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  1. #31
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    I maybe wrong here, but I always thought Rodinal was a high acutance developer, which would work better with films like HP5 as opposed to FP4. Also, surely still bath development will have a greater effect on micro contrast than developer formulation.
    Other way around acutance developers work better with slower finer grained films, they weren't recommended for fast films.

    Stand /still bath development accentuates edges effects but few realise the main proponents are shooting LF and ULF sheet film and not 35mm or 120.

    Ian

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Other way around acutance developers work better with slower finer grained films, they weren't recommended for fast films.

    Stand /still bath development accentuates edges effects but few realise the main proponents are shooting LF and ULF sheet film and not 35mm or 120.

    Ian
    I don't doubt you are correct and thanks for the reply, but my statement comes from seeing some very impressive images developed in Rodinal from 400 ISO. However, perhaps I didn't see enough FP4 films developed in the same way.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #33
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    I don't doubt you are correct and thanks for the reply, but my statement comes from seeing some very impressive images developed in Rodinal from 400 ISO. However, perhaps I didn't see enough FP4 films developed in the same way.
    Rodinal and APX100 or Tmax100 probably give the best overall balance of sharpness and definition, very fine grain and a good tonal range, HP5 or Tri-X won't get that close but they have their own characteristics.

    IAn

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Other way around acutance developers work better with slower finer grained films, they weren't recommended for fast films.

    Stand /still bath development accentuates edges effects but few realise the main proponents are shooting LF and ULF sheet film and not 35mm or 120.

    Ian
    In the past, there were quite some 'rules'like these. And, they still apply, but for the older lenses, lacking detail. Beginning with certain 4x5" optics, detailed images became available. And this is not a theoretical approach; most of our information stems from the details. After all, the photographic firms had a good reason to develop those optics! But the lenses with other properties, makes us to change our development procedures and film choices. It is not difficult to see that an edge effect has a completely differnt effect on details or on large forms. And a HD image is very different from a low definition image. Course grain differs from fine grain. And even grain size may vary, depending on the shape of the grain.
    The modification of development procedures is best done, using MTF, but that is not the favorite of many APUG members. I think a practical approuch is to look at other photographs, made under similar optical conditions you are using, or make a few comparisons yourself.

    Jed
    Last edited by Jed Freudenthal; 05-26-2012 at 03:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #35

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    It occurs to me that there are three components to the microcontrast game. One is how rapidly the image changes from black to white, or or vice versa, when there is a sharp step in the exposure. A second is the "ears" you see in PE's example - the additional density at the edge. The third is if there is any lightening on the white edge of the step compared to the average lighter density. Developer composition, dilution, and agitation can effect all of these differently and thereby produce different visual effects.

  6. #36
    NJH
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    I have a question for those who have used many different developers. Do those which deliver greater macro contrast always result in a grainier looking image? The reason I ask is that I found by playing in photoshop with the test shots shared on here a while back (http://www.fotoimport.no/filmtest/fktmax.html) I could make for example a D76 developed image look pretty much the same as one of their FX-39 shots with a touch sharpening, and a slight tonal adjustment. Is chasing developer magic somewhat of an illusion?

  7. #37
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    There is no "magic bullet" . That is the axiom when one works to design new developers.

    What you do in PS stays in PS.

    PE

  8. #38
    NJH
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    I thought unsharp mask came from the darkroom? The thing I have noted in particular is that using an unsharp mask to boost micro contrast in a scan always seems to make the image look grainier as well, pretty much the same as the developers which are supposed to generate this effect seem to do in their test scans.

    Its a side point to this topic but fiddling with their scans and my own scans over the past year the one thing that can't really be fiddled with satisfactorily IMHO is what happens at each end of the tonal scale, blown highlights are blown and deep shadows look awful if trying to pull some detail in them. As an example I find their Tri-X with Tmax result more pleasing than their Tri-X with D76 result because the deep shadows clearly have more detail whilst tonally still looking like nice and dark.

    I guess my purely analog question would be isn't it not better to use a general purpose developer and use an analog unsharp mask when more visual impact is required in the end result rather than using developers which attempt to do something similar all the time?

  9. #39
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJH View Post
    I guess my purely analog question would be isn't it not better to use a general purpose developer and use an analog unsharp mask when more visual impact is required in the end result rather than using developers which attempt to do something similar all the time?
    It's a question of balance and choice, there are developers which will give slightly better results than D76, Xtol for instance gives better sharpness, finer grain and with Tmax films a slight speed increase (compared to D76).

    The European approach was to use developers like Rodinal which works particularly well with T-grain & similar modern films giving excellent fine grain, a good tonal range, sharpness and the micro contrast is good as well. All the major companies made an equivalent, Ilford's Certinal was introduced in 1908, Kodak Ltd sold their version "Kodinol" in Europe it was never marketed by Eastman Kodak

    Another European approach was to use Pyrocatechin based developers. Johnsons of Hendon, the oldest of all photographic companies (they sold Silver Nitrate and other chemicals to Fox Talbot) sold a range of developers based on Meritol, a developing agent which combined Pyrocatechin with Paraphenylene diamine. The advantage was that the Pyrocatechin has a tanning action during development which helps with increased sharpness through localised micro0contrast, it's not exaggerated like the older style Pyrogallol developers.

    Sandy King's Pyrocat HD is in my opinion the best modern equivalent to the old Johnsons developers.

    There is no magic bullet, but good craft in terms of choice of film and developer, attention to detail in terms of optimising your exposure, development times, agitation, along with tight temperature control. are the best substitute.

    Ian

  10. #40
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    The Kodak developer chart of grain, sharpness and speed has been posted here several times. It will give you an idea of what can be done. As far as my comment goes though, I was referring to the fact that discussing PS altered negatives and etc are close to the APUG borderline between digital and analog.

    PE

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