Zenfolio | Haluk Safi | Which Chemical Should I Use For Push Process and Which B&W Film Should I Use in My Bag?

Which Chemical Should I Use For Push Process and Which B&W Film Should I Use in My Bag?

October 26, 2013  •  1 Comment

 

I have been taking B&W film pictures in my last project that visually-impaired students since a year. According to my lighting conditions I used Ilford HP5 400, Ilford Delta 3200 and Kodak Tri-X 400. Using different types of film is really a cumbersome situation for a project. As light condition changes, you have to carry different film types in your bag. Therefore I decided to use only one type of film and use only one or two chemical type for the development for my B&W future projects.

ISO400 is very nice ISO level for maximum dynamic range for right light conditions. But when we talk about the poor light conditions I have to use ISO1600 or ISO3200 ranges.

I looked at the internet regarding to one type of film, and one type of chemical for all lighting conditions. The internet is full with the Kodak experiences and Ilford is very limited in the blogs.

I am an engineer so my experiments should be in a scientific way which means away from emotions. 

I have been using Adonix Adonal (Rodinal) developer which is produced with the formula of Rodinal for six months. I have tried Microphen and Xtol products for push process for Kodak Tri-X 400, Ilford HP5 and Delta 3200 which available in my country easily.

Adonix Adonal (Rodinal) is really the right product for develoıpment ISO50 to 800 ranges. But when we talk about push process for ISO1600 or higher it becomes out of scope with very high (more than 2 hours) development times. 

Therefore I tested following products to supply guarantee for my future projects. Since I know that Kodak also sold her patents $525Million to investors, it seems that Kodak will survive for the coming years as a film producer.

I have selected my Leica M7, Zeiss 35mm f/2 ZM and Voigtlander 28mm f/2 for my B&W film tests. Nikon D800 and Nikon 35mm AF D f/2 lens is used for including the test digital world to compare dynamic range of film and digital world. :-) Sorry film world. :-) 

For the below picture;

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: Nikon 35mm F/2, Aperture: 5.6, Camera ISO Value: 3200

2013_06_09_23_45_572013_06_09_23_45_57

For the below picture;

Film: Ilford HP5, Developer: Microphen, Solution: Stock, Time: 16' @ 20C, Camera: Leica M7 Lens: Zeiss 35mm F/2, Aperture: 5.6

Camera ISO Value: 3200, Developing ISO Value: 3200

Anyway I do not want to compare digital and film world at that moment. Only I wanted to show you the real test environment as clear as possible. The expert says "take for the dark for the film world, take for the light in digital world".  Therefore I do want to see the right chemical, and the right film for my film world. 

2013_06_15_Tests_HP5_Microphen_Stock_16dak_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_0042013_06_15_Tests_HP5_Microphen_Stock_16dak_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_004

For the below picture;

Film: Ilford HP5, Developer: Xtol, Solution: 1+1, Time: 22,5' @ 20C, Camera: Leica M7 Lens: Zeiss 35mm F/2, Aperture: 5.6

Camera ISO Value: 3200, Developing ISO Value: 3200

2013_06_15_Tests_HP5_Xtol_1_Plus_1_Pushed_ISO3200_22_30dak_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_0052013_06_15_Tests_HP5_Xtol_1_Plus_1_Pushed_ISO3200_22_30dak_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_005

For the below picture;

Film: Ilford HP5 400, Developer: Xtol, Solution: Stock, Time: 16,5' @ 20C, Camera: Leica M7 Lens: Zeiss 35mm F/2, Aperture: 5.6

Camera ISO Value: 3200, Developing ISO Value: 3200

2013_06_15_Tests_HP5_Xtol_Stock_Pushed_ISO3200_16_30dak_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_Hatali_İslem_0072013_06_15_Tests_HP5_Xtol_Stock_Pushed_ISO3200_16_30dak_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_Hatali_İslem_007

Conclusion: When I compare the above Ilford HP5 samples, I could not see any big differences for the depth of field. Nearly all of them are equal. For the Xtol usage I could not see a big difference for the DR feature 1+1 or Stock solution. Microphen; little bit sharper and smaller grain sizes. That is it. You should think about if it is worthwhile to use Microphen instead of Xtol compare the price range. For me it is not. Therefore for the push process I will prefer Xtol for coming developments. 

Another Experiment

Which Film is the Right Choice for Push

Film: Ilford Delta 3200, Developer: Xtol, Solution: 1+2, Time: 28' @ 20C, Camera: Leica M7 Lens: Zeiss 35mm F/2, Aperture: 5.6

Camera ISO Value: 3200, Developing ISO Value: 3200

For the shot below I used Delta 3200 and I put Stepchart for reviewing DR. The developer is Xtol and 1+2 solution is used for 28 minutes. In fact there is a keyboard at left and there is also a Leica M6 which can be barely seen. The grain size of the picture is rather high.

2013_06_20_Tests_Delta3200_Xtol_1Plus2_28dak_20Cent_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_0032013_06_20_Tests_Delta3200_Xtol_1Plus2_28dak_20Cent_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_003

For the picture below;

Film: Ilford Delta 3200, Developer: Xtol, Solution: 1+2, Time: 28' @ 20C, Camera: Leica M7 Lens: Zeiss 35mm F/2, Aperture: 5.6

Camera ISO Value: 1600, Developing ISO Value: 3200

When I drop down exposure value 1 stop, every thing is getting better. Exposure time increased from 1/15 to 1/8 on the screen of viewfinder of Leica M7. What does it mean 1 stop drop of exposure. This also means that is ISO1600. In some documents I can see that Delta 3200 is not designed for ISO3200, it is designed for ISO1600. Definitely dynamic range of the picture is increased now.  I can see the Leica M6 better, I can see my Nikon FM3A body texture better. Grain size is also smaller now. You may also compare the pictures DR values from the Stepchart above the book "Migrations".

2013_06_20_Tests_Delta3200_Xtol_1Plus2_28dak_20Cent_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_0122013_06_20_Tests_Delta3200_Xtol_1Plus2_28dak_20Cent_Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_012

Film: Ilford HP5 400, Developer: Xtol, Solution: 1+1, Time: 22.5' @ 20C, Camera: Leica M7 Lens: Zeiss 35mm F/2, Aperture: 5.6

Camera ISO Value: 1600, Developing ISO Value: 3200

Another experiment for Ilford HP5 film. This time I used Ilford HP5 ISO 1600 camera value (with -1 exposure value). But for the developing I push the film to ISO3200. This time I got a better dynamic range compare to ISO3200 taken and push to ISO 3200 values. I can see Leica M6 text better but still I can not notice the texture of Nikon FM3A.

2013_06_20_Tests_HP5_Pushed_3200_Xtol_1Plus1_22_30dak_20Cent__Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_0122013_06_20_Tests_HP5_Pushed_3200_Xtol_1Plus1_22_30dak_20Cent__Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_012

 

Film: Kodak Tri-X 400, Developer: Xtol, Solution: 1+2, Time: 17' @ 20C Camera: Leica M7 Lens: Voigtlander 28mm f/2, Aperture: 5.6

Camera ISO Value: 1600, Developing ISO Value: 3200

It was really a disappointment when I see the result of  Kodak Tri-X 400 with taken ISO1600 and pushed to ISO3200 results. Dynamic range is limited compare to HP5 and far away from the Delta 3200. As you can see it is not possible to see the Leica M6 and it can barely select the retro style Nikon camera over there. Perhaps you may say that the picture was taken with a Voigtlander 28mm lens. Right, but the DR is definitely not depend upon the angle of view. In any case more experiment may be performed on the Kodak Tri-X 400 film. 

2013_06_20_Tests_TRiX_Pushed_3200_Xtol_1Plus2_17dak_20Cent__Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_0072013_06_20_Tests_TRiX_Pushed_3200_Xtol_1Plus2_17dak_20Cent__Leica_M7_Zeiss_35mm_007

Conclusion: Definitely Ilford Delta 3200 has better dynamic range compare the Ilford HP5 400. The question is that is it worthwhile carrying Delta 3200 in your bag?  Sometimes no, but sometimes yes. It seems if the texture, black details are really important for your work at ISO1600 or 3200 then use Delta 3200. Otherwise to carry only Ilford HP5 400 in your bag will be more comfortable solution for your B&W film life.  


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