Film with longest straight-line curve for extreme pulling : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Can anybody advice the film suitable for extreme pulling, that has very long straight-line part of characteristic curve? I realize that speed and contrast both drop while pulling both effects are desired; the acceptable speed should be somewhere in 6-25 ISO, the contrast (gamma) somewhere in 0.35-0.45. The subject brightness range is ca. 9 stops from important shadows to important highlights; to have 1-2 extra stops as a safety margin before noticeable shoulder would be great.

I have access to most Kodak/Ilford/Agfa films, excluding TechPan and discontinued APX25. In any case I'll do my own testing, (the first candidates are Ilford Pan 50, D100, FP-4+) but I'll appreciate if somebody gives me some guidelines.

The grain doesn't matter.

Thank you! Andrey.

-- Andrey Vorobyov (, September 12, 2001


This is something I have not done myself. I know that Bruce Barnbaum uses Tri-X sheet film developed in highly diluted HC-110 to obtain as much as an N-6 contraction. I also know a photographer in California who does the same thing with T-Max 400 and highly dilute T-Max developer.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, September 12, 2001.

See the discussion "Mortensen and gradation" in the archive for Processing Film.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, September 12, 2001.

Thanks, Ed. It is curious that nominal speed of both this films is 400. The succes probably should be attributed to very long curve of the films: I've read somewhere (at your web site?) that HP5+ in diluted Rodinal offers up to 14 Zones. Interesting, can films with slower nominal speed give the long line also?

-- Andrey Vorobyov (, September 12, 2001.

Not being an expert on film contraction, I can't answer your question about using slow films. Perhaps someone else will offer a response. You might consider a staining developer such as the pyrocatechin formula Ansel Adams gives in his book THE NEGATIVE (which is said to handle a 14-stop range).

-- Ed Buffaloe (, September 12, 2001.


I have found that T MAX 400 sheet rated at 200 or a bit less, then developed in split D-23 for 9 minutes in Sol'n A at 20 deg, then 3 Min in Soln B gives me excellent negs for Pd/Pt printing on Palladio paper. Try 11 min in A for perhaps another zone of shadows.

This give a VERY wide range and can print nicely on VC/MC paper with a #1 or 0 filter.

-- RICHARD ILOMAKI (, September 12, 2001.

HP5+ in D-76H 1:3 at the usual 1:1 time gives roughly N-4, EI 160-200 or so, with a straight curve shape.

-- John Hicks (, September 12, 2001.

The developer is as important, if not more so, than the film in getting an extended range. I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Tmax developer (not the RS version).
I don't like it for normal use, personally, but Kodak's data sheets show that it gives a very extended straight line characteristic with Tmax 100 film. The published curves show an almost 10 stop range with no sign of a shoulder, even at high gammas.

-- Pete Andrews (, September 13, 2001.

> developer is as important, if not more so, than the film in getting an extended range

That's a very important point. Some developers which produce a bit of a shoulder in normal usage can just block up (curve goes flat) at a rather low density when they're used for a short time or high dilution for a strong contraction. While the result is a much lower density on the high end, it's a no-contrast detailless density.

-- John Hicks (, September 13, 2001.

Gentlemen, thanks for everybody who replied.

-- Andrey Vorobyov (, September 17, 2001.

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