Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
This is a follow-up to John's survey about which/how many developers people use.

1. I'd like to know what chemicals, film and paper people started out with - the first stuff you used. Chemicals include film and print developers, fixer etc.

2. In reference to the above, how did you come to start out with them? eg: Were you taught by somebody? Did you read about them in a book? Were they the materials your favourite photographer used? Were they simply the materials available to you? Etc.

3. If you are not still using the materials you began with, why? Did you read more and want to try stuff? Were you disatisfied with what you were using? Did certain materials become unavailable? Did you get caught in the search for magic formulas, films etc? Did your style change?

4. Have you come full circle with anything? For example in the case of film developers, did you start out with D-76, then explore everything from D-1 to FX-whatever, and ultimately end up back with D-76? Same question applies to films, paper, paper developers.

1. Started shooting film 18 years ago but never developed my own till a year ago. So skipping to then, Started with Ilfsol 3 and I tried out most emulsions but was drawn to PanF+ being the only slow film available from my local lab. I tried a lot if emulsions from different vendors, read a lot and saw others post of old films that were gone and were so AMAZING so I've now shot on most of them, for the most part I disagree with the quality, but Tech Pan and Panatomic-X are both as nice as they say. The rest I can live without.

2. Mostly I went to B&H to get my sink "darkroom" setup and the guy just handed me everything including all the ilford chems (Ilfsol 3/stop/fix) said nothing about wetting agent or hypo clear, and have me a dreaded JOBO tank which IMHO was a disaster, spills, etc, though he hooked me up with the Samigon plastic spirals which are WAY easier to load than JOBO/Paterson reels. I took them all home and watched YouTube videos and ended up following the ilford "developing for the first time" instruction manuals.

3. I moved on to E-6 and loved it but hated the unavailability of chemistry, still on the search for that full setup. I also started trying developers that people often mentioned (D76/Dd-X/Rodinal/HC110(b)/Technidol) :wink: and found that Ilfsol 3 is pretty good but it's cost is high and it's shelf life short, but it has it's applications, both ailfsol 3 and HC-110 both seem to be good with highly fogged/old film. I've settled on Rodinal for most slower traditional films and DD-X for High speed T-grain films for the most part. DD-X also has a bad shelf life and costs too much (compared to Rodinal) but seems to be the best for the job. Tried every film I could, have settled on a few and still uncertain of many.

4. I started with PanF+ and have to say its still my favorite if all. I use that for portraits and landscapes, it's really beautiful. I use Acros 100 for night photography for its reciprocity characteristics but if it didn't exist I might settle in PanF+ for that as well. HP5's tones I like but wanted a finer grain fit SOME applications so I also have yet to try Delta400 but did try Tmax400 but I did not enjoy, found it sort of... Boring, but I'm still experimenting and trying some techniques I was told about. Used both P3200 and Delta 3200 and both are similar, Delta is available in 120 so sticking with that. The tones are actually really nice and come out great if shot at 800 or 3200 during the day rather than at night, the grain is much better and details amaze. I went back to give Ilfsol 3 another chance, I still think it's a really good developer, and even though its a one use, I've developed up to 6 rolls (or 12 if using a 2 reel tank) in the same developer adding 30 seconds to each run after the first and seen no significant change or dev exhaustion. So in a pinch it can be extended. But ultimately shelf life and economy get higher priority and Rodinal gives really nice tones for what I prefer.

I have yet to do my own printing so I cannot comment on that side

Few that was longer than I expected!


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