Everyone has a favourite film and developer combination, what's your favourite and what did not work for you and why?
Hi, Donald, is that shop bought Xtol or do you make your own developer and replenisher? How do you replenish the developer, do you drain an amount from the stock and add a few ml of replenisher after each film is developed?I've been running Xtol with replenishment recently -- helps me feel better about my easiest 4x5 method (Yankee Agitank) needing 1560 ml for even a single sheet of 4x5 film -- that film would still only consume 17.5 ml of developer (as replenisher), rather than taking 300+ ml of stock solution for 1+3 dilution. Took me a couple tries to figure out filling and agitation, but now I've got it sorted.
My film of choice for large format is .EDU Ultra 100 and 400 (aka Fomapan). It's good film (especially the 100, though I use the 400 more in smaller formats due to limitations of hand holding), and in the USA it's the least expensive choice going. In 4x5 size, in the box of 50 sheets, .EDU Ultra 400 is about US $0.70 a sheet, only about double the cost of X-ray film (and I don't have to cut it to size under safelight). When I shoot 9x12, I wind up with the original brand on the box, Fomapan 100, but it's the same film. This stuff looks very good in Xtol replenished stock, sharp, smooth, and full speed.
The Xtol I'm currently using is Kodak packaged, the packaging said expired 2002 -- I've had it since about 2005, and just mixed it up this past spring. Per Kodak's recommendation, I replace part of the working solution with 70 ml of fresh stock solution for each 8x10 equivalent (120 roll, 135-36, or four sheets of 4x5), and discard any overflow. So far, I've used a little over a liter of replenisher (with a two liter working solution), by count that's 17 rolls (some were short rolls or sheet film less than four sheets), at one or two rolls a week.Hi, Donald, is that shop bought Xtol or do you make your own developer and replenisher? How do you replenish the developer, do you drain an amount from the stock and add a few ml of replenisher after each film is developed?
Maybe you are over-complicating things. I find that IID11 does everything that I need. ID 11 at a dilution of 1+2 will give you all the control you need over negative highlight density, when confronted with high subject contrast. It does this just as well as Pyrocat HD. This is my normal dilution for ID11. If I want to boost contrast when faced with flat light I use ID11 at 1+1. And when I was doing farm documentary photography and was using 35mm HP5 in dull light in barns, I got good results rating the film at 1200 and developing in stock solution ID11.O.K. I am considering ID11/D76 1+1 for almost everything but scenes where I want subtle differences in the highlights to be seperated. Pyrocat HD will be used for that and ID 68 for pushing film. Do you think that is a sound plan?
Practical test.The general advice is to pick one thing and stick with it until you discover for yourself a very good reason to change. You should be able to get good separation by normal control of exposure and development. If you are wet printing, there are other controls and if you are scanning, the world of local contrast is your playing field.
When you say "pushing" are you using the accepted meaning of trying to extract reluctant information from an underexposed neg, or do you mean increasing contrast from a flat scene? (In Zone language, plus development.)
As we've seen in other discussions, one person's experience, with their specific equipment, materials, subjects, preferences and habits may not be a perfect example for another photographer if swallowed whole.
It would be interesting if you explained why you've made these choices. I'm not disputing anything, but I'd like to know how you decided. Have you made practical tests or is this keyboard research?
Many fine images have been made with good ol' D76/ID11.
Hello Ian, when pushing HP5+ will you be using Pyrocat HD @ 2a+2b+100 or at 1a+1b+100 and using a longer development timeID-68 is the published formula for Microphem, the only minor difference is Micropen itself has a little Sodium Metabisulphite as a developing agent anti-oxidant in Part A to prevent deterioration in storage and a slight touch more Sodium Carbonate in Part B to compensate for the acidity of the Metabisulphite. It's quite common for a packaged power developer to vary from the published formula this way.
Surprisingly @Alan5548 I found Pyrocat HD good for push processing HP5 but it's something I need to look at a bit more. I've only done it once and the EI was around 1600/3200 it was a dusk shot and the light was dropping to fast. The shot failed because even at that EI I was only able to shoot a 1/25 at f5.5 not good for a moving object. Really I'd only want 800 or 1600 at a push to work hand held.
Pyrocat HD keeps up to 3 years just made up in deionised water, it's very economic, but then I do buy my chemicals in bulk. 20p or less per litre of working solution. I've used Pyrocat HD for over 15 years now and exclusively for the last 12, it does every thing I need and is fantastic with HP5 at box speed. Prior to this I used Rodinal and replenished Xtol.
I gave up using id-11/D76 around 1983 in favour of Adox Borax MQ which gave about 1/3 extra speed and better shadow details, sharper in terms of definition and a nicer tonality, it's very similar to Agfa Ansco 17/Agfa 44. Later I switched to Xtol for commercial work. All these developers were used replenished.
I used 1 + 1 to 100 and something like 45-50 minutes inversion agitation, I normally use two 2000 series Jobo tanks each take 2 5x4 reels, they are pre-date Jobo's rotary tanks. As I said it needs some experimenting pushing to 3200 is too much, I used to use HP5 to shoot rock concerts processed in ID68 pushing to 1600 but switched to XP1 and later XP2 which pushes far better but we don't have that option with LF.Hello Ian, when pushing HP5+ will you be using Pyrocat HD @ 2a+2b+100 or at 1a+1b+100 and using a longer development time
No need to apologies David, I just threw this post out there to stimulate conversation. There are lots of things to consider when choosing a developer, I just wondered what other photographers were using and why.If it's by practical test, I've given you more advice than you need.
The way you phrased it reminded me of those "What lens should I buy for landscapes?" questions that seem to turn up on another LF Forum and I mistook you for a beginner. My apologies.