I started developing my black and white films recently only, about one and a half year ago and up to now I have not messed ip a film (guess I’m lucky). I always have wanted to do it, but never had the money (when I was young), the time (later) and the balls to take the step.
So I always gave my films to the local lab, but was VERY unhappy with the printed results, notably with B&W film. Anyway, the price of having film developed being high and going up I decided the moment had come to do it.
First of course I did it right along the rules, relied on the Massive Dev iPhone app for the timing. Then I read about stand development and I was hooked. I studied this site in detail…
…and was somewhat baffled by his insights. Here’s an extract of his timing rule for different film types and speeds, developed in Rodinal:
T-Max 100 = 1 hour
T-Max pushed two stops = 1 hour
Fuji Neopan = 1 hour
Ilford HP5 = 1 hour
Some mystery roll you found in a second hand camera = 1 hour
So I went for it and soaked some Tri-X for an hour in the very weak Rodinal (Adonal in my case) soup. The results were amazing. Nice crisp contrast. Sharp, well defined edges, everything was looking nice to me and needed only a small amount of dabbling in Lightroom, mostly to get rid of dust.
I really like what I’m seeing, and the process is so tempting in it’s simplicity that you can only like it. Sure, if you get really involved with developing you will have your proper recipes, your rules and standards you work with. And your results will certainly be better, I’m sure of that. But it’s a rewarding experience for me.
My scanner (Canon 9000f MkII flatbed) is not the sharpest kid in town, but I nevertheless enjoy the results.
Now if I only could get rid of scanning and do some wet printing…. an old dream of mine. Perhaps, one day I’ll be able to set up a proper darkroom.
Until then it’s scanning for me, and that will be a topic for an upcoming post.
Thanks for hearing me out !