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On 08/02/2021 at 1:50 AM, Mr.Prime said:

Very interesting comment - from reading, there looks to be a huge amount of knowledge and experience captured out on the internet and in books about developing film, the creative controls, etc. And it’s all about producing a negative for wet printing. But for hybrid workflows there seems to be a simpler approach to developing because the goal is not to have a negative to print from, but one for scanning, where the priority is to capture information and then make it good for printing.

 

I’m considering getting back into home development and I’m starting to think that I should learn to love a low contrast negative with good detail in the shadow & highlight.

I think it is well worth doing it at home. Especially, after a while, it takes less time to do home than the time it would take to bring it to a shop or mail it. It also opens so many options in terms of final look. 

 

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The whole process is simpler than it sounds. I use / do the following... Loading Tools: 1) Large dark bag (I also use this when traveling to load LF film). 2) Paterson tank/s (Universal takes 2x 135 or 1x 120 film/s) [I have several, including 1 small one for processing 1x 135 film]. 3) Bottle opener / cassette opener [when using  my EOS, I don’t bother opening th cassette, as I can set it to leave a leader when rewinding]. 4) Small pair of scissors to trim the end of th

I've just started back into film processing and am mainly using Ilford chemistry; I trained many years ago in a laboratory environment, so that I think helps although the chemistry used for photographic development is relatively tractable to error and different techniques Using this type of what is really industrial chemistry, the chemicals in use are relatively safe although many wear gloves and of course you must keep the chemicals away from food and wash your hands (after you have handle

I have always enjoyed using different film and developer combinations, it’s all part of the fun of the enhanced creative process of being a film photographer. The main investment is in time and experience and a disciplined approach to every stage.   The satisfaction of creating images worthy of print or display is far more rewarding for me this way than it is with digital cameras. The most successful images I’ve made during my career have all been made on film and I’d encourage anyone

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On 2/7/2021 at 12:50 PM, Mr.Prime said:

I’m considering getting back into home development and I’m starting to think that I should learn to love a low contrast negative with good detail in the shadow & highlight.

A lot depends on your scanning equipment and technique. You want your scanned file to occupy as much as possible of the width of the histogram on your scanner display or when you open the file in post processing - without clipping on either end of course. Too low an overall contrast will unnecessarily compress the middle tones.

I "scan" my negatives with a digital camera and have no trouble capturing as a RAW file my old film negatives that worked well as straight prints on #2 paper back in my darkroom days.

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Hi Doug,

 

Well, for 35mm film I have a Plustek scanner and it does a decent job although I have no control over focus accuracy, but for 120 roll film I have no solution at present. I’m going to be borrowing a Canon EF-S 60mm macro which I can use with my old Rebel XT DSLR but no copy stand or light source yet.

 

I am ‘poised’ to buy some developing tanks, spirals etc. but got side tracked reading about choices of developer. A fascinating topic all by itself. I have yet to decide, but it seems that there’s not much reason to look beyond ID-11/D-76 1:1 rather than mess about chasing different recipes. Again, I have read that for a hybrid workflow the usual considerations of grain are no longer what they were in the hey day of the darkroom print, that scanners emphasize grain too. On-line advice says it may be that the most important thing is to pick something ‘sensible’ and stick with it. The variables being my picture taking rather than my developing. Still reading up on it. People say developer is nasty stuff and for environmental reasons I should use coffee...

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On 2/7/2021 at 6:50 PM, Mr.Prime said:

I’m considering getting back into home development and I’m starting to think that I should learn to love a low contrast negative with good detail in the shadow & highlight.

That's a wise choice that will pay dividends before you realise it.

You don't have to love the look, but you'll love how much easier and faster it makes it to get the look you want. A single tough, contrasty negative where you wrestle to get a decent print out will convince you that it's better to aim for lower contrast than you think you'll need even if you end up ussing a higher contrast filter most of the time.

 

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 But for hybrid workflows there seems to be a simpler approach to developing because the goal is not to have a negative to print from, but one for scanning, where the priority is to capture information and then make it good for printing.

It's the same really. A negative that is easy to print will be even easier to scan. You don't gain anything extra by targeting a digital approach, but you do get something extra by targeting a darkroom approach. In a nut, if it's good for the enlarger, it'll be just as good or better for the scanner.

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Restarting developing after a 30 year layoff revealed sloppy habits and lack of attention to the basics (time & temp).  There are soooo many ways to develop, I’d say getting your techniques right are the top priority.  The less you try this and that, and instead concentrate on one film one developer and get That right, the better your results.  

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1 hour ago, Mr.Prime said:

I’m thinking to myself “what’s wrong with sticking to D-76/ID-11”

A liquid developer used as a one-shot is so much easier (and safer) than mixing a powdered developer that I would never recommend D-76 or ID-11 to anyone just starting ay home.

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19 minutes ago, Doug A said:

A liquid developer used as a one-shot is so much easier (and safer) than mixing a powdered developer that I would never recommend D-76 or ID-11 to anyone just starting ay home.

I have developed before, although I used to use liquid only developers in the past but I have no qualms with a powder. My plan is to make up stock into several convenient sealed bottles, then dilute 1:1 or 1:2 for single-use working solution. 

I’m wondering whether to use my raw (hard) water or softened (ion xch) water - not altogether convinced it should be distilled?

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26 minutes ago, Mr.Prime said:

I’m wondering whether to use my raw (hard) water or softened (ion xch) water - not altogether convinced it should be distilled?

I do my processing at room temperature (68F in the cold months, 75F in the hot months) so I don't have to bother with controlling solution temperatures and bottled distilled water is very convenient. One cautionary note: in the US many stores sell a product labeled in tiny print as "suitable for use in applications that require distilled water." I would not use them in any case.

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2 hours ago, Doug A said:

one-shot is so much easier (and safer) than mixing a powdered developer

I would disagree with that. It's slightly easier, true. And usually you get good shelf life. On the downside you get much less choice in developers if you stick with liquid concentrates, and they're more expensive per roll. Also I'd say HC-110 is the only true general purpose and half-modern liquid concentrate.

"State of the art" nowadays, XTol, comes in powder only. But more importantly, it's very, very economical. A 5L kit, good for 30+ 35mm rolls at 1+1 (and double that at 1+3) is what, $12 or so? Takes 15 minutes - on a slow day -  to mix and pour in bottles, and you won't have to do it again for months (or however long it takes you to shoot 30-50 rolls).

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HC110 is excellent, and so versatile: so many ways to use it, including standing, semi-standing, and the 18 minute Ansel Adams method (which I'm currently using). A little goes a long way, and it has a long shelf life.

And there is a cheaper "knock off" of HC110 called Legacy Pro L110. Haven't tried it yet, but I understand it's the same.

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Developing your own film is so rewarding.

Have done it now for over 20 years or so.

There are many combinations of film and developer and everyone will tell you what's best or preferred.

I can only second HC 110 as a tremendous developer .

I use it for TriX as I do DDX from Ilford.

 

Here a test shot using DDX on TriX.

 

I scan on a humble flatbed Epson and am generally pleased with the results of this combination.

Good luck and fun!

 

Andy

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Stick with one film and one developer, if you are starting. Get the results as you like them, consistently, and only then start to experiment.

If you keep chopping and changing film and/or developer, you will never know where you are.

Take notes...

And use the Massive Dev Chart Timer App as a starter for 10. 

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I have always enjoyed using different film and developer combinations, it’s all part of the fun of the enhanced creative process of being a film photographer.

The main investment is in time and experience and a disciplined approach to every stage.   The satisfaction of creating images worthy of print or display is far more rewarding for me this way than it is with digital cameras.

The most successful images I’ve made during my career have all been made on film and I’d encourage anyone to try film or return to it.  
 

So many options, so much to learn and experiment with, so much more rewarding than pushing sliders.  It‘s a lifelong interest and there’s always something new to have a go with. 
 

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I started home b&w development again a couple years ago after a 25 year hiatus. I didn't notice anyone mention any tips on drying film. In the past, I dried my film in the shower stall. I'd sometimes get some dusty negatives. But not so bad I couldn't with them. Today I live with three furry animals and I quickly discovered that the shower wasn't going to cut it. I bought a clear plastic closet garment bag. Probably the best $18 I've spent for my "darkroom". It's just long and wide enough to dry four or five 36 exposure rolls. It takes a bit longer to dry. But I'm in no hurry.  When I'm finished it collapses flat and fits in the storage tub with the other equipment. 

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2 hours ago, Cotton Eyed Doug said:

I started home b&w development again a couple years ago after a 25 year hiatus. I didn't notice anyone mention any tips on drying film. In the past, I dried my film in the shower stall. I'd sometimes get some dusty negatives. But not so bad I couldn't with them. Today I live with three furry animals and I quickly discovered that the shower wasn't going to cut it. I bought a clear plastic closet garment bag. Probably the best $18 I've spent for my "darkroom". It's just long and wide enough to dry four or five 36 exposure rolls. It takes a bit longer to dry. But I'm in no hurry.  When I'm finished it collapses flat and fits in the storage tub with the other equipment. 

That's what I use, a great way to keep dust off drying negatives

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