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  1. #81
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    I'll be honest: I left D-76 in search of a magic bullet.

    When I first started shooting film seriously (at age 15!), I used D76 and all the Kodak stuff available at the time. I was unsatisfied with my images, especially when I enlarged them. Lots of this was due to other issues. Poor focus, poorer exposure, mediocre equipment and lack of seeing. Therefore I searched the Gods of chemistry to avert my woes.

    About the same time I upgraded enlarger, camera, and became more proficient right when I started using PMK. So in combo, my images dramatically increased in quality. After that it was habit until I started getting most of my chemistry either raw or otherwise from Bostick & Sullivan who turned me onto Pyrocat-HD, which I can print in my enlarger, via UV on alt processes, or scan with ease. Stuck with it ever since.

    I do recommend D76 to beginners though...
    Along my quest, I never left D-76. At times I feel this held me back because, by definition, I cannot offer a comparison. And that's true, I can't tell you how my pictures would look developed in Pyrocat-HD. Maybe there would be very little difference. But very little difference is not the same as NO difference. We OFTEN talk of how there is very little difference between a good photograph and a great one.

    It's interesting how often we'll have similar threads following similar lines yet once in a while I'll see a post that makes me think of something obvious I never thought before.

    Klainmeister, There was nothing that kept me from following a silver bullet chase of my own. I once considered picking up HC-110 "because Ansel Adams used it". It's only by chance that I didn't. I stuck with one developer.

    So here is the novel thought: If anyone saw my existing work and liked it... and they wanted to do the same... That person would need look no further than D-76 1:1

    By the same token... If someone saw YOUR work and liked it, and wanted to do the same... That person might be well advised to experiment with Pyrocat-HD.

    In that sense, a survey like this of preferred developers might prove extremely useful.

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I was just stating fact that there is no value in comparing two developers unless the negatives are developed to the same contrast, which ultimately means that the two developers have been used differently. That might be of use to other forum members, perhaps. I don't know.
    Kind of like testing the handling of almost identical cars, but putting comfortable 195 profile tires on one car, and sporty 225 profile on another, and then comparing results, which doesn't work.
    This is where we disagree. Believe me - and this is fact - there are no experiments where every variable is kept under control, and in the field of Biology, a field where I work, there are even more things that can only be detected, rarely measured, but do influence the prediction accuracy. And with every experiments, even with the failed one - and there are many failed ones - there are sthings to be learned.

    Of course I didn't push film with one developer and pull it with the other, but still I didn't measure gamma I admit. The results do have meaning to me and suggest certain trends, but they are not definitive. But how can they be? There are many more things that should have been kept under control than solely the contrast.

    One more thing, the most important in fact, is the interpretation of the results; It's also the most difficult part. I often fail in this pursuit.

  3. #83

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    hi miha

    i alluded to a post here about using caffenol c and ansco 130 ...
    i don't measure my ingredients and i add maybe an 0z of straight ansco
    to take the edge off my caffenol ...

    to prove to me that it was my ansco 130 that does all the developing of my
    film and paper, someone mixed a batch of caffenol c and added about an 0z of rodinal into it ...

    and afterwards claimed his claim that it was not the caffenol ...

    rodinal is used at small dilutions, ansco 130 isn't ...
    rodinal will process film 1:100 in water, ansco 130 won't
    ( i even did my own test: http://www.apug.org/forums/blogs/jna...ansco-130.html)


    this is an extreme but true with all developers, they are all different.

    it is possible to do as thomas suggests, homogenize development, but whats the point ?

  4. #84
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    it is possible to do as thomas suggests, homogenize development, but whats the point ?
    There is no big point at all, other than scientifically satisfying curios minds, or to see for yourself what the true difference between two different developers are. That is, if you really want to know exactly how one developer is different from the other, you simply have to process them to the same contrast.
    If you want to compare anything, like running 100 meters, you have to give everybody the same opportunity to perform. If one guy has to run 95 meters, and somebody else 110, then they are not competing on equal terms. Same thing with film developers, if you don't give them equal opportunity to shine, then it isn't a comparison that is worth making.

    Of course there is a lot beyond a standard developing cycle. You know this as well as the next person, John, because you do not do things by any norm (which is a compliment).
    In the case of D76, or any developer, learning how to use it well will give results as good as with the next developer, and it most certainly will be good enough for anybody. The true magic is not in the developer, I know that much from experience. But I try to be objective and not just see things from my perspective, which is why I might point out shortcomings in certain ways of discussing things, to the extent that my knowledge reaches.
    "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. #85
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Along my quest, I never left D-76. At times I feel this held me back because, by definition, I cannot offer a comparison. And that's true, I can't tell you how my pictures would look developed in Pyrocat-HD. Maybe there would be very little difference. But very little difference is not the same as NO difference. We OFTEN talk of how there is very little difference between a good photograph and a great one.

    It's interesting how often we'll have similar threads following similar lines yet once in a while I'll see a post that makes me think of something obvious I never thought before.

    Klainmeister, There was nothing that kept me from following a silver bullet chase of my own. I once considered picking up HC-110 "because Ansel Adams used it". It's only by chance that I didn't. I stuck with one developer.

    So here is the novel thought: If anyone saw my existing work and liked it... and they wanted to do the same... That person would need look no further than D-76 1:1

    By the same token... If someone saw YOUR work and liked it, and wanted to do the same... That person might be well advised to experiment with Pyrocat-HD.

    In that sense, a survey like this of preferred developers might prove extremely useful.
    Oddly, I look at my pictures and see the film and not the developer. I can tell which is Acros, Neopan 400, Ilford FP4, HP5 readily and easily, but if you pressed me which was which developer (PMK, Xtol, Pyrocat) I probably couldn't ever tell you. I developed a bunch of rolls and sheets with Xtol to compare once, and although they weren't exactly the same (in terms of contrast), I can say that if it wasn't for consistency sake, I don't see why I couldn't use it. I just am in the Pyrocat boat nowadays for reasons listed above. The hardened negative is nice too.
    K.S. Klain

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post

    this is an extreme but true with all developers, they are all different.
    They are and that's the beauty of the hobby. One can try many different combinations under inherent conditions, trusts their eyes and decides what works best for them.

  7. #87

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    it isn't that i didn't understand what you were suggesting, but i still fail to see the point.

    oh well, it won't be the first time
    but then the problem is that average person may not be able to develop film like
    the person who tested it ... i know this seeing my "foolproof" ansco 130 1:6 72ºF 8.5 mins for sweet crisp negatives
    gives others negatives so contrasty they can't even use them for salt prints -- gotta love it !


    vive la difference !
    Last edited by jnanian; 10-02-2013 at 11:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #88
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I think we're getting stuck on the 'what you and I know works' and the idea of making a valid scientific comparison. They are two completely separate things, and should be treated differently.

    1. What you and I know works:
    I have used Xtol for many years, and I have a routine down that helps me make the prints I want to make. It's a system that I have refined over the years and won't change unless I have to. Same as you with your coffee brews and 130. Don't fix what is not broken.
    With that said, I have some freebies in my darkroom, some D76, some Mic-X, and some Sprint, which I also happily use, because I have figured out how to work them so that I get prints that I like from them too.

    2. Scientific comparison:
    If any photographer decides that they don't like the results they get with a certain developer, goes to find out about other developers and tried a second developer and has better results, this could mean one of two things: Either they don't know how to use the product properly, or they don't care to try properly. There is nothing wrong with the not caring piece, by the way. Some people feel their way, and as long as anybody finds something that works, that's totally all right.
    But the hiccup I see is that if you don't know how to adjust the film developing so that a certain product can be tweaked to work, then you are stuck with the thought that you change materials to find a solution, while in fact the problem could have been solved by just working with what is at hand differently. You can dilute a developer, alter the developing time, alter film exposure, and change agitation - and it can give wildly varying results, much more than a change of developer will, and THAT is key knowledge to have.

    Bottom line: It isn't so much the comparison between Developer A and Developer B, as it is the realization that most any result can be had by just changing our technique.



    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    it isn't that i didn't understand what you were suggesting, but i still fail to see the point.
    sure one can make the contrast or whatever of developer B just like developer A to see
    the nuances under those conditions seeing developer B wasn't originally going to do "that"
    why not just use developer A to begin with ?

    but for the average person with a camera i don't really understand what the point is, unless the point is
    that there is a sad photographer whose favorite go to developer WAS developer A,
    and to suggest developer B might fit the bill seeing developer A isn't made anymore and its formula is proprietary ...

    but then the problem is that average person may not be able to develop film like
    the person who tested it ... i know this seeing my "foolproof" ansco 130 1:6 72ºF 8.5 mins for sweet crisp negatives
    gives others negatives so contrasty they can't even use them for salt prints -- gotta love it !


    vive la difference !
    "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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