For the past few weeks, I toiled over film development times and different developers, while processing my 8X10 black and white negatives in a JOBO rotary drum...
I started with FP4+, D76. Perceptol, ID11, HC-100, and any other developer sitting on the shelf at my local supply store. FP4 is my standard film with 4X5, developed in D76 and, or HC-110. So, I decided to start with that combination. Nice, but troublesome. I say troublesome, while thinking of non stationary objects, such as a tree gently rocking in the wind. Over the past few weeks, while hiking late in the evening, I encountered many beautiful scenes with soft mountain light, but the wind in Alberta knows when to howl like a friggin banshee, just as I am about to click the shutter.
The greater depth of field issues, while using the 8X10, drove me to look for a different film developer combination, allowing for faster shutter speeds, while using the smaller required f-stops. FP4, at my rated film speed, and Delta 100 and TMX 100, for that matter, have the same issue. At the request of a new friend on this site, Donald Hutton, I tried TMY, but not his suggested Pyro developer. Instead I tried XTOL.
I am in love with TMY and XTOL...
This combination is just brilliant, and scans beautifully. The midtones, compared to TMY and D76, opened up fabulously, and the subtle details in the shadows are very visible, compared to being blocked in D76. The difference between XTOL and D76 can be compared to a quality drum scan that opens up numerous shadow details present in a negative, and a get-by product flat bed scanner, which ultimately tends to create large blocked shadow detail areas.
Once my heart calms down, I know there are other developer combinations that could be associated with TMY, and I know everyone has their own lustful combination, so I will always keep my eyes open to that end. For the moment, TMY and XTOL are at the Prom, but they are not married.
I hope to see what PYRO development brings in the coming weeks. Maybe my love affair with TMY and XTOL will be short, but then again maybe I do not need to be so esoteric with my film development. If PYRO is better, then XTOL will be toast.
I thank Donald, and the archived notes in this forum, for helping me with my 8X10 film development process...