Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
Developing times are highly personal and should be optimized for your workflow and the paper you print on.

"Normal" development, i.e., development for scenes of "average" brightness range (contrast), should yield an "acceptable" print without much manipulation for such scenes on the grade of paper you consider "normal." For most workers, this is grade 2. Some smaller film-format users prefer grade 3 in order to minimize grain a bit. If your negatives from normal scenes are consistently too contrasty to print easily on your normal paper grade, reduce developing time. If they are consistently too soft, increase development. Keep adjusting till you are happy.

Since you are a roll-film user, I would recommend that you just leave it there and use your paper grades to deal with scenes of higher and lower subject brightness range than normal. If you want to tailor development more specifically to your individual subjects, then learn about one of the exposure and development systems like the Zone System or BTZS.

As for a starting development time: I would recommend that you try the development time that the film manufacturer recommends. I doubt that Kodak gives different development times for shooting the film at an E.I. of 400 and an E.I. of 200. If you are using a developer that Kodak does not give times for, use the times the developer manufacturer gives for Tri-X 400. Adjust from there.



I use box speed normally, but to get the camera settings I need, I'll happily let the EI float and I won't chase that variation with a development change.

I want the contrast rate/the steepness of the film curve to remain fixed because: a-the scene contrast has not changed and; b-the paper I'm targeting, grade 2, hasn't changed and; c-the print I want hasn't changed.

It is sometimes easier to think of box speed as the minimum safe exposure rather than a hard target.