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Photography Question 
Olen E. Henke

Developing Pushed Film

Hello...If I pushed a roll of 200 speed 35mm kodak film, and get it developed at WalMart (only place around), should I tell them I pushed the film? Would it matter? Should they develop it at 200 or, if I pushed it to 400, develop it at 400? What if I only pushed it a little bit, like say, 1/2 a stop or a little more...does it matter? What should I do or say?


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10/25/2007 2:27:23 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Color negative film you can get by with being under by one stop. So even if you didn't do anything different when developing it, you could still get some decent prints, but you may see some grain or what's called muddyness in the dark colors.
But if you want to push process, you should tell where you take the film you want it pushed, and by how many f/stops. Because they'll need to extend the developing time.
All color neg film is developed the same in hour labs. So if you need some pushed, they run the film thru separately because they have to change the developing time.

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10/25/2007 2:41:02 PM

Alan N. Marcus   Hi Olen,

Do I tell the lab to push process my pushed film? Almost without exception, when we admire amazing, spectacular, film generated pictures, they are incredible because exposure and processing is spot on. That being said sometimes it’s necessary to push or pull film as a countermeasure. You need to know that the film processor (machine) interface generally allows pushing and pulling however sometimes due the corporate policy, that portion of the interface is password protected i.e. the mass merchandiser has elected to not allow access to advanced menus.

Exposure latitude to the rescue: Color slide film has almost no tolerance when it comes to exposure error. Thus all slide film processing machines (very rare at the mass merchandiser shop) allows easy access to the push pull menu. Color negative film, on the other hand, is blessed by a wide exposure tolerance. This was the chief reason color negative film became popular and superseded slide film in the amateur market. You see, during the printing procedure, an image of the negative is projected and exposed onto print paper. This step could be called a “re-exposure”. During this second picture taking session, countermeasures can and are applied. Stated another way, during this second exposure (printing), adjustments are applied for the photographer’s exposure error and for faults induced by the color quality of the scene illuminate.

For color negative materials exposure latitude is greater in the overexposure direction. What I am trying to say and taking too long to get to the point is. “it won’t matter. Tell the lab, if that can accommodate, they will, if not let the lab handle the film in the normal way.

Alan Marcus (marginal technical advice)

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10/26/2007 2:08:28 PM

Olen E. Henke   Thanks, very informative!!

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10/29/2007 8:42:13 AM

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