Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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miha
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Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby miha » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:50 pm

Ornello wrote:I get the most out of what I've got...
And what you've got is not optimum. Same goes for your tests; they have value for your image chain, but have little value for mine or anyone's else.

Ornello wrote:...The enlarger has little to do with it; it's the lens that matters

In My book it's the eye that matters.


Ornello
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Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby Ornello » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:55 pm

miha wrote:
Ornello wrote:I get the most out of what I've got...
And what you've got is not optimum. Same goes for your tests; they have value for your image chain, but have little value for mine or anyone's else.
Ornello wrote:...The enlarger has little to do with it; it's the lens that matters
In My book it's the eye that matters.
Why do you say these things? It's true, whether you like it or not, that 35mm needs more care than larger formats to get the best out of it. The discussion, above all, has been on technical issues, so what's "eye" got to do with it? If you want the best results from 35mm, expose somewhat more than ISO calls for, develop somewhat less, use grade 3, use a condenser enlarger, and use the best optics you can get. What is the difficulty in absorbing or following through on any of this? It always galls me when people abuse the snot out of their 35mm film and then say 35mm can't cut it.

miha
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:42 am

Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby miha » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:09 pm

Ornello wrote:
miha wrote:
Ornello wrote:I get the most out of what I've got...
And what you've got is not optimum. Same goes for your tests; they have value for your image chain, but have little value for mine or anyone's else.
Ornello wrote:...The enlarger has little to do with it; it's the lens that matters
In My book it's the eye that matters.
Why do you say these things? It's true, whether you like it or not, that 35mm needs more care than larger formats to get the best out of it. The discussion, above all, has been on technical issues, so what's "eye" got to do with it? If you want the best results from 35mm, expose somewhat more than ISO calls for, develop somewhat less, use grade 3, use a condenser enlarger, and use the best optics you can get. What is the difficulty in absorbing or following through on any of this? It always galls me when people abuse the snot out of their 35mm film and then say 35mm can't cut it.
Whay do I say these things? Because, Ornello, I do not get best results form 35mm if exposed more than ISO calls for, develope less, and print on drade 3. If I wan't best results, I need to expose the film at EI 1600, develope more, and print on whatever the negative calls for. My best photos are created in dim interiors, so my only choice is digital or push processing. My best results have grain and limited tonal range. And I prefer analogue. If your subject allows controled lighting condition, then you might as well move to bigger format and enjoy even better technical quality.

Do not get me wrong, what you say is correct (and you have said it 1000 times), but do not force people to follow you and do not question other people's sanity if they choose another route.

All the best, Miha

p.s. go and see a photo exhibition of some renowned iconic 35mm photographer, you might enjoy it and forgot about grain and other imperfections for a while.

Ornello
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Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby Ornello » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:48 pm

Whay do I say these things? Because, Ornello, I do not get best results form 35mm if exposed more than ISO calls for, develope less, and print on drade 3. If I wan't best results, I need to expose the film at EI 1600, develope more, and print on whatever the negative calls for. My best photos are created in dim interiors, so my only choice is digital or push processing. My best results have grain and limited tonal range. And I prefer analogue. If your subject allows controled lighting condition, then you might as well move to bigger format and enjoy even better technical quality.

Do not get me wrong, what you say is correct (and you have said it 1000 times), but do not force people to follow you and do not question other people's sanity if they choose another route.

All the best, Miha
p.s. go and see a photo exhibition of some renowned iconic 35mm photographer, you might enjoy it and forgot about grain and other imperfections for a while.
You think a stop is that important....really? You can't live with EI 650? Really? Looking back on all my pushed photographs...maybe one out of a thousand was any good. I thought it was so important to shoot in the lowest light, but hardly any of those low-light images turned out to be any good after all. It was all a waste of effort.

As for contemporary work...I find a great deal of it....uninspiring. I have quit looking at what other photographers do. I do what I want, and have no commercial constraints or exhibitionist ambitions.

What I question is your looking to 120 alone for high quality, when you could get superb quality with 35mm.
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miha
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Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby miha » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:40 am

Ornello wrote:You think a stop is that important....really? You can't live with EI 650? Really?
Really!
Ornello wrote:Looking back on all my pushed photographs...maybe one out of a thousand was any good. I thought it was so important to shoot in the lowest light, but hardly any of those low-light images turned out to be any good after all. It was all a waste of effort.
What can I say? To blame the technique is the easiest.
Ornello wrote:I do what I want...
Me too!
Ornello wrote:What I question is your looking to 120 alone for high quality, when you could get superb quality with 35mm.
I do get superb quality with 35mm given the conditions. (and It is not you Ornello that is going to be the judge of that) 120 is another league.

Ornello
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Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby Ornello » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:35 am

miha wrote:
Ornello wrote:You think a stop is that important....really? You can't live with EI 650? Really?
Really!
Ornello wrote:Looking back on all my pushed photographs...maybe one out of a thousand was any good. I thought it was so important to shoot in the lowest light, but hardly any of those low-light images turned out to be any good after all. It was all a waste of effort.
What can I say? To blame the technique is the easiest.
Ornello wrote:I do what I want...
Me too!
Ornello wrote:What I question is your looking to 120 alone for high quality, when you could get superb quality with 35mm.
I do get superb quality with 35mm given the conditions. (and It is not you Ornello that is going to be the judge of that) 120 is another league.
Not necessarily! It's obvious you're not going to get the quality I am.

When I stopped trying to photograph in dark places just for the hell of it my work improved. You need light. There's just nothing else that will do the trick. The photons just have to be there or you're just wasting your time. If you need more photons, try a Noctilux:

http://en.leica-camera.com/photography/ ... /5915.html

I don't understand why you (and so many other people) treat 35mm with indifference as to to quality of result. It makes no sense. In any event, people should be taught how to get the most out of their equipment first; then if they wish to do something else they will have a basis for comparison. That's what I am trying to do here, to help people achieve optimum results. If you don't know this you won't have a standard for comparison. The farther you deviate from the optimum, the worse the results are on an absolute basis.

Pushing does not work. The photons have to be there. You can't improve through development film that has not received sufficient illumination (aside from some rather esoteric methods such as using mercury vapors, not a recommended procedure).

What I'm suggesting is that you learn to live within the limits of the equipment and materials and try to get the best from them. Neopan 1600 at EI 650 is spectacular stuff. It is an amazingly good film, not significantly grainier than Tri-X Pan. When you consider I rate Tri-X Pan at EI 250 and Neopan 1600 at EI 650, you can see why I use it. Honestly, get some of it and try it. It develops very quickly, so you may have to experiment with times to keep the contrast down.

miha
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:42 am

Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby miha » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:37 am

I would like to apologise to the OP for this ridiculous thread that has grown totally out of proportion and got lost somewhere down the road. It's my fault too!

Happy shooting in bright, low, and no light!

Miha

Ornello
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Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby Ornello » Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:07 pm

Agitation simply removes the by-products of development from where they form and distributes them throughout the developer solution. These by-products (bromine ions mostly) inhibit development (probably because of their acidity). Development separates silver from bromine. It accelerates by a significant amount the action of light, which causes the silver bromide to become unstable. Since the silver is a metal, it stays in the gelatin. The bromine is soluble into the developer. From where it forms under gravity's effect it moves toward the bottom of the negative. If agitation is not performed, streaks form where these byproducts flow across the surface of the film. Development is inhibited there, leaving a path of lower density where the byproducts have flowed.

A certain amount of this inhibiting is desirable. It helps to keep the highlights from getting too dense. Using a dilute developer (D-76 1:1 is a classic example) reduces the concentration of developing agent in the solution. This makes the developer more "sensitive" to inhibition by the formation of byproducts. If gentle agitation is performed (gentle inversion of the tank, once per minute) streaking is avoided but some restraint of the highlights occurs (extra density is also obtained in shadow areas for the opposite reason: less development action releases less byproduct, so development is less inhibited in shadow areas). This is called "compensating development" and it is a very useful thing.

Also, when developers are formulated with a small amount of developing agent and a high amount of accelerator (such as Beutler formula, and Crawley's FX-1 and FX-2) there are other interesting effects that occur around the outlines of bright/dark areas. These are called "adjacency" effects. Developers with a large amount of developing agent and a small amount of accelerator do not produce these adjacency effects as strongly. These "adjacency" effects give the impression of greater sharpness but do not actually provide greater sharpness in doing so, but many of these developers do not have solvent action (solvent tends to smear edges) and thus give good sharpness for that reason. (Developers such as D-76 stock and Microdol-X are solvent developers that produce fine grain but reduce sharpness to some extent) Thus, between the lack of solvent action and the increased "adjacency" effects, such developers yield negatives that appear considerably sharper when printed.

Constant agitation does not allow much if any compensating action to occur (depending on the particulars) and thus generally yields negatives with greater highlight density compared to those produced using gentle intermittent agitation.

In the photo attached, note the extra density (which prints as greater brightness) along the boundaries of light areas where they touch the edges of the dark lines. This is an "adjacency" effect. Also, note that the edges of the dark areas are darker where they bound light areas. These are produced by the same mechanism.

Graininess is unaffected by agitation.
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acutance Neil 3.jpg
"adjacency" effects
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kcf
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Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby kcf » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:50 am

Is Beutler a homemade developer using sodium, water and metol?


Is adjacency the same thing as acutance?

Ornello
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Re: Agitation: does it affect contrast or grain?

Postby Ornello » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:07 pm

kcf wrote:Is Beutler a homemade developer using sodium, water and metol?


Is adjacency the same thing as acutance?
No. Acutance is a measurable phenomenon. Look up "adjacency effects" online.

http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/2009/1 ... pment.html

Some of them were discovered when astronomers started using photography.

"EBERHARD EFFECT. Another manifestation of adjacency effects. A series of photographic line images of various widths, all exposed with equal intensities. As the lines become narrower, the concentration of reaction products is reduced, and thus the narrower lines develop to a higher density than do the wider lines. This effect would be expected to continue with successive narrowing until one reached the width of the spread function of the system, including film, used to expose the line. Beyond this point, the effects of the spread function of the system dominate, and light scattering decreases the true light exposure in the film, but the size of the image is not smaller than the spread function of the system."


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