Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 71,955   Posts: 1,586,020   Online: 687
      
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33
  1. #1
    Andre Noble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Beverly Hills, CA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    220

    Honest Talk About the Various B&W Developer Choices

    Hello,

    I love this site because of the passion people have for traditional film processes. I imagine there are many people who have shot 10's to 100's times more film than myself.

    Nevertheless, I get the feeling based on reading many threads here and on photo.net over the years, and based on modest experience with various developers myself - that convienence is the number one factor that people use when selecting their developer for B&W film.

    I feel the pyro developers (Wimberly, Pyrocat, PMK, etc) are superior in what they do (with traditional silver emulsions, not with T Grain films) in normal to high contrast situations.

    But the liquid/syrup developers are very convienent (HC 100, Rodinal, Diafine) and that's why we use them instaed.

    agree or disagree?
    Andre Noble, Beverly Hills California http://andrenoble.com/

  2. #2
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,196
    Images
    6
    Not for me. It's how the developer makes my negs look is why I use a specific developer.

  3. #3
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,141
    Images
    298
    Not for me personally... I have used D76, Pryocat HD and Rodinal over the past 15 years. I settled on Rodinal because of the "look" and because of the success I had in using it to control contrast. I'm glad it's convenient but that's a bonus for me not a reason to use it.

  4. #4
    zsas's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter
    35mm RF
    Posts
    1,962
    Images
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    Not for me. It's how the developer makes my negs look is why I use a specific developer.
    +1
    Andy

  5. #5
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    İstanbul - Türkiye
    Shooter
    35mm RF
    Posts
    3,966
    Images
    108
    +1

  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    14,560
    Images
    300
    Years ago I discovered that it matters much more HOW we use our materials than WHAT we use.
    Sure, there are differences between developers, but in my experience technique is infinitely more important.

    Here's something to think about: John Sexton, for example, uses standard materials in his process. His prints are known for their exceptional and meticulous quality. Looking through his galleries you will find all sorts of lighting conditions, and the only thing that's varied is his technique. That's worth considering.

    My best mentor uses three different developers, all based on lighting conditions, and creating negatives that fit the scale of the paper, every time and with little to no darkroom gymnastics.

    I'm no superstar, but have found my way with a run of the mill developer, and seldom feel any inspiration to switch to something else.

    So, what is your motivation? I say your question will yield many answers, and all of them will be correct, based on those individuals' experiences and needs. And simultaneously it may be that none of them are correct for you.

    What it boils down to is what your needs are. Some people love pyro developers for VC paper printing, and I find that my darkroom waste come printing time is much higher. Some love pyro for graded paper printing, and I do too. This is a good example that it depends on what your output is, and how easily you can get the negs you want based on that. What prints best in the darkroom, for your tastes, and what scans best - similarly for your tastes.

    From what I've seen, in my own experience, printing on mainly Ilford and Foma papers, but also Varycon, Emaks, Kentmere, Kodak, and Agfa varieties, I usually end up getting what I want by adjusting technique as opposed to changing developer. Opinions are easy to come by, but you will not truly know what's right for you until you've spent a great deal of time with specific materials.
    "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

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    12,961
    Images
    60
    The differences in results due to differences in developers are real, but they are also quite small.

    Same goes with differences in technique.

    Convenience may be a fair word to use, but it may also mislead. The liquid developers I use (HC-110 and Polymax T) are more convenient, but that convenience is important because of the limited, non-dedicated space I have available for use.

    So it is necessary that I understand the materials I use, and the techniques available to me in the circumstances I work in, in order to obtain the results I want.

    If my circumstances were different, the pyro developers might be an easier way to obtain the results I want, but I doubt that the results possible would be fundamentally better than the ones I can obtain with what I use.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southern USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,151
    No, people on APUG are interested in making quality photographs not convenience. This is why we are interesting in traditional methods and not digital. But I have to admit that there are a few that appear too lazy to invert a developing tank.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. #9
    Rick A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    north central Pa
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6,252
    Images
    34
    My developer selection is made prior to shooting a particular film, solely for the look, never for convenience. I choose the film/dev combo to match the subject and how I want to portray it. The only thing convenient is the stock I keep on hand. My favorite trio of developers, D-76, Pyrocat-HD, and Rodinal, in that order.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  10. #10
    RPC
    RPC is offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    406
    It's mostly quality over convenience for me. If I wanted convenience over quality, I would shoot that other medium.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin