Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/04/14

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: weekend assignment response
From: Ted Grant <75501.3002@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 15 Apr 97 00:09:38 EDT

Lucien wrote:

<<<I think you have never used the Noctilux with 3200 speed film, otherwise your
choice would be either a slower lens or a slower film.>>>

Aaah,  Lucien my friend,  I see you are a gentleman of concern for fine  grain
maybe more so than content. :) I could be wrong, as I've been that way before.

I and many others have used 3200 in daylight and the grain pattern is quite
exceptional when you use the minimum of exposure and T-max developer.

Yesterday I shot a baseball game using an R7 & motor, 2X extender on the 70-180
Apo telyt and 3200 film. Excellant negatives as it allows you good stop action
shutter speeds, riding up there at the 1/2000 mark or so and still some depth of
field for my sloppy focusing. :)

As far as the Noctilux, I use it more at f.1 than any other apeture as that is
why I bought it,  simply because it allowed me to work in absolute minimum of
light using a camera when people least expect to have their pictures taken. And
with the 3200 exposed and processed correctly you would be quite surprised at
the results.

<<< Let me know if you came up with a grain shrinking process. I am sure the
guys at Kodak will be happy to see it.>>>>>>>>

Lucien it's called T-max developer and you process the 3200 for 9 1/2 minutes at
75 degrees with very active agitation for the first 15 seconds and 3 quick
inversions of the tank every 30 secs until the time is completed. And if you
"exposed the film correctly" you will have extremely fine negatives.

Obviously not that of t-max 100, but never the less very acceptable prints
unless one is a grain techno freak. I'm not implying you are, please understand
I have dealt with many of the amateur and pro grain crowd for years.:) These
people miss the point of documentary photography under severe light conditions
and rarely marvel at where the image was taken and under the circumstances, but
they merely relate to, "my God look at the grain!"

At which point I just fold up my tent and material and leave.

<<<I suspect you don't want to take a picture of them sleeping in the moonlight,
but even then you can use a table tripod.>>>>>>>

Why a tripod when you could probably shoot at 1/8 or 1/15 f.1 and not have to
carry the tripod in case you might drop it and wake them up. :)

I will say when using 3200 and you are not good at exposing the film right on
the mark,  there is little forgiveness for overexposed grain as it will "go
big"! And there isn't much you can do to save it.

And when you combine overexposed 3200 with poor developing technique, any
photographer is in big time trouble with rock size grain. But this is completely
avoidable by sound exposures and good development handling as it makes a
difference between day and night for the end results.

Any how I will stick by my choice of lens and film and this was a choice from
many years of experience in documentary shooting for books and photo essays.
I've used the Noctilux since it first came out whenever that was back in the
late 60's (?) and it is worth every penny it cost, as the results I've acquired
for advertising assignments where it allowed me to shoot Kodachrome 64 by
existing light, where others might fear to tred.

And with the advent of T-max films I have used them regularly for commercial
gain and not for play time projects and my clients have never found any grain
problems. On one occaision an art director saw some prints from a badly exposed
roll of 3200 and was blown away with the mega size grain and asked me to do a
complete re-shoot to get the same "sand and gravel look"! And yes they completly
paid me a second time for the re-shoot! :) I have nice clients. :)

However if I screw-up they are "real mean mothers!" :)

I'm sure it will be intersting to see what others may say on this assignment
project. Lets hope others give it a shot.

Victoria, Canada

PS. Lucien if you go to the above web page there are a few frames from my latest
book and the shot of the doctor examining the x-ray film is a Noctilux frame.