I’ve been combing the used photography book sections for years and of all the inspirational, informative publications out there, I have to tell you, if you’re only going to get off the internet for one hard, tangible, funky-smelling used book this year, I wholeheartedly recommend, fully endorse, would buy every film photographer a copy if I could afford to, The Kodak Black & White Darkroom Dataguide, Sixth Edition.
You might be saying “I don’t process my own film” or “I shoot color” or “I use Ilford products.”
Whatever, I don’t care. You should buy and read this book!
If every film photographer read The Kodak Black & White Darkroom Dataguide, we would instantly see thousands of
stupid redundant questions and counter-productive well-intended responses disappear from social media overnight! In their place would be well exposed, processed, technically beautiful, or deliberately technically not beautiful but emotionally touching, film photographs galore!
Why? This book really contains everything you need to know about black and white from the time you unload it from your camera.
What developers to use for what films, what times and temps, how to mix your chemistry, how to troubleshoot your negatives, what results you can expect from pushing and pulling, what types of paper to print to, it just goes on and on and on. Everytime I pick it up, I feel like a better shooter.
Yes, Ilford and Fuji probably published similar books and yes, there’s a color darkroom book and yes, there are others, but this one by Kodak is superb for newbs to vets with all the bedrock information that you’ve always wondered about or have yet to imagine questioning.
This is the 2001 sixth edition copy that I’m recommending and have linked to above and will link to again. This was the last printing of this fabulous resource by Kodak and it covers all their current b&w film stocks and developers in their current iterations, as well as a few that have fallen by the digital wayside. You have have an older copy still kicking around and that’s fine, they had some more fun stuff in the old copies, but you want the 6th edition so you can stop leaning on
totally wrong inaccurate entries in the Massive Development Chart.
Buy this book! Used copies can be had for only a few lousy bucks! Read this book! You don’t have to read it cover to cover on your first go, just skip around the index to the stuff that interests you. Look at the pictures! Read it however you want. You’ll be very glad you did!
By the way, if you enjoy funk-smelling used books, be sure and keep your Kodak Darkroom Dataguide open while you’re processing. It’s a good read between agitations and its durable, spiralbound pages can handle splashes of chemistry like the boss that it is!
Thanks for reading, but please, stop reading blogs and go read this real life paper published book by Kodak! The Kodak Black & White Darkroom Dataguide, Sixth Edition. Buy it. Read it. Now!