It has been a long time since I uploaded to this blog, my first post in over 3 years is Ilford Pan 100 pushed to 200. Developed myself. Details are below….
No pushing or pulling, shot straight out of the box. With a little bit of love.
Ilford XP2 Super 400 is the second film I shot at London Pride 2014. The streets were once again alive and buzzing, by this time of the day i’d had a fair bit to drink and was definitely enjoying the evening!
I have said this a lot over the past year but Ilford always performs well. This film has an excellent tonal range and really bites in the shadows whilst holding on to details. The highlights are given a glow by the grain softening them.
The 400 speed SP2 has a much larger and higher grain value compared to other 400 speed films such as Kodak TMAX or BW400CN that boast a super fine grain at high speed. That being said, the ‘rugged’, grainy look is something that I love about Ilford.
Delta 3200 is one of my favourite black and white film available on the market, it produces fantastic contrasts and stunning grain which is irresistible to me. Already being pushed from manufactured 1000 ISO to box 3200 i pushed to 12800 to see what affect if had on the film. The results, i think, are exceptional.
Pushing the Delta punched the contrasts right out, creating deep shadows and punchy highlights. It has also blown out the grain massively but does not create a horrible look to the images, in fact i believe that it has created an old school film look.
Before i continue i have a confession…due to being insanely busy with University projects and my dissertation i couldn’t develop this film myself, i was close to doing it however i just haven’t got the time at the moment. Genie used Neotonal Developer – 23 mins at 21º C
Before sending the film off i was considering to develop in Microphen Stock at 16 minutes which according to www.digitaltruth.com this is the correct time for processing this push. The results from Neotonal are good to say the least!
The photographs span over a month period, this is the slowest roll of film i have shot as i have been shooting a lot of digital lately. The photos are shot around The The Britain & Elephant & Castle. The last few shots of this film were shot when i was in Charing Cross and Waterloo station after having too much to drink! The multiple exposure of an e-cigarette has some movement as i didn’t carry my tripod.
Whilst the sun was out i shot with my ND16 filter which gives a 4 stop reduction of light entering the lens so i could keep my aperture lower. I tried to stay indoors as much as possible while shooting for obvious reasons.
I will be shooting 12800 again, perhaps even 25600 or higher to see how far this film can go and how much i can squeeze out of developer. Yes, next time i will develop this film myself.
Yesterday I finally received my replacement negative scanner, hazar!
For this film i asked a few of the lads that go to the same gym as me if they would be happy to have their photo taken whilst they do a bit of training, being the friendly bunch they are they of course said yes!
The lighting in the gym was not fantastic but good enough to get some moody shots, i didn’t want to use flash as i didn’t want my subject to look too flat, also i wanted the nuances to show more elegantly in the photographs rather than killing them with flash. “Use bounce/catchlight or reflectors” i hear you cry – this did cross my mind however the ceilings are far too high for bounce plus i didn’t have an assistant with me.
Delta 3200 has been used a fair bit already in this blog so i clearly couldn’t shoot with that, i tried looking for some other manufacturers that rate their film as 3200 and was astonished that NONE are available. After a bit more digging i found Kodak was one of the last (other than the current Ilford range) however they unsurprisingly discontinued their P3200 range in October 2012 (recently i acquired a roll after a bit of searching which will appear at a later date).
Before shooting i did a hefty amount of research on film types and pushing as i didn’t want the photographs to be insanely contrasty that they’re unperceivable nor did i want there to be so much grain that it actually begins to impair the photograph quality. I needed to find a film that pushed beyond 2 stops fairly well and gave decent results at the same time.
Kodak Tri-X is the classic with HP5+ not too far behind, it all depends on the developer though, xtol and microphen are meant for pushing and reducing grain at the same time, while rodinal is good for a smooth, grainy classic look. There are some great examples of Tri-X pushed to 3200 however i wasn’t sure of the developer the company i use practice with so i opted for the HP5+ which Ilford state on their website it will easily push 3 stops to 3200.
The contrasts on the HP5+ i shot are quite even considering such a big push, there are some areas that are a little over done however it doesn’t ruin the photograph nor does it step into a more avant garde type of photography as the photo is still clear and detailed. The grain has increased dramatically which is to be expected however it’s fairly pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately it’s a bit snowy looking in the blacks which is a little off putting, the grain on the Delta 3200 is much more appealing.
I would happily push this film another stop or more to see the results as it has coped fantastically well with the 3 stop push.
I couldn’t wait to shoot another DP3200. I absolutely adore this film and feel that it will appear frequently during this project albeit using different pushed/pulled settings and exposures over the next year.
This time i visited Bank as well as the subways of Elephant & Castle and Cafe’s in Wardour Street i’ve also included a self portrait, an unsuspecting fellow traveller on The Underground and EDF Energy’s mascot Zingy! I used the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Canon 24-70 f/2.8L Mk II for this film. It has been great using the zoom lens, especially when photographing in smaller spaces. Over the coming weeks i’ll start pushing and pulling film to see how this affects the contrasts and tonal range. I’m also interested to see how pushing affects grain properties.
The grain and tonal range is as i would expect, beautiful. There is a huge amount of data that can be pulled from the highlights. Unfortunately the emulsion mustn’t of covered properly as there was considerable damage to a couple of the photographs which had to be retouched.
After shooting this film i looked for some more 3200ISO and was astonished to see that it was unavailable from any other manufacturer. There is the option of pushing slower ISO film however a lot of films start to become considerably contrasty when pushed more than 2 stops, although sometimes this is a desired effect.
In light of this I had eventually found and ordered some Kodak P3200TMAX which was unsurprisingly discontinued in 2012 however i managed to find some online!
My friend Ameila Hallsworth appears in this film a few times, Amelia is a fantastic up and coming Photographer that has a love for everything coffee and cake! Make sure to check out Amelia’s blog www.ameliahallsworth.com and her Twitter @AHallsworth
On May 9th my friends at University and I held our own 4 day exhibition for our year 2 ‘The Unexplained’ final project. It was a huge success for us both professionally and within our University, full information and photographs of the gallery space can be found at the LSBU Newspaper LINK.
Loaded with Ilford Delta 400 I brought my camera along with me to document how the preparations for the exhibition took shape. The Gallery was well lit so i didn’t need to push the ISO any higher which was fantastic!
I used my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM for this roll of film as i wanted the adjustable focal length along with a fairly decent sized aperture, i attempted to use my 50mm f/1.4 however having a fixed focal length made me feel quite restricted especially as i was working within a space sensitive environment, also the DOP (drop off point) for the DOF (depth of field) is reduced massively at lower f stops and as i was shooting to document, a faster f/stop would clearly be better to use.
There’s a minimal amount of dust and scratches on the film so retouching was quick and easy with only slight fixes required, during retouching i was astonished at how much ‘data’ the negative contains. I scan at 3600dpi (my scanner does go to 7200dpi however after conversion to web quality there is not any perceivable difference, this is questionable for print though) and after scanning (even in pre-scan setting exposure to minimum) there are some burnt highlights, in post i was able to pull these down and i was amazed at how much i could retrieve from the burnt areas, digital doesn’t have such a wide tonal range to be able to do this especially with highlights, digital works better pulling and pushing darks and mid-tones yet i find still struggles at times with highlights.
I am impressed with the clarity and contrast of this film the images are strong and contain a fairly attractive classic filmic looking grain. Although the Kodak T-MAX has a beautiful fine grain at the same 400iso speed i feel that the Delta has better contrasts and tones which i tend to favour.
I have included a shot on the underground, originally i was going to remove this photo from the final publish however i feel that it works well, i shot with a very wide f/stop so that the focal point would be almost impossible to make out (near the woman sitting down) although the focus is a little out on the woman i look at this image and feel that it adds an eeriness and solitude to the image.