Film and Developers?
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!
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.
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.
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/
I haven't tried it with other Ilford films, but I know that Tmax Developer is REALLY nice with Delta 3200.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally Posted by cepwin
Anchell/Troop, The Film Developing Cookbook
It's not perfect but it gives a good overview.