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  1. #1
    pmu
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    What developer for all-around purposes?

    I have couple of beginner questions:

    1. Since I got a load of different types of b&w films from a guy who turned into the d-world, I would have to get 1 or 2 different kind of developers. I have various Ilford films (ISO100, ISO125 (pan?) and delta3200) and Kodak tri-x400, kodak tmax100 and 400, tmax3200. So is there a developer which is fine for all of them or should I buy one for high ISO/pushed films and different type for lower ISOs. Or maybe different dev for different brand?

    I developed one roll of Ilford pan100 with tmax rs dev and the results were just horrible. Huge grain and total mess in every way...(maybe got also something to do with dev times - I checked the time from digital truths dev chart).

    2. In what kind of situation do you use lower or higher dev temperatures? What does it do for the image if I let's say dropped my usual 24 C degrees to 20 C degrees?

    3. I tend to like kinda contrasty results - how should I develop to get sort of contrasty look when the images were possibly shot in dull/contrast free lightning?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmu
    I have couple of beginner questions:

    1. Since I got a load of different types of b&w films from a guy who turned into the d-world, I would have to get 1 or 2 different kind of developers. I have various Ilford films (ISO100, ISO125 (pan?) and delta3200) and Kodak tri-x400, kodak tmax100 and 400, tmax3200. So is there a developer which is fine for all of them or should I buy one for high ISO/pushed films and different type for lower ISOs. Or maybe different dev for different brand?

    I developed one roll of Ilford pan100 with tmax rs dev and the results were just horrible. Huge grain and total mess in every way...(maybe got also something to do with dev times - I checked the time from digital truths dev chart).

    2. In what kind of situation do you use lower or higher dev temperatures? What does it do for the image if I let's say dropped my usual 24 C degrees to 20 C degrees?

    3. I tend to like kinda contrasty results - how should I develop to get sort of contrasty look when the images were possibly shot in dull/contrast free lightning?
    D-76 and Xtol if you don`t mind dissolving powder chemicals, T-MAX or Ilford DD-X also spring to mind although there are many others, as for contrast, experiment.

  3. #3
    Ole
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    1: Every film made in the last 50 years works fine in Ilford ID-11 (or Kodak D-76, they're about the same).

    2: 20°C is the "standard" temperature - some very weird film/developer combinations can be a bit unpredictable at your elevated temperatures.

    3: Develop a bit longer - 20 to 30% longer increases the contrast one notch - or increase temperature from 20°C to 24°C and use the same time (yes, I know what I just said! But it works).
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #4
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    Ole and Keith have already given the best advice. I can only add that HC-110 is also a very convenient and economical liquid developer that will produce good results for all of the films you mention.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    Ole and Keith have already given the best advice. I can only add that HC-110 is also a very convenient and economical liquid developer that will produce good results for all of the films you mention.
    Hc110 is a clean working developer, if I have any angst against it, it`s the developing times which I find are too short for comfort with some films, otherwise, fine.

  6. #6

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    Not necessarily in this order: D-76, X-Tol, Microdol-X, HC-110, Edwal's FG-7.

    I've never tried Clayton devs, but lots of folks like them. Paterson also makes fine devs.

    If you would like to mix your own, get copies of Anchell's "Darkroom Cookbook" and Anchell & Troop's "Film Developing Cookbook". I like to use D2D quite a bit. It's a divided developer; you process in Bath A for 4 mins., and Bath B for 8, no matter what film you use. You can even mix different film in the same tank.

    All devs do something different. Sometimes the differences are quite noticeable, sometimes not so much. It takes a while to get to know what a particular combo can do. Don't give up after 1 or 2 rolls.

    Most of all, have fun doing it!

  7. #7

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    There was a good article in Photo techniques this month on the 20deg C myth. It talks about how that temp came about and how it means apparently nothing. I personally develop at 74 to 75 deg F, it's the temperature of my tile floor, and never had a problem.

    As concerns the developer question, I remember a quote out of the Film Developing Cookbook where it states that no manufacture would risk marketing a film that does not perform well in D76. It goes on the say that many films are optimized for D76. Well, regardless of that, I have tried it and use it now having gone thru a few others, most notably Xtol which I also really like. So those are my top two picks. Beyond those would have to be Rodinal and the FX series for the abilities that they have to give a unique and different result. In the end I would have to say that your cupboard will probably wind up including more then 1 developer, so depending on your film and results you want, read the threads and pick a couple that people have reported results which might interest you.

  8. #8
    Ole
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    20°C is used as a standard because that is the standard temperature in all chemical laboratory work - half of STP (Standard Temperature and Pressure). Some developing agents show a non-linear response to temperature, which is why every developer has different time/temperature charts. There are also special developers for very cold or very hot climates; "tropical" and "arctic" developers have been used for well over a century.

    "The 20°C myth" is not a myth; it's an established scientific standard. Most developers work equally well at other temperatures, but some do not.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #9
    pmu
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    Yeah, thanks for your advices! I think I will try xtol, Ilford ID-11 and/or D76...maybe I'll post some results later...



 

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