I choose combinations of materials based entirely on the results they give.
Having said that, the results from film developers depend so much on how you use them that in general I think many of us place too much importance on that particular choice. I have at times been as guilty as anyone of this sort of obsession. There are of course meaningful differences, but sometimes even those differences can become blurred as relative working characteristics are altered by film exposure, dilution and development procedures.
So in a way, convenience can play a role. With practice and adjustments, if someone gets their HC-110 negatives to look and print the same as the way they looked and printed with PMK, I'd say go with HC-110 and avoid the hassles of staining developers. If one can get the same image sharpness, graininess and tonality with D76 1+3 as they can with FX-2, go with D76 instead of having to scratch-mix FX-2. Etc etc.
In the end printing skill is where it's at. Pyro developers are great, but they do not change what is possible in the print as some would have you believe, they just alter the procedures used to get there (or not as the case may be).
Last edited by Michael R 1974; 08-03-2012 at 12:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Heresy everyone knows that pyro developers give you negatives that don't require any printing skills to get perfect results.
Know your material and know how your material responds to certain lighting conditions. Fiddling around with 1001 developers is one thing but to get the best results you have to have consistency. Choose one or two developers and a film not different films one film. Get to know that film and developer combo, try it out under different conditions and analyse the results. That's the way to success imho
er, yes, but -
Originally Posted by Andre Noble
The Wimberley Wd2d+ is available in liquid form, as is PMK and Pyrocat. You can see them for sale at Photographers' Formulary.
I want consistency and to know that all my negs will be printable. Thats why I always use D76 1:1 and I can't remember when I last had a film that didn't turn out ok.
“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”
I'm just curious. What do you base this assessment on?
Originally Posted by Andre Noble
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
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What constitutes an inconvenient developer?
Most inconvenient: Buying measuring equipment, various discrete chemicals, then mixing it up yourself.
Less than convenient: Developers that come in powder form, premeasured.
Convenient: Liquid developers, including PMK premix.
Since the majority of the process isn't mixing the chemicals, then the most important thing is the effect of the developer on the film. As for precise controllability, heck, I use a Holga a bunch! I'm happy when something actually shows up on the film. Arthur Fellig (Weegee the Famous) commented that you shouldn't be a "chem head." Pick something and just stick with it.
I base developer choice on the material decisions I made earlier on.
Anything shot at box speed, or over exposed, from EI 400 and less, gets Rodinal, or D-76, depending on subject matter, and how I feel that day.
Anything pushed gets Acufine or D-76, depending on the subject matter, and how I feel that day.
Essentially, I stock 2 developers to account for extremes in my subject matter, and one that takes care of the in between.
I use D76, (or ID-11, they're identical), all the time. I adjust development time to match any exposure other than the rated film speed, and that's it. Consistency and predictability.
Mixing up the developer is just part of the process, and doesn't bother me a bit.
[QUOTE=Gerald C Koch;1375614l. But I have to admit that there are a few that appear too lazy to invert a developing tank. [/QUOTE]
They will be the stand development afficionados, no doubt
I too use D-76 1:1 and only had one occasion where the developer was bad. In my life.
Originally Posted by cliveh
My regret is that I can't give a fair opinion about anything else... because I don't use anything else.