After wading through the many posts here, I am amazed at how many people use more than one or two developers, fixers. Now I have only been processing my own B&W film for about a year (give or take a day), and I am still using the same (literally) fixer (Ilford rapid fixer) and am on my secound developer (Ilford S and now Ilford HC). I could only get a gallon jug of the fixer so I immediatly poured it out into the collaspable airtight bottles. Still have about 1.5 litres left.
Just as a poll type question:
Who uses/stocks more than 1 developer/fixer and what brand/homebrew? What do you feel are the advantages or specific results your after from these combos?
Why do I feel I just opened a can of worms?! :o
I stock and use several developers. The reason is that, even though the results may be subtle, there are distinguishable differences in print developers. These differences amount to print color and tonal separation. With the exception of Zone VI print developer all of the other print developers that I use are formulated from componant chemistry.
Insofar as film developers I use pyro developers as a "class". At this time I primarily use Pyrocat for the low general stain to high proportional stain ratio. The reason that I use pyro developers is that the proportional stain increases better highlight separation and also serves to build higher density range (contrast) in the negative for printing on Azo then non staining developers. As with the print developers, I also formulate Pyrocat from individual componant chemicals.
Hope that this helps. Good luck.
Developer and film together make a set that can be targeted for a specific set of challenges in an image. For 8x10 film to be contact printed on azo, kalitype or other alt process, the developer needs to create a dense image that is not blown out in the highlights and does not have a lot of base fog. This is a completely different developer than what would be used for 35 mm film where maximum enlargability is the requirement. For other formats where extra sharpness may be desired, a developer that creates edge effects might be selected. If the range of brightness (SBR) is great, a compensating developer might be needed. I use a different developer for push processing when I need it. I keep the following film developers on hand: Pyrocat HD, Microdol, D76, TD3 (for tech pan) and Split D23. I will soon be trying out Acufine (home brew version) for yet another application.
Quite honestly I think you could open any/every thread in here and you would find 1 if not 10 different posts about people personal experiences with developers/multiple developers.
Originally Posted by rogueish
Ive been doing my own black and white developing/printing for about a year as well and I have found I started out using Tmax then purchased Ilfotec DDX, D76, and a small bottle of Rodinal..... the small bottle of rodinal got used up QUICKLY and the two gallon jugs of Ilfotec DDX and D76 still have stock in them.
I just found (through experimentation and testing) that I really liked the resulting negatives from the different dilutions of rodinal and the prints were astounding compared to the prints from my tmax and ddx negatives.
Ive also purchased some PMK Pyro, mostly because I am a curious person and wanted to see for myself what all the hoopla and talk was about that I kept hearing. so I purchased some and have only developed abotu 10 sheets in it but I have exact doubles to compare them to that were developed in Rodinal. and the results are different for sure. the stain is apparent and the negative holds a much different feel to it. They print wonderfully as well. I printed an 11x14 last night just to quench my darkroom addiction (no real need for it I just wanted to print one of my Pyro negatives)
I guess its just experimentation and learning as many of the "tools" that we have at our disposal and seeing which ones of the many fit each of us best.
I regularly use Pyrocat-HD and FX-2, occasionally Windisch' compensating Pyrocatechin, and have in the past used DD-X, Ilfosol-S, D-76, Ultrafin, and Neofin Blue - and a few others.
For paper I have used Multigrade developer and Neutol WA, and now use Ansco 130, Gevaert G262, or Beutler's stock solutions.
As long as I mix my own I find it both easy and fun to experiment. Since I also have a fair idea of the differences between these chemicals, I can select the path that gives me the result I want with a minimum of hassle.
Mind you, I also use about 10 different papers as well as several "alternative" processes, all of which will give different results from the same negative.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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I mainly use PMK for negs to be enlarged and ABC pyro for negs to be contact printed, but I keep D-76 on hand for TMX, which I use occasionally, and I've got some Perceptol around, because Delta 400 looks great with it. Since I've started mixing my own formulas, I'll probably phase out the prepackaged ones that I only use infrequently, and just mix them up from scratch the odd times I need them.
I also have Acufine on hand, which I use with Tri-X when I want more speed.
I use TF-4 for prints and negs.
I've been moving toward using Michael Smith's amidol formulas for Azo and enlarging papers, but I'm finishing up some stock of other things, and maybe I'll just keep something cheaper on hand for proofs and such (like Neutol-WA).
I've been inching back into color, which I haven't done much for a long time, so I've got Tetenal 3-bath E-6, and Ilfochrome doesn't look too far behind.
Last edited by David A. Goldfarb; 08-06-2004 at 06:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Could you keep us posted about your exploits in the realm of colour printing? I have been considering doing Ilfochrome myself.
Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.
It's only been a 1/2 hour since my post and already my head is spinning. :o Actually I figured the replies would be like this. Many developers as opposed to just one or two. All the books I read and people I talked to all said the same thing. "Learn to process with one and get used to the process and am comfortable with consistant results. Then start to experiment". I guess the "evil scientist" in me is wanting out to mix up some different brew.
Wish I had the space to store more chems. Right now I assemble, then disassemble the darkroom in the bathroom. (and without fail, just as I expose the paper, the knock on the door comes with "Honey, I gotta go...")
To which the correct answer is, "Okay, bye!"
Originally Posted by rogueish
Or you could leave a bucket outside the door...
(Did I mention I'm single?!)
Hans--I did Cibas long ago, so for me, this would just mean getting back into it. There have been a few threads on Ilfochrome, so you might do a search and see what's already been said.