You can watch that video and read the article if you haven't had the opportunity to do that yet.
I need an EI 3200 black and white film and developer solution that produces the types of images that I envision are possible.
I want a solution that doesn't have excessive grain, has open shadows and retains my highlight values.
As discussed last week, I was horribly disappointed with the new Kodak P3200 in D76, so I pushed forward and did some additional testing this week using Tri-X rated at EI 3200 developed in Rodinal using two different development methods (stand, and semi-stand).
In the end, my judgment is based on the quality of my prints. In the video below, I show the two prints that I made using the two different development methods using Rodial and compare these prints to the Kodak P3200 print developed in D76 from last week.
If you do that, send me a note and let me know how it worked out for you.
RODINAL DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION
For the tests this week, I exposed a roll of Tri-X at EI 3200 out in the field with the wild horses. It was the typical early morning low light scene that I frequently work in and often need EI 1600 and EI 3200.
I have rated Tri-X anywhere between EI 250 and EI 1600 with excellent results. I've tested these EI ratings and different development times extensively to find the right balance of shadow detail and highlight retention.
I like performing testing this way because it is based on my end goal. I basically want to find a film and developer combination that will not have excessive grain and doesn't block up the shadows or blow out the highlights at EI 3200.
It's a lot to ask of any black and white film and developer combination, but I know it's possible. I have used Delta 3200 and developed in Microphen for some of my elk photographs and I was very happy with this combination, but this film and developer combination is not something I normally use. I am trying to simplify and minimize the number of films and developers that I use, but I won't simplify unless the quality that I need can be achieved.
I diluted Rodial to 1:50 and developed at 20C for both the stand and semi-stand tests. I wanted to see if the 2-hour stand development would outperform the 35-minute semi-stand method in terms of grain rendering, shadow detail, and highlight retention. I would much rather invest 35 minutes versus 2 hours as long as the results are acceptable.
My develop methods broke down as follows:
Total development time was 120 minutes (2 hours)
Semi-Stand Development Method
Total development time was 35 minutes
NEW EI 3200 IN RODINAL PRINT
The prints below are from my test exposures using Tri-X at EI 3200 and developed in Rodinal using the stand development method. I wasn't concerned with my composition and all of the other details as if they were going to be part of my portfolio at some point. My focus was creating some test exposures in the type of light that I normally work in and of the subjects that I photograph.
I liked the stand development method the best and so I scanned one of the test exposures and processed it in Photoshop using my normal workflow. You can also see the actual print in the video update above.
PRINT COMPARISON WITH TRI-X At EI 1600 in D76 1:1
The images below are scans of the negatives and edited in Photoshop. I scanned the films with the Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizer and the Epson V-850 Pro scanner. I made some prints from these scans with my Epson P800 in the advanced B&W mode on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta paper. Those prints look very similar to the digital images below and I am very happy with them. I haven't had time to make some split-grade silver gelatin prints of these images yet, but I plan to do that soon.
Early Morning Centuries
Get Back & Give Me Some Space
New Foal With Mom at Sunrise
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