good paper developer recommendations (asks a Dektol user)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pellicle, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    Hi

    I'm about to purchase some Dektol, and thought "why not try something different"

    So, if anyone has any other recommendations for me to try its for contact developing Ilford Portfolio RC paper. (which I have never used yet)

    Thanks
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Why not Ilford Multigrade or PQ Universal.

    Ian
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    you might consider LPD, great tray life, also, can be used in various dilutions ratios for changing tones
     
  4. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    If I don't use Dektol, I use Ansco 130. I actually like the 130 better, but forget to always have it on hand.
    Plus I got a great deal on several 5 gallon boxes of Dektol.
    Mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2008
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    For every developer on the market, you'll find somebody who recommends it, although some only for certain papers, subjects, etc. Personally, I use the mix-it-yourself DS-14 and its commercial cousin, Tektol. I'm drawn to them largely because they're phenidone/ascorbate (PC) developers, which are safer (from health and environmental perspectives) than metol/hydroquinone (MQ) developers like Dektol. This health and safety difference is small, but as DS-14 and Tektol do the job as well as Dektol for me, I might as well use the PC developer.

    That said, if you're trying a new paper, as I read your post as saying, then I'd recommend you stick with a developer you know, at least for the moment. If you switch both paper and developer at the same time, you won't really know if any differences you see are because of the paper alone, the developer alone, or an interaction between the two.
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    PolymaxT is a great developer to nail that perfectly neutral black. 130 followed by selenium toning is right now my favorite paper chemistry.

    But as was said before, all products on the market are good, not that different from each other, unless you really know what you want from your workflow.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Liquidol works good, lasts a long time, it's available from the Formulary. It was invented by a well-respected APUG member. It's packaged as a liquid concentrate so it's a little less hassle to use than Dektol.
    I can't tell the difference between prints processed in Ansco 130 and Liquidol.
     
  8. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    I've used Liquidol as well and it looks really good.
     
  9. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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  10. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I've always used Dektol or it's predecessor, D-72. It works great so, never looked any further.
     
  11. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I agree...great tones and incredible working solution life. Seems like you can print forever with no change in the factor!
     
  12. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I suggest you use Dektol to try your new paper. When you see what that looks like, then change developers. One variable at a time.

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
     
  13. MarkS

    MarkS Member

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    My experience has been that with modern cold-tone papers, developer choice doesn't matter a whole lot. Ansco 130 does produce a subtly different tone, but its cost and the 3' dev time sent me back to Dektol. Having tried Amidol, 130, Ilford and Zone VI developers, Dektol is the best compromise. And I'll second Anscojohn's recommendation above.
     
  14. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I'm an Ethol LPD user too. I've a gallon of stock solution that I had mixed a year ago and it's still fine. It lasts and lasts and lasts.. You can dilute it working strength to make it either a cold or warm-tone, it's cheap. You can replenish it even. I like it.
     
  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That is really good advice! I've used the same paper developer for over a year now, and I have to say I learn every time. I do not plan on changing either.
    It's my opinion that it's more how you use it than what you use. Any developer recommended will be fantastic.

    - Thomas

     
  16. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Dektol is to paper developers, as D-76 is to film developers. Sure there are differences in paper developers. If you look closely though, many of them are pretty much variations on the Dektol formula. I like the stuff, and haven't seen much of a good reason to switch. It can be tweaked with the addition of more water and maybe a little bit of restrainer to be a warm tone developer like Selectol. What's not to like? An Amidol or Glycin based developer will behave differently, but those are altogether different animals. If you want to try something different, make sure it really is or you won't notice if much or anything is substantially changed.
     
  17. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    Good morning folks

    I thought I'd let everyone who suggested that I'm going to order Dektol (and the new paper) which I'll play with first then try something like the Tektol. I'm attracted to the non metol ascorbic acid base under the apprehension that it might be less toxic to me and perhaps allow me to return to working without gloves in the future (I prefered to have a wet and a dry hand and quickly splash my fingers in a water tray after being briefly in fix or dev then touch a towel to dry) seems more natural and shouldn't be too hazardous without metol and hydroquinone)
     
  18. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    'perhaps allow me to return to working without gloves in the future'

    Oh blimey. Please get the gloves back on. Why would anyone choose to dip or soak their fingers in any photographic solution? Not nice; fingers smell bad despite a quick rinse, can contaminate paper, (and of course skin), and all the things that are touched in the darkroom. Not for me.