Looking for a slow, grainy, film

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

I'm looking for a nice, grainy slow film. I generally over expose and over-develop Tri-X in strong Rodinal to get a Ralph Gibson like effect of blocked shadows and pronounced grain. Totally the opposite of what most people are looking for, particularly in slow films. However in bright situations, this really blows out the highlights. In situations with a lot of light or when I also want some blur, I'd like a slow film that I can treat similarly but that won't get too radically blown out.

Are there any slow film with a nice Tri-X like grain that might work for me?

-- Rob (rob@robertgruber.com), April 25, 2002


Why not use what he used. I recently was looking through some old issues of Darkroom Photography,(May 89), that had an interview with Gibson. He stated at that time he was using Tri-X rated anywhere from 100-1000ASA on the same roll,depending on the image, developed in Rodinal 1-25 and printed using a Leitz-Focomat C-1 enlarger.

Gibson discussed that he would usually print on a grade 3 or 4 paper and if he needed anything higher, would overexpose and underdevlop the print.

He also printed mostly 11x14 and occasionaly 16x 20 at that time. These enlargements would also lead to emphasized grain in the images.

This info predates a great deal of his work but would include some of his better known images from Somnambulist (1970); Deja Vu (73); and Days at Sea (75).

-- James Chinn (JChinn2@dellepro.com), April 25, 2002.

That's a great idea. I didn't think of varying the film speed across the roll but it makes sense and since I already really like the result I'm getting this is probably the way to go.


Might play with some of the european films people have been discussing here as well like Forte and Foma.

-- Rob (rob@robertgruber.com), April 25, 2002.

I think I'd be more inclined to use a neutral-density filter, if I needed to "slow down" a too-fast film. Gross overexposure will just make the neg a heck of a lot harder to print.

-- Don Wilkes (don.wilkes@gems9.gov.bc.ca), April 25, 2002.

I agree neutral density filter would be the way to go.

If you want something slower, I might suggest APX100 or other grainy films processed in metol-ammonia developer. You could experiment with D-76 1+3 with additional ammonia solution from hardware stores. Why ammonia tends to enlarge grain? I don't know. (if you do the same thing with borax, you'll get a nice medium fine grain developer suitable for TMX)

-- Ryuji Suzuki (rsuzuki@rs.cncdsl.com), April 25, 2002.

The grainiest stuff I ever came across at around 100 ISO was some pre-detante Russian film. It had an almost ortho colour response too.
It might still be being sold, somewhere. (Efke?)
Otherwise I'd go with the ND filter suggestion.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), April 26, 2002.


Here's a similar thought.

Try litho film. I've bought some from Freestyle (Hollywood, CA) 35mm and 4x5 (and larger) sheets.

Slow as maple sap on a cold winter morning in Maine.

ASA 25! Bullit proof highlights and grain like cannon balls.



-- Steve Feldman (steve@toprinting.com), April 26, 2002.

Anybody like Plus X? What about Agfa 100?

-- Rob (rob@robertgruber.com), April 28, 2002.

Bergger 200. chunky grain, great gradation.

-- Phil Stiles (Stiles@metrocast.net), April 28, 2002.

Is Berger 200 the same as Fortepan 200 or Paterson Accupan 200 just differently branded or is it a different film (35mm)?

know there has been some discussion about Berger on this list.

-- Rob (rob@robertgruber.com), April 29, 2002.

From Ralph Gibson interview.

"Ralph: IĄ¯ve used Rodinal since 1961. I use Tri-x almost exclusively but occasionally, sometimes I get in the mood to use Fuji 400. But either one is the same to me. And for my night work, IĄ¯ve been very happily working with Fuji Neopan 1600. But theyĄ¯re all souped in Rodinal. I develop all my own film myself, personally. And I also base the fact that I develop my film personally means that thereĄ¯s going to be certain irregularities in my agitation. And I have discovered that, in these irregularities there is some creative input. I donĄ¯t want my film to be developed too well, too cleanly, too smoothly. I donĄ¯t want that slick look. IĄ¯ve had a life long relationship with grain. You know I originally started out as a photojournalist when I was young. IĄ¯ve always felt that grain gave texture both to cinema, as well as photography. IĄ¯ve used it for any number of reasons for the entire length of my career. ItĄ¯s almost harder to get a grainy image nowadays than it is to get the shot. "

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), May 05, 2002.

You may try Efke asa 25 or Efke 100 film, it is an old emulsion Adox of 50s, now made in Croatia.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), May 06, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ