the best developer

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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Chris K
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:17 am

the best developer

Postby Chris K » Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:25 am

Hello and good light.
I have recently returned from Europe with many rolls of B&W to develop. I intend on having my next show of these images but don't want to jump right in and process with the old standard. I wanted to get some feedback and ask advice on the best film developers for sharp, crisp, deep black and solid white images. I have Ilford Delta 100 & 400, Neopan 400 & 1600 (fuji), Ilford delta 3200 and kodak tmax 3200.

Please let me know the best developer(s) to use. I sincerely thank you.

Happy shooting,
Christopher


Lowell Huff
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Postby Lowell Huff » Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:06 pm

As far as I am concerned, the best developer for all films processed by hand or machine is Clayton F76plus. It is a gamma one, compensating developer that provides varible dilutions and variable contrasts with extremely fine grain. It is available on this web site.

foolscape
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Postby foolscape » Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:38 am

I was trolling the old posts on this forum, and I came across this from a few years ago. I am interested in Lowell Huff's assertions. I do a lot of night photography due to the fact that I work the graveyard shift. From what I've heard, compensating developers allow photographers to forgo reciprocity correction caused by longer exposure times, at least to some extent, and can lower contrast. I've been using Pyro developers or HC110 1:90 to do this, but I've always adjusted for reciprocity anyway, mainly because I don't want to take the chance of having thin negatives. Here are the questions: First, what is a gamma one developer? Second, I use F76+, but I thought it worked like D76, and was not, therefore, a compensating developer. How do I get it to behave like one? Third, is there a list of different dilutions and what they do for develpment (kind of like for HC110)?

Thanks!

--Gary

Jim Appleyard
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Postby Jim Appleyard » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:05 am

If you're going to try a new dev, don't try it on the rolls you just took in Europe. Do test rolls first!

Lowell Huff
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Postby Lowell Huff » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:24 pm

Hello Gary
F 76PLus is not like D 76. F 76 is a phenidone based developer. It is a compensating, fine grain developer. A Gamma One developer provides the widest latitude for processing. Gamma is defined by the longest straight line section of the standard curve. Gamma one is a 45º line originating from the axis of the graph of the curve. Try it and you will be amazed by the results.

foolscape
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Postby foolscape » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:57 am

Lowell Huff wrote:Hello Gary
F 76PLus is not like D 76. F 76 is a phenidone based developer. It is a compensating, fine grain developer. A Gamma One developer provides the widest latitude for processing. Gamma is defined by the longest straight line section of the standard curve. Gamma one is a 45º line originating from the axis of the graph of the curve. Try it and you will be amazed by the results.
I have tried it. Quite a few times. I haven't used it as a compensating developer, though. Does it have this property at the normal dilution of 1:9? Should I increase the dilution and extend dvelopment time, or do a minimal agitation method, like with HC110? Is there a list of dilutions and properties? Is there a place I can look for these?

--Gary

Lowell Huff
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Postby Lowell Huff » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:03 pm

Yes you can change dilutions and times to acheive different results, push, pull, extended processing times, and changes in contrast. I can email to you additional information.

foolscape
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Postby foolscape » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:42 am

Lowell Huff wrote:Yes you can change dilutions and times to acheive different results, push, pull, extended processing times, and changes in contrast. I can email to you additional information.
I would like that. Thank you.

Ornello
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: the best developer

Postby Ornello » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:26 pm

Chris K wrote:Hello and good light.
I have recently returned from Europe with many rolls of B&W to develop. I intend on having my next show of these images but don't want to jump right in and process with the old standard. I wanted to get some feedback and ask advice on the best film developers for sharp, crisp, deep black and solid white images. I have Ilford Delta 100 & 400, Neopan 400 & 1600 (fuji), Ilford delta 3200 and kodak tmax 3200.

Please let me know the best developer(s) to use. I sincerely thank you.

Happy shooting,
Christopher
Paterson FX-39 is among the best out there.

RJ-
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Location: London, England
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Re: the best developer

Postby RJ- » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:28 pm

Chris K wrote:Hello and good light.
I have recently returned from Europe with many rolls of B&W to develop. I intend on having my next show of these images but don't want to jump right in and process with the old standard. I wanted to get some feedback and ask advice on the best film developers for sharp, crisp, deep black and solid white images. I have Ilford Delta 100 & 400, Neopan 400 & 1600 (fuji), Ilford delta 3200 and kodak tmax 3200.

Please let me know the best developer(s) to use. I sincerely thank you.

Happy shooting,
Christopher
Hi Christopher,

You've not mentioned what your old standard developer is?

Most developers are capable of offering sharp, crisp, deep black and solid white images, depending on the dilutions and development regimen. It seems the film choices which you've listed, veer towards modern T-grain film and fast high grain film too.

I'd agree with Ornello that Paterson FX39 is an excellent option in this respect. It is an 'acutance' developer, offering all of the characteristics which you've listed, whilst suppressing grain better than other classic acutance developers (like Rodinal). It is different from Lowell's choice of a phenidone developer; both are very capable developers, however you may find it easier to locate Lowell's choice of developer than Paterson FX39 in the States.

Kind regards,

RJ

Ornello
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: the best developer

Postby Ornello » Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:31 pm

Chris K wrote:Hello and good light.
I have recently returned from Europe with many rolls of B&W to develop. I intend on having my next show of these images but don't want to jump right in and process with the old standard. I wanted to get some feedback and ask advice on the best film developers for sharp, crisp, deep black and solid white images. I have Ilford Delta 100 & 400, Neopan 400 & 1600 (fuji), Ilford delta 3200 and kodak tmax 3200.

Please let me know the best developer(s) to use. I sincerely thank you.

Happy shooting,
Christopher
In all honesty, D-76 1:1 is tough to beat.

Keith Tapscott.
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Location: Plymouth, England.

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:05 pm

The suggestions for B&W film developers given so far should provide satisfactory results, although I have yet to see a full in depth test of various developers. Some developers might produce excellent results with some films and average results with others, so it might be a matter of matching a particular film with the optimum developer for it. :idea: I did ask on the APUG forum how the performance of B&W film developers was measured.
http://www.apug.org/forums/forum137/388 ... opers.html

Keith Tapscott.
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:41 pm

This link http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/3889 ... opers.html is from the main section of the APUG forum. If Lowell reads this, perhaps he will explain how the performance of F-76 Plus was measured against other B&W film developers.


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