very good test method
Old 08-28-2015   #41
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very good test method

Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
Surely not !

Provided that something like "factors typical of a certain film" even exists when you look at prints, which isn't too sure.

When I look at my B&W negatives I can usually tell which is which without reading the patents markings because there is a slight pink tint here, a slight blue cast there, some curling here, some perfect flatness there, or no curl and no slight color cast ; some are thicker, some are thinner...

Of course there are obvious differences between films when you look at their structure with a microscope.

Some people may want to try to ask the gallerists to show them the negatives, so that they can pull their pocketable microscopes out.

Here is a photo shot long ago on a certain type of film (which still exists) and developed in something absolutely not recommended for this kind of film (the same, it still exists). I did it that way because I was too lazy to go and buy the developer said to match that kind of film and because I still had plenty enough of working solution of the "wrong" developer. I have printed a 24x30 FB sheet off it and the print really floors me (and at that time my old 50mm lens had lots of wobble and my old camera body meter needle was jumping like crazy so I had to apply the old f/16 rule).

I'd like it very much if talented trained specialists could tell which film and which developer (this is a scan of the negative but the FB print looks the very same).

I have generated much more and fervent debate than I expected. However, this is not a problem, but a good occasion to exchange our opinions.

I have checked the recommended Norwegian website. I should refine my OP statement: yes, there are some differences between films and developers, but in practice these are quite slight. You can get good pictures with any common film and developer, so choose that which fit your taste and purse.

If you check prints for judging a negative, the enlarger, the paper and paper developer come into play.
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Old 08-28-2015   #42
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To me it is not the developer that has the larger variance, but, it is the "Film Grain Technology"

Old School (Tri-X) Gritty (high speed), and not as contrasty as newer emulsions.
New School (Tmax 400) smoother tighter grain, more contrast.

Though with some developers, you can enhance the grain.
Rodinal 1:100 or higher with old school films rated higher than 400 in most cases. Rodinal does better and recommended for slower films by the makers.

Also, different dilutions (1:50 plus) may affect grain also, especially if you use stand or semi-stand (very little agitation)

This is my experience, yours may vary in results

But, the best way is 10x loupe, and a lightbox to look at the grain after development. Take notes on what differences you see in the grain.

Here is a first time use of Kentmere 100 at 100 in HC110 1:60 (H) with agitation every 2m for 3sec. The grain is bit more than a 100 old school film, but, it has a good tonal range and sharpness
HC110 1:30 (B) may result in tighter grain...don't know, I need to make a test.

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Old 08-28-2015   #43
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Originally Posted by Pherdinand View Post
there is a lot of grey area between "no differences" and "recognizing film, deverloper, lens used".
Both extremes are nonsense.
Quite -- except on the internet.


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Old 08-28-2015   #44
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Originally Posted by valdas View Post
I can't even look at some of my old negatives because I know I have over-agitated a particular developer... I will never post those photos on any flickr. I don' even start about film/developer combination...
No such thing as over agitation. I use 8 oz in a 16 oz tank, film reel on bottom, empty one top. Agitate by
inversion. This is the most aggressive agitation I can think of. But it satisfies one of the two required principles of film developing, quick spreading of developer on dry film and random agitation.

Trying to control contrast by agitation is never going to work. Reduced agitation does not replenish across the whole film and you get blotchy negs and bromide streaks.

Don`t read the advice on the internet. If the schemes worked, Kodak would use it. In fact they recommend 5 to 7 inversions in 5 sec for a small tank.
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Old 08-28-2015   #45
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The only really effective way of controlling contrast is when shooting a scene. Any manipulation of development to improve contrast or withhold contrast results in minimal shifts and often has adverse effects on the rest of the image (muddy shadows, murky whites). Photographers need to spend more time in the field getting the right conditions and less time trying to compensate or adjust later on. If the scene in front of you seems too contrasty than reduce the contrast (graduated ND filters, fill flash, wait for better light conditions) or don't shoot the scene, or better yet appreciate the scene has high contrast. Not every print has to contain every shade of grey.
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Old 08-28-2015   #46
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The differences are more dramatic when examine prints. Images on computer screens do not represent the same images as one would see on a wet print. IMO the only way to understand the various choices is to look at lots of photos. If you only want to post on the internet, then in fact it doesn't make as much difference.
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Old 08-28-2015   #47
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Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post

I just want to say, finally, a cat photo that doesn't just put me to sleep

I like it!
Have a good light,

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Old 09-01-2015   #48
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Now I guess that this issue cannot be settled one way or the other. Everyone has his own idea. But it is worth that someone tries to find the way which is the best for him.
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Old 09-01-2015   #49
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I agree about developers, but there are some B&W films (not many) that I can recognize.
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Old 09-04-2015   #50
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So here's an idea:

If you live by the sea, use sea water to develop your film. If you live by a lake, use that lake water!

I'm saying that because I went to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. yesterday and saw this fantastic image "Salton Sea C1" (2007) by Mathew Brandt. Apparently, when Mathew Brandt takes an image of a lake/sea, he uses water from that lake/sea to develop the paper, with stunning results! When he made images of swarms of bees, he incorporates their honey into the prints. He makes the subject part of the image!

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