Beginner: Neopan 400 recommended development
Finally I have decided to enter the wonderful world of film development.
I shoot Neopan 400 in 135 format for street photography and I love contrasty scenes. The enlarger I'm using now is a condenser one and I print on fixed gradation FB paper.
I've read almost all posts on Neopan 400 finding a lot of useful information but they are a bit confusing for a beginner like me.
So I'm here to ask your advice: what would be a good (or the best) developer (and related time/temperature, agitation, rated EI, etc) to begin with?
Please consider that I'm living in Europe so it could be difficult buying chemicals outside EU.
I use Ilford ID-11 with good results.
ID-11 is a very common powder based developer, available in 1 and 5 litre packets.
To use it, you make a stock solution by dissolving the powder into the appropriate amount of water, and then you dilute this for use.
I've found it to be cheap and reliable.
I normally use it at 1+1 (half stock solution, half water) concentration, but I can't remember the time offhand - but it's whatever is printed in the instructions.
There should be no problems buying it, as Ilford are a UK company
EDIT: I rate the film at 400, and develop at 20C
Last edited by ben-s; 04-02-2008 at 08:59 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Lens caps and cable releases can become invisible at will. :D
I can also recommend neopan 400 in ID-11, it's what I started with and works very well for me. I am now moving on to try different things.. but this combo is definitely easy to work with for a beginner, if I can do it I'm sure anyone can.
Originally Posted by ben-s
If you find it easier to source Kodak's D-76, you can use that the same as Ilford's ID-11. Both are excellent choices for you, and both behave identically in use.
I too use Neopan 400 (love it), both in 35mm and 120. I normally develop it in Kodak XTOL, in some dilution. I love it 1+3, 14 minutes, 20 degrees Celsius, agitate for first minute, then four times per minute after that.
When I've been out of XTOL, I've also used D76 (same as ID11 I believe) 1+1, for 9:30, 20 degrees Celsius, and agitated for the first minute, then four times each minute after that.
Nice tones and I find the contrast is what I like. It may not be gritty enough for you though if you're looking for a more hard edged "street" look.
Good luck and have fun!
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I like Neopan with Rodinal a lot, @ 400, 1:50, 11 min. I use roll film, so grain is not really that much of an issue, and I just love the look.
Try it with Xtol 1:1 @ 20 C- 9.75 minutes. Here are a couple of test exposures of mine- high and low contrast scenes (lousy scans!)
I was going to say Xtol 1+1 also. Whatever developer you choose, if you stick with the same film for a while you'll figure out the time/agitation that matches your paper and light source for what you want.
I am finally getting Neopan 400 to do the things I want it to do. For my use it seems to work best at Ei200. I am getting some of the best negatives (in ease of printing), developing in Rodinal 1:50 for 12 minutes@ 20c with minimal agitation. (15 seconds initial, then 2 further inversions at 4 mins and 2 more at 8 mins). Examples below.
Good luck with Neopan. It is a wonderful film and can make some lovely tones in Rodinal.
Have you ever shot other popular films such as TriX and HP5 and developed them with any particular developers? If you have, you can start from there. Neopan 400 is close to them in terms of quality and characteristics, and try to adjust and make your own chart with whatever is available and accessible to you.
Originally Posted by anbe
I usually shoot Neopan at 400 ASA but overexpose it anywhere from 1/3 to 1 stop, develop it with Fuji Super Prodol diluted to 1:1 for 7 1/2 min at 20 Celsius.
Last edited by firecracker; 04-04-2008 at 03:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.