greenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

90% of my photographs are nighttime shots using TMAX 100 8x10 and are taken at f22/3-4hours. They have worked perfectly, but in one general area, bright lights. D-23 works perfect for them, but I have had a few problems with close up, bright lights. Any area around a bright light will burn out. It's only about 1-2" circle, but everything around it will burn away. This only happens if the light is close or if it's a BIG light. I have one basic question. Most of these negatives come out wonderful and I was told that by developing them in D-23 they would not get over exposed, but.... I started using D-23 because of how wonderful it works, but does have anyone have an idea of a way that I could retain from over developing the areas that get over exposed, besides staying away from close lights? Sean

-- Sean McDonough (mcdsean@bellsouth.net), March 28, 2002


Try a Glycin based developer, like 777 see: http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Harvey/harvey.html , or one of the Edwal formulas, 12 or 20.

-- Fred De Van (fred@freddevan.com), March 30, 2002.

You didn't say how you are developing your negatives. There are many formulas that will do better at holding highlight detail than D-23, which, even though it's a fairly gentle developer, because of its high sodium sulfite content is prone to highlight runaway.

A tanning formula based on catechol is probably your best bet. The tanning/staining property of catechol will help you retain highlight detail better than anything I've found.

The other critical point is, no matter what developer you use, you need minimal agitation and lower developer concentration. Many formulas are prone to streaking when used with minimal agitation, however. Those based on glycin and catechol are particularly good. Also, HC-110 and TMAX-RS do well, too. I suggest you dilute your developer by at least 100%. In conjunction, reduce agitation to 10- 15 sec. every 2 to 3 minutes, and extend your development times by 100%. You will not lose much film speed (1/2 stop, if that), but you will easily achieve N-3, with very good midrange separation. If you want even more compensation, dilute it further and after the first few agitation cycles, reduce agitation to every 4-5 minutes. I've achieved N-6 using this method, but I've had to extend development from my normal time of 10 minutes to 45 minutes. Be sure your film stays fully submerged in the developer, otherwise you'll get arial oxidation, which will really disappoint you.

-- Ted Kaufman (writercrmp@aol.com), March 30, 2002.

I suspect the problem is related to optics. Unless you have depth of field problem, use larger aperture and don't stop down just to prolong the exposure time. Use neutral density filter if necessary. For closeup I bet you can rearrange the light source and subject orientation if you have to avoid this problem.

Nightscape has such a large range of light intensity, and it is a very demanding shooting condition for lens, camera and film. So, don't expect lenses that perform great under daylight to do the same during night. I think there are several great lenses for 35mm, but not many for MF, and I don't know how easy to find one in LF. Nightscape photos my friend showed me (in 4x5) were disappointing because of compromised contrast of various causes.

For developer, I recommend Microphen 1+1 or 1+3 at 25C. I even think Microphen was designed for TMX!

-- Ryuji Suzuki (rsuzuki@rs.cncdsl.com), March 30, 2002.

Try the catechol compensating formula that Ansel gives in THE PRINT. I have it on my site on the Formulas page. The URL is too long to reproduce correctly here, but you can go to my home page and access it from there: Unblinking Eye.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), March 30, 2002.


do you use D23 straight or "split"?

D 23 split is a great compensating developer. I use teh acive developer abd sulfite soln's- T Max 100 at 50 9 mins in soln A, then 3 min in soln B which is teh activator- metaborate.

Give great negs for contact printing on Platinum or silver paper with a contrast filter of 0 or 1.

-- richard ilomaki (richard.ilomaki@fmglobal.com), April 05, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ