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03-12-2017, 03:18 PM   #1
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What are your favorite "non-box speed" settings?

I can't be the only one who shot film before, although not extensively or in an educated manner to do something other than load film and expose at box speed who then went to digital and is heading back to film.

Seems there are quite a few film stocks where people don't expose at box speed - either push/pull or deliberately overexpose. I have Portra 400 metered at 200 to overexpose and 400 TMAX pushed to 800 in cameras right now. Anyone do anything other than box speed with any of the stocks below? I know TMAX 3200 isn't made any more and Delta 3200 is commonly exposed at 1000. I have a few rolls of TMAX 100, 400, 3200, Tri-X 400, Ektar 100, Provia 50, and Porta 400.

I expect the Provia should be exposed at box speed and kept within the limited latitude it has. I liked the results I got from Porta 160 at box speed, but that was one of my first rolls back in the film world and before I saw some "non-standard" options or applications. Does it do well at stop or two overexposed like 400?

03-12-2017, 08:44 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
Seems there are quite a few film stocks where people don't expose at box speed - either push/pull or deliberately overexpose.
I shoot at other than box speed when shooting black and white using other than the developers, techniques, and times listed in the product insert. In those cases, I shoot an exposure series at +/- 5 EV from box speed using a setup that includes a white terry towel, a black velour shirt, a few detailed shiny objects with curved surfaces, some wood, and the B&W exposure target out of an old Kodak darkroom guide. I standardize on the EI that preserves detail at both extremes and provides a reasonable tonal scale I guess that explains why I don't shift films very often unless I am unhappy.

I shoot box speed for color work.


Steve
03-12-2017, 09:14 PM   #3
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So much of the ISO setting used is based on my personal experience with specific cameras how they meter, negs vs. slides, low vs. high ISO exposure latitude, and the developer being used and the desired outcome in terms of grain, contrast, density, etc.

Camera: For example, my Pentax 645 has a tendency to underexpose and overreact to highlights, so I generally consider lowering the ISO 1/3 to 1/2 EV from the box rating on the 120 film. My Nikon F3HP is less prone to that, so all things being equal, Iʻll shoot 35mm at the box rating.

ISO exposure latitude: The lower the ISO the less the exposure latitude, so I will generally shoot 50-160 ISO films at the box rating and will try to bracket exposures if possible. The higher ISO films 400-1600 have greater exposure latitude, so I often do not bracket them, but based on other factors, may rate them 1-2 EVs less.

Negs vs. slides: Neg films have a higher exposure latitude and are generally more forgiving in printing or scanning than slides. So with the Provia or Velvia 50 or 100, bracketing is more essential with a tendency to underexpose (higher ISO) to avoid blown out highlights. With negs itʻs the opposite where Iʻd rather have a denser neg than a thin one, so depending on all the other factors, I will probably rate it lower ISO to intentionally capture more detail in the shadows.

Subject matter: There are many ways to cook an egg. But if Iʻm shooting in the snow or a white sand beach for the whole roll, I usually donʻt use exposure compensation, but rate the ISO lower for negs so my whites donʻt turn grey and the opposite if Iʻm on a lava field or black sand beach.

I develop all my B&W film these days except Ilford XP2, so I know what to expect from XTOL or DD-X at 68F. Back in the day with custom labs, I could take my C-41 or K-40 or E-6 and ask for a snip test, until I found just the right amount of push/pull for that lab with their chems, and then often would adjust my ISO next time to avoid paying for my film to be pushed or pulled.

Bottomline? Bracket the TMax 100, Provia 50 and Ektar 100, and if you canʻt, Iʻd recommend shooting the Tmax and Ektar negs at 64 ISO. Provia is a gamble without bracketing, but Iʻd also suggest 64 or 80 ISO.

Tri-X 400 is more forgiving than TMax 400, but depending on your developer (or the lab results with the Portra 400), Iʻd start with the box rating and adjust on the next roll based on the results. Always look at your edge numbers and clear stain to get a sense of how the developer and fixers are doing relative to the exposures.

With your expired 3200 ISO stock, I would start with ISO 800 as the higher ISO films are the most affected by age. Hope some of this makes sense that you can apply to your situation.
03-13-2017, 04:58 AM   #4
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This is such an interesting discussion. I must say I shoot at box speeds, as I don't know enough about pushing and pulling, including why people do it. I heard that it's done to emphasize the grain or add contrast, but I don't know enough to know why not simply get a grainier film or use a filter for contrast... I am bracketing when I shoot velvia 50, as my 645 underexposes it. I guess next time I might try shooting it at a lower ISO...

03-13-2017, 05:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I shoot at other than box speed when shooting black and white using other than the developers, techniques, and times listed in the product insert. In those cases, I shoot an exposure series at +/- 5 EV from box speed using a setup that includes a white terry towel, a black velour shirt, a few detailed shiny objects with curved surfaces, some wood, and the B&W exposure target out of an old Kodak darkroom guide. I standardize on the EI that preserves detail at both extremes and provides a reasonable tonal scale I guess that explains why I don't shift films very often unless I am unhappy.

I shoot box speed for color work.


Steve
I consistently see people say you stick with a film until you get it figured out and know how to make it work for you. I don't home develop, so I'll likely take feedback from the lab when I send in these rolls. Seems there are plenty of labs out there willing to work with you on either your exposure/settings and their process to get you the look you want.

Can I ask what B&W film stock you settled on and how you rate it? I started this thread after following a film pictures thread and a medium format thread. Some members post details on exposure, cross processing, or other details about how the specific look in that image was achieved.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
So much of the ISO setting used is based on my personal experience with specific cameras how they meter, negs vs. slides, low vs. high ISO exposure latitude, and the developer being used and the desired outcome in terms of grain, contrast, density, etc.
I haven't shot enough rolls through one specific camera to get that figured out yet. Even though it's an entry level camera, my ZX-30 has a pretty decent meter, especially if the scene isn't really difficult. I loved my first roll of Portra 160 I ran through my LX almost entirely on Av to test the meter and see how the film looked, but definitely saw room for more exposure. I read an article that film cameras, at least from the range when most of mine were made (1975-1983), with the prevalence of slide film, 35mm color negative film tended to end up underexposed to protect the highlights on slides. Not sure if that's valid or if it's simply personal preference, but a lot tend to overexpose color film and like you mentioned, underexpose E-6 and bracket.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Camera: For example, my Pentax 645 has a tendency to underexpose and overreact to highlights, so I generally consider lowering the ISO 1/3 to 1/2 EV from the box rating on the 120 film. My Nikon F3HP is less prone to that, so all things being equal, Iʻll shoot 35mm at the box rating.
As of now, I only have Pentax bodies from the mid-70s into the mid- to late-90s (KM/KX to ZX-5 and 30). I wonder how much variance there is between camera models vs brands. I'm also leaning towards using an incident light meter and metering for the shadow area of the subject where I want to ensure there is detail. Doesn't have to be the darkest spot on the composition, just where I want to ensure there is enough exposure to get detail.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
ISO exposure latitude: The lower the ISO the less the exposure latitude, so I will generally shoot 50-160 ISO films at the box rating and will try to bracket exposures if possible. The higher ISO films 400-1600 have greater exposure latitude, so I often do not bracket them, but based on other factors, may rate them 1-2 EVs less.

Negs vs. slides: Neg films have a higher exposure latitude and are generally more forgiving in printing or scanning than slides. So with the Provia or Velvia 50 or 100, bracketing is more essential with a tendency to underexpose (higher ISO) to avoid blown out highlights. With negs itʻs the opposite where Iʻd rather have a denser neg than a thin one, so depending on all the other factors, I will probably rate it lower ISO to intentionally capture more detail in the shadows.
This is what I was looking for on slides. The roll of Provia is my first roll. I'll keep it in the fridge until we start to get the spring colors to pop. No need to load it up now with 12-18" snow in the forecast for tonight through tomorrow. The challenge with using Google or image hosting sites is there's usually very little explanation on the post work done. Portra 400 shot at 200 for example, I would assume most people just have it processed as if it were 400 speed to overexpose rather than using the pull process. Then there's the scanning and corrections. Fortunately there are people out there who have posted articles showing side-by-side comparison of say Portra 400 and Fuji's 400H, exposed in a variety of ways.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Subject matter: There are many ways to cook an egg. But if Iʻm shooting in the snow or a white sand beach for the whole roll, I usually donʻt use exposure compensation, but rate the ISO lower for negs so my whites donʻt turn grey and the opposite if Iʻm on a lava field or black sand beach.
Interesting concept with the blacks. I've never been on a lava field. That might be a question worth asking a lab for their take on the developing/scanning side - how do you get the dark blacks while keeping the rest of the image properly exposed.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I develop all my B&W film these days except Ilford XP2, so I know what to expect from XTOL or DD-X at 68F. Back in the day with custom labs, I could take my C-41 or K-40 or E-6 and ask for a snip test, until I found just the right amount of push/pull for that lab with their chems, and then often would adjust my ISO next time to avoid paying for my film to be pushed or pulled.
Closest lab to me that does everything in-house is 90 minutes away. Haven't been thrilled with the reviews I've heard or what they post/share.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Bottomline? Bracket the TMax 100, Provia 50 and Ektar 100, and if you canʻt, Iʻd recommend shooting the Tmax and Ektar negs at 64 ISO. Provia is a gamble without bracketing, but Iʻd also suggest 64 or 80 ISO.

Tri-X 400 is more forgiving than TMax 400, but depending on your developer (or the lab results with the Portra 400), Iʻd start with the box rating and adjust on the next roll based on the results. Always look at your edge numbers and clear stain to get a sense of how the developer and fixers are doing relative to the exposures.
Obviously anything landscape or stationary is easy to bracket. Kids, more like action wildlife photography. The lab I'm going to use tends to lean on the side of pushing B&W film one stop and developing accordingly to prevent the blacks from being overexposed and coming out muddied and gray. So I'm trying that on a roll of 400 TMAX. I'll likely work with more Tri-X in the future. Father in law bought a bunch of B&W film for me and probably didn't know the difference between the traditional look of Tri-X vs the new, finer grain versions in the TMAX stocks. I've read other places that Tri-X has a lot more flexibility in push/pull processing.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
With your expired 3200 ISO stock, I would start with ISO 800 as the higher ISO films are the most affected by age. Hope some of this makes sense that you can apply to your situation.
It's only expired by a couple years and has been in the fridge from the day it was delivered.I keep all of my film, exposed or not, in the fridge. Probably should move it to the freezer, but I don't plan on having stuff sit around that long. What I haven't been able to find is whether or not TMAX 3200 is truly 3200 or if it's like Delta 3200 and people get amazing results shooting it at 1000 or so.

QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
This is such an interesting discussion. I must say I shoot at box speeds, as I don't know enough about pushing and pulling, including why people do it. I heard that it's done to emphasize the grain or add contrast, but I don't know enough to know why not simply get a grainier film or use a filter for contrast... I am bracketing when I shoot velvia 50, as my 645 underexposes it. I guess next time I might try shooting it at a lower ISO...
If it's overexposing, you'd want to increase the ISO/ASA rating on the camera to shorten the exposure settings. As far as pushing/pulling or simply shooting at different than box speed - pushing lets you shoot faster shutter speeds for lower lighting conditions and then develop accordingly (longer developing time). Pulling could be used for the same reason. If for some reason, I only had rolls of 3200 or even 800 film, but I was on a summer vacation at the beach, I'd need either ND filters or to rate the film slower and shorten development time to use apertures closer to wide open. Maybe not an issue with newer cameras with 1/4000 or faster shutter speeds, but when limited to 1000, I see overexposure warnings with 200 and 400 speed film in bright sun.

Portra 400 and Fuji 400H both seem to do very well when metered as if they were 200 speed films and developed as 400, just overexposing, but the latitude of the film and scanning capabilities just turn out (personal preference) beautiful images. With B&W, I've heard both sides of this view - push the film to ensure the blacks stay black and I've heard overexposing B&W to get a denser negative and then the scanner can get more detail and the blacks can be adjusted during the digitizing process. I suppose some of it will vary whether you intend to darkroom print or you shoot film to end up with scans and print from those.
03-13-2017, 08:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
As far as pushing/pulling or simply shooting at different than box speed - pushing lets you shoot faster shutter speeds for
I guess, that makes sense... I just never get into that situation as I only shoot 100 ISO film (and Portra 160). Probably doesn't make sense, but since my childhood I have this fear of fast film as Soviet fast film was grainy, if I remember correctly. And I use digital indoors or low light (have to use it sometimes )
03-13-2017, 09:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
I guess, that makes sense... I just never get into that situation as I only shoot 100 ISO film (and Portra 160). Probably doesn't make sense, but since my childhood I have this fear of fast film as Soviet fast film was grainy, if I remember correctly. And I use digital indoors or low light (have to use it sometimes )
A fast lens with 400 speed film pushed to 800 does pretty well. Even then, I usually get a light stand out with an umbrella or bounce the flash. Either way, an incident light meter that "sees" and meters flash is really handy.

Check out modern 400 speed films, color and B&W and the grain can be smooth or gritty, depending on the processing. Personal preference. Hit Google for Portra 400 samples. I'll post some when I get my rolls back.
03-13-2017, 10:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
What I haven't been able to find is whether or not TMAX 3200 is truly 3200 or if it's like Delta 3200 and people get amazing results shooting it at 1000 or so.
I have heard people talk about it as being actually 1000 ISO. If you look on the outside of the box, there is nothing to indicate the ISO, unlike on every other Kodak film. I think in the past they might have cited it as "EI 3200", which is what Ilford does with their 3200, though I'm not sure.

03-13-2017, 11:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
I have heard people talk about it as being actually 1000 ISO. If you look on the outside of the box, there is nothing to indicate the ISO, unlike on every other Kodak film. I think in the past they might have cited it as "EI 3200", which is what Ilford does with their 3200, though I'm not sure.
With a late night snow rolling in here tonight expected to dump up to two feet of snow through Tuesday, maybe I'll make the trek downtown and shoot it at 1000. That speed might give me enough shutter speed to "freeze" the falling snowflakes. If not, I'll use an ND and do longer exposures to hide them.
03-13-2017, 12:05 PM   #10
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Haven't shot film for a long time, but I often pushed Tri-X to 800 or even 1600, and FP4 to 200 - mostly to increase shutter speed for action shots. Foe 120 film, I stuck to box speed mostly and hand metered.
03-13-2017, 02:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
I don't home develop, so I'll likely take feedback from the lab when I send in these rolls. Seems there are plenty of labs out there willing to work with you on either your exposure/settings and their process to get you the look you want.

Can I ask what B&W film stock you settled on and how you rate it?
When communicating with a lab, get names and make sure they know you by name too. You don't want to get advice from Bob if Samantha is the one who ultimately is working on your film. For consistency, you want to tactfully develop a rapport with the individual lab techs. Currently my favorite B&W film is Ilford XP2 Super 400. It has a huge exposure latitude, but if I've got adequate light, I will rate it at ISO 200. The main reason I love this film is because I've found that it scans really well. If, however, I intend to print in the darkroom, then I don't really have a favorite as it depends on the subject matter. Overall my default for fine grain low ISO is Ilford FP4+ if I need a lot of gradation of tonal values, but I prefer Delta 100 if I want sharper, higher contrast, and less apparent grain.

QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
Interesting concept with the blacks. I've never been on a lava field. That might be a question worth asking a lab for their take on the developing/scanning side - how do you get the dark blacks while keeping the rest of the image properly exposed.
When scanning, I try to get as much values and tone as possible and the initial scan will look rather flat and low contrast. In post-processing with Lightroom or Photoshop, I then will manipulate the histogram with curves or levels to assign the zones 0-10 or featureless black shadows thru detail-free paper white highlights. In the darkroom, it's running tests with fresh developer and trying different multigrade filters, etc.

As much as I love film, when it comes to low light and high ISO, digital continues to improve far beyond what film emulsions could do. On movie sets, I'd often have to shoot Scotch Tungsten balanced 640 ISO and push it two stops and it looked horrible. The only alternative was Ektachrome 160, pushed 2-3 stops and even when I had to shoot Kodachrome 200, I found it marginal (compared to Kodachrome 64 or the ultimate 25 ISO).
03-13-2017, 03:08 PM   #12
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Interesting, maybe I'll skip the B&W film for low light snow scenes in town with the light being limited to store fronts and street lamps.
03-13-2017, 04:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
Interesting, maybe I'll skip the B&W film for low light snow scenes in town with the light being limited to store fronts and street lamps.
THAT could look quite beautiful, but Iʻd suggest a 100-125 ISO with a good tripod vs. high ISO handheld.
03-13-2017, 04:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
THAT could look quite beautiful, but Iʻd suggest a 100-125 ISO with a good tripod vs. high ISO handheld.
I was planning on using a tripod either way. Snow started already just west of here. I have 100 TMAX. Likely would let the LX handle exposure settings with a plus one or two stop exposure compensation to ensure the snow is white.
03-14-2017, 05:09 AM   #15
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I'm intrigued by Eastman 5222 35mm black and white negative film.

Since it's motion picture film (Raging Bull, Schindler's List etc.) I guess you might say it doesn't have a "box speed".
Kodak officially rates it as 200 Tungsten/250 Daylight, but still photographers expose it at all sorts of EI settings.

https://shotonwhat.com/film-negative-stock/eastman-double-x-52227222?view=morehttp://

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