I'm a newbie with a big question(s). In this month's Black & White Photography magazine there is an article by Michael Johnston wherein he states that finding the correct Film/Developer/Paper (FDP) combination for the kinds of prints you find attractive will make it relatively easy to print images. He says that by getting this combination right you have a lot less "work" to do in the darkroom. My mouth watered at the prospects of a good deal less wrestling in the darkroom. By "find attractive" he means ones that have shadows and highlights to your personal liking but also a wide rich range of mid-tones
He went on to say that Phil Davis has developed software called Plotter/Matcher (sold at www.viewcamerastore.com) that will predict good FDP combinations. The problem is that you have to supply the data which is very exacting and time consuming.
I am pretty well set on one of two films i.e. Ilford Delta 100 or FP4. I presently use D76 at 1:1 and Ilford multigrade, warm tone paper, though I have used Forte warm tone paper in the past. I shoot both in 35mm and with a Mamyia 645E.
My main shooting interest is portraits.
My question, (well, finally I can hear some of you saying) does anyone have data for the best FDP combination using one of the films I mentioned above? Let's leave aside my personal tastes for the time being, that being trumped by 'easier'.
David Hall asked basically the same question about 6 hours ago.
I think some people don't know to always start with the View New Posts button, which of course makes it easier to see what's "current". I made that mistake myself for a long time.
Also, my question is about paper and developer, not film too.
And, Peter38, I use pyro developer for everything, but originally I used it specifically for portraits because of how it separated delicate highlights. I thought that meant smooth upper tones in general, which it seems to. But an added benefit is that it and a silver rich film like HP5 or Bergger together make for a much longer, richer range, meaning much more subtle detail out of what would just turn black in other films, plus those delicate highlights. If you're serious about experimenting with chemistry and films, you should try it. Although since you're shooting small formats you might consider FP4 for the better grain. Also, PMK pyro hides the grain by adding stain between grains, which makes for a particularly visible difference in grain between pyro-developed 35mm and rollfilm, and most other developers.