A great video on B&W film development

2010-11-01
Frugal Photorapher
I find this wonderful tutorial while visiting Frugal Photographer for researching film development kit. The video is a good summary of what I have learned from my black and white development class. I actually have not bought any kit yet as I am still debating on the prospect of doing film development at home or not. I currently prefer outsourcing the film development to my local lab with Foto Express in San Jose while doing the printing from a lab that I gain access through a class on B&W darkroom development.





My class on black & white film
I have joined a black and white film development and darkroom class and each week, I get a 2 hour session that I am taught with black and white film development and printing in a darkroom with an enlarger. I have used my Pentax 645N, Yashica Mat-1240G and Ricoh xr-p for most of my film shooting in the class. Included below are a few pictures that I printed in the class with an enlarger.

Fuji Acros 100 in 120 film
with Yashica Mat-124G
scanned by local lab
Fuji Across 100 with Yashica Mat-124G
Kodak T-max 100 with
Ricoh xr-p and Tamron 200mm f/3.5 adaptall-2
developed in HC110
Kodak T-max 100 with Ricoh xr-p and Tamron 200mm f/3.5 adaptall-2
Fuji Acros 100 with
Pentax 645N and A 75mm f/2.8
scanned by Foto Express
Fuji Acros 100 with Pentax 645N, scanned by Foto Express
Fuji Acros 100 with
Pentax 645N and A 75mm f/2.8
scanned by Foto Express
Fuji Acros 100 with Pentax 645N, scanned by Foto Express

Printing in class with enlarger on IlFord Pearl Paper
Orange cast in XP-2 in wet printing
Printing in class with enlarger on IlFord Pearl Paper

My own scanning with Canon 8800F
While I have a lots of issues in scanning, I generally find myself doing better on 120 films with my own flatbed scanner -- Canon 8800F. In few trials at home with 135 films, my flatbed scanner doesn't seem to produce better results than the low resolution scanning from my local lab. On the contrary, I find better scan on 120 films from both of my 645 and 6x6 TLR cameras while I use my flatbed scanner with Canon. Learning and coping with scanning is still an on-going struggle that I hope that I can learn more from my blogging partner Steve and from other more experienced film shooters.

IlFord xp-2 400 with Pentax 645N, A 75mm f/2.8
Scanned at home with Canon 8800F
Scanned as color negative
Pentax 645N and A 75mm f/2.8

Mistakes in Every Steps
You can see many mistakes in my printing and scanning. Black is not always black and white is not always white. I thought I can attribute some of my mistakes to the c41 based film as in IlFord xp-2 but I do run into problems even in traditional black and white film. I am scared of using filters with enlarger as in adding 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 filters on XP-2 films are found needed in printing for better contrast. As soon as I mount a filter with the enlarger in the lab, all the hard work in test strips have to start all over again. It is quite a deep learning curve to master with practice and patience. Sometimes when I get it about right on the film test strips, that is about the end of the 2-hour long class.


Learning & Sharing
There is so much to learn in b&w film photography from taking the photo to the final printing stage in the lab with an enlarger. The experience can be frustrating at times as the process really can involve many mistakes in each step and it teaches me patience and discipline. It is an enriching and rewarding experience to share with others. And there is also the hybrid approach in digitizing film with a film scanner. I hope to share more of my film learning experience along with my blogging partner Steve.


My film crews


From left to right:
Yashica Mat-124G, Pentax 645N and Ricoh xr-p.



2 comments:

fRANK d said...

great post Hin...a new road for you while the rest of us lose something with the digital you have found something organic with film. It real, art in a way. Keep up the work and learning and growing.

Anonymous said...

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Welcome to Hin's Photo Corner, this is my learning blog on photography, blogging and advertising. And I hope you enjoy your visit. For contact, please comment in blog post or email me directly hintheman at gmail.com.

 

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