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01-03-2011, 11:32 AM   #1
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Getting back into film (some questions)

I'm a full time working photographer (editorial, commercial, and weddings) who recently purchased a Pentax 67 II system and plan on shooting film on personal and some jobs.

I mainly photograph people and plan on using Tri-X and Delta 3200 for my B&W work.
Is there a certain type developer that will work with the Kodak and Illford film or do I have to find developers more suited for each film?


01-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the 67II!

To get started, nearly any developer will do what you need - D-76 or T-Max developer from Kodak, or one of the Ilford formulas - depending on your volumes etc, whatever is easiest.

Once past the start, there are so many flavors and favorites, seems like nearly everybody has theirs Myself, at this point I've settled on good old D-76 as I got some for $2 per gallon. Once that runs out, maybe I'll try something else, but really I don't see much need.

If you have a specific look you're after, you might get some specific recommendations.
01-04-2011, 10:51 PM   #3
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I think D-76 and Tri-X are a match made in heaven. At any rate, it's a good place to start: it's sorta the "baseline" for film developers. It's right in the middle: when I'm testing a new film, I use D-76 to develop it, as I use it as a point of reference.

Ilford ID-11 is the same stuff as D-76, the only difference is the packaging (Ilford separates the developer and accelerant components in the box of the developer for longer shelf life.)

If you're looking for something really easy, get some Diafine (Freestyle sell it in LA.) A two-part developer, it's ridiculously easy. Don't need to worry about times or temps; just soak film in solution A for three minutes, then in solution B, then rinse & fix.
01-07-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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Tri-X is one of those films that will probably work with *ANY* developer. Everyone has their favorites, and some of them will argue till the end of time why their choice is the best. I'm a strong Rodinal (now sold as Adonal at Freestyle) supporter, and I love the look it gives Tri-X. Yes, it's grainy (this will be less apparent on your 67 than it is on 35mm), but it's nice and sharp and I prefer the tonalities that I get from this combo.

That being said, the best option is to pick a developer and stick to it until you know it inside and out. Initially, you might try to narrow it down to what type of look you prefer (for example, if grain bothers you, you'll want to avoid Rodinal like the plague). Once you pick one, though, stick to it until you get good looking, and (most importantly) consistent results.

I've never used Delta 3200, but it's a T grain film and will probably be a little more tricky for developing. A quick internet perusal seems to indicate that DD-X is probably the most popular (which makes sense as I believe DD-X was designed for the Delta films), but that there are lots of options for it as well.

If you're wanting to use the same developer for both films, I would suggest figuring out what will work for you with the Delta 3200 and then adapting the Tri-X to that.

Good luck, and congratulations on your purchase!


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