It's not really necessary. It's just a developing method I happen to like. I find it very liberating, not having to make tests, to keep my eyes on the clock and thermometer, to mess with temperature control baths, to carefully measure the contrast each time I take a picture and decide beforehand how long to develop each sheet (a decision based on countless tests made in advance), and so on. I just expose for the shadows, put all negatives in the developer tray, then remove each sheet when it looks finished. It's freedom.
Indeed, it's not necessary. It's just a matter of convenience.
Besides, in the near future I'm going to move up to 8x10", for which I have no daylight developing gear at hand. So I'll have to develop it in trays, and tray development without inspection scares me.
I still use TMY-2 in small and medium formats, and probably always will. But in large format I just happen to prefer the convenience of DBI over the straight curve of TMY-2. In fact, in the upper part of the curve ABC Pyro seems to me to give good separation even with "normal" films, while a little overexposure - placing significant shadows in zone IV - takes care of the lower part of the curve. So overall I'm not so sure that the straight curve of TMY-2 is so important as it may seem at first glance. Its reciprocity behaviour is indeed great, but if I have to trade it for the convenience of DBI, so be it.
Anyway, my prints are not that great yet, and I still have much to learn and to practice before reaching a level where the subtle difference between the curve of TMY and that of other films will be visible in the print.
Last edited by Vlad Soare; 10-20-2010 at 04:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.