Archivi categoria: developer

How to Shoot & Develop the Sharpest Possible Black and White Film Photos

If you want sharp black and white images with fine grain, then you’ve come to the right place!

I’m a bit of a freak in terms of image quality and I love very detailed photos. That’s why I’ve been searching for the combination of film and developer that would get me the best results. The technique I’m about to share is not for every situation and, ideally, you will need either a decent amount of light or a tripod.

The reason behind this is that we need to reduce the size of the grain, and the first step in this process is to use a slow film.

Usually, fine grain films go from ISO 25 to ISO 100. A small grain will automatically result in an increased sharpness as it makes the definition thinner on the negative. It’s the same with digital cameras, the smaller are the sensor’s pixels, the more there are, the higher the definition.

For today’s article, we are going to use a roll of Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros. I often hear good things about it and wanted to give it a try since a long time. If you are into digital as well, you may have heard the name Acros in the past months. Fujifilm has added a new film simulation in their high-end cameras that replicates the look of this film.

Back to the film version, it’s considered a medium-speed film and can be used both out- and indoors. It’s also known to be very capable for long exposure thanks to its admirable reciprocity capabilities. For those of you who have never of reciprocity, it’s basically how a film reacts when being exposed to light. In other words: it means that different films won’t handled exposure—especially long exposure—the same way.

In this case, the film has very good reciprocity characteristics, which makes it the ideal partner for Astro or night photography. On the other hand, a film with poor reciprocity would not support long exposures very well, and tend to develop some sort of halo effect around the highlights known as “Reciprocity Failure.” If you are interested to read more about this topic, check the definition on Wikipedia.

The second key element for crisp images is the developer. All developers are not equal in terms of grain quality and in this case, Rodinal (aka R09) is known to give fine grain with slow films (this is different with medium speed films). It’s also notorious for being a high acutance developer—this means it increases the grain which results in an increased edge sharpness.

To make grains smoother, some developer use a silver solvent. This makes the edges between grains softer, which results in a decrease of perceived sharpness. Rodinal doesn’t contain such a solvent; that’s why it may increase the grain appearance on some films but, as we are using a fine grain film, there is no such problem.

The last element that will help us achieve fine detail is decent glass. In this case, I used a 45mm on my Hasselblad Xpan, but I’m sure you can get similar quality with cheaper lenses. For this series, most of the images were shot between f/4 and f/5.6 at 1/60 of a second and exposed for the mid-tones most of the time. I’m sure I would have got a little more detail by closing down to f/8, but there was not enough light on this day and I was shooting handheld.

About the development, I went for a standard development as it was the first time for me using Rodinal. If you want to reproduce the same steps here are the details:

  • Dilution : 1+50
  • Temperature: 24°C (75°F)
  • Development time: 8 minutes
  • 1-minute agitation at the beginning and 4 inversions each minute
  • Stop bath for 10 seconds with Ilford Ilfostop
  • Fixer for 3 minutes with Ilford Rapid Fixer

You can also develop at 20°C, but need to extend the time to 13.5 minutes.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results. It gives to these images a timeless feel and classic B&W look. I will certainly order more of this film and experiment with other developer and stand development as well to see how it performs.


About the author: Vincent Moschetti is an Ireland-based photographer who is in the middle of a year-long experiment where he’s shooting only film photography. You can find more of his work or follow along on this adventure by visiting his website or following him on Facebook and Instagram. This post was also published here.

A Visualization of the Work that Went Into Making Magic Lantern What it is Today

In the past month and a half, Magic Lantern has seemingly made the impossible possible by bringing high definition RAW video to several Canon cameras and turning the cinema camera world upside down. With how fast these most recent updates have come out, it’s easy to forget how much work has gone into Magic Lantern over the years.

A1ex from Magic Lantern’s main development team wanted to remind us, and so he created this video representation of the work that the team has had put in to go from humble beginnings to the hack’s current level of awesomeness.

A Visualization of the Work that Went Into Making Magic Lantern What it is Today magiclanternvisual

It’s mind-boggling to watch. From the beginnings of the source code to the expansion to different cameras, the literal “web” of code that is Magic Lantern has come a very long way — and improvements are still always being made.

The video also does a good job of showing just how much development has taken off for Magic Lantern as of late. In the beginning, it was only a few users working hard to make improvements here and there. Starting about six months ago, things really took off as more and more dedicated programmers took time out of their day to squeeze, prod and pull every last bit of performance they could out of their digital cameras.

(via CanonWatch)

Nikon SDK C# Wrapper Library Lets You Control Your DSLR from Your Computer

Nikon SDK C# Wrapper Library Lets You Control Your DSLR from Your Computer nikonsdk1

Nikon released software development kits (SDKs) for its SLRs some time ago, allowing for developers to create software that play nice with Nikon cameras. Using the company’s DSLR SDKs, savvy programmers can develop software that controls camera functions such as aperture, shutter speed and even shutter release.

Unfortunately, Nikon’s SDKs are notoriously difficult to work with. But if you’re just dying to control your SLR from your computer, SourceForge user Thomas Dideriksen has kindly done the heavy lifting for you by putting together an open source C# wrapper library that allows you to do just that.

Nikon SDK C# Wrapper Library Lets You Control Your DSLR from Your Computer nikonsdk2

The wrapper library uses a set of C# (C Sharp) programming commands to control your Nikon DSLR when it’s connected to your computer (Windows only) by USB. Using the wrapper, you can capture JPEG and RAW images directly to your computer’s hard drive, receive “Live View” images, record video, query and change camera settings (e.g. exposure, aperture, ISO etc.) and “much more.”

For more info, interested developers can head over to SourceForge to download the open source wrapper library and put it to some productive use.

Nikon SDK C# Wrapper [SourceForge via Nikon Rumors]

Surreal Portraits Created by Painting Developer Onto Photo Paper

At first glance, photographer Timothy Pakron’s “Silver Print” series of portraits might look like ink paintings or some kind of CG art. They’re actually photographs created by hand painting developer onto photo paper in the darkroom instead of immersing the paper entirely in the solution. Pakron writes,

By using the familiarity of the face as the template, my process involves hand painting the developer in the darkroom, intentionally revealing specific, desired aspects of the face in the negative. Doing so creates a stark negative space that gives the portrait a lucidity. Instead of creating a realistic, straight from film portrait, I am more interested in exploring how the original image can be brought to the surface in alternative ways. The portraits embody their own unique strangeness.


Silver Prints by Timothy Pakron (via Beautiful/Decay)


Image credits: Photographs by Timothy Pakron and used with permission


Surreal Portraits Created by Painting Developer Onto Photo Paper

At first glance, photographer Timothy Pakron’s “Silver Print” series of portraits might look like ink paintings or some kind of CG art. They’re actually photographs created by hand painting developer onto photo paper in the darkroom instead of immersing the paper entirely in the solution. Pakron writes,

By using the familiarity of the face as the template, my process involves hand painting the developer in the darkroom, intentionally revealing specific, desired aspects of the face in the negative. Doing so creates a stark negative space that gives the portrait a lucidity. Instead of creating a realistic, straight from film portrait, I am more interested in exploring how the original image can be brought to the surface in alternative ways. The portraits embody their own unique strangeness.


Silver Prints by Timothy Pakron (via Beautiful/Decay)


Image credits: Photographs by Timothy Pakron and used with permission