View Full Version : ? Developer for negatives to be scanned

12-Jan-2016, 18:28
I shoot whole plate and 11x14 formats. Final prints are Platinum/Palladium. Up to now have contacted printed the negs on hand coated Platinum/Palladium paper. Usually took a few tries to get a final print even with keeping scrupulous notes. Materials costs got to be very, very scary to total up... so went to scanning the negatives (burning and dodging which I couldn't do with contact printing the original negatives) and making digital negatives. I also added a step tablet aside the image and very soon was able to make final Platinum/Palladium prints most of the time. So... Up to now have used a modified Zone System to expose and process the negatives (in Rodinal). Read an older article in ViewCamera magazine that Diafine is the best developer to use for producing negatives that will be scanned. Anyone have any advice? Have consistently used Rodinal since the early 1970s but am very willing to switch.

13-Jan-2016, 14:53
I personally don't think developer choice is very crucial in getting negatives that scan well. Provided you use a half decent scanner, anything that has been exposed and developed properly will scan perfectly fine - and even very thin negatives and occasionally overly dense ones will scan a lot better than they can be printed with alternative processes. I usually use rodinal and I've never found a reason to use a different developer in order to get better scans.

13-Jan-2016, 18:12
Good point. Over the years have used either Edwal FG7 in a 9% Sodium Sulfite solution or Rodinal 1:100 for silver printing. Then changed to Diafine. but at the the manufacture's native ISO and not the inflated Diafine's higher ISO recommendations on the recommendation of an article in VIEWCAMERA magazine. Think you're right on and with a properly processed negative in most any developer, one can get an excellent digital file.

Alan Klein
13-Jan-2016, 21:05
Probably the film is more important for scanning. Tmax 100 and 400 are T grain technology with no grains which makes this film good for scanning. This is Tmax 100 in MF scanned with a flat bed scanner (Epson V600). I'm sure I'd get better results with a drum scanner. The film was processed by a pro lab in Xtol.

Peter De Smidt
13-Jan-2016, 21:38
What scanner are you using?

David Karp
13-Jan-2016, 21:51
You might find this article interesting. http://www.tmax100.com/photo/pdf/devforscan.pdf

13-Jan-2016, 21:57
I scan successfully with many films and developers using Vuescan, and Nikon 4000/9000 and Epson 4990 scanners. And also a LeafScan45.. My only humble advice would be to be careful not to over develop as overly contrasty negs scan poorly IMO. In fact I'd go so far as suggesting pulling back 10% on developing time if your goal is to scan the neg.