Suggestion for beginners: start with D76, skip the monobath

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Kelvin L Regular Member • Posts: 444
Re: Why?

Gesture wrote:

My experience with scanning B&W negatives, which I did a lot of before I knew digital existed!, is that scanners can detect very thin parts of a negative very well, dense portions are more problematic. Keep development controlled. You can pump up the contrast in digital processing.

Yes, I think a developer like D-76 can do quite a bit (i.e. almost anything), even with films like Delta 100, which for me was the only acceptable T-/D- grain film. I never cared for TMax. It lacks bite or a real acuity to me.

Yes, same here - I have a folder full of T-Max negatives processed with D76 and T-Max RS. They were very challenging to print using my condenser enlarger, and are still difficult to scan. The highlights just get really dense due to the linear response - it’s almost like slide film when overexposed. Printing with grade 0 or 1 paper to try and preserve highlight detail led to very flat mid tones.

These days I’m exclusively scanning, and prefer the older films like FP4 and Tri-X for this reason. XP2 is even better when it’s available. I only use Delta 3200 for low light settings, and to be honest I end up using digital in those scenarios most of the time.

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