Kodak has two publications out now with a little bit for anyone who's ever snapped a shutter: the Kodak Black-and-White Darkroom Dataguide, 6th Edition and the Kodak Color Dataguide, 6th Edition.
Though at first glance, these two spiral-bound softcover books would seem to appeal only to the home darkroom enthusiast, what's between these covers will help anyone who shoots black-and-white or color to understand the whole process.
The Black-and-White Dataguide starts with a short introduction explaining how film and paper characteristics may change from one emulsion batch to the next: the best way for accurate, repeatable results is to use all film or paper from the same emulsion batch kept stored in a freezer. t
It tells about every photographer's friend and foe -- the gray scale. The different target densities of a typically broad photograph are illustrated, along with a reproduction of the scale.
About grain, it says, ". . . in general, as the ASA speed of a film increases, so does the graininess of the image. A slow speed film like Panatomic-X film has extremely fine grain. A high speed film like Recording 2475 film has much coarser grain." To illustrate are black-and-white reproductions of a woman's face enlarged 13 times (the equivalent to printing an entire 35mm frame on a 16" x 20" sheet), shot with Panatomic-X (ASA 32), Plus-X (125), Tri-X (400), Recording 2475 (1,000) and High Speed Infrared (80 with No. 25 filter).
There are also examples of push processing and a section on controlling film contrast. Other topics of interest to the home processor are enlarging papers, processing prints for permanence, adequate fixing, proper washing. In addition, there are charts on developers, stop baths and fixers, toners and other chemicals.
Of even wider appeal is the Color Dataguide. The first chart in the book, "Color Film Data," ought to be worth the price of the publication for anyone using a variety of Kodak films. It tells what color films are available, how to process them, the daylight speed and filter speed of the various films (as well as what filters to use when), and it gives a short description of the film.
And for all photographers who've wanted a gray card for taking average reflected meter readings when the subject is far, far away, there's . . . a gray card. And a gray scale. And color control patches. Very complete.
For home color processors, there are processing steps (listing chemicals, times, temperatures, etc.) for process E-6, process C-41 and Ektaprint 2, R-5 and R-500. There's also a concise section called, "Introduction to Color Printing," which tells all about printing on Kodak's Ektacolor Print Film, Panalure paper (for black-and-white prints from color negatives), Ektachrome RC paper, and Ektacolor 74 RC paper.
Both books are available from dealers handling Kodak products. The black-and-white guide lists for $9.95 and the color guide for $8.95.