View Full Version : Processing of B/W Films.

17-Jul-2010, 13:07
Hi there,

This is my 1st post on the forum. I usually use a Nikon FM2 35mm or a Mamiya RB67 (120) camera, but I recently acquired a Sinar Norma 4x5 with a 180mm lens, a UV and yellow filter + some film holders and some other accessories.

I have just bought a used Jobo tank with a 2509n reel and was wondering which film and developer to choose? I usually use ID11 with roll films, but I think I might prefer to use a higher dilution developer like Rodinal for greater economy for sheet films.
I sometimes use Pan F+ in 35mm, but prefer FP4+ for general use in medium format.
I was thinking along the lines of FP4+ or Delta 100, but not sure if Rodinal would be a suitable choice.

I wanted to ask some questions here before buying some 4x5 film.

Best regards,


17-Jul-2010, 15:02
Economizing with 4x5 defeats the purpose.With 4x5 or LF your main goal is quality,quality and more quality. If you never processed 4x5 before I would try D76 1:1 or D76 straight,HC110 Dil B is also a good choice.One thing your going to find with 4x5 is EVERYONE and I mean everyone has their own way of processing their negs. You have to start trying ones of your own,good luck.

Neal Wydra
17-Jul-2010, 15:04
Dear John,

There is no magic potion. As for economy, if you add up all your costs for creating a photo, developer cost is pretty insignificant.

Use what you like and enjoy yourself,

Neal Wydra

17-Jul-2010, 15:30
I was thinking along the lines of FP4+ or Delta 100, but not sure if Rodinal would be a suitable choice.

Rodinal is not great for Delta 100. Acutance grain developer + T grain no good = middle tone compressed.

Try the English Paterson FX39 or Perceptol for FP4+ - you will be happier. Paterson FX39 = acutance fine grain developer. No mid-tone compression + sharp images.

Perceptol = soft metol fine grain developer. Not as sharp comparing to FX39. Very fine tone.

Jay DeFehr
17-Jul-2010, 16:00
Anything you like in MF, you'll like better in LF!

17-Jul-2010, 17:14
TMAX 100 and Acros work really well with Rodinal IME.

Just get some HC110, it's just about the cheapest possible developer, and works pretty well with everything.

18-Jul-2010, 00:41
ignatiusjk: If Rodinal is not a good choice, then I will keep with ID11 which is the Ilford equivalent to D76, so no need for me to change.
It depends on what you mean by quality. You might want objective technical quality, where as I just want aesthetically pleasing results. Not necessarily the same thing.

Neal Wydra: I wasn't looking for a magic-potion as you put it, but a higher dilution developer that works well with the films I mentioned. 1+25 goes a lot further than 1+1 or even 1+3. Rodinal has a reputation for keeping well, which why I asked about it.

James_Spain: I tried diluted Perceptol after reading Barry Thornton's books, but didn't like the slight speed loss and the difference in grain is negligible in 35mm and unnoticeable from 6x7 roll film negatives. I also find ID11 a touch sharper despite what Thornton wrote.
The Paterson developers have a good reputation for image quality, but another reputation for not so good keeping properties. Also, it has to be mail ordered, even in England, so not so easy to obtain as the Ilford products.

BetterSense: Nothing against TMAX 100 and Fuji Acros, but I was not particularly fond of the 'look' of those films when I tried them after enlarging the negatives. Wonderfully fine-grain and smooth tones, but I felt that they lacked the richness of FP4+ IMHO. I am sure many other people will have the opposite opinion. That's just my subjective opinion, so please don't take umbrage if you are a TMAX or Acros user.

Jay DeFehr: I believe you have provided the best advice. I will order some 4x5 size FP4+ to try.
As for the developer, it could work out more economical for me to buy ID11 in the 5 litre size packets instead of the 1 litre packets I usually buy. I will decant the stock solution into several 500ml glass bottles and use them as required.

Thank you all for your replies and my apologies if the question seemed irksome.