Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jagwar.jim

Push Processing

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Hi everyone!

 

I'm interested to know how many of you push process? Personally I push process most of my black and white photography, usually by one stop, but lately I've been doing 1&1/3 stops.

 

So, please share with us!

 

How often do you push process?

How many stops?

Do you push black and white or colour? Or both?

How many stops do you push?

 

I have attached an image of mine that was push processed, and I have a post about it all on my blog here also, if you are interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always try to prevent push processing because the quality and the details in the shadows will be always poor. Push processing is in fact an emmergency for journalists in the past to have some result.

 

Some B&W films are more suitable for push processing:

Tri-X 400, HP5+, RPX 400, Neopan 400 and when using a speed enhancing type developer like Diafine (two bath) or Microphen (there are more possibilities) you can have pretty good results.

 

In C41 the possibilities are even more limited. It is already a standard Kodak process. +1F you can do if you leave the film + 30 seconds extra in the C41 developer. But a push +1F iso 400 film will be less in quality then a regular iso 800 film on standard C41 development.

 

Conclusion: I am not often using a push processing of a film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Push' or 'Pull', as the case may require, processing is really about tailoring the brightness range of the scene photographed to the capability of the emulsion and processing and is part of the 'Zone System'.

In the past it was not 'an emmergency(sic) for journalists' but done as part of a knowledge that the scene being photographed was dimly lit and had to have the developing extended to bring out any density in the shadow areas while reducing the exposure or raising the exposure index.

Push processing is not done just to Push process but requires some goal to be achieved and knowledge of fundamentals.-Dick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the 1960s doing "reportage" available-light work in college, our standard was to use Tri-X rated at 1000 to 1200 developed in Acufine. Of course, this was not fine-art work, but it gave us the results we needed. I see Acufine is still available, and they still claim this isn't "push-processing."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a difference between "pushing" film, and giving additional development to enhance contrast as in the Zone system.

 

In the Zone system, one always rates the film at a "normal" exposure index ("Normal" as determined by tests with one's own meter, camera, lenses, and enlarger). Then one meters the shadows to determine an exposure that will just barely give sufficient shadow detail and separation at that normal EI. Then one meters the highlights to detemine the scene's contrast range, and adjusts development to expand or contract the film's contrast response to give a full-range negative. In the case of a low-contrast scene - more development.

 

In "pushing" film, one rates the film at a higher-than-normal exposure index, meters the entire scene without regard to shadows or highlights or their range, and then increases development to get the most amount of silver possible - overall - for the amount of exposure given.

 

They share just one attribute - more development than normal. In every other aspect: intention and desired result, metering technique, ISO/EI chosen - they are completely different.

 

As an intern photojournalist in the 70s, I had to capture high-school basketball action in dimly-lit small-town gyms. My goal was not a technically perfect negative - it was to freeze players in mid-air, which called for 1/250th-1/500th sec. I walked in with an incident meter, held it up to see how much light "was in the air," picked the ISO (usually around 3200-5000) that would give me the shutter speed I needed at f/1.4, and then developed Tri-X so as to get a printable image with that exposure (sometimes using straight Dektol paper developer for added energy). Tri-X because stingy newspapers weren't about to spring for such exotic stuff as High-Speed Recording Film 2475 (ASA 1250).

 

Ansel Adams would have metered, exposed and developed completely differently for that gym (assuming he was looking for a "Zone System" image and not a "newspaper sports page" image). Definitely using more exposure (as spot-metered in 7-8 different places), and likely using less development than normal to hold the contrast range - from inky shadows above the bleachers to the bare overhead lightbulbs.

 

I'm not a particular fan of the "pushed" look as such - blocked-up highlights and bald shadows. It'll never turn a puerile image into anything but a technically-flawed puerile image. But if that's what's required to capture the subject matter in the light available, so be it.

Edited by adan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[... snip excellent article ...]As an intern photojournalist in the 70s, I had to capture high-school basketball action in dimly-lit small-town gyms. My goal was not a technically perfect negative - it was to freeze players in mid-air in light that called for 1/250th-1/500th sec. [...] Tri-X because stingy newspapers weren't about to spring for such exotic stuff as High-Speed Recording Film 2475 (ASA 1250).

 

(For the rest - we were not allowed to use flash then.)

 

Ah, good old 2475 Recording Film developed in HC110. And a 180mm F/2.5 Nikkor-H rangefinder lens modified for the F. Shoot all the way across court.

 

Editor, "Can't tell if the guy is dribbling a ball or a grain clump."

 

Ansel Adams would have metered, exposed and developed completely differently [...]

 

And revisited the same gym dozens of times to re-shoot until he was happy.

 

ASIDE: I once tried HIE (Kodak High-Speed Infrared) film with an IR filter over a powerful (Singer) flash so that no flash was shown. Big, big mistake. Sure, there was focus and sharpness, but ... well, I'll let Andy or someone else tell you why the outcome was not fit for family readers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

One stop with Tri-X and HC-110, but I plan to go to 1600 ISO this winter. I believe the new Rollei 400 film with the dedicated Rollei developer can push without any noticeable image degradation. Maybe Robert can elaborate on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have dabbled with pushing Tri-X to ISO 1600 with surprisingly good results. The grain was not at all objectionable; there was a little loss in contrast but it was not at all unacceptable.

 

In fairness, the scenes I shot at ISO 1600 were street scenes with uniform but indirect lighting so I cannot foment on shadow detail issues with Tri-X exposed at 1600. I will have to shoot a couple of rolls at night to see how it performs in the shadows at N+2.

 

I recall shooting a roll of RVP (Fuji Velvia 50) at ISO 400 by accident. I let the lab know and they processed it at ISO 400, a three stop push.

 

I was prepared for the worst but was pleasantly surprised when the film came back. The

one roll that was processed at an N+3 push was on par with the rest of the batch of RVP that was exposed at ISO 50.

 

I don't know if that is a commentary on Fuji film or the lab I use - or both, but I was floored by the results.

Edited by Messsucherkamera

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have dabbled with pushing Tri-X to ISO 1600 with surprisingly good results. The grain was not at all objectionable; there was a little loss in contrast but it was not at all unacceptable.

 

In fairness, the scenes I shot at ISO 1600 were street scenes with uniform but indirect lighting so I cannot foment on shadow detail issues with Tri-X exposed at 1600. I will have to shoot a couple of rolls at night to see how it performs in the shadows at N+2.

 

I recall shooting a roll of RVP (Fuji Velvia 50) at ISO 400 by accident. I let the lab know and they processed it at ISO 400, a three stop push.

 

I was prepared for the worst but was pleasantly surprised when the film came back. The

one roll that was processed at an N+3 push was on par with the rest of the batch of RVP that was exposed at ISO 50.

 

I don't know if that is a commentary on Fuji film or the lab I use - or both, but I was floored by the results.

 

The photos I tend to push are street photos, and the results are generally best on overcast days I find.

 

Do you have any examples of the pushed Velvia? I'd love to see!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always try to prevent push processing because the quality and the details in the shadows will be always poor. Push processing is in fact an emmergency for journalists in the past to have some result.

 

You are perhaps forgetting the photographers who push process film because it increases grain and contrast. In such cases the image quality, the aesthetic quality of the image that the photographer is after, is transformed from 'poor' to excellent.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are perhaps forgetting the photographers who push process film because it increases grain and contrast. In such cases the image quality, the aesthetic quality of the image that the photographer is after, is transformed from 'poor' to excellent.

 

Steve

 

I would be one of those people Steve, I very much like the effect of push processing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like shadow detail and the only way to get it is exposure it in.

 

You can develop forever and it does not put shadows back, build highlight density for sure , but no more shadows.

 

Your posted photo shows the blown highlights and very dark shadows. Fine if that is what you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to push tri-x to 1600iso in Rodinal if I can get away with it (as seen in the first photo)

I also like to push tri-x to 6400iso in Rodinal (stand dev.) because I am a creature of the night (as seen in last 2 photos).

 

I've grown to like the grain and contrast because the only things that interest me go on at night, so I had no choice.

Also, I don't think the grain is too overwhelming. When I print my pushed images in the darkroom, there is even less grain. I think it all depends on your agitation. Yes, you do lose shadow detail, but you must take the bad with the good.

Edited by Willyd6869

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also like to push tri-x to 6400iso in Rodinal (stand dev.) because I am a creature of the night (as seen in last 2 photos).

 

You pushed trix400 to 6400? Like, 4 stops? Impressive!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shoot 135 TriX 400 @ a standard ISO3200 in D-76.

When shooting TriX in 120 film, I rate it at ISO 320 (pulling) in same developer.

 

I need the speed of TriX in 135 film and happen to like the look, it gives me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tri-X @ 1250 in Diafine is pretty darn good for pushed film. The two bath action of Diafine helps prevent your highlights and bright light sources from turning in to white blobs. Diafine gets better as it ages. Once it's been sweetened with a dozen rolls or so it really comes in to its own.

 

I also recommend TMY-2 400 @ 1250-1600 in Diafine. Very, very nice.

 

But on a whole I try to avoid pushing film. That's why Leica gave us the Summilux series.

It's amazing what you can shoot with 400asa film @ 1.4 and 1/30th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy