Developer Test

Work makes it hard to get outside while it is still light but I’ve been itching to test out using Ilford PQ Universal developer on my dry plates. Last night I set up a simple still life. I didn’t really have the energy to do more than pick an object. I’m please with the image I made and a little surprised there was so little difference between developer concentrations.

  • Top Left: Well under exposed first shot in PQ @ 1:29
  • Top Right: Reframed and plus one stop. PQ @ 1:29 for 7 minutes
  • Bottom Left: PQ @ 1:19 for 6 minutes
  • Botton Right: PQ @ 1:9 for 6 minutes

All were developed until I didn’t see any more detail coming in the shadows. I think I’m basically developing to completion on these. More exposure would have given denser results but not markedly higher contrast. They are still a bit thin overall. I thought there would be much more difference between 1:9 and 1:19. Ilford recommend 1:19 for pictorial work and 1:9 for more graphic stuff with sheet film but this emulsion is more like a paper emulsion. Overall tonality is really nice. I could scan to have details in the specular highlights if I wanted to.

Scan of bottom right plate.

Conclusion is I think I’ll adopt Ilford PQ as my default developer.

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