While these days the old standbys are still excellent choices to develop your film and offer up a great deal of variety there’s something to be said about having a universal one-size-fits-all developer. I first discovered this last year with Adox FX-39 II. But I quickly fell a rabbit hole of similar developers. And I’m not talking about Diafine, but rather Rollei Supergrain. Supergrain is an updated version of Amaloco AM 74. Supergrain offers up a series of dilutions and times that will develop most films at the same associated times. Perfect if you’re shooting a whole bunch of different films but have limited timeRead 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 →

If there is one developer that is the closest thing to a magic bullet in my chemistry set, that developer is Pyrocat-HD. While Rodinal is the oldest commercial developer, Pyro based developers pre-date Rodinal into the early days of photography, being used back in the days when plate-based photographic media were the norm. And while the developers changed overtime, Pyrocat-HD is among the newest in the category being developed by Sandy King as an improvement over PMK Pyro. Sandy promotes the developer as giving 1/3rd of a stop in film speed with about 10-15% less developing time. Along with consistent staining action and lower toxicity.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 →

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 →

When it comes to basic bare-bones developers, you don’t get any more simple than Kodak D-76. Kodak D-76 is the common factor between professional and student photographers and everyone in between. It’s a staple in most darkrooms, you can develop film and prints with it, and for me, it was the first developer I ever used for both film and prints. And for a while, I had stopped using Kodak D-76 in my processing, but after I started reviewing films, I got back into the stuff. The reason it gives what you expect, a baseline. It also is relatively inexpensive and economical for long termRead More →

After the lack luster across the board performance of Ilford DD-X (Which I have since tried with Delta 3200 which DD-X was designed for, and my good friend Julie Douglas saying it works well with Kodak films) I decided to give another Ilford developer a try, Perceptol. According to the Ilford site the developer is a very fine grain developer with excellent image quality. While designed for the slower films in the Ilford line up it would produce noticeably finer grain with faster films. This is Ilford’s version of the classic Microdol-X from Kodak, a developer that actually grew on me the more I usedRead More →