Do NOT get wrapped up in all that stuff (unless you want to.) Before you know it, you're photography will be a science project. You can easily start down that path but it's a very slippery slope. The next thing you know, you will spend all your time evaluating the characteristic curves of film, reading up on densitometry, testing film and paper combinations, etc, etc.

To start, just learn how to expose an average negative. Prolly over expose 1/2 to 1/3 of a stop and develop normally. If your highlights (where you want detail) are getting blown out, reduce your development time in 10% increments.

Then, you can take that negative and post process (photoshop or in the darkroom) until your hearts content; make multiple versions, using different paper types, printing methods, etc. I don't recommend trying to get a negative to match a certain paper and printing style. Today you may want to Lith print the negative and five years from now, you may want to make a digital negative from your original and make a Kallitype print.

The key is to get as much information in your negative TODAY.

Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post

See page 4, the "characteristic curve" for FP4 is low and right. The shape of this curve is called an "S" shape.

The area where the low end of the curve turns upward, by the #1, is the toe; this is the dark end of the photo. At the top of the curve where it flattens, about 3.5-4, is the shoulder; the highlight end of the scale.

Compare that to Kodak TXP. Page 14.

TXP has a much longer toe and little if any shoulder. This is called an upswept curve.

The shape of the curve changes how the photo prints. Each film has a unique curve and different developers and other changes can also change the shape of the curve as can time and other changes.

(One is not "better" than the other, they are simply different tools. Both of these films are truly special and beloved by many.)