Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/10/26

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Subject: Re: Contrast modification in C-41 Processing
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 22:50:53 -0600

At 08:42 PM, you wrote:

>> Has anyone tried contrast modification with color negative film and
>> C-41 processing. I know that several labs furnish "push" C-41
>> processing, but my question has to do with emulating the b/w Zone

It all depends on the light you're shooting in as well as the film. I
described my shooting at night while police handled a domestic violence
case. Probably something I forgot to mention was that in that horribly
contrasty scene, the 800 worked much better at 800 than at 3200. No
surprise there, but in flatter light, going to 3200 works amazingly well.=20

But one thing pushing does not do is give you good contrast control.
Pushing is actually underexposing film, and that isn't something you should
do with negative film if you can avoid it. The Zone system for color is
quite complex, and I'm not sure worth the effort, considering what a good
custom printer can do. But pushing is something we photojournalists do to
avoid having to use flash, for whatever reason.=A0 Making technically perfec=
pictures isn't one of them.

Photo Techniques magazine sometimes run information on contrast control of
color films. I would highly recommend it for that, and the fact that it's
becoming a darn good magazine for more types of photographers (besides the
anal retentive types who want to mix their own versions of Dektol and D-76)
since Mike Johnstone took over.=A0 He was at Darkroom Photography - the one
that was published by Larry Flynt - magazine before moving into the
editor's position . The articles by David Vestal alone are worth the price
of admission.

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

You're only young once; you can be immature f'ever