Lookig for one B&W fine art film and developer...

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Just getting back into LF...My only expereince with LF (4x5) was in college more than 10 years ago. Then I shot Tri-x with very good results. However, I don't recall what developer I used but I'm guessing it was HC-110.

I will be shooting landscape 4x5 and enlarging to 16x20. I've heard alot of pros and cons around t-max and alot of pros about the FP4+ and HP5+. No idea about devlepoers...I'm interested in hearing what works for you (B&W landscape), why and how long you've been working with the combination...

-- Craig Uecker (mjuecker@aol.com), December 23, 2000


Tri-x and Pyro.....shear elegance!

-- Jon Abernathy (jona@aol.com), December 23, 2000.

Craig: I have used Tri-X with HC-110 for a long time and it is a great combination. I began this year using HP-5 Plus with Ilford ID- 11 and that is quickly becoming my favorite. It can be used at 250- 300 ASA and still hold good shadow detail. I have always rated Tri-X at 160 to hold good shadows. I use the faster speed film because I use filters a lot and can use the extra shutter speed in some situations. If you use a filter and stop down to f22 or f32, you run out of shutter speed in a hurry. Grain is no problem with either film with 16x20 enlargements. I have not used the PMK Pyro developer, but I plan to run some tests this winter. You may find that T-Max gives you what you want, but I really like the looks of prints from Tri-X and HP-5P better.

Happy Holidays,

-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alaweb.com), December 23, 2000.

For me part of the attraction of T-Max 100 is that it is the same emulsion in all formats, and I find some virtue in getting to know a few films well and using them for everything. I process it in D-76 1:1, which gives it less contrast than than T-Max developers and a curve that is closer to traditional emulsions.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), December 23, 2000.

I used tmax 100 with d76 1:1 for awhile and liked it.I switched to freestyle 400 (hp5) and pmk because it was the cheaper way to go and i always wanted to try pyro.one of the disadvanteges of d76 is that a gallon does not last long you have to store and mix more develper. pmk is two bottles one is a liter the 1 and a half and it took me six months to use my first batch up. and since i get it pre mixed i dont have to mix it at all. of course it can kill you but what cant these days.-J

-- josh (devil_music@us.net), December 23, 2000.

Lots of opinions so I will vote for FP4 and Pyro. Beyond elegant!

-- David N. VanMeter (davidvanmeter@columbus.rr.com), December 23, 2000.

I like Delta 100 and HP5+ and, when reciprocity characteristics become very important, TMX, all developed in D-76 1:1 or 1:3.

You really need to just buy a few boxes of film and a few developers and give 'em a try. Modern films and developers provide myriad ways to get virtually the same results.

-- John Hicks (jbh@magicnet.net), December 23, 2000.

Craig, if you are just getting back into large format, I really would not recommend PMK Pyro to start out with. I just finished processing 1125 sheets of 4x5 film in PMK pyro and it is not a bullet proof process. Mistakes can be costly. Fortunately for me I have been using pmk pyro for years and think i have pretty much made all the mistakes. (I could be wrong) But if you would like more information on the process Contact Photographers Formulary and get the book by Gordon Hutchings. It is a wonderful resource. In the mean time d-76 or hc110 with Ilford fp4+ or hp5+ works great. These films have the same emulsion across the size spectrum. So that means you can expect to get the same results no matter what format you are shooting. Good luck. Happy Holidays.

-- jacque staskon (jacque@cybertrails.com), December 24, 2000.

There's a lot to be said for Ilford's XP-2 film. High speed, incredibly long scale, processed at your local photo dealer in C-41.

-- Bill Mitchell (bmitch@home.com), December 24, 2000.

I would say FP4 in HC-110, but in the last two weeks I've discovered the joy that is PMK, so my vote is for FP4 in PMK.

-- Dave Munson (orthoptera@juno.com), December 24, 2000.

reaig 6 months or so ago I would have said FP4 in PMK......until I "perfected" DiXactol (Barry Thorntons amazing developer), very much like PMK but BETTER!!!!!! Soon the world of LF will be converted!!!!!

-- paul owen (paulowen_2000@yahoo.com), December 25, 2000.

Well...Thanks to all. I change my mind with every article I read and every responce. Until I get back into full swing, I'm going with Tri-x and HC-110.

-- Craig Uecker (bwzone@cc.net), December 26, 2000.

I'm a retread too. I have been trying everything but so far nothing matches my old (1980s) Tri-X negs developed in HC110 dil B. Especially the local contrast and edge effects.

-- Bill Brady (wmbrady@olg.com), December 27, 2000.

I would have to say that I have tried tri-x, plus-x, delta-100, foma, and t-max with various developers. I have been told that tri-x is the best with no substitute, but I grew up on T-max. I find it to be slightly contrasty (which I see as an advantage on graded papers). I use PMK developer and t-max 100 4x5 sheet film. 70 degrees with minor agitation for 10 minutes. No stop bath and redeveloped w/ the same developer for two minutes after being fixed (to increase the stain effect. It has yielded the most beautiful negatives I've ever

-- bill davis (billzdavis@yahoo.com), May 15, 2001.


-- Wayne (wsteffen@skypoint.com), May 16, 2001.

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