Quote Originally Posted by TareqPhoto View Post
I asked questions before or say started thread about using or going with different films and developers, but the posts/replies i've got here and there is to stuck with one film and developer for consistency or whatever, and i think going with different films/developers may take me no where, but my main question is: how can i know if the developed film i did is successful? I mean how can i know that i did an excellent job of developing a film? I don't have an enlarger yet and not sure i can get one any soon for reasons, should i stop shooting film at all then until i can get an enlarger?
Printing "full size", what ever you may end up defining that as, by whatever means you use, is the real final exam.

One trap I fell into when I was in your situation was an effort to make pretty negatives. Many of those early negatives are pretty like slides but take three backflips to print.

What I learned along the way, and why I'm no longer worried about/interested in getting really good at one particular film, is that the directions provided by Ilford and Kodak and Fuji are really, really, really good at getting printable negatives and incident meters are really, really, really good at landing exposures in the right place and the printing materials and tools available make printing very flexible.

That brings me to a second trap I fell into.

The basic premise of expansion and contraction development for film, as practiced by say Adams, was/is used to fit a specific scenes SBR to a particular paper/paper grade by adjusting negative contrast.

Until you define for yourself the particular paper/paper grade you want as a target, you can't define what adjustment to make from normal. And if you mix SBRs on a roll of film the problem is compounded.

If, like me, someone finds a modern VC paper they like then adjustments to film development away from normal become nearly a moot point. Times have changed, we don't live in a world of graded papers as Adams did.

This is not to say that adjustments to your norm for a given film won't have value, it just means that until you start printing with an enlarger, simply following the manufactures directions may get you negatives now that are easier to use when you get there.

Regardless of your printing methods, as long as they are a constant, the basic characteristics/differences of the films should shine through in print.

Tri-X and HP5 will show their grain relative to Delta 100 and FP4.

What you will probably find, like I have with FP4 and Delta 400 for me at this moment, is that the pallettes of certain films will "just seem to fit".