Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/12/27

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Not really OT: Push & pull of neg film
From: "Mārtiņš Zelmenis" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 10:04:23 +0200

It's time for me to chime in.
(Although maybe I might have said smth. of this before here on the list.)

XP2 is my favourite film just for the reason I can get low-contrast, easily
printable negs, and practically no grain - if exposed at 200, 100 - or even
50. With standard development, of course. For me it's the best film for just
anyone to use in a Leica - but - although the film is quite usable at 400, I
don't suggest anyone do it. Reason? - you can get the same results with
other (higher-speed) films CHEAPER.

Rule of thumb for me: XP2 is at its best when used at lower speeds than 400.

And then - you have to watch your processing. A cheap lab that doesn't pay
due attention to its chemistry may actually be ruining your negs.


John Straus wrote:

>I'm just wondering if some comments are being made as in expose your film @
>200, 320, 800 asa then just process as normal. Vs Truly pushing or pulling
>and adjust processing. The first method is just over or under exposing not
>really pushing or pulling...
My personal experience is that XP-2 Super gives weak shadows and an
overall 'grainy' look when shot at 400 (especially in the color-printed
4X6 proofs I always get). It is also really easy to totally underexpose
a shot, which makes me think that at 400 it is a stop over-rated anyway
(just my hunch). I always shoot it at 200 or 250 and then process
normally. The result is better shadows, practical grainlessness, and a
very flat negative (low contrast).  I print the good shots on normal B&W
paper, usually at slightly higher contrast grades than I would for
Ilford Delta, Kodak Plus-X, or any other conventional B&W film that I
use for that matter. But, I like the overall gradations of XP2 when shot
at 200, especially for caucasian skin tones, and the shadows are
printable, the highlights manageable, and the greys are smooth and
readily manipulated with VC filters in the darkroom.

I have never altered the standard processing for XP2 (or Kodak's TCN or
Portra). Cheap and locally available C-41 processing is one strong
reason for me to use the stuff, and push and pull processing makes it
more expensive.  I guess I am really just over-exposing by a stop, but
it works for me!

On the reverse side of this, how do people shoot Scala? I have 10 rolls
I recently picked up and the first two are pretty uninspiring,
especially considering the cost. I got good contrast, maybe a little
high, but overall weak highlights - seems a little bottom-heavy. Any tips?


- - marc

***     Marc Attinasi     ***
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