I’m interested in trying lots of film and developer and regimen combinations; I’m not in search of the holy grail of combinations but just exploring the possibilities and hopefully learning from my mistakes and successes. In my ongoing search for gritty, high-contrast negatives, I’ve always been intrigued by talk of developing in Dektol, a paper developer. I actually bought some Dektol for that purpose several years ago, but I never mixed it up until I did a printing session one night and used it for its intended purpose.
But recently I dove right in and developed a roll of Tri-X that I had rated at EI 800 in Dektol.
Definitely an interesting look, but underexposed. Where it goes dark it’s just bleh with no shadow detail.
Yesterday, I took a roll that I had rated at 400 and decided to use that as my next Dektol roll. I developed it hot, at about 75F, for one minute, with three quick inversions every 15 seconds. The results were no worse than I could have expected with lots of other time/temp/exposure/film combinations, and in fact, I quite liked the effect! I’ll post those shots shortly.
Judge for yourself, and please share in the comments if you’ve ever developed with Dektol, and if so, what your experience was.