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:

Thank you!

HP5 isn’t a contrasty film, it’s very similar to Tri-X and will deal with extreme contrast well.

See, people say this all the time, but I found Tri-X results to be spectacular. It always gives me options in digital post-processing and overall appears to be "wider" with rich mid-tones. HP5+ with DD-X seems to "compress" so much dynamic range into a narrow range of grey values... Having developed a few rolls of each, the difference is impossible to ignore.

Here's a couple of typical Tri-X frames I've gotten with my routine. Note that very little post-processing effort was required.

Tri-X with stock DD-X

Tri-X with stock DD-X

And then again, the greys of HP5+ Note that a ton of post-processing effort was required to make them less "flat".

HP5+ with DD-X

HP5+ with DD-X

The 2 last images are flat to begin with....soft diffused hazy light as opposed to the sunlit scenes before them. If I still shot f film I would overdevelop the hazy cloudy day roll and shoot at a half stop higher iso. Net effect is to boost contrast and hopefully not overexposed,

You are probably compensating for this with curves after the fact. Different lighting and subject contrast requires different treatment. If no important parts of the scene are on the toe or shoulder of the film curve and the image lives well within the straight line part of the curve you can steepen the curve to get more contrast reasonably safely....differently lit scenes on the same roll will need different curve corrections.

Cloudy days are tough in BW.

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