Push Processing or: Give me more!


No ISO 400 film at hand but facing a nice low-light situation? Your frigde is full with ISO 100 films but you want to shoot fast moving things? You want high contrast and hues shifts without crossing? Maybe Push Processing is a way!

All pictures Lomo LC-A. Indoor shots with drugstore ISO 100 film pushed to ISO 400, outdoor and summer shots with Agfa Vista 200 pushed to ISO 400.

Push Processing is an old known darkroom technique. Basically it´s about underexposing and then overdeveloping a film. Just put a ISO 200 film into your camera and set it to ISO 400. Expose the whole film with this setting and upon letting it developed write “Please push one step” on the envelope. I wanted to try this for quite some time and now that I did, I’m stunned by the outcome: high contrast, some hue shifts and large grain.

It’s also possible to push by more than one step, I already tried a ISO 100 Film on ISO 400 setting and it turned out good. Pushing ISO 400 to ISO 1600 should be worth a try. Black and white film can be pushed even more.

Push processing should be tested in combination with X-pro and Redscale. There’s a lot to do! Try it out!

written by zark on 2010-01-20 #gear #tutorials #35mm #tips #tipster #low-light #iso #dark-room #processing #pushen #entwicklung #quickie-tipster


  1. violet_rayy
    violet_rayy ·

    Amazing shots and great article!

  2. ifisheye
    ifisheye ·

    ill have to try this

  3. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Great tipster and gallery!! That's a good old technique which gives more texture and contrast to the shots... with b&w, I remember that the Ilford HP5 400 asa is very very flexible and can be shot (and developped) as a 800/1600 or even 3200 asa film... the more you push, the more grainy are the shots and sometimes this gives a fantastic dramatic vintage mood....

  4. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    wow thx @zark ! I'm gonna try it out REAL soon! Nice colors!

  5. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Yeah, quite useful and practical tipster, thanks for sharing it and your nice photos.::))

  6. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    should try this

  7. sexyinred
    sexyinred ·

    awesome shots! love the outdoor shot especially

  8. coldkennels
    coldkennels ·

    My sister (a professional photographer) had suggested this to me, but I'd never seen examples till now... great gallery!

  9. ethermoon
    ethermoon ·

    i shoot the film underexposed, then say to the developer push one step higher, is that it? i sometimes love underexposed shots... :-)

  10. stouf
    stouf ·

    Nice ! For other push-processing experiments, you can visit @rater, @eggzakly and @stouf 8DDD

  11. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    it depends on a film: some can be pushed, others might become completely abstract. pushing a slide/xpro film is even a more sensitive process where perfect temperatures can make wonders (read: find a trustworthy lab). and finally, some films are especially developed for pushing :)

  12. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    iv always been curious about this technique. thanks to ur experiment i dont have to worry about a low stock of iso400 film in my place

  13. livethdream
    livethdream ·

    OMG! I did this unknowingly -- exposed an iso 100 with iso 400. I begged the lab to do something about my underexposed roll and was surprised with the result. Came out really nice! Now I feel less stupid knowing there's a name for my mistake. Great tip! Thanks!

  14. sagebrush
    sagebrush ·

    I often do it with B&W I shoot. I will take a roll of 400 and set my ISO to 800 on my camera and shoot away. When I take to lab I ask them to push to 800. I will usually mark the film can with 800 so I don't get mixed up with the other film shot at regular speeds.

  15. trash-gordon-from-outer-space
    trash-gordon-from-outer-space ·

    Wie formuliert man diesen Wunsch denn am besten auf Deutsch?

  16. daforl
    daforl ·

    is it possible to overexpose a film and then do the opposite of pushing?

  17. jonasfx
    jonasfx ·

    good inspiration for pushing film. thanks!

    @daforl: yes. that's called "pulling"

  18. cynthiakry
    cynthiakry ·

    Has anyone ever pushed a lomo colour 400 film to 3200? Just trying it out but feel like it's a waste of time since I'm on a short holiday.

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