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the effects of Pull Processing


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#1 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 03:51 AM

I read in the ASC magazine that Christopher Doyle would over-expose the film stock on Lady in the Water by one stop and then pull process the film. What is the purpose of doing this, and what is the effect that it creates?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 07:01 PM

I read in the ASC magazine that Christopher Doyle would over-expose the film stock on Lady in the Water by one stop and then pull process the film. What is the purpose of doing this, and what is the effect that it creates?


It gives a softer (colors, not resolution), lower contrast image. My guess is he might have done it to help with shadow rendition.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:05 PM

It gives a softer (colors, not resolution), lower contrast image. My guess is he might have done it to help with shadow rendition.


You can SEE the results just by watching the movie. He did a similar thing (except with Fuji Eterna 500T, not 400T) on "The White Countess" except that he also used Classic Soft diffusion filters on that movie.

Doyle used to like Agfa film -- I think he tends to go either one way or the other, either low-con and pastel from pull-processing, or high-con and saturated, from push-processing (such as "Fallen Angels"). Depends on the project. He seems to like the contrasty look of pushed stock when shooting urban nighttime landscapes in neon, etc., but for other projects, especially period films, he likes a very muted look.
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:42 AM

A pull-1 process will generally decease the contrast, saturation, and speed --- generally, you need to compensate for the speed loss by an additional stop of exposure. Graininess is generally reduced, unless you bring the contrast back to a "normal" level in post, in which case the graininess is brought up to "normal" levels again too.

Since labs usually "pull" process by speeding up the processing machine, you need to be sure that the "tail end" and wash times are not compromised, which can happen, especially with a pull-2 process.
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#5 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 03:04 AM

high-con and saturated, from push-processing


So in order to do that, one would have to underexpose in camera and then push process? How comon is it for this to be done? Can you name another film that has done this? Everything that I have shot at this point has been processed normally, and I am looking for other methods to expand into if a story calls for them.


Has Kodak ever done anything where they have shot a demonstration set up with all of their film stocks and then processed them with different methods so that one could see a side by side comparison? I went up to Kodak a year ago and they did a setup with Kodak 5218 vs HD in a side by side comparison. It was very interesting and I would love to see the same done with each of their film stocks and the various types of processing, including bleach bypass and cross processing, in addition to the pushing and pulling that has just been discussed.
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 09:19 AM

I would love to see the same done with each of their film stocks and the various types of processing, including bleach bypass and cross processing, in addition to the pushing and pulling that has just been discussed.


Some of the Kodak demos that introduce new films include exposure series and push processing variations. Your best source of seeing what other techniques look like are the productions that use them, and sometimes the labs that offer them.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 09:44 AM

"Eyes Wide Shut" was underexposed and pushed two-stops.

"Red Dragon" was pushed two stops but only underexposed about one and then printed down.

Lots of films of the 1970's were push-processed.

The effect is not as dramatic as it used to be because modern stocks are more resistent to changes in contrast when misdeveloped.
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 07:59 PM

John, how exactly would you get a continuous feed processing machine to bleach, fix, wash and dry with a faster development step when most machines have continuous speed throughout the tanks? I'd imagine most labs'd be extremely reluctant to do what you speak of, if they are even capable of longer bl-fi-wa times.

Regards,

~Karl
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 10:58 PM

John, how exactly would you get a continuous feed processing machine to bleach, fix, wash and dry with a faster development step when most machines have continuous speed throughout the tanks? I'd imagine most labs'd be extremely reluctant to do what you speak of, if they are even capable of longer bl-fi-wa times.

Regards,

~Karl


I believe labs control development time by the number of rollers they loop the film onto, so they don't have to change the temp or speed.
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#10 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 11:11 PM

John, how exactly would you get a continuous feed processing machine to bleach, fix, wash and dry with a faster development step when most machines have continuous speed throughout the tanks? I'd imagine most labs'd be extremely reluctant to do what you speak of, if they are even capable of longer bl-fi-wa times.
~Karl

The two ways to play with push pull are to varry the speed of the machine, or the temperature of the solutions. This may require getting out the screwdriver and swaping drive gears, or may mena running the film first thing in the morning after the developer has cooled off over night, then heating it up and waiting for a couple of hours to run "normal" film.

As john says the speed change may also shorten the other steps too much , unless the processor has extra racks that can be threaded with extra leader (not likley) Pushing is not as critical because if you slow the machine, the belach and fix just run a bit longer and they run to copletion normaly anyway.

My guess is that the extra charges for Push pull are probaly not really enough to cover the extra work involved in most cases.
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#11 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 03:40 PM

John, how exactly would you get a continuous feed processing machine to bleach, fix, wash and dry with a faster development step when most machines have continuous speed throughout the tanks? I'd imagine most labs'd be extremely reluctant to do what you speak of, if they are even capable of longer bl-fi-wa times.

Regards,

~Karl


Labs can shorten the thread up in the developer tank to reduce developer time, but most labs would speed up the machine to get a pull-1 condition, knowing that the Kodak H-24 process specs are "conservative" in bleach-fix-wash times. But speeding up a machine too much may risk tail end times that are too short.
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