Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2007/10/25

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Subject: [Leica] Developer for Neopan 1600/TMax 3200
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Thu Oct 25 23:17:54 2007

> So what's the point of having the extra speed in the emulsion, if
> you're development won't take advantage of it?
> Slobodan Dimitrov
> On Oct 25, 2007, at 6:57 PM, Marty Deveney wrote:
>   Xtol is best.  I shoot Neopan 1600 @ EI 640 and develop for 11 minutes
> in Xtol 1+3.  This is seriously divergent from Mark's data, but it works
> for me. TMZ works best in Xtol 1+1 - higher dilutions produce a lot of
> grain and very high dilutions don't have enough developer to get proper
> density.  The Kodak times - 20% worked fine for me - I generally shot
> this film at EI1000 but haven't used it for a couple of years. D76 1+2
> with 2-5g/L ascorbate works well, but isn't as good as Xtol.  It's more
> alkaline, which I think encourages grain.  I'll try to test that
> scientifically someday.  The high alkalinity can sometimes cause the
> activate the ascorbate alone (rather than synergistically with the other
> developers) which can get ugly.  This has been a problem for some with
> Patrick Gainer's PC-TEA, but can be fixed by adding a little bromide.
> D76 probably isn't alkaline enough for this to pose a problem, but it's
> worth bearing in mind. Whatever film you use, I'd strongly recommend
> developing at least one test roll to get your time right.  It's not
> worth
> experimenting on rolls that hold valuable images (like wedding shots).
> Marty

I agree where Slobodan is coming from  I think but to avoid ongoing purely
philosophical pointless verbal points when talking about a visual art form
why not have a URL at the end of your emails, Marty like most of us do now
in this day and age (of walk the walk as well as talk the talk), pointing to
website gallery stuff. Uploads. Texas Tea. Swimming pools, movie stars.
  Stuff we can look at other than Times new roman to see if the writer knows
what a properly balanced image looks like? I'm sure Marty does but I'd just
like to see so I have a ground of reference while reading emails. Something
to click on when the words get thick.

In the old days before people did this and or had websites or other upload
playpens we'd have guys will all kinds of ideas. Some of them sounded really
impressive. Week after week month after month. Words. Brow beating opinions
from out of the blue.
Some of these high tech talking guys ended up not having a clue what a
properly placed image looked like. Or how to spot a print. So we stopped
worrying about their opinions so much or why we didn't have a clue what they
were talking about. Or why their differential equations were different than
And some of the less glib guys were solid image makers.
So then when they said something we listened.
After we saw their pix. Or at least uploads. Which I think kids do well at
at the age of 9. A paper print takes a few more years maybe.
Sooner or later not its nice to see the proof in the pudding at the end of
the day.

The idea of Neopan 1600 only having a half stop more speed than Tri x just
doesn't click with me. I've gotten a full 1600 out of it with bunch of
developers and dilutions tungsten and daylight low pressure sodium and
candle light. Full shadow detail with all kinds of prints in the darkroom or
when scanned out of the Epson.
And I think over exposing is the single worst thing you can do in black and
white film photography. Digital too maybe! A quick glance at an image
quickly betrays that. You get crushed upper tones which are darned
impossible to uncrush certainly in the darkroom.
But many are pretty handy with a histogram when they scan and or photoshop.

Mark William Rabiner

Replies: Reply from marcsmall at (Marc James Small) ([Leica] Developer for Neopan 1600/TMax 3200)
In reply to: Message from s.dimitrov at (slobodan dimitrov) ([Leica] Developer for Neopan 1600/TMax 3200)