PDA

View Full Version : Developer (newb question)



Michael Lloyd
20-Jul-2013, 20:05
I just developed film (4x5) for the first time yesterday (not counting when I was in the third grade). I used Ilford DD-X developer with Ilford Delta 100. I have some TMax that I've been wanting to try too but I'm not sure if I should use DD-X or something else.

To be honest I thought that I would develop the first negatives and get it out of my system but the opposite seems to be happening.

I've done a little reading and apparently I don't have to use Ilford chemicals with Ilford film, etc. Bearing in mind that I'm a newb, the question is: what other developers should I consider and why?

C_Remington
20-Jul-2013, 20:59
Too broad.

Leigh
20-Jul-2013, 21:02
Hi Michael,

I addressed this in more detail in the other thread.

I think Fuji Acros developed in Rodinal will produce the images you want.
Rodinal has the advantage of virtually infinite shelf life, even in partially-used containers.

- Leigh

polyglot
21-Jul-2013, 01:50
You can use any brand of developer with any film, to varying effect. Pretty hard to go wrong with DD-X.

Mark Barendt
21-Jul-2013, 03:50
DD-X is great. It is easy to use, produces great negatives, and can be used with any traditional B&W film.

Data sheet http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/2011427124733149.pdf This shows some of the other film's times and temps. With unlisted films do a test sheet or two with a guessed time to find a ball park time. As with all developers the listed times are just a place to start anyway, over time you'll find your own preferences for time and temp.

As to what others you should try. IMO none, at least not until you can identify a problem DD-X can't solve, or some different characteristic that you might want.

The reason I say this is that switching developers is about fine tuning your processes, i.e. which seat you want after you are in the ball park, regardless of where you sit you'll see the same game, you'll just get a slightly different view. Choosing different films on the other hand is more like choosing which ballpark to go to, you'll see the same sport but have a different story when you leave.

Regular Rod
21-Jul-2013, 04:49
I just developed film (4x5) for the first time yesterday (not counting when I was in the third grade). I used Ilford DD-X developer with Ilford Delta 100. I have some TMax that I've been wanting to try too but I'm not sure if I should use DD-X or something else.

To be honest I thought that I would develop the first negatives and get it out of my system but the opposite seems to be happening.

I've done a little reading and apparently I don't have to use Ilford chemicals with Ilford film, etc. Bearing in mind that I'm a newb, the question is: what other developers should I consider and why?

OBSIDIAN AQUA for its amazing shelf life, economy and peerless performance with Ilford Delta (and others).

RR

LuisR
21-Jul-2013, 06:48
Try Pyro with any of the Ilford films; Acros is double the price of Ilford. Pyro and large format photo are a match made in heaven. Just ask any master of 20th century large format photo. Specifically, try Pyrocat-HD in glycol.

ic-racer
21-Jul-2013, 07:24
One can get good negatives with just about any developer on the market. Developer characteristics to consider are ease of use, storage characteristics, working volume, working temp.

photobymike
21-Jul-2013, 07:40
http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php go there for times and film information

I have been using Pyrocat HD Glycol with with delta 100 and 400 as well Tmax 100 and 400. And depending on what i am shooting i always over expose by at least a half stop and as much as a full stop on portraits ....


1. Use pipettes to measure. This stuff is so concentrated that being off a small amount effects your out come.

2. I presoak for 5 minutes at development temperature. I change out the water 2 or 3 times for the presoak. It is needed to wash away the halation barrier. This has always been important... use distilled water... the PH is slightly acid which is ok... tap water who knows what it is.....

3. Use rubber gloves when handling this substance. If you use it a lot, it can accumulate in your system and be toxic.

4. Use distilled water for mixing. I use distilled water for all of my photo chemicals anyway.

5. The negatives scan really well with my scanner V750 epson. I seem to have a longer dynamic range by at least one stop.

6. I use a Beseler roller for development... but it seems to like stand alone tank with moderate agitation...twirl the reels in my paterson tanks.....4x5 always are rolled....

7. Dilute your Stop Bath... to strong and you get pin holes. Use a stop bath to get the film ready for the acid in your fixer. Some photo guys use just water for the stop bath... but i have found that just a little acid stop works better. i use alkli fixer especially for T-grain films.. for an extra 3 minutes. I have also used Kodak rapid fixer without the hardener works well. Fix for an extra 3 minutes for a total of 8 minutes

8. When you get ready to mix your developer. Roll your bottles of concentrate before using... there seems to be some separation and precipitate on the cap after sitting for a couple of days. Do not shake but make sure concentrate is mixed.

9. Because of the tanning (hardening effect) of the developer it seems the emulsion needs more washing than normal film.... i use very strong hypo clear (Orbit) for 2 minutes each in 2 baths with vigorous agitation.

10. I take the film off the reels and soak for 30 secs in Photo-Flo. Most important; I use distilled water to mix Photo-Flo. If you use regular water or tap water you will see a sledge or slim on your finished negs... The i use a very clean sponge to wipe away the excess Photo-Flo.

I do all of this and what i end up with is beautiful chocolate colored negatives that scan really well.

Any thing to add to these observations, or maybe some questions.

Michael Lloyd
21-Jul-2013, 08:13
I need to digest all of this. One quick observation (Leigh led me there but this thread cemented it). Developing a negative isn't the process that I thought it was. I thought that X film with Y time in Z developer was all there was to it and it's not. Everything has a variable range to work within and it's on me to figure that range out. Mike- I like the details! Thank you.

Michael_4514
21-Jul-2013, 08:33
Sort of like asking, "what flavor of ice cream should I eat?" They're all good, just figure out which one you like best. You can get a sense of their general characteristics by reading old threads here and other places on the internet. But in terms of advice, people are going to tell you what they like best. It may not be what you like best. Experiment and see what works best for you.

John Kasaian
21-Jul-2013, 08:34
I need to digest all of this. One quick observation (Leigh led me there but this thread cemented it). Developing a negative isn't the process that I thought it was. I thought that X film with Y time in Z developer was all there was to it and it's not. Everything has a variable range to work within and it's on me to figure that range out. Mike- I like the details! Thank you.It's all part of the fun!:D

Nathan Potter
21-Jul-2013, 09:22
You might want to also consider a two part developer such as the commercial Diafine. Part A and part B are mixed separately and used sequentially. When stored separately the lifetime is nearly indefinite. The big advantage is that the maximum density during development is self limiting due to the exhaustion of the part A solution that was absorbed in the emulsion.

Diafine produces a high resolution image with a high degree of accutance so you need to like this for very large enlargements. The compensating properties make the developer quite temperature insensitive. Particularly useful when the workflow involves scanning for digital output.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

tgtaylor
21-Jul-2013, 09:40
Xtol: Safe for the environment; inexpensive ($2.00 per liter of stock); mixed stock has a long shelf life if stored in
tank with floating lid; high accutance small grain developer that w
orks well with T-grain films like Delta, TmaX and Across;extensive online support on Kodak website which includes instructions on how to develope roll and sheet film using trays, daylight tanks and rotary processors and the recommended times for various films.

Pyrocat-HD: Not as safe for the environment (and you!) as Xtol and a little more involved but well worth the extra effort.

Thomas

photobymike
21-Jul-2013, 12:33
Tgtaylor is right about pyro .... It needs respect in handling and use

selmslie
7-Aug-2013, 06:41
the question is: what other developers should I consider and why?
I have not used DD-X, but almost any developer like Rodinal (1+50), HC110 (dilution H), ID11/D76, XTOL, etc., will work well with 4x5 and give you about the same apparent grain and sharpness once you settle on the right dilution and development time.

Pick something economical and stick with it. TMax might be a bit expensive for 4x5.

StoneNYC
7-Aug-2013, 06:53
I have not used DD-X, but almost any developer like Rodinal (1+50), HC110 (dilution H), ID11/D76, XTOL, etc., will work well with 4x5 and give you about the same apparent grain and sharpness once you settle on the right dilution and development time.

Pick something economical and stick with it. TMax might be a bit expensive for 4x5.

Tmax and DD-X are both expensive compared to HC-110 or Rodinal.

Everyone will have an opinion. You'll get better results from DD-X than most other developers but its a cost vs need for me, I used to worry about shelf life with DD-X but then I started developing every week and the problem of money started to be more important to me and I settled on Rodinal for most things, and HC-110 when I want something pushed a few stops.

Anyway just keep testing and see what works for YOU, but I agree you should fine tune DD-X before you switch. As a second option, pick up Rodinal just to try it at some point, it will literally keep for 10 years so if you don't use it for a while, not a big deal :)