Why does the title of this post sound so technical?
I’ve been making my own B&W film developer from scratch lately because I like being hands-on as well as geeky science stuff 🙂 It produces extremely dense negatives that are gritty and foggy. I like the artistic effect, but also want to develop clean, “proper” negatives too (like commercial developers give you.) I did some research and decided to move beyond the basics. I found that potassium bromide (KBr) acts as a restrainer in B&W film developers. This helps reduce the development of unexposed silver crystals in the film thus reducing fog and reducing the harsh grain that the formula I am using produces in higher speed films. By pure luck I found a store that sold some unusual chemicals used in photography and was able to buy potassium bromide! This is really hard to get in some countries from what I hear. I was able to buy 500 grams of it for just under 800 yen ($9.50)!
I shot a few still-life shots of some sea shells as a test. I developed only 1/3rd of the roll in the new KBr formula. I’ll test the rest of the film in some other variants.
The results are good – much less grain and fog than I was getting. I shot this with a reverse-mounted Sigma 70-300mm lens. My Sigma 70-300mm is complete junk, it actually takes better pictures when put on the camera backwards (using a reversal ring!) Even then it’s clarity is quite poor, but this was just an experiment and it gave me the magnification I wanted for this particular shot. .