Film and Developers?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by cepwin, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    I have the t-max developer which is designed to work perfectly with the t-max film from kodak that I've been using. Here's my question, do you have to match developer and film to some extent? For example, if I buy Ilford film would the t-max developer still work well? I saw a chart that matches developer to film in terms of time but didn't specify temperature which from the directions seems to be a critical factor in determining time...ie. if it's 75 degrees it will need less time than if it's 68 degrees (F). Has anyone used the Arista films that Freestyle sells? They're very economical but I have no idea what they're quality is vs. an Ilford or Kodak film. Thanks!
     
  2. kerne

    kerne Member

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    Nope, I use D76 for everything. Works fine. And yes, dev times are calculated at a common temp of 68F (20C). However, black and white processes are surprisingly flexible. I've had little shift even being almost 10 degrees (F) off from 68F.
     
  3. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You can mix film and developer brands as much as you want.
    If you consider that there are lots of manufacturers that make chemistry, without making film; well, they wouldn't be doing that unless there was a market for it.

    Your choice of film and developer should be made based on the lighting you work in, depth of field and aperture you want to shoot at, and most importantly based on your output. It has to be geared to suit your process, whatever it happens to be.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Whilst there are some combinations which work better than others and combinations which some people think are the holy grail, most developers will work fine with most films for the times stated by the manufacturers of either. As you assume, higher temperature leads to shorter time.

    Try this: http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php/


    Steve.
     
  5. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    I haven't tried it with other Ilford films, but I know that Tmax Developer is REALLY nice with Delta 3200.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    You can definitely mix and match. Films are generally "calibrated" to develop well with Kodak D-76 (and equivalents, e.g. Ilford ID-11 which is functionally identical), but they will tend to work in a broad variety of developers. My main developers are by Kodak, Agfa and no one in particular (the latter being PMK, which is a publicly published formula by Gordon Hutchings - you can buy it premade from a couple of sources, or get raw ingredients and make your own).

    As for Arista films, they are made by whomever Freestyle gets their film from - which in the past has included Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Forte, Foma and probably other countries. I can never keep their different levels of film straight, but if you find out where they are made, you can figure out who made them. Kodak is USA, Fuji is Japan, and Foma is Czech Republic. (Freestyle doesn't rebadge Ilford film anymore, and Forte is out of business.) The Kodak- and Fuji-made Arista films are terrific as you'd expect, although I'm not sure they are available anymore. The Foma stuff is the easiest to get from Freestyle, and while it's grainier than Fuji and Kodak and Ilford, and it's a little more delicate, it has a tonality to it that many (including I) enjoy.
     
  7. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thank you all for the feedback! Beautiful images Chris. I had gotten the impression that Ilford makes nice B/W films and the results you have there demonstrate. Steve, the site you posted is one I looked at...like I say, they didn't give temps but I guess 68 degrees F is a reasonable assumption.
     
  8. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    I was wondering whether there is a book that talks about those matches between films and developpers. I mean "ideal match", taking for granted that developper like D76 (or HC-110) does the job all right for every film.

    A sort of cookbook, in other words.
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Ilford is a great company. They've made black-and-white film nearly as long as Kodak has. Ilford was the first black-and-white film I used when I started shooting in the 1970s, and it's still my favourite even though I tinker with other brands occasionally.
     
  10. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Photo-gear:

    Anchell/Troop, The Film Developing Cookbook

    It's not perfect but it gives a good overview.
     
  11. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I'm just rereading the Film Development Cookbook this week. It's still a useful reference. It's the book that inspired me to try pyrogallol-based developers, which I still use today.
     
  12. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Michael...looks like a worthwhile read..I ended up ordering it from Amazon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2012
  13. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    If you prefer the highest quality possible , I think nobody argue with Kodak. And if you want cheap , buy from short end movie film sellers and order Kodak 5222. It can be 5 or more times cheaper than TMAX and Ilford. My eyes could never loved Ilford 400 asa films but FP4 with Pyro developer is very very special.
    If you are living in USA , liquid HC110 would be cheap and Ansel Adams used it for years. It is best developer Kodak was producing in few generations. If you want another Ansel Adams developer , it is D23. If I am not wrong , it is not hard to homemade and everything needed is under hand.

    Pyro developers are toxic but wonderful and stain the film and fill the gaps between the grains. It graduates the hardness and may be thickness of the film based on light hit zone.
    If you dont inhale the powders , no problem but reading and reading is important.

    Another wonderful developer is Rodinal but sourcing it is complex. But Leica advised to its camera users few times.

    Its a wide ocean and have fun.

    Umut
     
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  15. MonoChrome Freak

    MonoChrome Freak Member

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    If you are not afraid of a bit of chemistry you could try and make/ alter your developers to match the exact effect/tonal structure of your film. It takes a bit of work and trial and error but in the end it is well worth it. Personally I really love using WD2H Developer with Efke 25 or 50, both in 120 or 4x5 format. The staining of this Pyro Developer on slow or medium speed film is exceptional, especially old style, silver rich film.

    Well that's my take on that.

    Alex.
     
  16. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    No need to match film to chemistry. All B&W developers Kodak and Ilford sells are generic to all B&W films. You just have to find the right temperature/time for the film. I use D76 for everything. It's very forgiving and pretty universal, not to mention widely available.

    I use Arista Premium film which is the same as Kodak Tri-X in private branding. It works exactly the same way except it's quite a bit cheaper.
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I use t-max developer for everything.
     
  18. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Subscriber

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    TMAX was my second developer and first from Kodak, and it is my favorite developer, i ran out one bottle and have all the results decent, i bought 2 more bottles but i will use it in the future as i am sure about it, i just test more another developers to have backups or options, Ilfosol 3 is great too, D76 gave me results fine but not as TMAX and Ilfosol 3, HC-110 i used once recently and will use it again for another waiting film, but the first impression giving me that this developer will be in same class of TMAX.Ilfosol 3 and not D-76.
     
  19. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    Ilfosol 3 is the Ilford equivalent of HC-110.
     
  20. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Why is it that HC-110 is good for decades but Ilfosol 3 goes bad 4 months after it's been opened?
     
  21. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2012
  22. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I don't think this is correct. Ilfosol and HC-110 are completely different formulas.
     
  23. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Here's what's in Ilfosol 3:

    Diethylenetriamine Pentaacetic Acid Na5
    Hydroquinone
    Sodium carbonate

    Here's what's in HC-110

    Hydroquinone
    Diethylene glycol
    2-aminoethanol
    Diethanolamine
    Pentetic acid
    Ethylene glycol
     
  24. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Those lists are not the complete formulas either. They both contain a Phenidone derivative, and I believe Ilfosol also contains ascorbic acid. Sodium sulfite isn't listed here either. It is difficult to compare the formulations, and especially the working properties of proprietary formulas using MSDS information. The approximate formula for HC-110 is known (although Kodak has tinkered with it over time).
     
  25. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    But I think it's clear they are two different developers.
     
  26. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Ilfotec HC is a lot more similar in my mind. Ilfosol is more like liquid concentrate XTOL.