Following our own recommendations....

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BradS, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I notice that most folks recommend the exclusive use of one film and one developer...but, then I get the feeling that nobody actually does this.

    I tried to stick to just one film and one dev for these past twelve months or so.
    I chose 320TXP in D-76(1+1)...



    Do you stick to just one film and one dev?

    If you do, which combination? and,

    for how long have you been using just one?
     
  2. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Brad,

    For stuff to be contact printed, 5x7, 8x10 and 7x17 I have used TMY with Pyrocat HD 2:2:100 and print on Azo for at least the past 4 years. For stuff to be enlarged, 35mm and 4x5 I have used Tri-X and HC-110 for 25+ years. Based on the amount of TMY in my freeezer, it will be at least 5 years before I even consider using anything else!

    It takes too long to really get to know the materials to spend my life testing/experimenting with new film/developer combinations. They day someone shows me (with prints) that their combination is superior to mine, then I'll consider checking out their combination (still not likely).

    YMMV
     
  3. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I use one developer -- D-76, mostly 1+1, but sometimes stock, depending on the film.

    In 120 I shoot HP5+ and Acros, and Efke for infrared.
    The only thing in shoot (in black and white) at 135 is HIE, but that's almost gone.

    So really, although I'm using different films, it's one film for one purpose.

    However, having used D-76 for over 4 years now, I'm going to start experimenting with Rodinal and Acros, now that I know what Acros in D-76 looks like, and the fact that I accidentally bought two bottles of Rodinal a while back.
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Actually I don't think that's true. What a lot of folks do advocate is to learn how to use one film and dev combo at a time. I tend to agree with that approach. If you throw too many ingredients in the pot at once then it's hard to tell what worked and what didn't.

    As for me, I'd estimate that I use ilford fp4+ and hp5+ in ID11 1+1 around 75% of the time for medium format. Other times I am using neopan in xtol, and other times efke in wd2d+. In 35mm I am using tmax more often. In LF I use panatomic x more often! And sometimes I use chromogenics as well. I also I happen to like to shoot colour slide and do analog conversions to b&w (tmax), and I also do some hybrid stuff using ortho film. All different tools for different purposes- there definitely is no single film/dev combo that does everything I want across all the formats and for all output methods. If I really had to pick one it'd be fp4+ in ID11/D76.
     
  5. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I spent 5 years working with pyrocat hd and then rodinal. Eventually I settled on rodinal and use it exclusively. For 4x5 and 8x10 I use FP4+ and have added HP5+ for a high speed option. I use TMY-2 and rodinal for my mf work.

    I think learning one film/dev combo at a time, as Keith mentioned, is what's most important. It allows you to eliminate variables and really get to know how the materials will respond to different situations. I'm just getting to the point where I'm fairly confident with my materials and can concentrate on the work. It's wonderful!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2009
  6. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I have to agree. After using 320TXP and D-76 exclusively for about a year, I feel like I know what it can do and I feel pretty confident in the combination. Not sure it is the best...and, at this point, I'm not sure I even care. It does pretty much what I want, it is reliable and readily available...all good things.

    I was just wondering how many others actually adhere to the "one film, one developer" mantra...because, I definitely see there are benefits.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    P.S. I somehow left out two of my favourite films- rollei superpan and fuji fp100b. Again, totally different tools....
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Many films for me...but usually only one developer. With b/w, HP5 and Delta 3200 are what I use probably 75% of the time. The other 25% is Efke/Adox, IR820, Tri-X 320 and 400, FP4. and T-Max 400 and 100 (for long exposure night shots).
     
  9. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    Wasn't it St. Thomas Aquinas who said?

    "Beware of the person of one book."


    Denis K
     
  10. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I use whatever I can afford at a given time. While I'd PREFER to use ERA Pan 100 and HP5+ exclusively, the reality right now is Expired FP4+ and Kodak Hawkeye Surveillance film, because I happen to have a fair bit of each.
    Regardless, I do always stick with ID-11 or Xtol. Or Rodinal...
    Depending.
     
  11. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Just using one film,devel.,camera and lens really helped me alot. For the longest time I'd use what ever was new or popular not quite understanding the property's. Getting familiar with one has made it easier to try new frontiers (kids are watching Star Track,sorry bout that).

    Mike
     
  12. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    @Denis, yeah, but Thomas Aquinas was shooting digitally I think. It was his instruction manual.

    I have given that "one developer one film" advice many times. Would that I were better at following it myself. I am an inveterate tinkerer so I've tried dozens of films and a number of developers over many years of doing this. I keep meticulous records of what I've done with what combinations, so I can easily look up previous experience and adjust things going forward. I tend to use and handful of films and one developer for quite a while before becoming restless and moving to the next late/great thing.

    What's finally getting me to settle down is simply an ever-decreasing amount of time to devote to this time-sucking passion. I am currently using D-76H and TMAX, but I can easily go back to Xtol / Mytol or HC-110 on a whim, using my notes to guide me. I have accumulated a lot of experience with these developers over time. Long shelf life and/or home-mixability are very important now that it's longer between processing sessions.

    Films? These days I'm shooting far more C-41 color than I am B&W; it just interests me more right now, nothing more complicated than that. But 400TMY, 100TMX, and 320TXP get the most use.
     
  13. cknapp1961

    cknapp1961 Member

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    That is Star Trek, NOT Star Track...geeesh!
     
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  15. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Give me a brake,there the Trickies not me:D
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have been sticking to Tri-X and XTOL. If I am given another type of black & white film, I develop it in XTOL. I still have not found a better film for me than Tri-X.

    After I shoot my two rolls of HIE and develop it in XTOL, I will start using Pyro Rollo to see how that handles Tri-X.

    Steve
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i only use 1 developer, a maybe 3 different films ..

    i try to shoot everything 15thS wide open
    no matter the camera ( or the film )
     
  18. c.w.

    c.w. Member

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    To me, "one developer one film" is sort of confusing advice to anyone who's starting out, and anyone who's starting out is likely to ask a question that gets responded to with "one developer one film".

    How are they supposed to know what to use in the first place, or that it's the best for the situation, or that it's getting them as close to what they have in their head if they don't try a bunch of stuff? Not to mention that different speeds of different films are better suited to different developers. It's almost as if people are expected to have thirty years experience with this stuff.

    I'm not saying people should use whatever random film or developer has the most interesting label that day, I'm just saying there comes a time that experimentation is a good thing. Sure you like TMAX 3200, but maybe you'd like Neopan 1600 or Delta 3200 or Foma 400 pushed or whatever random thing. Maybe you try a roll and you hate it, maybe you love it? How else are you going to find out than to use it? Read descriptions on the internet, or even worse, the packaging?
     
  19. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I used Tri-X and HC-100 exclusively for about 10 years. Then T-max 100 came along, and I used it with HC-110 for about 5 years. Then I discovered Pyro developers, and I've used them for almost 10 years. I still like Tri-X for my 4x5 work, and I now like Acros for MF. I just don't shoot 35mm any more, but my faves there were Tri-X and Delta 100. I'm in a phase where I'm trying and comparing some of the different staining developers, and some other non-staining developers like Rodinal and T-FX2. I guess I'm at a settling-out point, and when I find the combination I like best, I will stay with it for a long time. I had kind of settled on APX100 as my favorite film just a couple of years back.:sad:
     
  20. Ian Tindale

    Ian Tindale Member

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    I have no intention of only using one film in one developer, in one camera, pointing at one subject in one type of lighting, for one decisive moment. But then, I'm not doing this for clients as a production line, like I used to be many years ago. I can do what I like now - I can please myself.

    I tend to home on Tmax film in Tmax dev, but when I'm not doing that, I'll try a wide range of developers with a wide range of films, in a wide range of cameras (but not necessarily a wide enough range of subjects) and attempt to process them all to achieve the same kind of result that I like. Usually I manage it, and hence I consider I have versatility in that respect. Occasionally I find a film/dev combination that I can't get to work the way I want, but that's okay, I just avoid it in future, when it's all used up. The ones that do work the way I want, I tend to learn the finer nuances of how it varies from others. When any film or dev is finished, the last thing I want to do is use some more of it - that's boring, and I relish a new challenge. My photographs are not important enough to warrant consistency, stability or quality at all. The getting there is quite fun, though.
     
  21. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    This is the trend I'm following : ALMOST one film in small format (HP5 is more and more frequent), no more than one in LF (Tri-X) and one developer per film (HC110 for the Tri-X, X-Tol for HP5 since HC110 gives times that are way too short).

    But I also try other combos from time to time. I recently developed HP5 in Ultrafin and the results seem promising (but I haven't fully proofed them yet)
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Two films for me. FP4+ and HP5+ usually developed in Prescysol.

    I used to try out lots of different films but I have now settled on these two. I have not experimented with developer much. For years I used Ilfosol exclusively, then DD-X.



    Steve.
     
  23. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    It's OK to work with many films and
    developers. Just don't under expose
    or over develop. Other wise you're
    just experimenting and may not
    have printable results for
    years to come. Dan
     
  24. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    From a practical point of view, one film is not reasonable. There are times you just need more speed than others.

    One developer is much easier.

    Neal Wydra
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    When I started processing black & white film, I already knew that I liked Tri-X over TMax 400, so I looked at the Kodak literature and choose XTOL because it usually gave the finest grain.

    It is not hard picking one film and one developer if you were already shooting film and knew which goal you want. It just takes a little research.

    Steve
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I don't think the advice really is to just use one film and one developer, period. That would be stupid advice.

    I think the advice is usually given to people who are "flailing", trying this thing and that, mixed and matched, all together, changing films and developers left and right, and generally never being consistent.

    That is a necessary part of photography, and perhaps one of the most fun parts. However, it is hard to actually learn quickly and well from any of it unless you come from a place of solid consistency and repeatability.

    ...hence the advice.

    It is not some general order that one developer and one film is The Way to go. It is just a suggestion to help establish decent control and give a baseline for comparison in future experimentation.