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Expose Normal, Push process, print down?


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#1 Gene Fojtik

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:11 AM

If I were to expose 35mm color negative normally, push process it and then print down, would I get a more saturated contrasty look than underexposing and pushing or overexposing and printing down?

What about overexposing a half to full stop then pushing another half to full stop with a print down?

Has anyone tried this or know what to expect from it?

I am thinking about 500T for night exteriors but also wonder how something like a 50D would respond to this for day exteriors.

Thanks.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 02:13 AM

I once tried your first scenario on 7201 and all I got was more grain. 35mm 50D wouldn't be so grainy, but 500T may.

I haven't tried overexposing a half to full stop then pushing another half to full stop with a print down, but I tried underexposing a stop and and then pulling it a stop, getting too much grain again. I would test, test, test. Otherwise stick to what you know will work. Better safe than sorry, as they say. If you are finishing digitally you can get the look you want during TK or even later, as long as you don't have an overly dense or thin neg.

My colorist (as well as others here and elsewhere) suggests that the way to avoid grain is to perform controlled overexposure and then print down in post. He claims he has gotten away with printing 4 stops overexposure down (not a technique recommended by him, it was a mistake someone made) without too much visible grain, vs printing up 2 stops underexposure and adding way too much grain.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 04 February 2009 - 02:16 AM.

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#3 Gene Fojtik

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:36 PM

Thanks Saul. I suspected since I had never seen this discussed that it was probably not something that had satisfactory results. It makes me wonder about the properties of negative though.

If underexposing (less dense neg) + pushing = more contrast & color saturation and over exposure (more dense neg) = more contrast & color saturation, then you would think that a negative that is not underexposed and that is also pushed would have more of both.
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:21 PM

Thanks Saul. I suspected since I had never seen this discussed that it was probably not something that had satisfactory results. It makes me wonder about the properties of negative though.

If underexposing (less dense neg) + pushing = more contrast & color saturation and over exposure (more dense neg) = more contrast & color saturation, then you would think that a negative that is not underexposed and that is also pushed would have more of both.


My experience (and everything else I hear) is that pushing and / or underexposing the film will accentuate grain. I have pulled 2 stops overexposure with no grain. If you do push and overexpose the neg, I would like to hear / look how it turns out, but my guess is that it will get you at least some more grain than just overexposing and printing down.

It is too bad no one else with the experience you ask for is chiming in . . .
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#5 Gene Fojtik

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 11:17 PM

I am not too concerned with the grain factor, unless it became distracting. If no others respond, I will probably give it try. Since money is tight it would be nice know before hand if I would be wasting my money.

This exposure and pushing question is one I have for b&w too. Obviously color saturation will not be the issue but certainly the aesthetic and contrast would. I am specifically thinking about Sven Nykvist's work on Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel. That opening dream sequence has this blowout ethereal look with high contrast. The clown Frost has beads of sweat rolling down his face that really pop even though everything is overexposed. I wonder if a combo of overexposure and pushing might have achieved that.

If no others chime in, I will give it a try in the near future and post my results.
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#6 Gene Fojtik

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 05:35 PM

Saul, I have not done those tests yet but I did find this in the May 2006 issue of AC p. 80:

"...[Burgoyne] rated [5218] at ISO 400 and pushed it one stop, creating dense, heavy blacks and heightening saturation."

This is what I hoped would happen am I glad to see it worked for someone.
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