I see that we started to talk about developers before moving to our own little group. I would like to know a bit more as to why we all use what we do.
My interest in Photography which started when I was still in Primary school really has stayed as just this and interest which I am always learning more about. I have no inclination to earn an income, but rather constantly experiment. So this inital talk on developer is a good one for me to learn more.
To date with papers I have rearely ventured away from Ilford PQ, but when I have it has been because it was not available where I normally purchase it from. Recently I have been using various Tetenal developers and some Kodak Dektol as the Ilford product not available. With Film I have not used anything but D76 for the past 10years. But read today of a thread on comparing D76 to Xtol, maybe I'll need to give that a crack soon.
What is it that I will find in the print and or film once developed that makes using an alternative developer just the ticket?
I as in the email,
ABC Pyro is my main dev. with TF2 fixer which I mix myself, I also use the TF2 with my salt prints.
When I shoot delta and shoot some 120 I use TETENAL EMOFIN with Agefix. I also use this when I have less time to get the chemical temps done. I bring the chemicals to the developer temp. Time doesn't vary to great with warmer temps. I do also have some D76 handy as well as some perceptol
For paper I have TETENAL EUKOBROM for FB and AGFA NA WA for RC papers. This will change when I get my ILFORD RC2150 processor going again.
As somebody starting out in LF (4x5) and my own processing Ive taken to using Rodinal for the simpleness of it. I use a Unicolor drum and roller doing 4 negative at a time. A friend has given me an old 35mm enlarger that I can now start doing some contact prints. The plan there is to use Iford warmtone developer with Fomaspeed and Iford MGIV.
I am planning to standardise on XTOL for my large format (film processing) work - because it is cheap, pretty easy, not very toxic and gives nice results. I have recently had some problems with loads of tiny spots on developed sheets, which I suspect may have been from the interaction of XTOL and (filtered) Brisbane tap water. I will return to de-ionised water this weekend.
I haven't done a whole lot of experimenting with developers, I've only tried a small handful, but have settled (quite comfortably) on Xtol as my mainstay. At the moment my 'darkroom' setup is next to non existent, so experimenting is just too much of a hassle at the moment. Hopefully one day soon (next year maybe?) I'll get a lot of my gear out of storage and set up properly again. I gave Ilfosol S a try a few years back, hoping to get some amazingly fine negs from PanF, unfortunately though, for some reason I've never had much luck with PanF, as much as I <i>want</i> to love it!
For paper developers, I have always just used Bromophen in the past (still have a couple dozen fresh boxes tucked under the stairs) and had good, repeatable results, although that was a few years ago now. The last decent contact prints I did were just with Xtol stock, and some very looong soaking times! I gave Eukobrom a quick try a couple weeks ago (just needed a couple quick prints, and the 1L mix didn't seem too wastefull), but really struggled to get any good results at all.
For now, I see myself sticking with the good old Xtol for the forseeable future, unless something quicker and easier comes along :P
As per my Email, Im still using LC29, Im still in the experimental stages of LF
at the present Im using up some outdated Ilford Delta 100, I was thinking of switching my Dev to HC110 but I read some where a week or so ago that HC110 and LC29 is the same formula, anyone have any info on that
Well heading off tomorrow morning 5am, will try to keep intouch.
Have a great christmas every one.
I settled on Rodinal as my standard film dev - chiefly because it was cheap, easy to use, and long lasting. (I was initially using APX100 and more latterly FP4+).
In my early 4x5 days I was developing one sheet at a time in a cibachrome drum. I worked out that 10mins @ 1+50 @ 20 degrees C with constant rolling in a water bath gave me what I wanted contrast-wise. I then increased/reduced dev time for N+/N- processing as required. I happily used this setup for a number of years.
When my shooting volumes increased I got tired of the 1-sheet at a time restriction so I acquired a Jobo 2151 drum and 2509 reels that let me process up to 8 sheets at a time. I found 10mins @ 1+50 @ 20 degrees C with constant agitation gave me far too much contrast. After a bit of trial and error I have now settled on 7.5mins as my standard dev time for this setup. With hindsight I suspect a couple of factors may explain the increase in contrast:
1. I suspect the volume of developer I was using with the cibachrome drum meant the soup was nearing exhaustion - and hence the 10 min dev time. With the larger volume of soup in the Jobo dev exhaustion was no longer an issue and 10mins was giving over-development.
2. I suspect the extra volume of dev in the Jobo was giving more agitation (even though I was rolling at roughly the same speed).
There is an interesting article by df cardwell on Rodinal in the articles section of this site. We all know about time and temp as variables in the dev process. Many will also be aware of dilution. df cardwell adds a further variable to the mix in the case of Rodinal: agitation. Well worth reading if you are a Rodinal user.
Film developers: These days I only use 120 roll and 4x5 (usually Tri-X) , I stock both D-76 and Rodinal.
D-76 is mixed up from large packet yearly and then stored in sealed brown bottles( I have many 20ml.Cough Balsam bottles that are filled to overflowing then sealed with screw-top lid,I always use 1+1 dilution so 200+200 water is just right for my SS 120 tank ) This developer lasts up to 12 months,
for my 4x5 film I have a hand-made 600ml deep tank that takes 2X SS hangers and I process in the dark using luminous patches on my D/R clock and an electronic timer.)Rodinal is always used 1 + 50.
Paper developer :- Kodak Dektol 1 +2 cold tone papers, has a great tray life.
Harman Warm-tone developer for Ilford Warm-tone papers.
For serious fibre base printing I always use 'two-bath' fixing.
................Cheers Barrie B.
with your two bath fixing, do you use a hardener in one of the parts or not?
I use home-brewed C-41 developer, bleach and separate fixer for my 5x4 color negs. One cannot buy Kodak flexicolor kits or the Agfa kits in Australia any more.
Why not look at Tetenal
Largeformat Pat said "Why not look at Tetenal".
Mostly because of price.
My developer of choice is PMK which I mix from scratch. My whole system is based around BTZS and Foma/Efke 5x4 film. To correctly test stained negatives you need a densitometer with a minimal blue channel. Others will suggest a UV channel especially if you are doing Alt processes. Largeformat Pat sent me his formula for ABC Pyro and it seems a very good developer as well. His results confirms that.
No matter the developer you choose remember different film/developer combinations will affect the film curve and hence how that particular negative will produce a particular look with a particular paper. The same film may quite possibly not produce a satisfactory print because the new developer affects the toe,shoulder or the mid section of the film differently. Paper/film/developer interaction combinations will have a grater impact on your images than just film/developer alone. Whatever combo you settle on shoot a variety of subjects deep shade. bright sun etc. and only when you know how your chosen combo produces a print, only then consider changing. Mind you I shouldn't talk too loud as over a period of time I've tried a few combos.
In answer to your question on 'hardner' in my two-bath fixers :- No I do not use hardner for prints as it makes toning of prints more difficult.
Films today have hardened emulsions so I never use hardner in my fixers .
Cheers Barrie B.
Depends on the film that I am using, Tri-X goes in to D76 1:1, PanF Rodinal 1:50, Delta 100 and TMY in Pyrocat HD 1:1:100. For prints I use mostly D72 (pretty much Dektol) and sometimes Ethol LPD. I've just started to use Edward Weston's Amidol again though, but only occasionally, too damned expensive.