Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Film vs. Developer, Etc?  (Read 1486 times)

ajz

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« on: March 20, 2018, 05:26:07 PM »

Some time ago, I think in 2014, Michael R and I met in Buffalo and were planning on shooting B&W. I had my M6 and Rollei and some Tmax400, and Ilford Delta 100 & 400. Well, unfortunately we never did the shoot. But, Michael talked about using a developer not known to me one he found somewhere - not D-76 nor Microdol, not one of the more popular ones. Would anyone know of what it might have been? I still plan to unlimbering the M6 and Rollei and developing some B&W film. Any thoughts on developers would be appreciated since i have been out of the wet loop for quite a while!!!

I know there has been posting about film scanning, but would appreciate any suggestions as the best way to have the 35mm and the 2 1/4 negs. scanned. I typically print at 300 minimum or usually 360 ppi. Flat bed or drum? Grater Cleveland seems to have limited options.

comments welcomed.,

ajsail
Logged

PeterAit

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2856
    • Peter Aitken Photographs
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 05:34:45 PM »

Some time ago, I think in 2014, Michael R and I met in Buffalo and were planning on shooting B&W. I had my M6 and Rollei and some Tmax400, and Ilford Delta 100 & 400. Well, unfortunately we never did the shoot. But, Michael talked about using a developer not known to me one he found somewhere - not D-76 nor Microdol, not one of the more popular ones. Would anyone know of what it might have been? I still plan to unlimbering the M6 and Rollei and developing some B&W film. Any thoughts on developers would be appreciated since i have been out of the wet loop for quite a while!!!

comments welcomed.,

ajsail

Kodak HC-110 I bet.
Logged
Peter
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein

Telecaster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3205
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 12:03:35 AM »

Or…I wonder if it was one of Geoffrey Crawley's FX developers. Acutol for instance. Or Aculux, which Crawley didn't create but which was also made & sold by Paterson.

-Dave-
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19070
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2018, 05:29:18 AM »

Or…I wonder if it was one of Geoffrey Crawley's FX developers. Acutol for instance. Or Aculux, which Crawley didn't create but which was also made & sold by Paterson.

-Dave-


FWIW, as an amateur I played around with several develpers, but as a pro I never moved away from D76 diluted 1+1 with water.

The advice is simple: get to know one developer well and your pictures, in the sense of technical quality, will look better than they ever can if you jump from one developer fad to the next.

The most important thing you can do for yourself with the process of film development is to ensure that you manage an almost perfect continuity of process; in other words, be able to repeat the steps in exactly the same way every time. I believe that even processing a film on its own, in the same soup, is not the same as developing two or three rolls of the same films at once in a larger tank. I am sure that the agitation is, in practice, rather different regarding the contrast that you end up enjoying - or not.

Don't forget that the selling of developers was also a commercial venture, with all the marketing bullshit that the various companies could afford.

Rob

JeanMichel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 422
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2018, 01:30:35 PM »

I agree with Rob. It is hard to improve on D-76 for general purpose developing. I used that for years before moving to Ilford stuff, mainly because it was more convenient and available where I am. I gave away all my darkroom equipment, including my chemistry formulary recently. I would suggest that the OP simply use something like D-76, prone of the Ilford developers such as ID-11 or Ilfolsol
Logged

donbga

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 436
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 02:21:01 PM »

I agree with Rob. It is hard to improve on D-76 for general purpose developing. I used that for years before moving to Ilford stuff, mainly because it was more convenient and available where I am. I gave away all my darkroom equipment, including my chemistry formulary recently. I would suggest that the OP simply use something like D-76, prone of the Ilford developers such as ID-11 or Ilfolsol

Ilford produces Ilfotec DD-X film developer. This is an easy to use developer and produces full film speed of PROPERLY exposed and DEVELOPED film. A friend of mine just recently sent me a shot of his new Harley processed in DDX and it looks amazing with TMAX 400 II. The late Barry Thorton wrote the now famous treatise, Edge of Darkness, Edge of Darkness, along with Elements: The Making of Fine Monochrome Prints, Elements: The Making of Fine Monochrome Prints.

I have used many developers over the years with many different B&W emulsions and sizes. Today IMO, there are so many excellent film developer combinations available I would recommend to the beginner (whether scanning or old timey printing) to pick a developer that is tried and true. I started out with HC-110 and old Tri-X. Today I use TMAX developer and TMAX-RS for sheet film, all processed in a Jobo rotary processor.

However, a simple Patterson roll film can made of plastic with easy load nylon reels (or what ever they are made of) will suffice. D-76 has always been the breakfast of champions, and works beautifully with Tri-X and HP5. Glycine/amidol based developers that you mix yourself give awesome results with Pan F plus. Thus we are back to the Ilfotec DD-X developer that have similar qualities of the G/A developer.

For really really easy scanable results shoot Ilford's XP2 that is easily processed in C-41 at your finisher. Expose at ISO of 200 and get wonderful creamy highligts and mid-tones with beefy shadows.

Speaking of shadows that is one of the differentiations with a difference that analog B&W has over digital B&W many users don't realize. Digital shadows can get easily crushed together whereas a good robust film toe keeps on giving if exposed and developed properly and printed properly, either digitally or in the old timey darkroom.
 
Good luck and have fun, failure is always an option to learn from so don't be afraid of making mistakes.

Don Bryant 

PS Even though I shoot digital I still have and use my darkroom.
Logged

Telecaster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3205
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 02:56:51 PM »

HP5+ and DD-X are what I use nowadays when I go for b&w film. (Got some Acros 100 too when rumors started popping up that Fuji planned to discontinue it.) Shot loads of XP-2 Super in the '90s but haven't used it since. In the '80s & '90s I used mainly one developer: Rodinal. Love the grain!

-Dave-
Logged

donbga

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 436
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 05:04:55 PM »

HP5+ and DD-X are what I use nowadays when I go for b&w film. (Got some Acros 100 too when rumors started popping up that Fuji planned to discontinue it.) Shot loads of XP-2 Super in the '90s but haven't used it since. In the '80s & '90s I used mainly one developer: Rodinal. Love the grain!

-Dave-

I knew someone would bring up the R word. I purchased a bottle in 1969 with a rubber stopper and a hypodermic needle. It lasted a long time in a stoppered bottle. HC-110 is uber flexible and long lasting in the bottle even when it changes color. TMAX developer is much the same as long as oxidation doesn't occur in the bottle. What we need these days are easy to use products which are bio-degradable and relatively green.

XP2 fits that bill perfectly, iMO and is easy peazy.


Logged

Telecaster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3205
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2018, 08:11:23 PM »

What we need these days are easy to use products which are bio-degradable and relatively green.

XP2 fits that bill perfectly, iMO and is easy peazy.

Yeah. I stopped using Rodinal after it ate through the pipe beneath my basement sink. Well, for a time I poured spent developer directly into a sewer vent in the basement floor…but then I considered what the same stuff that wrecked the pipe was likely doing further down the line.

-Dave-
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19070
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2018, 09:37:17 AM »

At some period during the 70s (UK) it was made mandatory for labs to dispose of chemicals properly; it was also a period of great interest in silver recovery...

The only silver I got from film and processing was via invoices, but even that's not totally true: I never saw cash. Folks wot did made a pile out of tax-free earnings!

That's why govts. are so keen to push non-cash transactions. In a digital world they know where you live and how well you eat. Soon, even that will be a freedom too far. Paranoid? Moi?

:-(
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 04:28:05 AM by Rob C »
Logged

BrianBeauban

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 09:33:38 AM »

Most any developer will work, but it all boils down to personal preference. Manufacturers publish data based on their results to their standards. You must find the time/temperature/agitation rate that suits your needs based on your expectations. To say one is better than the other is moot. What most people fail to do is conduct any sort of controlled tests and evaluate the result, make adjustments and test again to find your process that give results you want. It's best to settle on one product that is readily available and learn to use it. At the end of the day, looking at someone's prints NOBODY can tell with any certainty what developer you used.
Logged

pflower

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 312
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2018, 03:16:16 PM »

Also the developer is the first stage in preparing the negative for printing.  So choice of film developer also requires consideration of the light source of your enlarger, the paper you print on and the paper developer.  All have to work in tandem.

For years I struggled with densitometers, VC versus graded papers (settling on Oriental Seagull for both) and cold cathode, colour enlargers and finally a monstrously expensive and huge Zone VI enlarger.  Finally I settled on FP4 and HP5 and the standard Pyro formulation which printed beautifully on the Zone VI.

More recently I have been using Moesch Tannol and now Pyrocat HD.  Now most of my B&W negatives are scanned and printed digitally (although I have in fact just built a darkroom but am struggling to find paper I like).  The stain of the pyro elements are easily corrected in Photoshop by simply desaturating or converting to B&W, but since the use of the Pyro-type developers was to control highlights in the negatives, I wonder whether other developers might offer something else when scanning.

At the end of the day the choice of a film developer is only the first step and can only be judged once the entire process to print has been examined.  On a digital workflow that involves considering what scanner you are using and what its idiosyncrasies, strengths and weaknesses  are, and then your choice of printer, ink and paper will affect what is optimum.

You can't now, anymore than in the pure wet darkroom era, just choose a film developer without considering how the final product - the print - looks.  And different developers and film combinations produce startlingly different results.  So at the end of the day producing good prints is a hugely time consuming, expensive and frustrating process of testing every step of the process.

most don't bother these days.

Most any developer will work, but it all boils down to personal preference. Manufacturers publish data based on their results to their standards. You must find the time/temperature/agitation rate that suits your needs based on your expectations. To say one is better than the other is moot. What most people fail to do is conduct any sort of controlled tests and evaluate the result, make adjustments and test again to find your process that give results you want. It's best to settle on one product that is readily available and learn to use it. At the end of the day, looking at someone's prints NOBODY can tell with any certainty what developer you used.
Logged

donbga

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 436
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2018, 03:42:11 PM »

At some period during the 70s (UK) it was made mandatory for labs to dispose of chemicals properly; it was also a period of great interest in silver recovery...

The only silver I got from film and processing was via invoices, but even that's not totally true: I never saw cash. Folks wot did made a pile out of tax-free earnings!

That's why govts. are so keen to push non-cash transactions. In a digital world they know where you live and how well you eat. Soon, even that will be a freedom too far. Paranoid? Moi?

:-(

Silver recovery only worked efficiently for mass processors. Home workers had little to recover and to do so wasn't practical. Most home workers waste fixer and thus waste money on chemicals; back in the day that wasn't big issue nor was dumping small amounts of effluent down the drain.

So it's very doubtful any home user will arouse any interest from jurisdictions ...
Logged

donbga

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 436
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2018, 03:47:17 PM »

Also the developer is the first stage in preparing the negative for printing.  So choice of film developer also requires consideration of the light source of your enlarger, the paper you print on and the paper developer.  All have to work in tandem.

For years I struggled with densitometers, VC versus graded papers (settling on Oriental Seagull for both) and cold cathode, colour enlargers and finally a monstrously expensive and huge Zone VI enlarger.  Finally I settled on FP4 and HP5 and the standard Pyro formulation which printed beautifully on the Zone VI.

More recently I have been using Moesch Tannol and now Pyrocat HD.  Now most of my B&W negatives are scanned and printed digitally (although I have in fact just built a darkroom but am struggling to find paper I like).  The stain of the pyro elements are easily corrected in Photoshop by simply desaturating or converting to B&W, but since the use of the Pyro-type developers was to control highlights in the negatives, I wonder whether other developers might offer something else when scanning.

At the end of the day the choice of a film developer is only the first step and can only be judged once the entire process to print has been examined.  On a digital workflow that involves considering what scanner you are using and what its idiosyncrasies, strengths and weaknesses  are, and then your choice of printer, ink and paper will affect what is optimum.

You can't now, anymore than in the pure wet darkroom era, just choose a film developer without considering how the final product - the print - looks.  And different developers and film combinations produce startlingly different results.  So at the end of the day producing good prints is a hugely time consuming, expensive and frustrating process of testing every step of the process.

most don't bother these days.

Just an observation here your post is replete with anecdotal observations.

Logged

Ivophoto

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 195
Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2018, 06:46:28 AM »

Difficult to beat Xtol imo

If you use Tmax, I recommend Kodak’s own Tmax developer and fix. Specially the fix to get rid of that purple shine on your negs in reasonable fix time.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 06:50:17 AM by Ivophoto »
Logged

donbga

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 436
Re: Film vs. Developer, Etc?
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2018, 04:59:33 PM »

Difficult to beat Xtol imo

If you use Tmax, I recommend Kodak’s own Tmax developer and fix. Specially the fix to get rid of that purple shine on your negs in reasonable fix time.

I liked Xtol a lot but it had a short storage life. I agree completely about TMAX films with TMAX developers. As for fix I used Kodak rapid fix with no purple residue.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up