As we head toward winter here in New England, the sun will soon be too low in the sky to do film testing, as it will not clear the neighboring trees until Spring. So I have decided to test some of my favorite developers while there is still time.
My personal theory is that a trade-off exists with most things in life, including photography. B&W is without color but is much sharper than color film. Large format is slower and more awkward than 35mm, but yields much more detail.
Therefore, when selecting a suitable developer for B&W large format, I believe one should favor high accutance formulas which will make the most of the main advantage the format has to offer. Mushy “fine grain” developers like Microdol-X are not among my favorites, as they seem (for me) to defeat my purpose in choosing B&W LF.
To this end, I have been attempting to assemble as many ultra-high accutance formulas as I can remember. So far, they include: Rodinal, Calbe R09, Neofin Blau, Ethol T.E.C., Paterson FX-39 and the Photographer’s Formulary family of FX-1 products.
Can anyone think of something I have omitted?
Much obliged for your wisdom.