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Author Topic: The PAN film in wet darkroom, to digital  (Read 5151 times)
fredjeang
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« on: April 01, 2010, 05:32:50 AM »
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Hi,

I did not really know where to put this topic.
It is motivated by a recent topic about low ISO in digital, and some prints I saw recently. Here is the question:

I saw some B&W portraits prints about 2m high (human sized) made with 35mm using the gigabitfilm AND develpped in the traditional darkroom.
This is the only info that I have, do not know the paper, the camera used etc...
But what shocked me was the quality of the prints, I mean I have never seen such a beautiful output with any digital technique from a 35mm FF, and I've
seen so far a lot of prints.
What do I call "beautiful"?
Well, unfortunately I did not had a camera that day so I can just explains with words: the grain, very fine, precise, vibrate. The tones with grades that looked like a painting, warm, sharp and soft at the same time, very detailled considering the size. A sort of "organic" with the precision of digital.

My question is: Is it possible to acheive this kind of quality with digital in B&W and modern plotters?

Because I would consider strongly buying again a 35mm film camera and use Pan films for certain kind of works, really.
Since this experience, I've been trying to obtain this kind of results with digital and failed so far.
Are the traditional darkroom techniques still better for B&W ?

What you guys, gurus of film and wet-darkroom could say about that?

Thanks a lot.

Fred.



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patrickfransdesmet
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 10:56:28 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Hi,

I did not really know where to put this topic.
It is motivated by a recent topic about low ISO in digital, and some prints I saw recently. Here is the question:

I saw some B&W portraits prints about 2m high (human sized) made with 35mm using the gigabitfilm AND develpped in the traditional darkroom.
This is the only info that I have, do not know the paper, the camera used etc...
But what shocked me was the quality of the prints, I mean I have never seen such a beautiful output with any digital technique from a 35mm FF, and I've
seen so far a lot of prints.
What do I call "beautiful"?
Well, unfortunately I did not had a camera that day so I can just explains with words: the grain, very fine, precise, vibrate. The tones with grades that looked like a painting, warm, sharp and soft at the same time, very detailled considering the size. A sort of "organic" with the precision of digital.

My question is: Is it possible to acheive this kind of quality with digital in B&W and modern plotters?

Because I would consider strongly buying again a 35mm film camera and use Pan films for certain kind of works, really.
Since this experience, I've been trying to obtain this kind of results with digital and failed so far.
Are the traditional darkroom techniques still better for B&W ?

What you guys, gurus of film and wet-darkroom could say about that?

Thanks a lot.

Fred.



To be breef , on your question... NO
It is impossible to have the same result with digital and inkjet printers
as it is impossible to create an Olipainting with Watercolor paint ...

Reason why, for ART photography, I stil stick to film
I prefer medium format film though in stead of 35mm

good luck !




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fredjeang
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2010, 11:55:35 AM »
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Quote from: patrickfransdesmet
...
as it is impossible to create an Olipainting with Watercolor paint ...
...
 
Well, your answer is what I imagined.
mmmm....I may want to try to find a decent wet-darkroom guru in Madrid for my B&W...

Thanks a lot.

Fred.
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BobDavid
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2010, 11:58:12 AM »
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Quote from: patrickfransdesmet
To be breef , on your question... NO
It is impossible to have the same result with digital and inkjet printers
as it is impossible to create an Olipainting with Watercolor paint ...

Reason why, for ART photography, I stil stick to film
I prefer medium format film though in stead of 35mm

good luck !

That's your opinion. If you know what you are doing with inkjet, you can exceed the quality of silver halide printing. That's my opinion!
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 04:34:31 AM »
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Fred

The largest b/w prints from 35mm film that I ever produced - via an external lab because my own darkroom couldn't process that size - was on roll paper and the prints were 60 inches x 40 inches.

Used as sales promotion aids in shops, viewed at the right distances to attract the casual shopper's eye and bring her across to the stand, they worked well. I did others, in colour (on 6x6 Ektachrome) and they were used alongside 35mm b/w stuff on fashion exhibition stands across the world. One particular colour shot of a girl in hotpants and tank-top, just about to bite on a banana, was so well received that it made the front page of a Helsinki newspaper... (a bit like they used to say in music: big in Japan) ;-)

But the real question is this: what is the required viewing distance?

Regarding the differences between wet and digital black and white prints, I think it is an impossible question for me, because I can't produce prints on the same medium. With the wet process, I loved the old Kodak WSG D papers, well-glazed and never air-dried unless the glazer was kaput! I hated matt papers. With digital, I use Hahne Photo Rag Fine Art Matt - the 310gsm stuff - because it doesn't show any bronzing or tone-shifting that I can see under different lights. So, I have to use different papers that spoil direct comparison. The closest I get to seeing a digitial print as a wet process glossy is when I put the finished matt print into a crystal archival sleeve; then, the gloss returns and so (apparently) the hidden subtleties of tonality.

The crunch comes when I happen to uncover some old WSG prints in a box whilst looking for something else: gulp! They are just so much more what I want all my prints to look like.

But, having praised WSG, I have to admit that I detested using multigrade materials - and particularly on that horrid plastic base - that I did use for some time after coming to live here: the water supply just couldn't afford the wastage of one-hour washing!

Rob C
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fredjeang
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 04:52:49 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Fred

The largest b/w prints from 35mm film that I ever produced - via an external lab because my own darkroom couldn't process that size - was on roll paper and the prints were 60 inches x 40 inches.

Used as sales promotion aids in shops, viewed at the right distances to attract the casual shopper's eye and bring her across to the stand, they worked well. I did others, in colour (on 6x6 Ektachrome) and they were used alongside 35mm b/w stuff on fashion exhibition stands across the world. One particular colour shot of a girl in hotpants and tank-top, just about to bite on a banana, was so well received that it made the front page of a Helsinki newspaper... (a bit like they used to say in music: big in Japan) ;-)

But the real question is this: what is the required viewing distance?

Regarding the differences between wet and digital black and white prints, I think it is an impossible question for me, because I can't produce prints on the same medium. With the wet process, I loved the old Kodak WSG D papers, well-glazed and never air-dried unless the glazer was kaput! I hated matt papers. With digital, I use Hahne Photo Rag Fine Art Matt - the 310gsm stuff - because it doesn't show any bronzing or tone-shifting that I can see under different lights. So, I have to use different papers that spoil direct comparison. The closest I get to seeing a digitial print as a wet process glossy is when I put the finished matt print into a crystal archival sleeve; then, the gloss returns and so (apparently) the hidden subtleties of tonality.

The crunch comes when I happen to uncover some old WSG prints in a box whilst looking for something else: gulp! They are just so much more what I want all my prints to look like.

But, having praised WSG, I have to admit that I detested using multigrade materials - and particularly on that horrid plastic base - that I did use for some time after coming to live here: the water supply just couldn't afford the wastage of one-hour washing!

Rob C
Hi Rob,
To be honest, I've always loved the darkroom, despite I recognize the benefits of photoshop. But there is something special in B&W. I think my mistake is trying to reproduce with other medium (digital) a sort of output that I liked.
But the problem is that actually, I'd like to find in Madrid a kind of "personal attention", a guy or a woman who still work with darkroom but with it is possible to have a kind of personalized working relation, (sort of home-made high end amateur lab) and that is what I have not find so far.
In that sense, Madrid is not Paris, there is (officialy) very very little and you have to know who's doing what.
When I can find a person like that, sure I'll go back to film and papers for certain works.

Thanks for the infos.

Cheers,

Fred.








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Anders_HK
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 08:18:20 AM »
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Hi Fred,

You can try searching here;

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/
http://www.apug.org/forums/home.php

If 35mm panoramic it was probably made using a Hasselblad Xpan or Fuji TX camera, which are same. The film measures 36x65mm.

You could also consider a 612 or 617 camera in which the film is 56x118mm or 56x168mm. The used Linhof and Fuji 617 cameras on Ebay are expensive. In fact you can buy a Fotoman new for less. Their overseas business side is down at moment but you can buy direct from them in China. Drop me an email if you would like contact info. Here is their China website http://www.fotomancamera.com.cn/tuijian.asp, and for easier reading use their old overseas website http://fotomancamera.com/. Unlike other Chinese fabricators their cameras are solid quality. I have the 617 with Schneider 90mm f/8. The only downside is the weight. Image quality is superb, thanks to flat film and superb German lens. Click here for example images http://www.fotomancamera.com.cn/zuopin.asp.

I hope above helps. Good luck!  

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 08:18:50 AM by Anders_HK » Logged
Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 12:59:55 PM »
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Check the ADOX Fotowerke GmbH  at Berlin: http://www.adox.de/english/ADOX_Films/ADOX..._CMS_Films.html
Good information about special combinations of film and developers are also at http://www.spur-photo.com - only in german.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 01:46:14 PM »
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Thank you all for these usefull informations.

I've discovered the Fotoman reacently and it has been discused here, it seems a very good alternative.
But unfortunately it's not possible to mount a digital back, and I need a versatile system where I can choose both film or digital.
It's a pitty they stopped production.

Cheers,

Fred.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 01:51:23 PM by fredjeang » Logged
DanielStone
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 08:21:18 PM »
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if you want MF film and MF digital, AND 6x17 capability(albeit with multishot stitching, flat field), look at the GILDE 6x17.

its super expensive, but the quality is the best that I've ever seen. built to last

Michael Reichmann's own video, from photokina

http://www.youtube.com/user/mreichmann#p/u/6/jljr6AYETZ8

-Dan
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fredjeang
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2010, 01:27:03 PM »
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Quote from: DanielStone
if you want MF film and MF digital, AND 6x17 capability(albeit with multishot stitching, flat field), look at the GILDE 6x17.

its super expensive, but the quality is the best that I've ever seen. built to last

Michael Reichmann's own video, from photokina

http://www.youtube.com/user/mreichmann#p/u/6/jljr6AYETZ8

-Dan
Dan, do you really want me to make friendship with my banker?  

Beautifull piece of art tech.

Cheers.
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2010, 05:34:15 PM »
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Fred

Gigabit film is a microfilm and is developed in special low contrast developer (also very low iso). It has atonishing resolution - beyond 35mm digital - and Zeiss used this film to record 400 lppm from the ZM Biogon 25/2.8. O course you need lenses and technique to maximise this. You can also get Adox CMS20, which is a similar product.

Geting good tonalty can be difficult with these films, but for some purposes they are superb.

I won't enter the inkjet vs wet print debate, but I am not aware of a scanner that will extract all the information on these films (again, be aware that puts very high demands on enlarging prcedures too).

Mike
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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There is no rule! No - wait ...


« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2010, 02:26:45 AM »
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These films will only be used to their full potential, if

1.) You have superb lenses
2.) You have a superb enlargement lens
3.) You use perfect technique (tripod, MUP, cable release etc ...)

Scanning the negatives will not get you from this type of films what they can do.
They outperform scanners.
Some of these films are capable of around 600-800 Line pairs (LP) per mm at 1000:1 contrast, 300+ LP per mm at contrast 1.6:1
which would be around

(600-800 LP/mm)*2(dots per linepair)*25(mm/inch)=30,000-40,000 DPI at 1000:1 contrast,

(300 LP/mm)*2(dots per linepair)*25(mm/inch)=15,000 DPI at 1.6:1 contrast,

if I didn't calculate wrong. Please correct if I messed something here ...
Since 35 mm is about 1x1.5 Inch, an image would result in (a lot - calculate yourself!) megapixels.
You can also assume a DR of 10++ F-stops ...
This is one of the cases, where film+wet darkroom for positives cannot (yet) be beaten by digital.

Addendum:
Sources (German Language):
http://www.spur-photo.com/datenblatt-orthopan_ur.pdf
http://www.maco-photo.de/files/images/ATPProspekt_web.pdf

I'm in no way affiliated with or receive money from the companies mentioned in the link.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 06:13:28 AM by ChristophC » Logged

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