"Actually, I have been using the same chemistry for nearly three years, and feel it's time to fine-tune things a bit."
You have been given lots of good advice. May I ask what chemistry you have been using for the last 3 years, and just what needs fine tuning? Your choice of papers is good. Is there a specific problem, or have you seen some results you envy?
Rather than dropping two notches down to discuss politics or religion, I will only go down one notch and discuss opinion. I personally keep 5 different papers in the drawer, but only use one developer. After 20 years of searching for that magic bullet, I have settled on Dektol for 2 minutes at 68 degrees. If I want a different look, I try another paper, and I usually get it. I won't go back to Amidol or boutique developers, as Dektol always does it for me. I, and apparently the people who buy my work, love the combination of Kodak Polymax Fine Art in Dektol. I think you will like it too.
PS: Tone it for 3 minutes in Selenium 1:9 and wash it for an hour.
If you have read Tim’s other books you will see that he nominates his wastepaper basket as his best teacher, I think he called it his “learning bin”. So, contrary to the earlier advice I would advocate plenty of experimentation, but keep copious notes of your trials, and tribulations; and tell the rest of us when you find your holly grail!
In black and white work:
For film, I've been using Rodinal 1:50. Somewhere, I've read that it can be enhanced by the addition of 1 gram of borax / liter. I've been trying ... for about a year ... to remember to get some borax to try it out.
Paper, at present, is in Agfa Neutol 1:10 for two minutes @ 20 C. I will at times use Satter's Zonal Pro Factor One - and *most* of my work is on Ilford's MutiGrade V - Portfolio (double weight). I *love* that stuff.
I treat all my exhibition work with Agfa's Sistan. *No* color change - and I can't see any degradation in the images I've had hanging on the walls of my studio for the last ten years - or so - that I've been using it.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
I have not had any problems with Seagull being delicate. I use only graded papers usually with LPD 1 :4, altho I have a lot of other options available. Occasionlly i will use Ansco 130.
With warm tone papers, which were used for a specific project i used Zonal Pro warm developer.
Because of my situation, i have on hand a large variety of papers and developers both film and paper types.. however, for my personel work I used basically the same materials. With that said, i do have several on going projects that are using different papers.
To assist students in understanding nunances I have a large variety of sample prints on almost every paper available; not all, but almost all. Only two developers were used to create this base. LPD and Warmtone Zonal pro.
On the other hand I do a class in the fall quarter were students use about 15 developer and/or ratios with at least 5 different papers . the number of papers they use is up to them with the minimum being about 5 and the maxium about 9. As one can image it is a very intense process but they now have a variety of choices when and if they want a specific look, etc.
My own goal this year is to run as many other papers as i can along with them to fill in the gaps for my print base.
Even after this session, most settle down to one paper, with one or two maybe making the same image of two or three papers, usually as they want to run them through specific toners.
View Camera magazine is doing a two part article on papers and paper developers. Part 1 appears in the March/April issue and Part 2 will be in the May/June issue.
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Based on the above, I thought I'd post a link to one of my favorite articles. See: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ic-bullet.html
Originally Posted by Deckled Edge
DE, I use Kodak: Polymax T Developer, Indicator Stop Bath, Rapid Fixer and Heico Permawash. See? So, I'm due for a refresh, yeah?
i dont use forte papers (only forte i use is the bromofrt, which is not the most popular) but i do use the agfa mcc111(and sometimes 118). my fave paper developer is ilford bromophen. dont know, but i feel that it gives the paper "to talk for its own". the other developer that i do use sometimes )especially for single graded papers like art classic or gallery3 or the same bromofort etc) is the variable contrast developer from fotospeed. i use most of the time roll film (35 and medium) so i do not have the advantage of developing each film supiratly. so the fotospeed developer is very helpful in those cases.
about the selenium - i use the fotospeed selenium, but it is like the kodak. if u want to avoid the coloring tendencies of the agfa paper then delute it about 1+20 and keep whatching while agitating (u can put it in the washing aid working solution as well).
one to two minutes are very good for archival and increased dmax and gentle crisp, while no serious changes will be in terms of color, warmth/coolness etc. this works the same way for almost any paper i know.
for other effects u have to experiment. be careful on the agfa since it has a tendency to react very well to toners.