Suggestion for beginners: start with D76, skip the monobath

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
EmmaNems Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Here's why

Kelvin L wrote:

"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."

The reason everything is challenging to print with a condenser enlarger is that the light is collimated. The light does not penetrate all negative densities proportionally. The more dense a portion of the negative is, the more light is scattered and the more blocked highlights will be in the print. Such doesn't happen at lower densities. So it is impossible to print a negative true to its range. It's the Callier Effect. Interestingly, it doesn't happen with chromogenic films like Ilford XP2, because there is no silver left in the developed film to scatter light, just dye.

I can't guarantee it's the same thing in scanning, but my experience points that way. If I'm shooting black and white film to be scanned, I shoot XP2. It scans better without the exaggeration of the negative densities through scattered light.

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