Fine grain developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pinhole_dreamer, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    The Microdol X I'm using right now is beautiful. I love it. I've not yet gotten to the DK-50...but I will sooner, than later. Acufine is supposed to be a very good developer for fine grain and to give a pop to the negatives. If that pop is high contrast, I'm all for it. Otherwise, I'll accept the fine grain attributes. Are there any other developers for fine grain?

    If it helps, I use Legacy film, T-Maxx (worked great with the Microdol), Arista Premium, Fomapan 100, Kentmere (100/400) and most of the Ilford films, the slower the ISO the better.
     
  2. garysamson

    garysamson Member

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    You might want to try Kodak Xtol as well as the other developers you mentioned.
     
  3. Ottrdaemmerung

    Ottrdaemmerung Member

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    I can vouch for Kodak XTOL: I've just started using it, on a replenished basis, and I've been loving it. So far I've mostly been using it with Legacy Pro and T-Max. You can see the results here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/otterdaemmerung/tags/xtol/
    Negs were scanned at 2400 DPI and uploaded at full resolution, minus despotting and minor Photoshop curve adjustments in a few cases.
     
  4. Dismayed

    Dismayed Member

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    XTOL is my favorite developer. I can shoot most films at box speed and still preserve shadow detail.
     
  5. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    Well, I ordered some Acufine and XTOL both. I've got 5 tins of DK-50 right now sitting in the tool closet. I'll mix some of that up once I get my hands on a 3 gallon jug. The Acufine and XTOL...I only ordered enough to make a liter of Acufine and a gallon of XTOL. I'm hoping the results will be close to the Microdol. I just wish Kodak hadn't discontinued the Microdol.
     
  6. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Acufine and Microdol_X are somehat different. Acufine is best for speed enhancing, available light type use. I used to use it for pushing Tri-X a stop or so, and was very happy with results. Microdol_X is a speed losing fine grain enhancing developer.
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  8. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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  9. robtmwall

    robtmwall Member

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    I did a research project on film developers and films back in the mid 1980's using Kodak step wedge negs, a calibrated light source, a calibrated shutter on the enlarger, and a densitometer. Prior to that I had used Microdol-X diluted 1:3 as one of my favorite developers with Plus-X and Tri-X. I had noticed that a good print usually needed to be printed on Grade 3 1/2 VC paper which seemed a bit far, but the results looked good. The study showed the loss of speed you mentioned, and I found that Tri-X was functioning at ISO 100. Nice grain but a thin neg. The two stop loss of speed seemed a bit much, so I phased out using that combination. I've been out of the darkroom so much over the last few years that I hadn't realized Microdol was discontinued.
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There is also D-23 which has the advantage of being cheap and easy to mix -- only two ingredients. I particularly like it with Ilford Pan F+.
     
  11. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    DK-50 is not a fine grain developer and was intended for LF photography although it will also work with MF.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    A lot of good suggestions. This is another: go "grainless" with XP2. As much as I like the silver based films, all my 35mm negative enlargements to 16x20 with XP2 have much less visible grain than those with T-max 400.