Kodak D-76 developer has been around forever. It is pretty much “bullet-proof”, and if anything, continues to get better. For about $5.00 US, you can mix up a packet into a litre of distilled water that will do about 4 rolls of film. About $1.25 per roll. Yes, of course there are “sharper”, more exotic developers out there. I am just starting out with home developing. A classic must-read book still in print, and a must read for all home developer enthusiasts out there is by the great Ansel Adams, “The Negative”. Adams was maybe the world’s 1st “pixel peeper”, years before digital insanity. But, of course, his images were perfect, and beautiful. And rather than to get into pissing contests with other photographers, and split hairs, rather, he presented what worked for him. And was giving of his time and vast knowledge. he didn’t “keep secrets”, unlike today’s Photoshop junkies, who mistake PS for photography. In it, and I am paraphrasing here, Adams states that one should really use a developer for a while, pushing it to its limits, before venturing off to try another developer. In other words, the grass is not always greener. Everything in photography is a “trade-off”. There is no free lunch, every action results in a reaction. Every tweak or adjustment results in a compromise.
That said, it is the developer for me, for a while. Yes, it is pretty much the Rodney Dangerfield of developers- not really getting the respect it deserves. To my eyes, the contrast and sharpness, and shadow detail, continue to amaze. These, and other reasons, are why I am staying with it. Here are a few more photographs from the July 4th parade, this past week, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Developed in D-76, at 65 degrees F, for 8 minutes-