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  1. #11

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    Hi Michael,

    It was a wondrous store that had an entire wall devoted to chemicals such pyrogallol, ferric ammonium citrate, silver nitrate, ...

    As far as film developers I have used the Beutler developer extensively with Pan-X. A truly wonderful combination. D-23 was also a favorite. I have made my own Rodinal starting with paraminophenol HCl. At the present time I use a concentrated developer based roughly on Paul L. Anderson's Kalogen. He designed this developer to replace Agfa's Rodinal which was not available during WWI. This developer was sold commercially for a few years. It uses Metol, hydroquinone and sodium hydroxide. Here is the page from his notebook http://notesonphotographs.org/index.php?title=Kalogen. I use it 1+49 just like Rodinal. When diluted 1+11 it works like Dektol for papers. Sort of the schmoo of developers.

    I subscribed to the Dignan news letter and tried many of the developers that appeared in it. Things like some of the Crowley developers, POTA and Microphen.

    At present I used either the Kalogen variant or HC-110 for film, sometimes D-23 for Pan-F.

    Jerry
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 02-22-2013 at 11:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    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

  2. #12
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    Kodak Tri-Chem Pack to develop my 616 Verichrome Pan - using the "see-saw" method.

    The contact prints were done on Velox. I can't remember if I had Dektol for the prints.

    Why do I have the strange desire to yell "get off of my lawn" to some young person? I don't even have my own lawn!

    EDIT: Training came from my Dad, and the Kodak "How To" publications
    Last edited by MattKing; 02-22-2013 at 01:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    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

  3. #13
    Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Chemicals: I really don't know the first developer I started using. I started developing at home when I needed better quality than the lab could give me. I know that I used D-76, HC-110, Xtol, Tmax developer, and a bunch of others. Then I decided to stick with Xtol and be done with it.
    Training: Self-taught. I bought a book, chemicals, bottles, and Patterson stuff, and dove in. The first book I bought was by Bernhard Seuss, and the AA series was next. I've never taken a class.
    Materials: Film emulsions have come and gone. I liked Ilford Universal 400 on half-frame, and Techpan on medium and large format.
    Full Circle: Still using Xtol. Still photographing with the same cameras and lenses. Never left them, never needed to change. As long as it can be repaired, I'll still use it. As for consumables, the major films are still being made, no big deal. Ilford makes great paper. I really don't bemoan (not too badly, anyways) the absence of any material ... OK, so I miss Kodak E6 and HIE/HIR. Besides that, I'm fine with what's available now.

  4. #14

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    Hmmmm. {Thinks harder} that was the Mid-'70s in the UK. (_19_70s, that is!).

    Aculux for Tr-X and FP4 35mm, AcuPrint for Kodak Double weight Lustre. Moved to Ilfospeed paper and Multigrade when it came out.
    Initial advice from the store (we had a good one locally then, now long gone), then self-taught from books, magazines (had good ones then too), and making mistakes (I still make those, unfortunately).

    Now I'm using Thornton's Two-bath for Delta 100, Delta 400 and the odd but odd Plus-X. Mostly 5x4 or roll film. Very little 35mm. Printing using Multigrade Warmtone on iIford Warmtone fibre mostly.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  5. #15
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    I just started developing my own about three years ago, and I started with Legacy Pro (Fuji Neopan) just because it was cheap, and HC-110. Although I know the importance of sticking with one film and one developer, I knew that I couldn't do that until I made the rounds of exploring the possibilities. I'm just about finished with that now, having shot just about every format and most of the easily available films out there from the big three manufacturers, plus a few more. With developers, I've also checked out D76, Rodinal, Ilfosol 3, DD-X, and one-shot and replenished XTOL. My next frontier will be pyro at some point, but I've already been consolidating down my developers and settling on just Rodinal, HC-110, and D76 mostly.

    I haven't done as much printing so far, so mostly I've stuck with what I've started with: whatever paper I've been able to get cheaply, developed in Ilford Multigrade. I have some unopened LPD and Dektol to check out soon. I've been completely self-taught in all of this, not discounting wonderful online resources.

  6. #16
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
    1. I'd like to know what chemicals, film and paper people started out with - the first stuff you used. Chemicals include film and print developers, fixer etc.
    Agfa APX 100 / 25 and Agfa Rodinal in 35mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
    2. In reference to the above, how did you come to start out with them? eg: Were you taught by somebody? Did you read about them in a book? Were they the materials your favourite photographer used? Were they simply the materials available to you? Etc.
    They were the most practical and economical materials available to me at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
    3. If you are not still using the materials you began with, why? Did you read more and want to try stuff? Were you disatisfied with what you were using? Did certain materials become unavailable? Did you get caught in the search for magic formulas, films etc? Did your style change?
    Agfa went out of business, as you know. I went on a frenzy and tried tons and tons of different films and developers, thinking it would take me to some place of higher knowledge. It ended up in a huge mess with terribly inconsistent results. A couple of years of difficult to print negatives. Then I ran across Tri-X and Pyrocat. Fine fine combination that I used together with FP4+ for a few years, until I started having developing problems. Enter Edwal 12 and Xtol, which is where I'm at today, still with Tri-X, but sometimes TMax 400 and FP4+ if I shoot landscape or something needing more resolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
    4. Have you come full circle with anything? For example in the case of film developers, did you start out with D-76, then explore everything from D-1 to FX-whatever, and ultimately end up back with D-76? Same question applies to films, paper, paper developers.
    Today I feel as though I have a balance. I have learned to use my tools well enough that there are very few surprises for me come printing time. My process is reverse engineered based on the paper, and my waste pile in the darkroom is much smaller, making the printing more enjoyable, less wasteful, and less frustrating. The paper I circle everything around is the MGIV fiber, not the warmtone, although I do use it sometimes. With Ethol LPD replenished as developer, which is soft working, I need pretty bold negs to print well, so that's what I do. It's a lot of fun.
    "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. #17
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    This is a follow-up to John's survey about which/how many developers people use.

    1. I'd like to know what chemicals, film and paper people started out with - the first stuff you used. Chemicals include film and print developers, fixer etc.
    I started primarily with Freestyle branded products. Arista EDU and Premium films. Arista Premium film and paper developers and other chemicals. Arista Printing Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    2. In reference to the above, how did you come to start out with them? eg: Were you taught by somebody? Did you read about them in a book? Were they the materials your favourite photographer used? Were they simply the materials available to you? Etc.
    I started with these simply because they were inexpensive and, since I was using ordering everything from Freestyle at the time, there was plenty of data about them for a beginner. If I had any questions it was an easy thing to send an e-mail, or pick up the phone, and get an almost instant answer. In my experience Freestyle's customer service is top notch and they have earned my business and my loyalty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    3. If you are not still using the materials you began with, why? Did you read more and want to try stuff? Were you disatisfied with what you were using? Did certain materials become unavailable? Did you get caught in the search for magic formulas, films etc? Did your style change?
    I still use a lot of Arista EDU and Arista Premium films (I recently ordered a large amount of both in 35mm and 120.) My primary developers are now Rodinal, HC110 and D76. The first two were primarily because of their long storage lives, and D76 because I like how it looks. I still use Arista Fixer and now some Kodak Photo Flow. The initial reason for changing developer was that my Arista Premium Developer was not storing well. After a year I started having trouble with it. I changed to Liquidol Paper Developer a while back and found it to be an awesome product and continue to use it almost exclusively for my prints.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    4. Have you come full circle with anything? For example in the case of film developers, did you start out with D-76, then explore everything from D-1 to FX-whatever, and ultimately end up back with D-76? Same question applies to films, paper, paper developers.
    For now I am pretty happy with what I am working with. I work with it because the price is good and so far it produces great results. But, I am still a student, so I once in a while I find something else I want to try. I am preparing to do some work with John's Caffenol recipe to see how it pans out, and I am now experimenting a bit with Ilford films. I still buy a bunch of Kodak and Freestyle and will for as long as I can.

  8. #18
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Agfa APX 100 / 25 and Agfa Rodinal in 35mm.


    They were the most practical and economical materials available to me at the time.


    Agfa went out of business, as you know. I went on a frenzy and tried tons and tons of different films and developers, thinking it would take me to some place of higher knowledge. It ended up in a huge mess with terribly inconsistent results. A couple of years of difficult to print negatives. Then I ran across Tri-X and Pyrocat. Fine fine combination that I used together with FP4+ for a few years, until I started having developing problems. Enter Edwal 12 and Xtol, which is where I'm at today, still with Tri-X, but sometimes TMax 400 and FP4+ if I shoot landscape or something needing more resolution.


    Today I feel as though I have a balance. I have learned to use my tools well enough that there are very few surprises for me come printing time. My process is reverse engineered based on the paper, and my waste pile in the darkroom is much smaller, making the printing more enjoyable, less wasteful, and less frustrating. The paper I circle everything around is the MGIV fiber, not the warmtone, although I do use it sometimes. With Ethol LPD replenished as developer, which is soft working, I need pretty bold negs to print well, so that's what I do. It's a lot of fun.
    now that Rodinal is available again(Adonal), do you also use that?

  9. #19
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    now that Rodinal is available again(Adonal), do you also use that?
    No. I found something else that works, so I don't need to. But, never say never. It is very nice from a tonality and texture standpoint. Both Edwal 12 and Xtol give fine grain and very smooth tonality. Sometimes I'd like a bit more texture, and that's when Rodinal really shines, I think. Contrary to what most others think, I disagree Rodinal gives coarse grain. I don't think it's that much sharper than other developers either. It just gives that little bit of texture that looks amazing in prints, and you can't beat the practicality aspect of a developer that just goes on forever and a day without going bad.
    "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

  10. #20
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    Wow this is bad. I was about 13 or 14 years old and all I can remember is that they were Kodak chemicals. A lot of Agfa film but I don't remember for sure if the B/W was Agfa too-- I sort of think it wasn't. By the time I was in college I didn't have a camera and was taking a "break" from photography for reasons too complicated and probably too controversial to mention, but I did spend some time helping friends in the college darkroom. I remember jugs of chemistry there, but I don't remember what they were. I do however have the strong memory that I was the only one who freaking actually read the directions, and that was a big reason I "knew what I was doing" while they were flailing around and having problems.

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