Ortho film revisitedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
I recently purchased 2 35mm rolls of Kodak Ektagraphic HC Slide Film. This is a high contrast black and white orthochromatic film primarily used for copying black and white line originals. I have never shot orthochromatic film and decided a couple of test rolls was in order after reading that this film has been used by some for male portraiture (Ansel Adams - The Negative). I understand (to a certain point) that the effective film speed of ortho film varies with the lighting conditions and the developer utilized. I have called Portland Photographics (Maine) and they will process ortho film with the developer I specify. Of course, I will bracket the initial test roll under various lighting to get a feel for how the film responds. Unfortunately, in reading the film data sheet, I have become thoroughly confused. Quite simply, the point of this question is to receive some starting point (film speed) at which I may begin bracketing. The data sheet supplied reads as follows: "COPYING LINE ORIGINALS; Exposure index: Film speed depends upon the developer being used. Trial exposure times given below apply to a same-size (1:1) reproduction exposed with two 500-watt reflector-type photolamps at about 4.5 feet from the center of the copy." Four developers are listed with corresponding exposure index and trial exposure time. For example, "Developer: Kodak D-11; Exposure Index: 25; Trial exposure time: 9 sec at f/22 or 9 sec at f/11 with a 0.60 neutral-density filter." I have reviewed the post regarding ortho film submitted last year and much of the responses refer to Ilford ortho film. Although I have found a couple of ortho films on the Kodak website, there is no film labeled as "Ektagraphic HC slide film" from which I may gather more information. Given that I will shoot a landscape and a portrait (tungsten and flash) with the initial test roll, I'm having a difficult time translating the above info into a starting point for bracketing. I'm sure the test rolls will answer many of my questions but I would like to begin with a bit more knowledge on what I'm doing in order to secure some useful results. Much thanks to anyone who read all the way to this point. Further thanks to anyone who can shed some properly exposed light on this subject.
-- Kevin V. Blasi (email@example.com), November 06, 1999
Hi, Kevin: Have you tried using an orthochromatic effect with regular panchromatic film? Use a Wratten #44A (minus red) filter. It allows you to create an orthochromatic image without changing your development time. (View Camera Magazine-March/April 1991, p33. by Steve Simmons). (The Negative 1991 - A.Adams p. 104, p. 108, p.112). Best wishes, Tito.
-- Tito Sobrinho. (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 06, 1999.
I have some of this film in 8x10 format. I called Kodak with many of the same questions that you have. Basically it is NOT the same kind of film that Adams talked about in his books. The film speed of this stuff is 8. Some people have directed me to develop in a 'soft' developer. I've tried several and have not yet gotten anything usable. The Wratten 44a filter idea is a good one. I've used that to good effect. Good Luck.
-- chuck k (email@example.com), November 06, 1999.
Hi Kevin, it seems to me you might be making way too much work out of this. Is your goal to photograph landscapes or people, daylight or tungsten? And, why is it necessary to have a special lab develop the film for you? I've had pretty good luck with Rodinal 1:25 for 7 or 8 min. It's easy to work with ortho in a darkroom, don't expose direct to red light. I mean one of the benifits of using ortho is you can develop by inspection. Just use indirect safety light. Well, you can test it for fogging like you do paper, but I've had no problems with indirect safety light. If it's rated 25 under lights, then it ought to be 50 in daylight. That of course depends on your shutter light meter combination. My experience with ortho is, it's very easy to work with. If you can be more specific with what you want to acheive maybe I can give you more specific answers. Just use film developer, paper developer will push the contrast way high, or maybe you want high contrast, then use paper developer. Good luck, David
-- david clark (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 06, 1999.
I HYOPE MIGHT BE OF EVEN A GRAIN OF HELP. I HAVE A BOX OF DISNEY STUDIOS REFERENCE PHOTOS FROM SEVERAL ANIMATED FEATURES. IN THE 60'S OR SO, THEY USED KODAK CONTRAST PROCESS ORTHO SAFETY FILM. THE BOX LABEL CALLS IT AN "ORTHOCHROMATIC ANTIHALATION FILM OF VERY HIGH CONTRAST." APPARENTLY, DISNEY LIKED IT FOR JUST THESE PROPERTIES. IT SAYS TO USE A KODAK SAFELIGHT FILTER, WRATTEN,SERIES 1, AND USE KODAK D-8 OR D-11 AS A DEVELOP
-- Mark Taylor (email@example.com), September 07, 2001.