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Thread: how to achieve grainy BW pic

  1. #1

    Default how to achieve grainy BW pic

    Hi, does anyone have any advice on how to achieve grainy BW pics? I hope to achieve the grainy moody maybe a bit soft too kind of feel. very old street of london kind of shot.

    I"m thinking of underexposing, or soft filters or even deliberate hand shake? there's this thing about pushing a few stops too but I know very little about that? isn't it the same as using exposure compensation to underexpose?

    thanx!

  2. #2
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    Try TMAX 3200. Or Ilford Delta 3200. No, please don't try deliberate handshake, looks bad.

    Regards
    CK

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    For grains, I recommend Illford HP5+. The Delta 3200, to me has rather fine grains and will only start to get visible with bigger prints(8R).

    Sometimes, I feel that pushing will give you unuseable contrast.

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    and btw, delibrate softness and handshake blur are very different thing altogether. You might want to try a diffusing filter.

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    Sorry, but the honest to goodness answer for the best and easiest way to achieve this is, Photoshop. For those who find this completely repulsive, I'm sorry, but that's the truth. There are conventional ways of achieving the result desired, and I could tell you one or two ways that can work, but at the end of the day the best way to go about it really is with PS.

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jed
    Sorry, but the honest to goodness answer for the best and easiest way to achieve this is, Photoshop. For those who find this completely repulsive, I'm sorry, but that's the truth. There are conventional ways of achieving the result desired, and I could tell you one or two ways that can work, but at the end of the day the best way to go about it really is with PS.
    Hey Jed, that's just what I wanted to find out. I've done a comparison between a print from Delta 3200 and a digital print with noise added. The grains from the digital print just look too uniform and I actually prefer the grains from film. Care to share your method making grains look more "filmlike"?

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    As for finding it completely repulsive.......... let's leave it to those fake elitists shall we?

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    Actually it is not *that* difficult to add digital noise of varying sizes. One simple method which I can think of is to use a few layers, each with gaussian noise of varying radius added. There! Grains of varying sizes...

    Of coz there might be more elegant and better solutions. Anyone wants to share??

  9. #9

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    what's ilford hp5+? what's its ASA/ISO? is it slide film? delta 3200 is neg film rite? And these are both BW? how much are they? while taking the pics, do I expose normally like for highlights, or should I deliberately underexpose, like for the shadows?

    I quite like the grainy pics of yester-year kind, very nostalgic feel, hope to reproduce that!

    thanx for all your advice!

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hoppinghippo
    what's ilford hp5+? what's its ASA/ISO? is it slide film? delta 3200 is neg film rite? And these are both BW? how much are they? while taking the pics, do I expose normally like for highlights, or should I deliberately underexpose, like for the shadows?

    I quite like the grainy pics of yester-year kind, very nostalgic feel, hope to reproduce that!

    thanx for all your advice!
    HP5+ is a neg film at ISO 400. Yes, the Delta 3200 is neg. Both are B&W. What to meter on really depends on what you want. Do you want those details in highlight or those in shadow?

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Here's one of my image using the Delta 3200.
    http://www3.photosig.com/viewphoto.php?id=158982

  12. #12

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    wah lau kit, your pic is very sharp lah!!!! don't see noticaeble grains at all! very nostalgic feel!

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    That's why I said the Delta 3200 has rather fine grains unless you enlarge the image. The version you saw was scanned from a 4R print and toned in PS.

  14. #14

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    Kit: point taken for sure! so ilford hp-5 is the best bet? but if it's rated ISO 400, won't the grains be finer then delta 3200? how much is it?

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    I'm not sure myself as to why the HP5+ is granier but it is. I'm not sure how much they costs in Singapore but I would imagine not more then $10 a roll.

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Btw, I'm trying out the Fuji Neopan 1600 now. Will keep you updated on how that turn out(if I remember)

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Hmmm........ I've just read some pretty contradicting reviews on the HP5+. Some say large grains, some say fine grains. For me, its definitely grainier. You might want to try out both the 3200 and the HP5+ just to see which one you prefer.

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    Actually I have a better idea. Buy Kodak Max 400. Shoot it 1/2 to 1 stop underexposed, process normally. You get all the grain you want. Then convert to B&W.

    Regards
    CK

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    HP5 is a lovely film, and it is, bar none, my favourite B&W emulsion. It is more old-worldy in the sense that it is at least a conventional grained film, unlike Delta 3200 which utilises new grain structure patterns from the Delta series, like Kodak's T-grain structure.

    And that brings me back to what I said originally, the best way to do it is Photoshop. As you've seen from Kit's D3200 shot, there's very little grain to be had from films these days unless you crop to a ridiculous extent. PS gives you more control, and more grain should you require it, different types of grain, etc, etc. Contrast can be adjusted, etc, etc.

    Tri-X and HP5 are fairly tried and tested ways of getting grain in conventional film, rated at EIs of 1600/3200 and processed to accentuate the grain structure. Still the contrast starts bumping up badly, and the grain size still might not be what you want (insufficient).

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