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Developing B&W film in lower gamma


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Hello everyone,

I was watching this interview with the great Robby Müller on how he shot Jim Jarmusch's "Down by Law" and he mentions using Double-X and Plus-X stocks and then developing them to a "lower" gamma of 0.6

I understand what gamma means and I have some fair experience developing 7222 and some reversal by hand. I'm unable to understand how one develops a film for a lower gamma, like in this case 0.6

I'd appreciate any help. Here is a link to the video for all of you to enjoy:

Thanks,
Gautam

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Lower gamma is essentially pulling the film; processing it less/faster in the developer, which means you have to expose a bit more to get the same target density.

This also affects the slope of the characteristic curve and flattens it out a bit.

We typically maintain 3 gammas for dupe negative stocks:  .50, .60 and .70 gamma.

What we do is done to overcome the inherent contrast build-up that results from copying an element to another element;  i.e., an inter positive to a dupe negative or a print to a dupe negative.

What Mr. Müller did was give himself more meat in the negative without dramatically pushing the shadows into the mud.

0.05 gamma is not a huge reduction in "normal" gamma, which is 0.65 for camera original b&w negative, but it is enough to push the highlights down from the top of the shoulder toward the toe and improve highlight detail.

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"You should not feel the camera or that the light was made. We don't want to proof anything. The story should be well told without the interruption of camera acrobatics."

Wise words.

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15 hours ago, Frank Wylie said:

Lower gamma is essentially pulling the film; processing it less/faster in the developer, which means you have to expose a bit more to get the same target density.

This also affects the slope of the characteristic curve and flattens it out a bit.

We typically maintain 3 gammas for dupe negative stocks:  .50, .60 and .70 gamma.

What we do is done to overcome the inherent contrast build-up that results from copying an element to another element;  i.e., an inter positive to a dupe negative or a print to a dupe negative.

What Mr. Müller did was give himself more meat in the negative without dramatically pushing the shadows into the mud.

0.05 gamma is not a huge reduction in "normal" gamma, which is 0.65 for camera original b&w negative, but it is enough to push the highlights down from the top of the shoulder toward the toe and improve highlight detail.

Thanks Frank, I think I got it now

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