Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,533   Posts: 1,544,002   Online: 1039
      
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 43
  1. #1
    MatthewDunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    77

    Learning ONE film w/ ONE developer (my first): a suggestion

    Just getting into film and have been wavering on a film/developer combination, but have learned that it is important to stick with ONE film and ONE developer in order to learn what can be done with that combination using your gear. I am thinking about starting with Tri-X and D76. I understand that everyone has a different "look" that they like so I am not really asking about aesthetics, but rather "ease of use"/flexibility. In other words, for my first film, I wouldn't want to start with a film that is particularly finicky about exposure, a developer that is particularly difficult to nail down, etc. This seems like the easiest, most classic combination out there, but if there are other suggestions that would be better for a beginner with a beginner's skill set, I would love to hear them. Again, I am trying to separate the aesthetics of the film/developer combination in an effort to focus the discussion on ease of use.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    north central Pa
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    5,936
    Images
    33
    You picked a classic combo. To truely know how you are doing, you also need to print on one paper to get optimum results.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  3. #3
    GRHazelton's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Jonesboro, GA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    371
    That combo would be hard to beat. Both the developer and film are "forgiving." I'd suggest using D-76 at 1 to 1 dilution, single use to eliminate the replenishment step, and also to lengthen the development time so that precise timing is less critical. Also you'll find a wealth of user experience going back many years to draw upon. With medium format you hardly need worry about grain.

    I think the main thing is to standardize your procedure as much as possible. This helps eliminate variables, as does the choice of one film and one developer. Go for it!

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    14,289
    Images
    301
    I agree with Rick A. You can't really tell how you're doing with your film exposure and film developing until you print the negatives, and in order to actually have a reference to compare to, using the same paper and paper developer becomes equally important.

    You're doing the right thing.
    "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

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia area
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    311
    Images
    10
    As previously stated, TRI-X / D-76 is a classic couple. But I would go further and consider ONE film + ONE developer + ONE camera. This way you can fine tune the process by also taking into account how the camera exposes (more or less responsive meter + more or less adjusted shutter). I am more and more convinced by this approach and try to reduce any parameter which could influence the negative and the final print.

    Good luck!
    "The problem with photography is that it only deals with appearances." Duane Michals

    "A photograph is a secret of a secret. The more it tells you the less you know." Diane Arbus

  6. #6
    MatthewDunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by Dali View Post
    ... + ONE camera.
    I only own one film camera (a Mamiya RZ67) and, I'll do you one better, only one lens (a 110mm)...

    Totally agree and learned that lesson early on. For me, figuring out how a particular lens "sees" is important. Constantly changing lens arounds, messing with zooms, etc. may work for people with more brains than me, but I just found that it confused things for me. I want as few variables as possible during the learning stage so that I can most easily identify the source of errors, how to fix, etc.

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Washington DC
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    8,359
    Blog Entries
    51
    Images
    435
    I've never liked D76 as a choice. I agree with your principle, and I think it's a very sensible approach to take. I'd suggest another classic developer as a starting point - Rodinal. Lasts forever (don't believe me? look up Rodinal lifespan here on APUG for plenty of documentation), can be used with different dilutions to achieve different effects, has very high acutance so even when images are grainy, they're sharp. I didn't used to be a Tri-X fan, but I've played around with it a bit lately and now I like it a lot. That said, I started my black-and-white learning curve using Tmax films - used properly, they're capable of outstanding results. Just don't overdevelop them and you'll be FINE. Learning not to overdevelop them is a pretty simple process - keep all the steps in your development process consistent, and pay attention to the timer when the film is in the developer. For good starting points for time and temperature, stick to the Massive Dev Chart's times and temps for any given developer and film. This isn't brain surgery or quantum mechanics - heck, it's easier than assembling IKEA furniture!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,731
    I would just add that you are not in any way compromising by using Tri-X/D-76 either. I've seen too many people refer to D-76 as some kind of "beginner" developer to start out with, implying one will eventually need to move on to something more "professional". This is simply untrue. Both Tri-X and D-76, individually and together, can deliver the highest of quality.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    804
    TX/D-76 is indeed forgiving, but it's not just "training wheels". I've tried many films and developers over the last 30+ years, but Tri-X / D-76 1+1 is still my standard. At this point it accounts for more than 90% of my roll film use.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    496
    It sounds like you're on the right track and have some photographic experience to boot. Tri-x is what I started out with, but HC110 Dil. B was the developer then. Most of the people who ask me for a good starter film and developer comb don't get Tri-X and D-76 for an answer. I always suggest Fuji Acros to them as a good starter film since it works in just about any developer known to man, has almost no reciprocity problems, is sharp as a tack, pretty good in the mid-tone area and grain is "NO" problem. Of course I always recommend a tripod too, but that's just me. I have had excellent results with Xtol 1:3, Rodinal, Pyrocat-HD, FX37, Beutler high acutance 1+1+8. The best "look" I have gotten has been with Perceptol 1:3, but Perceptol 1:3 does very well with many films and I personally like the longer developing times. If it were me getting my feet wet I'd pick Acros 100 and Xtol straight - 1:1 - 1:2 or 1:3. With your negative size you won't have to worry much about grain so Tri-X would be fine too. I've never been to excited with D-76, but that's just me and I'd go the Xtol route myself. Maybe you should write down all the available films and developers in your local, tape it to the wall and throw a dart until you hit a film and do it again until you hit a developer. Might be surprised with the results? JohnW

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



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