the 90's-- howd that crazy era work.

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Luke, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    Right, so since ive started shooting black and white and c41 bulk rolled (35mm) and developing myself and scanning myself i've started to love film. The one thing i dont love (sometimes anyway) is grain to iso ratio. See i look at digital and think that guy just got a noiseless 12.7 megpixel image at 400 iso.... :(
    As such i was wondering, how did people shoot front covers for magazines etc predigital was it:
    a) low iso
    b) medium format
    c) grain, deal with it pal
    peoples experiences
    (being 14 i wasnt really paying attention for most of the 90's...)
    I shot a model with 400 speed film and she got standard portfolio prints that were quite nice (standard means 11 by 14) but perhaps i should have shot lower iso, never used pan f myself but i can get a grainless 9 megapixel image from delta 100.
     
  2. ksmattfish

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

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    All of the above. If you want grainless, stick with digital. Grain is what makes the image with film. Even low ISO films will have grain you can see in 35mm format.
     
  3. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    yeah, yeah but in the 90's photojournalists mustve been making shots with tri x at 800, so i assume people just didnt mind.
    Hey, i love grain if it's nicely done, im really into the whole rangefinder street photog black and white arrogant prick only use prime lense with leica scene ...... oh
     
  4. Luke_H

    Luke_H TPF Noob!

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    To me, grain = accutance in a lot of photos. They almost look more 'real' than some noiseless digital shots. I didn't like it at first when I got going in film, but I appreciate it now. My quest is to find the sharpest film developer combo regardless of its grain properties. I've seen Tmax 100 developed in Tmax or Microdol X and it doesn't have much grain, but it also looks blurry to me. I pick sharpness over grainless.

    I wasn't into photography in the 90s, so I don't remember ever analyzing printed work for scrutiny though.

    I really like the look of this Arista 200 in 35mm (hate the 120) that I got for 19.99/100' roll. (fomapan creative 200)

    I've been developing it in D76 1:1. It's probably the sharpest combo for the least grain I have found so far. I don't use Tmax100 though, which might be better yet.
     
  5. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    Can't agree with "ksmattfish" Unless you are using a digital back on a medium format camera, you won't get the fine grain on digital as you get from film. A good quality 35mm slide would need about 28meg image size to be comparable. Even the top of the range pro Nikon or Canon won't compare with a negative shot on say a Hasselblad or Mamiya RB/RZ.:mrgreen:

    www.philipweirphotography.com
     
  6. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    Ilford PanF + 50 ISO is my favorite black and white film developed with either the ilford developer or T max developer. I personally have trouble seeing the grain through one of those focusing grain developer thingies when blown up to 8x10 size.
    as far as color goes. Fugi Velvia 50 or 100 still give better results then any digital i've seen so far. but its also close to 12 dollars for a roll...
     
  7. Solarize

    Solarize TPF Noob!

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    So you get grain with film and pixels with digital. I'd choose the former any day of the week. You shouldnt be getting better quality with digital than film.
     
  8. ksmattfish

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

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    You are talking resolution. I am talking grain. There is absolutely no grain in any of the photos made with my 20D. You can see noise, which sort of takes the place of grain, at ISO 800 and above, but at ISO 400 and slower it's non-existent. In fact, sometimes I add noise so that it looks more like the grain of film.

    I just sold eleven 16"x20" and 20"x24" prints. Half were taken with my 20D, and the rest were taken with a mix of 6x6cm, 6x7cm, and 4x5in film. The prints from the 20D were grainless and noiseless. The 6x6 and 6x7 enlargements showed grain that could be seen at normal viewing distances (and the 6x7 neg was shot on Tmax 100). The medium and large format prints showed more fine detail, but the prints from the DSLR were super smooth.

    I'm not saying that grain, or the lack there-of, is a good or bad thing. To each their own.
     
  9. ksmattfish

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

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    Compare it to shots made in the 80s, or 70s, or 40s. Film technology has always gotten better, and continues to do so. Fuji just introduced some new emulsions. Photojournalists used to have to use 4x5 to get a decent print, then as film technology got better, they moved to 120, and eventually 35mm. In the 70s and 80s it was blasphemy to suggest a professional portrait or wedding photographer would use 35mm film, but by the 90s film technology had improved enough to make it work.

    If you can find an example of a print made from pro ISO 400 color neg film from the 80s, and compare it to a similarly sized print made from pro ISO 400 color neg film from 2006 there is a significant difference in the amount of chunky grain. The 80s film looks more like modern ISO 800+, and the 2006 ISO 400 film compares closer to ISO 100 or 200 1980's film, as far as grain goes.

    Grain is not evil. It's just grain. Some people like it, some people dont. Photographers tend to notice it, but non-photographer viewers usually don't.
     
  10. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Medium or large format, low-ISO slide film. That's the only way to get images with virtually no visible grain. If you can make the grain smaller than the dots that make up the image in a print magazine, it won't tend to be seen. Plus, as Matt has said, photographers tend to notice grain.
     
  11. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    okay first of all.
    grain is the equivalent of digital noise here.
    If you look at a shot made on an EOS 1D mark 11, at 400, there is 0% noise at 16.7 flipping megapixels!!!!
    On delta 400, developed as per manufacturers recomendations in ilfotec DD-X, grain is visible as soon as the width is more than 1700 pixels across, that, my friends, is annoying when i want speed, and good prints.
    Why was film so underdeveloped(PUN INTENDED) compared to digital, digital had 5 seconds in frame (ALSO INTENDED) and already pushing (INTENDED) what we thought possible.
    Further more, I am a slide film noob, is it much different in terms of grain to colour print film of an equal iso?
     
  12. Luke_H

    Luke_H TPF Noob!

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    I've shot fuji velvia 50 with my Nikon N80 using the 50mm AF/D 1.8 lens and it is probably the most grainless film I've used to date. However, my low-end D50 with the same lens in place spanks that film. Not to mention a wider tonal range I imagine, or at least more 'information' to work with in the print than the slide film.

    I've been told I can blow my DSLR outta the water with 35mm slide film, but have yet to see proof. Medium format is cheating (for the purposes of the experiment), since the exposed surface area of the negative is so much larger than the digital sensor.

    I've just come to appreciate both for what they are. Some of my most appreciated exposures are Tri-X pushed to 2000iso with giant grain and missing killed highlights/shadows.

    The longer I work with everything, the more I am learning what I'm up against and creating a mental toolbox so to speak to convey different looks to the viewers of my stuff.

    I suppose I could be lazy and shoot everything with my DSLR, but I get my own personal enjoyment out of shooting b&w film and processing it myself.

    You can always run b&w film scans through software like NoiseNinja and mute the grain and boost the sharpness.

    Here's Tri-X 400 shot at 1000iso, developed in Diafine, scanned in 24bit color (gives it that sepia sorta look) and then NoiseNinja applied (Yashica Electro 35 GS @ f1.7, AP):
    [​IMG]
     

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