Suggestion for beginners: start with D76, skip the monobath

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
justinwonnacott Senior Member • Posts: 1,066
Re: Why?

Steven Seven wrote:

"to get consistent negatives and know your film speed learn to use one film and developer well and only change things for special situations"

Sorry but as a newbie can I ask for some clarification? What do you mean by "learn to use one developer"? The instructions for all of them (well... I only used Xtol and DD-X) are simpler than any cooking recipe: Mix up with water at 20C, 9 mins, four inversions every minute, done.

I've only done 8 rolls and they're all identical in quality. Yet people talk about advantages/disadvantages of HC-110 vs D76 vs ID-11. Am I missing something?

Here's a typical neg. I'm getting:

Delta 100 in DD-X , the instructions from Ilford's web site

D76 can be used for push processing and in varying dilutions for softer lower gamma negatives. The iso for optimal results varies according to dilution time and temperature. The Kodak manual recommendations are for typical uses and are not necessarily the best. D76 and trix are tolerant of processing errors which is a good thing. Other film and developer combinations can be trickier. In my case I had one routine for pushing to 1600 iso another for harsh light using soft development and exposing for the shadows and underdeloping to keep the highlights from blocking up....and so on. For quick and dirty I would soup stock d76 and trix at 600 iso in fresh one shot developer. Condenser enlarger  for that. Monobaths are not so flexible. Delta or tmax emulsions required different development and d76 results were dodgy and precise exposure and development was needed.

In a nutshell I learned to get the best out of a film dev was versatile and consistent.

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