high contrast bw 35mm film

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by thebeginning, May 1, 2005.

  1. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    i'm a novice with film still, and I was wondering what might be some good brands for film. I'm mostly looking for crisp, high contrast bw film (but some nice looking color too). So far I havent been able to buy any film except for at local places like walmart so i've only bought kodak and fuji a couple of times. Any suggestions?
     
  2. sbalsama

    sbalsama TPF Noob!

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    High speed film or ,more so, pushed film should give higher contrast. If you print yourself, a grade 4 or higher filter should do the trick. That will allow you to keep usable negatives, giving you the option to grade down to 2 or 3.
     
  3. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How high contrast are we talking? Adding a red filter to regular BW film will add contrast. Most of the high contrast BW films have been discounted. Check out Ilford maybe they still make some normal development HC films. The other option is Ortho film it maybe processed with different development for different contrast levels. I believe Maco is the only brand that make ortho in 35mm or 120 films.

    Freestyle as the Maco films
     
  4. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    i dont develop my film quite yet, so i cant take that suggestion until i get access to a darkroom. i dont mean like ultra high contrast so it looks fake, i was just curious to see if there was film that would regularly print with good contrast. many of my bw shots turn out gray and drab.
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Start by doing a few test rolls with some inexpensive filters, to see if it IS your film. Pick up a yellow, green, a #25 red. Head out and keep an exposure log and try the same shots with all 3 filters, bracketing as you go, and keep your exposure notes for when you review your negatives later. Since you don't develop your film at home, are you asking for a contact sheet? It helps to have one.

    And there may not be anything wrong with your negatives, at all - it could be whoever is printing them for you is doing a flat job, or using the wrong paper. Learning to develop your own film is pretty easy, and printing your own images gives you total control of the process. It's pretty hard to beat. :)
     
  6. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    does a photo like this get it's contrast from a polarizing filter, the camera, or the film?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    I would say that it's the polarizer, less the film and especially the print (paper).
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Or a colored filter, green or red, would enhance the B&W in this fashion. And I agree with Santino, it's a lot about how it was printed, and paper type. :thumbup:
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    or the paper?
    or Adobe PS?
    or the developing technique?
    or the exposure?
    or the chemistry choices?
    or the lighting?
    or the lens filter?
    or the paper filter?
    and so on...

    There is no magic lens, film, camera, or single thing you can do that will insure good contrast in all situations. There are many different paths possible. Knowledge and practice is what will show you the answer.
     
  10. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    ahh ok. i'm kind of new i guess to photography, especially film photography, so i'm still soaking it in. i'm going to be talking a photography class at the local community college next year so i should be able to learn enough darkroom basics to be able to figure it out.

    one question. have you guys noticed that when shooting black and white (for me at least) that if you underexpose it slightly it will have slightly greater contrast? it seemed strange at first that it would work like that but i tested it several times and it did.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    A common way to increase contrast is to underexpose and over develop. Do the opposite to decrease contrast.
     

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