Low contrast developer for TMY-2 400
Can someone recommend a low contrast developer for TMY-2 400?
I've grown quite fond of TMY-2 400, but the contrast can creep up quite quickly.
I'm currently using XTOL, using the standard times and agitation methods. I'm quite happy with XTOL, but I keep trying to lower the contrast and am not having too much luck.
Maybe I need to lower the agitation and increase the development time?
Maybe I need to go back to a divided developer
Any advice would be appreciated.
You might want to try D-23.
Or Pyrocat HD with VC paper. Pyrocat instead of PMK will keep the snap in the highest tones, while maintaining the general pyro benefit of keeping the contrast index of the entire frame from getting too high (with VC papers). If you want a more compressed look in the highest tones, I'd go with PMK instead. However, with one the characteristics of T-Max film being the strong ability to hold tonal separation in the densest areas, I think that using PMK is a little bit of a "waste" of the film's abilities, in general. I don't use T-Max if I want a compressed look in the high tones, in other words. I use it when I want a lot of tonal separation there, and use other films (HP5, e.g.) when I want the more graphic compressed look (most things I shoot).
Because t-grained films get a notable amount of their effective density from dyes, they use less silver than traditionally-grained films. (This is part of the reason why a correctly exposed t-grained negative looks about a stop thinner to the eye.) The pyro's stain being proportional to silver density, its effect on T-Max, Delta, and Acros will be a little less than with the latter group (e.g. Tri-X or Plus-X). But it still "does its thing."
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TMY-2 is excellent in Xtol, but you may need to increase exposure by a stop and cut the development time to 70-80% to reduce the contrast.
Ideally you should do a full film speed/development time test to find your optimum EI/Dev time, it doesn't take very long but helps enormously.
There's no dyes in the final processed T-grain negative just a silver based image, they are in the emulsions to help with sharpness & fine grain and are removed during processing, particularly in the fixer.
Entirely different dyes are formed in Pyrocatechin & Pyrogallol etc staining developers which cause proportional staining alongside the silver image.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
The main tools to control contrast index (and Dmax) in film developing are developer temperature, time in developer, and agitation technique. If you want less contrast (that is, a lower contrast index and less Dmax), then use a lower temperature, or less time, or less agitation. Or a combination of the above.
Personally, I'd try to hold developer temperature at 20C because developers with multiple developing agents can change characteristics with changing temperatures. So start with decreasing time and/or agitation.
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You may need to adjust to a lower film speed and faster development as suggested; easy to try.
What dilution to you use? I like 1+1 and have also done 1+2. You could try those to see if it meets your needs.
I like xtol a great deal too, but for high contrast scenes (such as bright sun) I want to render in manageable contrast, I develop with PMK.
Another vote for D23. It's what I use when I want to do what I can to 'pull' TMY that has been exposed in contrasty conditions.
nice low contrast beautiful to print negatives
can be found using a coffee based developer
you might check out the "coffee blog"
rienhold has a great site that has
all sorts of variations that might
be just what you are looking for...
I completely agree with Ian.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
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Less development (often just less agitation) is the traditional way to lower contrast, but with roll film TMY, you may get too low a contrast on most shots while trying to control just a couple that get away from you. Xtol and even D-76 (1+1) are excellent developers for TMY, but they do tend to be a bit contrasty. D-23 has more compensating effect, and may help. TMax developer, while it doesn't (in my opinion) have quite the quality of Xtol or D-76, is also better at controlling the contrast.