Great that your getting into it! Don't worry too much about the variety of different films and chemicals, really any commercial product will do fine! I like to have my students learn on Tri-X (Arista Premium) and good ol' D76. Its a nearly bullet proof combo, and a solid base to learn and build your skills on. Don't worry about grain at all, its part of the image. Anyway a bit of grain will make it easier for your eyes to find when your printing.
For printing paper and chemicals, try a Resin Coated, Variable Contrast Grade paper, with something such as Dektol.
I would also recommend you take a look a a little book called Black and White Photography by Henry Horenstien you can get it at any library or buy it used on amazon for $4. It is filled with good info, clear example images, and covers much of the basics of B&W photography, film development, and printing.
Aah! Good old, "H.H."! :) Yes, you can also find a copy of that book in my bathroom... Ummm... I mean library, too. :whistling:
Originally Posted by Newt_on_Swings
Even though I've probably read that book 100 times, I still find useful tidbits or I am reminded of things that I should or should not be doing, even years after I pulled my copy of the book out of storage in the attic where I keep all my old school books.
If you don't have it, get it. Many people consider it to the "The Manual."
Thank You all so very much.
Some more questions will arise in the detailing of course.
This will duplicate much of the information above, but I'll go ahead anyways.
Modern 35mm film from the major manufacturers is wonderful stuff. For films between 100 ISO and 400 ISO, you have to work quite hard to end up with an 8x10 print that has grain that intrudes.
My favourite film recommendation is gone now (Plus-X - :() but any of the other Kodak or Ilford or Fuji alternatives will work great. If I were you, I would start out with Tri-X. Personally, I am currently using a combination of the Plus-X I still have left, and T-Max 400.
Up where you are, I would recommend HC-110 as a developer. That isn't surprising, because I use HC-110 where I am.
Nice fresh Kodak 5222 Double-X. 400 feet for 140 bux. Easy to put into Alden or other reloading system and wind your own. Very wide exposure lattitude from EI 25 to 6400. Treat as Plus-X at ISO 200. HC110/B works great for me.
+1. HP5/Tri-X with D76 should be your starting point to get the mechanics down. Thereafter...
Originally Posted by Rick A
I think there is wisdom in your thoughts here.
Originally Posted by RonaldD
Ronald, judging online is a challenging exercise at best, meaningless at worst.
My preference for FP4 in 35mm is based in how it actually looks on paper at 11x14 (my norm) as compared to the way TriX or HP5 print at 11x14.
Purely my opinions here.
Any B&W film fom Kodak, Fuji, or Ilford can make great pictures. The difference is artistic nuance, not technical merit.
For me at 8x10 with little to no cropping I find 400 speed films are normally pretty darn nice, when I enlarge more to get to 11x14 or crop significantly, Delta and T-Max 400 are sometimes good/sometimes not, but with HP5 and TriX at 11x14 or cropped I'm normally disappointed; small important details are regularly competing hard with the grain for the viewers attention.
To really see these differences/nuances, to see if they are important to you, you need real full size prints (your norm) in hand from the various films in question; the Internet won't get you there.
on the Kodak site for D76, the development time is for a 36 roll.
What do you change for a 24 roll?
I also read somewhere that if you have a condenser head on the enlarger( I don't have one yet, but it seems like something that I should know)
that you must reduce the exposure time when processing the negative by 15%. What's this stick in the bicycle spokes?
There is no difference as far as I'm concerned for the development time because of the length of the roll. Hand rolled at 6 or factory packed at 36 all the same.
It is more likely that you will at least in the beginning, use a diffuser. Condenser enlargers can print sharper but they also accentuate problems; dust, minor scratches, finger prints...