I'm sure there is some combination out there that sucks, so it was a preventative measure.
I have not run across a single combination of film and developer that I could not make work to my liking.
Edit: I take that back. Last generation of Agfa APX 400 in Rodinal 1+50. Does not work unless you have a really high contrast scene. Basically, about 30 minutes into developing, the tone curve would just flatten out and stop developing the highlights. That combination was not good.
Last edited by Thomas Bertilsson; 11-30-2011 at 04:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"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 think sometimes that we paint ourselves into a corner because to get the results we want takes a fair bit of time and effort.
The often quoted bit of wisdom is 'stick with one film and one developer until you know it really well'.
Most of us understand that to mean 'don't keep trying different combinations' and believe it to be good advice for others (but don't always follow it ourselves, right? )
In reality I think some of us (well, me, speaking for myself) stick with the advice to the extent that we tweak one film and developer combination until we get results that we like and then that becomes our standard. To be honest, how many of us fully explore everything you can do with a film? Not me... too much work. I have used FP4+ for years and can get some nice results with it. I have worked out my own film speeds and development times in a few developers and tried a few experiments.... but in all these years I have never tried to see the limits of how far it can be pushed or pulled, I've never tried compensating, two bath or water bath development, I've never tried staining developers, never explored it's reciprocity characteristics, there's lots I have never explored about this film - and it is the one I know best.
If someone took FP4+ away I'd be 'Oh no! I can't get the look I want anymore!!'.
I'm sure the reality is that I wouldn't know how to, not that I couldn't.
But how to learn? You'd have to break the 'stick with one film' rule for a start - then you'd have a lot of work to do.
It makes me think how easy it is for digital photographers. Hit the sharpness button, tweak the contrast, bend the gamma curve, add some grain, decide you don't like it and revert to the original,. You could try out thousands of tweaks in the time I'm loading a film into the reel.