It's OK to work with many films and
developers. Just don't under expose
or over develop. Other wise you're
just experimenting and may not
have printable results for
years to come. Dan
From a practical point of view, one film is not reasonable. There are times you just need more speed than others.
One developer is much easier.
I don't think the advice really is to just use one film and one developer, period. That would be stupid advice.
I think the advice is usually given to people who are "flailing", trying this thing and that, mixed and matched, all together, changing films and developers left and right, and generally never being consistent.
That is a necessary part of photography, and perhaps one of the most fun parts. However, it is hard to actually learn quickly and well from any of it unless you come from a place of solid consistency and repeatability.
...hence the advice.
It is not some general order that one developer and one film is The Way to go. It is just a suggestion to help establish decent control and give a baseline for comparison in future experimentation.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I do. I'm using 5x4 TMY-2 and XTOL 1:3. This is my sole B&W film, and I've been using it for at least 18 months, probably more like two years.
Originally Posted by BradS
Before that I used 5x4 Tri-X and XTOL 1:3 for like five years.
Before that is sufficiently ancient history that it's hardly worth discussing.
The only reason I switched from Tri-X to TMY-2 is that I got hammered by a number of people whose opinions I respect to at least try TMY-2. And when I finally did I switched immediately and never looked back.
I've been at this fiddling along for over 25 years now. I have gone thought the phase of one film one dev, then one film different dev and dilutions experiments, then multi films in a known developer, then varied developers. Now I am moving back to at least one type of developer with a given sort of film. For me now 35mm TMAX sees FX-37 1:3; Plus X gets shot at EI80, then developed in microdol X or d76, or if the light conditions suggest it, in PMK 1:2:100. All of my 120 or 4x5 usally sees harveys 777 or hc-110h.
For my 35mm woirk I am currently trying to work my way though all of the oddball films that have been bought or given to me, and get back to just hp5 and fp4+ There is pleasures in a single film and developer. Over time exotic developer experiments have taken away some of the old days simple pleasures.
my real name, imagine that.
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Kodak Tmax 400 & Xtol (replenished).
For once I actually live as I preach.
I confess I have a few rolls of 35mm Tmax 100 as well, because it was cheap, but I don't do any real serious work with it, it's more for snapshots. There is also the odd roll of 120, a couple of Plus-X, some weird IR film, a roll or two of Tmax 100. I use those for pinhole photography or stuff it in the Holga until I don't have any more (maybe eight rolls). Then it's all Tmax 400.
"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
I'm living what I preach also relative to film. Although I use two types of film and two types of developer, it's pretty much it for me anymore. No need to deviate. Neopan-400 in pyrocat, and ACROS in Diafine.... Matches made in heaven. While I have been 'distracted' sometimes, I keep going back to the above two.
I use tri-x (400) in 120mm and HP5 (200) in 4x5. If Kodak made Tri-x (400) in 4x5 it would be my choice.
At one time I was 100% HC110 for both. Now using 510 Pyro 100% for both, but still have several bottles of HC110 on the shelf.
Only shoot color in 35mm.
I have been using HP5 dev'd in ID11 (1+1) for my 5x4 ever since I bought it 3 years ago
Before that it was FP4 in ID11 (1+1) for about 20 years.
HP5 is a great film but I do miss the tonality of FP4
In my first few years of photography I quickly latched on to FP4 in ID11 but was constantly lured by cheap film deals & available developers.
However, after frequently disappointing results I cut out the "churn" and decided to concentrate on one film & one developer.
Can anyone realistically look at a finished print from someone else’s and say with any accuracy what film/dev combo has been used ?
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
The problem that I see is that to the beginner, especially now the beginner who hasn't shot film ever before, that there are so many conflicting opinions to read through and variables in posted photos that it's very confusing.
If a new film photographer were to research Neopan 1600 on Flickr they might think it a grainy mess, but printed the might like it quite a lot. When I first started with film I thought high speed films were useless blobs of grain because all I had seen were bad negative scans. The first time I printed an 8x10 from Neopan 1600 it was a revelation.
I guess what I'm trying to get across is that I'm a firm believer in experimentation. Not in a wishy washy try everything under the sun randomly way, but methodically.