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Thread: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    Heres the Deal:

    I have just ordered lots of Slow Film:
    Efke 50
    Pan F 50
    and need to order developer sooooo...

    Your Thoughts would be Appreciated....
    Which Developer works BEST / Ilford DD-X or Rodinal
    and Why

    Many Thanx in Advance

    With Love & Good Cheer- H

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    Re: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    Helen,

    Are you acquainted with Matt Alofs 1PT4 website....bw with 35RF and a wealth of emulsion developer information.

    http://www.1point4photography.com/blog/

    Hope this helps.

    Bob

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    Helen: I think to some extent it helps if you have a general idea of what effect you hope to achieve. I'm way out of practice with which developers yield which results with which films. But I do know that your choice of developer can make a difference. An old standby in commercial applications was Kodak HC-110. Very economical, easy on the environment, and provides very good results on most films. But it produces negatives with slightly more contrast in the highlights and somewhat less detail in the shadows. Which might be right up your street. Or not.

    Here's a link to an enormous spreadsheet-type online selector: http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.html Just pick your film from the drop down on the left and either a specific developer or simply choose "all" and it will spit out a full range of possibilities along with dilutions and dev. times. Kinda cool. Once you've found a few that seem interesting, you can google each one a bit further and try and get the goods on exactly what to expect in terms of the developers action on the film.

    Good luck and happy agitating!

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    Senior Member emmawest72's Avatar
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    Re: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    Helen,

    I would go for rodinal. Easy to mix and great results. I find negs developed in Rodinal very sharp and the grain structure is tight and crunchy. My opinion of course.

    Cheers
    Wil
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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    Helen:

    Kodak's Xtol is probably the best general developer these days. It is relatively cheap and keeps for quite a while. The only downside is it comes in 5 litre kits. I end up tossing most of mine as 5 litres is more than I would use in five years

    Here are a couple images i did with the M7 and Tmax 400 II developed in Xtol. Notice the nice wide tones.



    Notice how well it does with the highlights here:


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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    Helen:

    Here are Erwin Puts' thoughts on B&W. He mentions some developers that may not be available in North America, but also mentions Rodinal for sharpness.

    http://www.imx.nl/photo/Film/Film/Film/page34.html

    I have also used Rodinal and still have some since it keeps forever. You will find it creates sharp negatives, but the grain can be huge.

    Robert

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    BOB,TIM,WILLIAM & ROBERT
    Thanks for All your Tips.Feedback
    & Photos (loved Little Man braking the morning Fast)

    So I ordered Rodinal from Freestyle
    seems to be the only place in the US that carries it


    I was reading that until 1961 film speed was not higher than 200
    so I'm really going back in Time ...shooting with just 50 efke & 50 Pan
    & the Big D for Sharpness & Contrast: Rodinal....My 2009 Discipline with a dozen rolls

    Will post my pixs sooon / a week or two
    waiting for the shipment
    Apparently RODINAL can be be shipped via Ground ONLY...

    Best -H

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    D-76 is my favorite.
    -bob

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    Re: Which DEVELOPER best for Slooow Films ?

    I agree with Rob -- Xtol is probably the best general developer currently available -- it is both sharp and fine grained, and it is easy on the environment. Rodinal is an excellent choice for those films though. Generally, since you are choosing such fine grained films, it makes sense to choose a developer for acutance (edge sharpness) -- these developers are usually sharper, but they make the grain grittier...this can be a bit much in faster films, but it is excellent in slow films. The best combo I have ever found for sharpness and tonality is Acros developed in Rodinal 1:100 with very minor agitation...otherwise just letting it stand. You need a lot of developer for each roll, given the dilution (you need about 7-10ml of raw developer per roll, otherwise it will exhaust during development), but this leads to extraordinarily sharp and tonally rich negs. I would still be processing this way if it weren't a pain in the *** -- one roll at a time, 18 min developing time, need to find rodinal etc. Xtol 1:1 is nearly as good, and so much easier.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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