View Full Version : Best Developer for 4x5 to be scanned and printed large ?

11-Mar-2013, 07:42
I will be involved with a project that requires large (approx 40"x50") black and white prints from 4x5" film, probably 320TXP. The negatives will be drum scanned. The developers that I have are D-76, HC-110 and PMK Pyro. Any thoughts about which developer would give the best results will be appreciated. Any other developer that would be better - let me know. Thanks !

Ken Lee
11-Mar-2013, 07:53
Hi R.J.

This is anecdotal, and I cannot personally provide comparison shots under high magnification (but I'll bet someone can)

If you want no grain, try Fuji Acros and Divided Pyrocat. I saw one of Sandy King's prints - from a 6x7 negative and scanned on a high-end scanner - printed at around the size you require, and there was no discernible grain whatsoever. It was surprising to say the least. 6x7 cm, not inches :cool:

If you want higher speed but less grain than TriX, try Kodak TMY. Developed in Divided Pyrocat I can just barely make out the grain with my 15x loupe. Even with HP5+, I can barely see any grain with the same loupe. You can drive up and visit and bring your own loupe if you like.

Unlike conventional formulations, divided development takes place on the surface and happens almost instantly. When we combine that with the grain-masking effect inherent with a staining/tanning developer, it's hard to beat.

Nathan Potter
11-Mar-2013, 07:55
I've found that the type of developer is not critical. I focus on keeping the density of the negative within LogD .1 to 1.6 so either compress or expand the density range to fall within about that range. I use D-76 and HC-110 as well as Technidol but more and more I'm using Diafine two part developer at usually 4 minutes. PMK pyro I've never used but many here scan successfully from that developer.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.