Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
Two things; D-76 is a fine grain developer, and it tends to hide the grain; grain is an inherent part of the film, and there is little you can do to increase it. Selecting a developer like Rodinol (or maybe DK-50) will make the grain apparent, but modern films are still very fine grained. The idea of taking the picture with high enlargement in mind and then using a non-fine grain developer seems to work, at least to some extent (you get into fuzziness problems). An old technique was to print with a texture screen sandwiched with the negative. You used to be able to buy a selection of texture screens, including some for enhanced grain effects, pretty cheaply, but I haven't seen them on the market for about 35 years. Perhaps a reader knows how to make one.
Yes, D76 is a solvent developer, so if sharp grain is to be obtained - dilute the stock solution.

I also agree that high enlargement factor is the way to go to get big grain. Not even Rodinal gives that much grain; at least I don't see it as drastically more grainy than even Replenished Xtol, making 16x20 prints from 35mm Tri-X.

If you must use a developer to get really sharp grain - try FX37. It is way sharper than Rodinal, and gives honest gorgeous grain.

But cropping negatives gives infinitely more grain than any developer will. Shoot film as if it was intended to be cropped at printing time.

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