If there is the closest thing to a universal developer in the film photography world, that developer is Diafine. If you’re thinking, “Wait, aren’t all developers universal?” You are right; a B&W developer will develop many different film stocks. But it doesn’t often happen that two other film stocks, shot at different speeds, can be developed simultaneously. There are some examples of cross-over, but only a few. Diafine uses three main development times and a couple of unique combinations. These are shared across many different film stocks that allow you to develop multiple rolls shot multiple ways in the same tank. You can also shootRead More →

What Was I Thinking… In the world of film developers, there are many options for almost any film type and situation, and then there are the weird ones associated with closed imaging systems. And then there are developers like Formulary FX-2. I enjoy working with the strange, trying to use them to crack a tough film stock or figure out where a developer will fit within my film-developing kit. And through these reviews, I have found several that will be useful going forward. Developers like FX-39 II, Atomal 49, and R09 Spezial have now found spots in my kit as excellent film development tools. AndRead More →

I had a lot of fun looking at the dedicated line of Foma developers this year. Yes, they produce a couple of clones but have three developers unique only to their company. LQN crossed my desk after someone suggested that it is the dedicated developer for Fomapan 200. And having struggled with Fomapan 200, I wanted to give this one a shot. I initially thought I would have to get it shipped by the slow European route. I soon discovered that my local source of rare developers had some in stock, so I got a bottle. LQN is the sibling to Fomadon LQR. But unlikeRead More →

Regarding film developers, I tend to stray from those designed for one specific film stock. It’s not that I don’t want to try them; I have a dislike of closed image systems. A good developer should be able to achieve a specific result with various films. And for a while, I thought that Foma Retro Special is explicitly designed for Foma Retropan 320 Soft, and while this is the ideal film for the developer, it can do so much more for the entire line of Foma films. After finding a source for the developer, I purchased a pack since I am finally running a reviewRead More →

I caught a glimpse of a modern production of this developer from the folks at Silvergrain Classics and immediately started to hunt down the developer. Most sources pointed to having to order from a European supplier and waiting a month for it to arrive when I ran across the developer at a local source, Downtown Camera. Well, I jumped at the chance. I first learned about Neofin Blau in my review of Adox FX-39 II, which is based upon Neofin Rouge; both developers are based on the works of noted German photographer Willi Beutler. Blau, unlike Rouge, is designed for films rated at ASA-200 orRead More →

There’s always another developer out there to try out, and every time I start to wonder when I’ll need to wind down these reviews, another one pops up. In the case of Fotospeed FD10, I saw it on an Instagram story from a fellow film photographer and started to hunt it down. There are two versions of FD10 out there, Fotospeed and Berspeed; I’m not sure which company made the developer originally or what the developer was made for. But from what I’ve seen online, this is an excellent general-purpose developer for small-scale to large-volume processing. Technical Details Manufacturer: Fotospeed Name: Film Developer FD10 PrimaryRead More →

Whenever I think I have gotten to know what each photography company has to offer, I’m always surprised when something new comes across my desk. I always figured that Foma produced films and clones of other developers. But when someone commented on an earlier review about Fomadon LQN, I started to think that maybe other developers weren’t cloned available. Sadly I couldn’t get Fomadon LQN from my usual source (but a review is coming); the source did have LQR. So I grabbed a bottle, thinking there might be something to Foma developers. LQR is the high-contrast brother to LQN, and after my good luck withRead More →

It has been a while since we last visited the topic of film developers. So in today’s episode Alex sits down to talk about some of the more exoctic developers that have poured their way through his chemistry kit recently. These include a lovely elevated general purpose developer in Fotospeed FD10, a couple of high-contrast developers with Kodak D-19 and Fomadon LQR. Then Rodinal’s cousin, R09 Spezial, and even a colour developing kit, the FPP Super Colour Negative ECN-2 kit. Alex also digs into how he tests and reviews film developers, and it isn’t that scientific, and you know that’s okay! FPP Super Color NegativeRead More →

When it comes to magic in photography, nothing can compare to watching a wet plate develop and clear or printing in the darkroom. But a close second is developing your slide film at home. After fretting about ruining slide film by developing it at home, I decided to go for it and put in some crucial rolls from Europe. If you force yourself to do it right the first time, develop something that matters! And when I pulled off those first two rolls, I was blown away! And while they looked ugly when wet, when dried, it was magic. The Unicolor Rapid E-6 kits makeRead More →

When it comes to Kodak’s back catalogue of developers, it is extensive. Today it is small compared to the past, with most people going with D-76, HC-110 and XTol. But Kodak once produced a wide range of developers for almost every application. And there is one that provides fast, high-contrast, and low-fog negatives, and that is Kodak D-19. While the original creation and cancellation of D-19 are lost in history, today, you can mix it up yourself or purchase a premixed kit from Photographer’s Formulary. Of all the developers I’ve used and reviewed to date, D-19 is undoubtedly among the most exciting and unique, notRead More →