I’ve previously been using premixed Ilfosol, but last time I bought developer, decided to go for one of the powder boxes that my local photographic store sells (they do three varieties of the Ilford developers). Up until now, I was pretty cynical about developer having a particularly huge difference on the outcome of film (developer’s developer, right? So long as it produces an image, we’re good?) Oh so wrong.
I compared the tones and grain on this negative to a negative shot on the exact same film (same batch and all, from a bulk roll I have), on the same camera, with the same lens attached. The difference goes way beyond simple exposure differences. It’s just clearer, somehow.
I suspect we overdeveloped the film ever so slightly (the original plan was to wash in the bathroom upstairs. This plan was foiled by the occupancy of the bathroom by someone else in the house, so there was a dash down to the kitchen, and an extra couple of minutes on the developing time), which would account for the contrasty tones, although I’ve pushed this film with Ilfosol before, and not gotten this sort of result. So I’d assume the developer does have something to do with it.
Even scanned with my super-crappy Global film scanner, the results are looking promising. These are a few of my favourites from the roll. No Photoshop adjustments other than resize, although the scanner has degraded the tonal quality, as evident in the pixelation of some shadow areas.
Camera: Olympus OM10 with 50mm f1.8 lens
Film: (Bulk) Jessops Pan100S (out of date by three years, but kept refrigerated). Shot rated as intended at 100iso.
Developer: Ilford Microphen. Diluted at 3:1 ratio. Developed for ~17 minutes