It’s funny how some developers just drop right into your lap. One of my readers, Jon Porter, wanted to know my thoughts on FX-39. And at the time I had never even heard of Adox FX-39, so I hopped onto my source for the rarer chemicals, Argentix.ca, and found that yes they did carry Adox FX-39 II. Is this new version any different from OG FX-39, not on the surface, it just has been adjusted to last longer. But that wouldn’t be a problem. I went through my first 500mL bottle quickly and in a couple of months. FX-39 is based on Neofin Red (createdRead More →

These days I will rarely work with Ilfosol 3, but it remains a developer that I always keep in the back of my mind. After learning how to develop my own black & white film from my good friend Julie using Kodak D-76, it would be a few more years before I started taking on the process full time. When I went into Burlington Camera to get all the equipment I needed to take on the daunting task some eight years ago, Joan pointed me towards Ilfosol 3 as a good starting point when you didn’t want to keep a large quantity of developer mixedRead More →

When you think of all the developers out there, D-76, D-23, HC-110, DK-50, Rodinal, these are all designed specifically for developing standard black & white films, but there is another developer that often flew under the radar mainly because it proved so industry-specific that the home photography wouldn’t even think of using the developer in their own processing. That developer is D-96, originally created by Kodak for use to develop black & white motion picture film. But the average photographer cannot get small quantities of D-96 but that’s where Cinestill stepped in releasing their own version of D96 along with the Film Photography Project. IRead More →

If I had to choose between Microphen and Perceptol, Perceptol would win every time. And it all has to do with how the developer works. If you know me, I’m a fan of the old school, not only do I shoot and develop my own film, I like older film stocks, older developers, and that classic look. And while it’s easy for me to whip up a batch of D-23, there’s just something that Perceptol does that makes it the perfect mix between new and old. If Microphen is your fast-moving friend, Perceptol is one that takes a little more time. While I wouldn’t useRead More →

When I first started with film development, my world consisted of Kodak products, D-76 and HC-110. The only other developer I used outside of Kodak was Rodinal and Ilfosol 3 (at least at first). Then in 2015, I started reviewing cameras and decided at the same time to explore Ilford more both in film stocks and developers. I stumbled upon two developers that soon became favourites, one of them is Perceptol (which I will review next month) the second is Microphen. While not a developer I use often, it offers fine grain, neutral contrast, and works for both push and pull processing. Technical Details Manufacturer:Read More →

Do you know that Kodak D-76 has a cousin? Although in the grand timeline of things, I can’t place exactly when the stuff was first released. But if I had to hazard a guess it was sometime in the 1920s. It proved to be a favourite of Ansel Adams along with HC-110. Today Kodak no longer produces D-23 in favourite of the far more shelf-stable D-76, but you can still mix it up from raw chemistry if you know the formula (I’ll be sharing that later) or you can purchase pre-made kits. Personally, I enjoy working with D-23 when I need some compensating capabilities andRead More →

There are new developers, there are old developers, and then there is Rodinal. First released in 1891 by Agfa, Rodinal is the brainchild of the Doctor, not that Doctor, but Dr Momme Anderesen who disliked the reliance on hydroquinone in the traditional film developers of the day. Instead, he began work on using Aromatic Amines in 1880 before settling on p-aminophenol. The result is the developer we call today Rodinal. And for much of its life was a closely guarded secret by Agfa, at least until the patent expired. And while today Agfa exists, Rodinal has taken on many different forms, but the same formula.Read More →

While today it’s been several years since its introduction, Xtol marks the last developer to come out of Kodak. And as developers go, it is the least toxic of all the ones available on the general market. The reason is that it uses Ascorbic Acid as one of the active ingredients. It not only allows for sharpness but also reducing visible grain in the process. But Xtol is also a developer with a flawed history; you need to mix up a lot to maintain its stability. And while I no longer keep Xtol in my toolkit, it remains a beautiful developer that is perfect ifRead More →

If there is one film developer that I will always go back to and use until they cease production (which isn’t any time soon) that developer is HC-110. Released in 1962 to little fanfare, Kodak HC-110 quickly found traction as being the developer of choice of Ansel Adams and those who use the zone system extensively. Kodak HC-110 is the third black & white developer that I ever used and became my developer of choice. Personally what keeps me coming back to HC-110 is the general-purpose use, the excellent results, economy, stability, and results that it continues to give. Kodak HC-110 has never let meRead More →

We’re not done with chemistry just yet! And while we still didn’t dig into Ilford Chemistry (Don’t worry, we’ll do an episode dedicated to Ilford in Season Six) we have an excellent selection of jack-of-all-trade developers to one-trick ponies. Pour Me Another Round… We’re back with another batch of developers, this time we’re digging into the strange and specialised, from motion picture developers to ones designed or a small set of films. Cinestill D96 The idea behind Cinestill D96 is actually bringing a Kodak developer into the hands of the general public. It’s no secret that Cinestill D96 is Kodak D-96 a specialised developer fromRead More →