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My very first B&W process & scan
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:36 am    Post subject: My very first B&W process & scan Reply with quote

This evening I developed my first-ever roll of B&W film and spent a few hours learning how to scan the negs. These are a few of the shots, taken around a small town called Princes Risborough close to my home.
Google Maps

Details:
Film: Ilford Delta 400 Pro
Camera: Pentax Spotmatic SPII
Lens: Mir-1B 2.8/37
Developer: Ilford DD-X 1:4 at 20
Time: 8 minutes dev + 3 minutes fixer

There are several issues. The film is quite grainy and I'm not sure what I can do to improve it. I've got a roll of FP4+ 125 ASA film to do next, so it will be good to compare. It took several tries to get the scanner settings somewhere near right - I think I've got some more learning to do on this.

The main problem is the vignetting of this lens at full frame - other shots on the roll with other lenses are fine. I'm quite surprised how much of the frame is cut off. This doesn't show on the 400D crop camera. Could there be something wrong with this lens?

I would appreciate ALL comments you'd like to make please. I know I have a long way to go with this, but it's the start of a fun learning process for me so shoot from the hip!

1 - The George & Dragon (an old coaching inn)


2 - Market Square


3 - Church Street


4 - Church Street again


5 - The clock in the shoe shop


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Click here to see on Ebay


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peter!,
Is this really your first B&W developed film ever?.. If so, I'm really impressed. It took me many films to get acceptable results, and yours are very good!.
I see nothing wrong on the grain, to me it's a normal 400ASA grain. If you can find 64ASA film, just try it.
And regarding vignetting, don't forget that the Spotmatic is full-frame at 35mm, whilst the 400D uses the smaller APS-C sensor, so you don't see the whole image.
I like very much the 4th one...
Good work!
Best regards,

Jes.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Peter: Did you have any stacked filters fitted to the lens - like a UV + some sort of correction filter for monochrome, or a hood?

Other than the vignetting, I really like these for their "old" look - it's the very graininess that enhances the illusion.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesito wrote:
Hi Peter!,
Is this really your first B&W developed film ever?.. If so, I'm really impressed. It took me many films to get acceptable results, and yours are very good!.
I see nothing wrong on the grain, to me it's a normal 400ASA grain. If you can find 64ASA film, just try it.
And regarding vignetting, don't forget that the Spotmatic is full-frame at 35mm, whilst the 400D uses the smaller APS-C sensor, so you don't see the whole image.
I like very much the 4th one...
Good work!
Best regards,

Jes.


Thank you Jes Smile

The topic title is misleading, sorry. It's my first develop+scan. I dabbled with developing and printing about 45 years ago when I was in my teens, but it was very difficult to make a room dark at my parents' house and the interest died after about 10 rolls. I've not tried it since then, but this time I have a changing bag! Very Happy.

Thanks for your kind comments. I think the grain is probably more to do with the scanner than the film. It's an old machine (Win98 driver), it cost only 15 on ebay for a try-out. I had a lot of trouble with the software and I can't get the Help file off the internet as Agfa don't support it now, so I'd like to get a better film scanner as soon as I can afford it.

The vignetting only happens with this lens - shots with other lenses are fine. It would be OK on the 400D but I prefer other lenses, so I think the Mir-1B will now sit on the shelf because I keep the Tak 1.4/50 in the clear plastic box Smile


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:
@ Peter: Did you have any stacked filters fitted to the lens - like a UV + some sort of correction filter for monochrome, or a hood?

Other than the vignetting, I really like these for their "old" look - it's the very graininess that enhances the illusion.


Thanks Bob. No, no filters or hood, although that's a very good thought. I just checked and there is no vignetting at all in the Spottie VF. It's another strange phenomenon like the flare I had with the Jup-21. Anyway, the lens was in fact on trial so. although it's disappointing, I'm glad I discovered the problem.

Know what you mean about the "old" look. Maybe I could try a sepia tone , what do you think? Smile


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich tonality, Peter. You could even sacrifice some of it in order to get some higher contrast, maybe moved to the darker side to have more deep black parts, if you know what I mean (and no, this time I do not refer to Star Wars. Wink )
But this is my personal taste, in most cases I prefer pics that are a little underexposed and high in contrast.

I love this Tudor timber framing. Oh boy, I have to travel to England again!

The vignetting surprises me, I will try my MIR-1B at my Zenit EM and my EOS500 and see if it shows the same there. (Will just need some time...)


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cross my finger Peter to solve scanning problem and I wait so much for the result. I would shoot on film pretty much, but without good scanning solution I don't want to waste money and time. Please let me know if you able get significant development in scanning.I suppose these pictures looks like better in sepia and with border what shows this pictures took long time ago.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree, rich tones, Peter! I especially like the 3rd and the last. You
should be quite happy with this first effort! Smile


Bill


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have access to any film scanner, but sometimes I've got the need of scanning a negative. What I did in such cases is to put a macro lens on the 350D, to fix the negative against a window glass, to put a white paper behind the glass to act as a light diffusor and shooting from the camera.
Irfanview to invert the negative image.
Results were not bad, (imho), Just for occasional use.
Best regards,
Jes.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea, Jes.
For somebody who has a good macro lens a good alternative solution.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:
Rich tonality, Peter. You could even sacrifice some of it in order to get some higher contrast, maybe moved to the darker side to have more deep black parts, if you know what I mean.

No. I don't understand "tonality" Carsten, or how to sacrifice it. I did all the brightness and contrast settings in the scanner software (well, just a slight touch in PS on a couple of shots). I had a look at some of your pics and they are more black and white with less grey shades, is that what you mean?

I think this is a matter of taste . I'm not a fan of stark contrast, but I agree my shots do need to be spiced up a bit. What tool should I use in PS? I haven't looked at Levels, would that be an idea?

Quote:
The vignetting surprises me, I will try my MIR-1B at my Zenit EM and my EOS500 and see if it shows the same there. (Will just need some time...)

I've been racking my brains about the vignetting. I don't have any filters or hoods that fit the Mir-1, which is 52mm filter thread I think. But.... these shots were taken back in February or March, and I did have a 52mm rubber hood back then which split and I threw it away. I don't remember using it on this lens but it's possible I guess. I've taken some more shots today to see.

Quote:
I love this Tudor timber framing. Oh boy, I have to travel to England again!

I'm glad you like English timber framed buildings. You have some beautiful ones all over Germany though! Smile We even have half-timbered cars:

(Pic removed to save bandwidth)


Last edited by peterqd on Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:10 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katastrofo wrote:
Agree, rich tones, Peter! I especially like the 3rd and the last. You
should be quite happy with this first effort! Smile


Bill


Thanks Bill! I was getting quite frustrated last night trying to find correct scanner settings, and each scan (4 neg strip) took about 15 mins, so it was getting very late. In the cold light of day the scans do look a bit on the dull side. As I said, I've got a lot to learn about this yet Smile


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesito wrote:
I don't have access to any film scanner, but sometimes I've got the need of scanning a negative. What I did in such cases is to put a macro lens on the 350D, to fix the negative against a window glass, to put a white paper behind the glass to act as a light diffusor and shooting from the camera.
Irfanview to invert the negative image.
Results were not bad, (imho), Just for occasional use.
Best regards,
Jes.


I tried it, very quickly and roughly with a dull sky and the Flek 35, but it works! With a piece of tracing paper, a better light behind and the cam on a tripod it will give quite acceptable results. Thanks, Jes!


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jes ! I will try tomorrow!


PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"tonality":

I do not know if this is the right English term, I've read it somewhere where it was used to describe the gradation of grey in a b&w picture.
With "sacrifice" I mean to accept a little loss of this gradation in order to get some areas of real white and real black in a picture.
But, I agree, it really is a matter of taste. Some people think bright white and deep black should not be in a picture, I always try to have it (as you have realised in my shots. Wink)

If you want to "spice up" the pics, I would recommend to use the "curve" function and change the curve to an "S". Image to divide the diagonal line you can see going from bottom left to top right into three parts. Click on the point that divides the first from the second (middle) segment and pull it down a little, then click on the one that divides the middle part from the top segment and push that a little upwards. The line now looks a bit like a diagonal "S". You have pushed some light greys towards white and some dark greys toward black. This enhances the contrast.


"Vigentting": Yes, a hood could have been the cause.


peterqd wrote:
... We even have half-timbered cars...

Laughing Laughing


PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips Carsten. I think I prefer a little more "tonality" than you, but there wasn't enough contrast in my pics before. How about this?:



And one for Attila:


PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile B&W first one looks better


PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, Peter!

The first one has IMHO nice contrast and still fine tones.
And the second one really looks like an old photo! The subject assists this impression. (And here the vignetting even helps. Wink )


PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:
Great, Peter!

The first one has IMHO nice contrast and still fine tones.
And the second one really looks like an old photo! The subject assists this impression. (And here the vignetting even helps. Wink )


Yes, more contrast but I don't like it that the detail in the sky has been lost. Sad And I agree with Attila, I prefer B&W to sepiall!!!


PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Thanks Jes ! I will try tomorrow!


Peter, Attila,

Glad to be of any help!.
Best regards,
Jes.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
Yes, more contrast but I don't like it that the detail in the sky has been lost. Sad


There is an easy way around it, Peter. You can select the sky, inverse the selection and only work at the house etc.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you think of those?

Version 1


Version 2


Version 3


PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Second one look old photo really. First and third doesn't say much to me I would like to see them in color instead of B&W. For these I like second one.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These pictures were just supposed to show what I meant with "There is an easy way around it, Peter. You can select the sky, inverse the selection and only work at the house etc." Wink

Based on this original one: