Film Testing Kodak 400TX and Diafine Developer

Amazing couple of days running dozens of different developer tests all with 400TX… love the look of the grain and depth of this film! In the end I came back to an old friend but with a new twist. Diafine is back in my life in a big way! Diluted 1:1 and used as a one shot developer it is spot on in my JOBO with very nice grain, great tonality, no processing issues and best of all a usable EI from about 100-1250 (the chart shows 200-1600… I think 1600 is a bit on the edge for my works but is totally usable in a pinch. So again, in a JOBO speed is 4, temp does not really matter but I ran at 75F, Dilute part A and B 1:1… I did 3.5 minutes in each followed by a 2 min wash with water then fix (box time), clear (box time) and hang to dry…. easy as pie!

BarnTest200-1600

Of course an advantage of Diafine that I have written about here before is that many different films can be souped at the same time which is a huge time saver. Diafine negs are a bit flat and do requiere an “S” curve in PS to make me happy but I am now quite happy indeed. I will post links to Diafine articles I have written and a great one from a friend Sandy King from View Camera.

RiverTEST_800_Web

My suggest EI…. 800.

Viva la Revolution– Stephen

All images shot with a Leica MP with a 35MM Summicron ASPH… on Film!

LINKS:

Sandy King Article Diafine…. a must read!

as for articles here… there are a lot!!!! Just type in Diafine in the search box and enjoy!

Also please note these were just quick scans (first set) as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting but the final scan (last image) is quite nice and shows the real potential for this amazing combo.

Film Testing

So I very recently got a Leica MP Black Paint a la carte with a matching black paint Leica 35mm F2 ASPH Summicron… Nice! But what film? I’ve been shooting a lot of 4×5 film recently, mainly Kodak 160 Portra and there is NO way a 35mm negative was going to give me the tonality or depth of color that I had grown acustomed to. So what to do?!

Here are the results of my first tests…. Kodak 400TX processed 1:100 at 68F for 20 minutes with gentle agitation every 3 minutes. The negatives when scanned on my Imacon scanner at 6300 dpi were fantastic- I love grain! I made a test print at 28″ x 40″ on Canson Aquarelle 310 on my Epson 9900 using the BW mode and it was spot on. But…. was it perfect? No.  Since this first test I have run many others and now feel that a bit more agitation is needed, perhaps one gentle inversion per minute. I also have ran a test with D76 1:1 using my JOBO and the results were quite nice but the grain was not as crisp as the Rodinal.

Ilsa2013FR_B

Ilsa2013FR_A

So today I am running one last test as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting from FL to VT (will mainly be shooting 4×5 color but want the Leica for my reportage work.

My test today will use PMK developer which I used a lot back in 2006-2007 and I remember how amazing the never ending highlights were…. more as that test concludes.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

The Leica M9… Coming Very Soon So Hide Your Wallet!

Ok… my birthday is only a few days away but somehow I don’t think this new Leica M9 made my wife’s shopping list… damn! If Leica fixed all that was missing in the M8 (which I am sure they did… fingers crossed) this would be the first digital camera I could be excited about in quite some time… of course it will cost an arm and a leg but thats nothing new in Leica-land. I for one will be tuning in on September 9 to see all that is new… will I consider buying one if everything is perfect?… not any time soon as I love the look of scanned film and my wife would KILL me if I spent that kind of money in this economy… I have kids after all!

Below is the promo teaser for the live broadcast release:

Link to Lecia for more info.

Working at Less Than 100 Percent

Most pinhole images are made using a pinhole that is very close to- or at the optimum size for- the chosen focal length and in most cases this is a good choice for general photography: it lets you get the best quality image a pinhole can produce. That being said, while testing the PinZonie I have been experimenting using pinholes that are in some cases up to 2 stops more open or closed than the optimum setting and really liking the creative options it gives me.

As I always say… experimentation is key!

Pinzone-2Pinhole28mm

Trees in Afternoon Light, Massachussettes. 2009
From the Negative Series
28mm PinZonie, Pinhole Setting, -2 stops from optimum
Kodak BW400CN, Scanned on an Imacon Scanner
d’Vinci Noir Print on Hand-made Bhutan Mitsumata Thick White
Copyright Stephen Schaub 2009

Film Scanning Technique 101

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In this audioblog I present a philosophy of scanning film based on the understanding that in the end photographers make prints and our entire process from film capture to scan to Photoshop to printer is all based on making prints. I outline in detail techniques and settings which will apply to most scanners and will help you get the most of your film and scanner combination. This is a very long audioblog- 27 minutes- and as such have paper and pencil ready, as you won’t want to listen to my voice for this long twice!

Full Process Example Image

YellowSpringPawletVermont2009

Yellow Spring, Vermont. 2009

This recent artwork of mine is a good example of the process outlined in the audioblog. I started with Kodak Ektar 100 film (35mm)- I’ve tested this film and understand how to get the most out of it in a variety of different lighting situations. The camera was my Leica M7 with a 28mm Zone Plate, and the image was made using my Overlapping Frame Panoramic Technique outlined here on FR. After processing (C41) the negative was scanned dry on my Imacon at 4000 optical dpi, 16 bit as an RGB positive, with miminal sharpening and dust removal. All other editing and contrast adjustments were done in Photoshop.  My chosen Photoshop color working space as well as the scanning color space?sRGB.

Final thought

Knowing the real limits of your workflow, technology and skill level and having a clear understanding/ feeling for your visualized final print helps make the entire process a very fluid and creative endeavour. Test first and remember: experimentation is key!

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

UPDATE: 5.16.09

Link to BETA RGB:http://www.brucelindbloom.com/

Click on Info, then click on Beta RGB: A New Working Space Proposal… the BETA RGB download if found on this page… spend some time on this site as it is a wealth of knowledge.

High Speed Pinhole and Zone Plate Photography, Part 3

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The final installment of this series provides information on all films tested, thoughts on Zone Plate and Pinhole as it relates to these films and observations and conclusion on this process. The audio portion can be heard by clicking on the Audio logo: note the audio portion is around 16 minutes.

PineBudsTmy2testzonem71600
Pine, Vermont. 2009
28mm Zone Plate on Leica M7
Overlapping Frame Panoramic Technique (3X)
Film: Kodak TMY-2 (Tmax 400) at an EI of 1600, processed in Xtol Developer.
Printed on Fabriano 640 gsm, edition size one.
Copyright Stephen Schaub 2009

ZonePlateLongHHExpTestEktar100

Spring Blossom, Vermont. 2009
28mm Zone Plate on Leica M7
Overlapping Frame Panoramic Technique (3X)
Long Hand Held Exposure, 30 sec +/-
Film: Kodak Ektar 100Printed on Fabriano 640 gsm, edition size one.
Copyright Stephen Schaub 2009

ZonePlateLongHHExpTestEktar100_2

Field Edge, Indian Hill, Vermont. 2009
28mm Zone Plate on Leica M7
Overlapping Frame Panoramic Technique (3x)
Long Hand Held Exposure, 20 sec +/-
Film: Kodak Ektar 100Printed on Fabriano 640 gsm, edition size one.
Copyright Stephen Schaub 2009

High Speed Pinhole and Zone Plate Photography, Part 2

AudioBlog LogoIn this audio blog I discuss my testing results for Kodak P3200 at an EI of 6400 for hand-held pinhole and zone plate photography as well as the new direction Part 3 in this series will explore. Click on the Audio Logo to listen…

LINK: TMY-2 @ 1600 article here on FR.