WHICH Developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ka, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Since I seem to have asked Everything else, I might as well ask about developers. I'm reading "The Massive Dev Chart" and see about 20 different solutions.

    Which developer(s) are best suited Agfa Multicontrast Classic and Forte VC Fiber?

    Also, when I do Selenium Tone, I shouldn't like it to go all violet.

    And what is the difference between the different developers?

    My apologies for asking such a pain in the bottom questions.


    ka

    p.s. My Tim Rudman Toning Book arrived... see, I do follow your advice!
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Are you talking about paper developers or film developers? My only advice would be to pick one of the readliy available soups and stick with it for one to two years. For film I'd do either D76, HC110, or Rodinal. For paper, Ilford PQ Universal, or Dektol.

    Brian
     
  3. photomc

    photomc Member

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    KA,
    Brian has given good advice do not rush in. I am at a point where I have been wanting to try this paper, that developer, this film, etc. However the best advice I have been given, is find what is working for me now and stick with it - now that does not mean not using wt or ct papers. The developers could be different - the point is to not introduce to many variables into your work so that if something happens you do/don't like you will know why and can do or not do again.

    BTW - I think Tim Rudmans toning book is excellent, but again take it slow.

    Shoot more film, print more prints..it's not only fun, but it helps us become better at our craft.

    Good Luck
     
  4. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have been doing photography for over twenty years. It is only recently that I feel that I am coming into my own insofar as the camera format, film, paper, and developer combination that expresses what I want. I would have hoped that this would have happened sooner. But it is something that I could not rush.

    What Brian and Mike have said is very appropriate in my experience.
     
  5. Ka

    Ka Member

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    It's time to replenish my darkroom chemicals, and I wanted to make a fresh start with appropriate chemistry. I do wish to be consistent. That is great advice.
    I have also been shooting for over 20 years... started off as a model, hated it, and switched to the other side of the camera. I am ambitious and visual... if I can see it, I can do it. I'm giddy as a school girl and can't wait to know it all.
    Trading architecture for photography was the perfect choice!
    Thank you all for your help!!!
    ka
     
  6. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Ka,
    Noticed we haven't answered your question about Se toning..my advice, and I think the general advice here is ALWAYS tone, either with Selenium or one of the sulfide toners for permance. The sulfides with give brown or sepia color. Follow Tim Rudmans advice on selenium if you do not want a color change, I think a 1+9 dilution for 5 to 10 minutes will do..compare to an untoned print, you will see a change. Search the forums for additonal information as others here can answer better than I.

    Good Luck.
     
  7. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Also note that Forte Polywarmtone Fiber tones very fast, not sure if the straight vc paper does the same.
     
  8. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    another suggestion would be to get Steve Anchell book (s) Darkroom cookbook, Film cookbook. Interesting reference matarial as it will give you options with projected results. I.E. this film with this developer will increase grain, enhance sharpness, etc.

    I would also second or is it third the suggestion to pick of set of tools and really work with them until you have a good feel and are working with consistency.

    As to the selenium. (after suggesting one paper!!!) Bergger neutral does not like to shift to eggplant nor does Luminous Neutral. At least that is my experience in my environment. Both papers are nice as well. I was surprised when I tested them, as I usually use graded Seagull Oriental for 95% of my work.
     
  9. Ka

    Ka Member

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    The Steve Anchell book sounds perfect. I shall pick it up poste haste.

    Actually, I have been using the same chemistry for nearly three years, and feel it's time to fine-tune things a bit.

    I should like to ask you, Ann, about the Seagull Oriental paper. According to their website, the paper is rather delicate. What is your opinion, and do you treat it any differently than Bergger or Luminous?

    ka
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I don't intend to speak for Ann. I use Oriental Seagull paper too. Both the graded and the variable contrast. I think that Seagull graded is a very fine paper. It is no more delicate physically then any other double weight paper. It tones very nicely in selenium toner. Has excellent tonal range. Would certainly recommend it.
     
  11. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    "Actually, I have been using the same chemistry for nearly three years, and feel it's time to fine-tune things a bit."

    You have been given lots of good advice. May I ask what chemistry you have been using for the last 3 years, and just what needs fine tuning? Your choice of papers is good. Is there a specific problem, or have you seen some results you envy?

    Rather than dropping two notches down to discuss politics or religion, I will only go down one notch and discuss opinion. I personally keep 5 different papers in the drawer, but only use one developer. After 20 years of searching for that magic bullet, I have settled on Dektol for 2 minutes at 68 degrees. If I want a different look, I try another paper, and I usually get it. I won't go back to Amidol or boutique developers, as Dektol always does it for me. I, and apparently the people who buy my work, love the combination of Kodak Polymax Fine Art in Dektol. I think you will like it too.

    PS: Tone it for 3 minutes in Selenium 1:9 and wash it for an hour.
     
  12. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    If you have read Tim’s other books you will see that he nominates his wastepaper basket as his best teacher, I think he called it his “learning bin”. So, contrary to the earlier advice I would advocate plenty of experimentation, but keep copious notes of your trials, and tribulations; and tell the rest of us when you find your holly grail!
     
  13. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    In black and white work:

    For film, I've been using Rodinal 1:50. Somewhere, I've read that it can be enhanced by the addition of 1 gram of borax / liter. I've been trying ... for about a year ... to remember to get some borax to try it out.

    Paper, at present, is in Agfa Neutol 1:10 for two minutes @ 20 C. I will at times use Satter's Zonal Pro Factor One - and *most* of my work is on Ilford's MutiGrade V - Portfolio (double weight). I *love* that stuff.

    I treat all my exhibition work with Agfa's Sistan. *No* color change - and I can't see any degradation in the images I've had hanging on the walls of my studio for the last ten years - or so - that I've been using it.
     
  14. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I have not had any problems with Seagull being delicate. I use only graded papers usually with LPD 1 :4, altho I have a lot of other options available. Occasionlly i will use Ansco 130.

    With warm tone papers, which were used for a specific project i used Zonal Pro warm developer.

    Because of my situation, i have on hand a large variety of papers and developers both film and paper types.. however, for my personel work I used basically the same materials. With that said, i do have several on going projects that are using different papers.

    To assist students in understanding nunances I have a large variety of sample prints on almost every paper available; not all, but almost all. Only two developers were used to create this base. LPD and Warmtone Zonal pro.
    On the other hand I do a class in the fall quarter were students use about 15 developer and/or ratios with at least 5 different papers . the number of papers they use is up to them with the minimum being about 5 and the maxium about 9. As one can image it is a very intense process but they now have a variety of choices when and if they want a specific look, etc.
    My own goal this year is to run as many other papers as i can along with them to fill in the gaps for my print base.

    Even after this session, most settle down to one paper, with one or two maybe making the same image of two or three papers, usually as they want to run them through specific toners.
     
  15. steve simmons

    steve simmons Inactive

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    View Camera magazine is doing a two part article on papers and paper developers. Part 1 appears in the March/April issue and Part 2 will be in the May/June issue.

    steve simmons
     
  16. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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  17. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    ahmen!
     
  18. Ka

    Ka Member

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    DE, I use Kodak: Polymax T Developer, Indicator Stop Bath, Rapid Fixer and Heico Permawash. See? So, I'm due for a refresh, yeah?

    ka
     
  19. victor

    victor Member

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    ka -
    i dont use forte papers (only forte i use is the bromofrt, which is not the most popular) but i do use the agfa mcc111(and sometimes 118). my fave paper developer is ilford bromophen. dont know, but i feel that it gives the paper "to talk for its own". the other developer that i do use sometimes )especially for single graded papers like art classic or gallery3 or the same bromofort etc) is the variable contrast developer from fotospeed. i use most of the time roll film (35 and medium) so i do not have the advantage of developing each film supiratly. so the fotospeed developer is very helpful in those cases.

    about the selenium - i use the fotospeed selenium, but it is like the kodak. if u want to avoid the coloring tendencies of the agfa paper then delute it about 1+20 and keep whatching while agitating (u can put it in the washing aid working solution as well).
    one to two minutes are very good for archival and increased dmax and gentle crisp, while no serious changes will be in terms of color, warmth/coolness etc. this works the same way for almost any paper i know.
    for other effects u have to experiment. be careful on the agfa since it has a tendency to react very well to toners.