thanks in advance.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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My first guess: you probably forgot to calculate the bellows factor. I estimate or actually measure the magnification ratio by putting a ruler in the scene at the subject position and comparing it to the width of the groundglass, and then I have a little table (attached) on the back of each camera that gives me the exposure correction based on the magnification ratio and reminds me to include it.

My second guess: you remembered the bellows factor and that put you into reciprocity territory, and you forgot to include the reciprocity factor. It's always something else, isn't it?
 

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Donald Miller

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David Ruby said:
I messed something up on a close up shot of some leaves this fall. My 4 x 5 neg is so light I almost didn't think I had anything at all.

So far, I've printed it with my grade 5 filter and I still can't seem to get much visual interest out of the pic. My guess is that If I could get more contrast there would be hope. Is there anything in the developing of the paper or some sort of toning that I might try?

Due to the thin neg, there really isn't any seperation of tones. Thanks in advance.

If you have selenium toner, you might try intensifying the negative with selenium toner mixed 1-3 with water. The selenium will be proportional to silver intensity on the negative (hightlights will tone while shadows will be less). If you have any density at all then selenium will add density and contrast to your negative.
 

ann

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You could try selenium toning the negative. THis will add density, but NO DETAIL. Might help with the printing adds about 1 grade of contrast.

Selenium 1:2 soak for about 5 minutes. Some people use water, others HCA.

Ansel Adams in "THe Negative" recommends the following
soak negative thoroughly in water the re-fix for several minutes in PLAIN hyo. Place in selenium diluted with HCA for about 5 minutes. Follow with a plain HCA and washing as usual. He also suggest that you test the procedure first with a discarded negative of the same emulsion.
Steve Anchell suggest that if you are sure that your negatives have been thoroughly washed, and you have not used a fixer with a hardenerm then refixing should not be necessary. "But when in doubt, refix."

Photography Formulary also carriers an intensifier, but I have not tried their version.
 

jamesiscool

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try the selenium but if you get virtually nothing from printing it now, you won't get much after you selenium tone it. There has to be enough silver for the selenium to work upon. Sounds like you have a very thin neg to start. Good luck. Better to just reshoot it.
 

Ole

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Selenium toning is also permanent, so you have no chance of using another intensifier. I would start with a bleach & redevelop in a staining developer; if that isn't enough I'd try a silver intensifier like IN-5 or something.

I would never use selenium for intensification, since it is effectively one-way.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I use selenium intensification to pick up one extra zone of contrast--1+3 for 8 minutes, but just with negatives that have good detail to begin with. If the negative is very thin, then I agree that it would be better to chalk it up to experience and reshoot if possible.
 

Loose Gravel

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Unless you think it is your 'moonrise', then take the time you'd spend goofing around with the neg and spend it behind the camera.

If it is your moonrise, then besides intensifying, try digitizing and photoshop. (Whoops, sorry about those bad words.)
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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Bellows Factor? Uh oh. I simply took a reading with my Luna Pro and set the camera to that? Am I missing something? This method worked just fine on some of the landscape shots form Oregon this summer?

I can always re-shoot the scene next year when there are leaves again, but I thought it might be fun to learn some trick for that time when I cannot reshoot. Thanks all.
 

Donald Miller

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Bellows factor is a consideration when one focuses nearer then 8 times the focal length of the lens. (Some say 10 times). There are a number of different ways to measure the exposure adjustment for bellows factor consideration. The method that David mentioned is one of them. Another method is to measure the lens to film plane distance. In the case of a 210 mm lens for instance the infinity focus for a non telephoto lens is 8 1/4 inches. If I find that my distance is 11 inches I give one stop additional exposure. If I find that I am at a distance of 16 inches I give two stops additional exposure. If I were at 22 inches I would give three stops more exposure then the meter indicated. A good place to begin if you use this system is to type a F Stop chart as follows. 2.8, 3.5, 4.0*, 4.5, 5.0, 5.6*, 6.3, 7.1, 8.0*, 9, 10, 11*, 13, 14, 16*, 18, 20, 22*, 25, 28, 32*. The asterick stops are full stops the stops in between astericks are 1/3 stops.
By converting your lenses to equivalent inch measurements you will then be able to measure lens to film plane distance and arrive at bellows extension exposure compensation very readily. As bellows length increases above infinity focus additional exposure must be given.

Quite probably when you encounter a bellows extension situation you will also encounter reciprocity considerations. When the exposure exceeds one second reciprocity must be considered. Additional exposure must be given to adequately expose the film. When it exceed 5 seconds additional consideration must be given. As metered time increases above that additional time must be given. For instance I made an exposure the other day that the meter indicated 34 seconds exposure I gave 300 seconds to allow for reciprocity to properly expose the film. Most film manufacturers have reciprocity factors for their film. They may not be totally accurate under usage but they will be better then not factoring at all. This is due to the fact that film does not linearly expose when lengthy exposures are encountered. When we encounter reciprocity then development must be compensated by reducing development to reduce the contrast inherent in reciprocity situations. Hope that I haven't confused you but these are all considerations that you will encounter either in close up photography or in low light situations or combinations of these. Good luck
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Check out lfphoto.info or any book on view camera technique or macro photography for different approaches to computing bellows factor or magnification factor. There's a thread here on bellows factor, where I think I posted my magnification/exposure table as an MSWord DOC file.

With small and medium format cameras, it tends to be a concern only in the macro range, and with 35mm it gets taken care of typically with TTL metering, since an in-camera meter is looking through the lens, and the effect of magnification factor on the film is the same as it is on the meter.

When you're shooting large format, many subjects that you might not have thought of as "macro" with 35mm are suddenly in the macro range. A tight portrait on 8x10" can be at a magnification ratio of 1:3 (size of the film:field of view at the subject position), and the same on 4x5" would be 1:6, requiring additional exposure. With that puny 35mm camera, the same portrait would be 1:24, requiring no exposure compensation at all. If you were photographing something small like a spider with the puny format camera, though, you might be at 1:2, and if you were lighting it with flash and didn't have TTL flash metering, you would have to compute exposure factor there too!

With landscapes, though, the subject tends to be far away, so bellows factor isn't relevant, which is why your other exposures were okay.
 
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Good old "inverse square law", She's always good for fits of anxiety. The first lesson in photography should be this principle because it applies to lighting a subject as well as bellows draw. You would probably do well to learn this way of accommodating lights variables, it will only help when you approach and execute images to have this principle stored in your mental tool box.
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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Yowzaa. I better get myself a large format book! Thanks for the help help though. I have a feeling this info will come in very handy, as I definetely have an interest in using my 4 x 5 at close ranges for portraits or what have you. I took some similar images with my 35mm that day also, so it will be interesting to see the differences.
 

victor

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as many noted here.. there are intensifiers, i have the fotospeed and works good in those rare cases when it happens(not corrct exposure on 35mm). the selenium is a great thing generally. i always use it. but it will not add details (nothing will add it actually). generally all those methods should be taken as fine tuners and not as saviers of what had not been done.
the paper is also very importent. agfa mcc is not the best choice in those cases of thin negative. ilford, kentmere oriental is much better.
what i usually do in those cases is printing on the hardest grade and then maeking the timing of exposure developer and finally putting the developped paper in the deluted selenium for long time (15 +min) it works good with bromide papers since they will not change the heugh.
but the best way is lith print if u are femiliar with it. thiner negatives are great with the lith but again u have to experimant it to find te best exposure/developing combination.

again if u follow all those intesification methods from the film to the paper itself while reducing the enlarging magnification u can save your negative and even find some of those stategies to give a very aesthetic photos.
 

gainer

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A previous poster suggested bleaching and redeveloping in a staining developer. This process has worked well for me. I use the same kind of bleach that you would use for sepia toning a print and redevelop in PMK in room light to completion. The silver image is restored and a stained image is added. The process may be repeated. It is not well known that hydroquinone is a staining developer when used without sulfite. It is soluble in isopropanol. Mix Pyrocat-HD using hydroquinone instead of catechol, leaving out the bisulfite, and use it instead of PMK if you wish.
 

gainer

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Let me embellish a little on bleach and redevelopment. A suitable bleach will be a teaspoonful or so of potassium fericyanide, which you probably have on hand, and a teaspoon or so of table salt in a pint of water. The redeveloper can be as simple as 1/4 teaspoon of hydroquinone and 1 teaspoon of sodium carbonate in a pint of water. I have just tested these recipes, so I know they work. Bleach the negative until the image is translucent. Wash but do not fix. Dissolve the carbonate and add the hydroquinone just before redeveloping. Do not be alarmed by the sudden and intense color. 10 minutes at 70 degrees will be bountifully sufficient. Do this in room light. The negative must be exposed. The stain image will add considerable contrast to prints on graded paper and on VC paper with contrast-increasing filtering. There will be no increase in grain or loss of acuity.
 

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Gadget, I too have an underexposed 120 neg that can't be taken again. It was developed in Pyrocat-HD, so it already has some stain. It is of normal or slightly more contrast. (there was nothing wrong with the developer, the film was definitely underexposed)

Have you any suggestions? I was thinking of acquiring the ingredients for VMI mercury intensifier. I know how to dispose of the used solution, by the way.
 

Black Dog

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Is it possible to intensify XP2 negs? With a copper or sepia toner perhaps?
 

glbeas

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No, they are chromogenic, theres no silver left for the toner to work on. You'd have to find some other exotic chemical that will glom onto the dyeclouds to do any good there.
 

gainer

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To John S.

You can intensify the stain part of the image by the bleach-redevelopment process. When you bleach the negative (probably not a good term to use) in a rehalogenating bleach such as is used in sepia toning, the stain image from development in Pyrocat or PMK remains. Redeveloping restores the original silver and adds to it more stain. Be sure that the negative is well fixed and washed before you bleach it the first time. Any remnant of fixer will combine with the ferri to remove silver permanently.

Each redevelopment cycle hardens the emulsion a little more.
 

Peter Schrager

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Bleach and Redevelop

Couldn't really find the POSTwe had up 2 days ago. But last nite I used bleach and redevlopment on some regular negatives and one pyro neg. Everything worked really well as I'm about to print one of the negs right now. This is really a big thank you to everyone who posted the information. The re-development in Pyrocat seems to give a nice glow. The process isn't hard ;just start with one neg. at a time to get the hang of it. Thanks again
Peter
 

colrehogan

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David Ruby said:
I messed something up on a close up shot of some leaves this fall. My 4 x 5 neg is so light I almost didn't think I had anything at all.

So far, I've printed it with my grade 5 filter and I still can't seem to get much visual interest out of the pic. My guess is that If I could get more contrast there would be hope. Is there anything in the developing of the paper or some sort of toning that I might try?

Due to the thin neg, there really isn't any seperation of tones. Thanks in advance.

Try this device: www.salzgeber.at/disc/index.html
 

Donald Qualls

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James M. Bleifus said:
After bleaching and redevelopin should I refix or do I just was the negs normally?

In theory, there shouldn't be any undeveloped halide to fix away.

In practice, I'd be a lot more comfortable refixing. However, if you will or might be doing multiple bleach-redevelop cycles to build up stain density, you could and probably should leave fixing for the end.

Also be aware that, since each cycle with pyro tans (hardens) the emulsion more, washing time will need to be extended after final fixing; I'd make a WAG recommendation that you at least double your usual washing after this kind of treatment.
 

blivit

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Help!!!
I just developed my first (with developer, rather than with coffee) roll of Arista premium 100 using all Arista chems. All the frames were pretty much transparent and can't read the edge writing at all. Develop temp/time a approx 68 deg. for 7 min. (as per instructions on container I am guessing they are underdeveloped. There is nothing of value to save, per say. Film and chems are approx 2 years old (I got a late start lol). Is the age of the stuff the prob or is it my experience/ lack there of. I did some devel. and printing 30 years ago and all turned out ok then.
I have found some good info in all the threads, just not for this.
Thanks guys and gals.
 
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