chemicals questions

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by electricalperson, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. electricalperson

    electricalperson TPF Noob!

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    the film i like to use is kodak tmax 400 and t max 100 black and white in 35mm and 120 size. should i use kodak chemicals to get the best? i use ilford fixer, zonal pro developer and sprint brand stop bath and fixer remover.

    i want to get the best quality negative i can.

    sorry for all the noob questions. :) we have kodak hypo clearing agent as well. will that get a better quality negative using that? i usually rinse for 30 min after i use the fixer remover
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    all modern chemicals will produce quality negatives if you make the right decision before firing the shutter.

    all those mention are fine products, you don't need the hca with most modern film (there are a few exceptions ) but yours is not one of them.

    check out Ilford's website for their archival washing methods, it will reduce the washing time.
     
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There's more than one way to develop B&W film. Lots more.

    Different B&W film/developer combinations produce different results -- that's
    a big part of the fun and creativity of B&W film processing.

    Variable factors include variations in grain, definition, tonal range and
    rendition, edge effects, highlight rendition, shadow detail, contrast and
    others.

    Experiment. ;)
     
  4. electricalperson

    electricalperson TPF Noob!

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    i really dont know much about other ways of developing film or other chemicals. can you explain or point me to a website for help?
     
  5. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^ The best reference I know of is the Film Developing Cookbook by Steve Anchell
    Amazon.com: The Film Developing Cookbook


    Some materials (film & developers) have changed since this book was
    published but many have not and the general information provided on this
    subject is invaluable in my opinion. It provides descriptions of the different
    categories of B&W developers and the differences they produce among
    other things
     
  6. Jay DeFehr

    Jay DeFehr TPF Noob!

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    Hello E,

    Your films are arguably the finest ever produced, and your processing chemicals are capable of producing excellent negatives. The "best quality negative", from a purely technical point of view, is one that is optimally exposed and developed for the print media you'll use. There is some debate about whether the same technique is optimal for both scanning/digital printing, and darkroom printing, for instance, and even within the realm of darkroom printing, a negative that is optimal for printing on grade 3 paper with a condenser enlarger is not optimal for printing on the same paper with a diffusion enlarger. The actual differences in these optimal negatives is rather small, and if one is printing in a darkroom on VC paper, they are essentially meaningless, because the Exposure Scale of VC paper can be adjusted with filtration to match negatives of widely varying Density Ranges. I'm not sure of the range of negative densities scanners can accommodate, but I know it's a range, and probably varies with the quality of the scanner. So, very precise control of negative Density Ranges is only critical when printing in the darkroom on a single grade of paper.
    Beyond this basic, and purely technical consideration, lies the realm of personal taste, and the vast horizon of artistic expression, wherein, you are on your own. If, at some point you decide your current developer is not adequate for your needs, if you embark on some fringe pursuit, like night/ low light photography, or petroglyph photography, or the use of some specialty film, you might consider a more exotic developer, but the one you're using should be more than adequate for any normal use.

    Good luck, and have fun!

    Jay
     

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