Sandy King (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tue, 18 May 1999 21:36:35 -0400
But is not the question of film/developer question not so much one of how
many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but what dance are they doing,
and how well do they dance? Waltz, Samba, Merengue, Foxtrot? Beginner,
intermediate, advanced. Though ultimately the only thing that really
matters is that the angels just keep dancing, because that is where the fun
Now, if the dancing is the different/film combiantions we use, there is no
question in my mind but that we can get the results desired from very wide
variety of film/developer combinations. So much for the dancing. But what
about the steps?
Which is to say, if you can develop 8 sheets of 12X20 film at a time in
tray and get excellent results, with no mottling, uneveness, or scratches,
more power to you, Patrick. I can not, and don't think that many of us
For all the reasons stated above, and others not mentioned, I agree with
Carl that the best way to process 12X20 film in tray is one sheet at a
time, or at least one sheet at a time per tray. But more specifically, I
don't understand how processing several sheets at a time will give, as you
suggest, "much better and more even results". Is there something about the
laminar flow of several sheets interacting that works to give better and
more even development than doing the sheets one at a time? I believe you
would find it difficult or impossible to actually prove this point.
But hey, I tango very poorly.
>One of the truisms in photography when you ask someone what film and
>developer they use is that they all have the perfect formula that won't work
>for you. For everyone who thinks pyro is the photo god's gift to our medium,
>there are others who use something else with absolutely comparable results.
>The only way to achieve the results that work for the kind of imagery you are
>doing is to try several variations. Each film and each developer combination
>will all give perfectly acceptable results. Often the debates on the
>superiority of one combination over another is like discussing how many
>angels dance on the head of a pin. Sometimes the quality of the image
>supercedes the methodolgy of film processing. Sometimes the choice is about
>health and safety, one reason I choose not to use pyro. The potential and
>very real health risk is , for me, not worth any minute quality difference.
>Sometimes the choices come down to the price and availibilty of the film, not
>to which is superior. I too photograph with 12 X 20, among others, and have
>worked with both HP5 and Bergger film. I use HC-110 in dilutions B and E.
>These work for me. My advice is to use other people's suggestions as a point
>of departure, find a combination you like, and then work with it until you
>get what you are looking for. One disagreement I have with Carl's post is
>that 1 sheet at a time developing in a tray dramatically increases your
>chances of mottling and unevenness. 2 to 4 sheets at a time will give you
>much better and more even results. Just remember to lay them face or emulsion
>side down and while shuffling them through the stack, never pull them out
>from the bottom at a diagonal, as the sheets above will scratch. I routinely
>develop 12 X 20 and 14 X 17 with from between 4 to 8 sheets at a time with no
>scratches and perfect development. If you have any further questions about
>this or the camera, please feel free to contact directly.
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