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.
p.s. My Tim Rudman Toning Book arrived... see, I do follow your advice!
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 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.
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.
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!!!
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.
Also note that Forte Polywarmtone Fiber tones very fast, not sure if the straight vc paper does the same.
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.
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?
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.