BW film & developer advice needed
I know I've had a post few days back, but now I have some more detailled questions about some films and their developement:
I have already exposed following films: Delta 3200, Ilford FP4+, Ilford Pan F - all of them at the "nominal" speed (3200, 125 and 50 respectively).
Now - I would like to dvelope them myself in a JOBO 1520 drum (inversion agitation) and according to info I found around here I plan to use following:
My temperature will be cca 21 degrees Celzius
1) Delta 3200 - in Microphen, but is adviced to use the time (according to Delta spec sheet) as if shot as 6400.
2) Ilford fp4+ - D76 - here I do not know wheter the developement time stated in Ilford spec sheet will do the job.
3) Ilford Pan F - Rodinal probably at 1:50 - What time and agitation would you propose? Or even different solution?
4) I plan to shoot also Efke 25/50 films and compare the results to Pan F as I would like to have a slow fine grain fim option as well.
5) If you could think of different developers that would lead to smaller number of developers needed - that would make my life easier.
- I do plan to shoot some fp4+ and Pan F more for testing before I go for the ones I find important for me.
I plan to add one (or two) more films of speed about 400 and I am considering following ones: hp5+, TRI-X400 (TX), TRI-X320 (TXP), NEOPAN400 and maybe TMAX400 or Delta400, but the last ones does not really fit the group I guess. I do not really consider FOMAPAN400 if there are no strong reasons as there is no price difference to hp5+. If I missed some nice film - let me know.
Usage of the fast film would be mostly street photography so I am looking in the direction of cassical films that can handle higher contrast scenes.
I am not affraid of grain.
My point is I would like to find a film/developer combination that would give good (whatever that means) results around the speed of 400. If the developer would be one of the previously mentiond ones (presumably D76) - that would make my life easier. 4 developers seem to much for the begining.
If there is somebody going to say - soup it all in a Pyrocat HD, I might be tempted, but comments on mentioned films and the results would help.
Oh yes - not to forget. For now - the films will be scanned on Nikon 9000, but later I do want to get an enlarger and print on Ilford FB papers.
Try Sandy King's Pyrocat-HD, have a look here : http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PCat/pcat.html
"...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
(freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)
PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...
For learning, you could do far worse than standardizing on D-76.
- Steve -
thanks for the link - I was not aware of it. Very valuable information.
- Philippe -
it is somehow tempting. Iam just not sure what I should not start with some "classical" stuff.
- bdial -
I am just not sure whether it would not be too much compromising - developing all the mentioned films in D76. I would be concerned about the contrast with Pan F and probably about the result with the Delta 3200 as well..
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I didn't mean to imply I was recommending D-76 for all things. More specifically, it's not the best choice for pushing. As for whether or not you'd be satisfied with it's performance on the Pan F, the best way to find out would be to try it. IMO, four developers is a bit much if you are trying to learn the basics at the same time. You could reasonably narrow that to two, one for pushing and very high speed films, another for everything else. Whether that other is D-76, Rodinal, or something else is really a matter of taste, and what you can obtain easily.
Many people here learned their developing craft on D-76, and I'll wager that most don't regret the experience, even if they've made other choices for their "standard" developer since.
You are entirely correct here - it's too much - all these films and developers will do nothing but confuse you. Pick one 400 speed film that you can obtain reliably - pick one common developer. D-76 is fine. Use them for a year or so, then you will know if you like the combination, or if you want to change something. When you know that, you will know what to look for.
Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi
I'm not very experienced, but I've been rather happy using XTOL as my really only developer. I played around with Diafine a bit at first and liked it, but I've since moved on. I've done Tri-X, Plus-X, PanF+, and T-Max P3200 in it (a wide range of film speeds) and have been very happy. I've tried pushing Tri-X and the P3200 to different speeds and have been happy with that as well.
One of the nice things about XTOL is that it mixes up at room temp. It's also a good dev for pushing supposedly (maybe not as good as others).
I should add, though I've played around with these other films, 90% of my shooting is with Tri-X.
Not sure of your current status re. skill or experience. I read it as beginning. If am wrong, please excuse me.
I strongly recommend to start that you only learn one film and developer combination very well before even considering any other variable. You will engage all your effort initially on eventually perfecting just one combo. After that, you will be much better equipped to rty other combinations.
Experimenting with too many variables at once is almost certainly fatal. Learn to control 'standard' procedures before experimenting with variables.
Consider the Ethol product "UFG". It is a compensating developer that will bring slightly under and over exposures to a more consistant density. I used it for years developing student film that, for the most part were off by 1-2 stops in exposure, with good results. It is mixed from a powder, can be replinished easily and is stable if stored properly. You just can't start in the middle by trying different combinations of film and developers. Select a film and developer and make a lot of exposures including intentional under and over exposures to see what effect that has on the end result. If you enjoy night / low light photography try an exposure that is "right on", then one under and one over that setting. Using 35mm you will have 10 - 12 sets of exposures, you may find you consistently prefer one over the other utilizing a single developer. When you reach the point that you can view a scene and know how it will look with the end print, you will be ready to continue or changing. I would recommend staying with one film and changing developers to understand the differences. The process just takes time and lots of negatives....the fun part. Dan