Decades ago there were "universal" developers in PQ and MQ formulations for both paper and film development. I suspect that only photojournalists used these developers extensively. By the 1960s-'70s it seems most developers had become more specialized.
I recently developed some Tri-X in Ilford Universal paper developer. Worked just fine, looked like Tri-X in Rodinal despite the entirely different formulations.
Tri-x 320 in sheet film sizes and 220 with Pyrocat HD 2:2:100 on Bergger VCCB.
Tri-x or Delta 400 for 35mm in D76 1:1 (100 speed films like plus-x, Acros and Delta 100 are all too slow for me to consistantly hand hold with moving subjects.)
Delta 3200, especially in medium format, rated at 800 and developed for 8.5 min at 68 in straight XTOL.
Xtol 1+1 almost across the board. Sometimes Rodinol... but Xtol has a lot of range. I tend to under-agitate Xtol 1+1 in the last two minutes or so, in the hope of accentuating the compensating-developer effects.
My tests with Xtol like dev have been at 1+2, agitation every 2 min and some 20% longer dev time.
The photos I've uploaded today were 125PX dev as above.
i first found out about "130" when i was broke and living in a studio/loft and didnt' have money to buy more developer ..
there had been a can of "gaf universal" on the drafty window sill ( baking in 100º+ summers an dfreeing in -10º winters) probably since probably the 1970s ..
i threw caution to the wind and mixed the whole can up to make something like 5 gallons ...
it was a hot summer, and i shot maybe 30 -40 rolls of film, and 100-200 sheets of 4x5 film. i didn't know then what i know now about how long the developer stays good as "stock" so i processed and printed like mad to make sure the stuff didn't go bad on me.
it wasn't until a few years later that i was talking to jc welch at equinox photographic and he told me that the formulary sold the same stuff as their paper developer.
haven't really used anything else since :)
mike - if you like what it does for paper, you'll really like what it does on film :)
My favorite film developer combinations are:
FP4 Sheet & 120 Roll PMK Pyro
Tmax-100 (Readyloads) D-23 diluted 1:1
Tri-X 120 Roll D76H diluted 1:1
I might give 130 a try for film but do not have any glycin left, so will have to wait until I order some.
I've been a bit of a butterfly in the past, having used pretty much every film and developer on the market at one time or another. Now, however, I've decided to get tough.So……
VP/PMK- The finest combo for MF around, IMHO. V fine grain for a 50 yr. old film and tonality that was good enough to eat -the kind you just don't see with modern films. Fantastic for portraits (did some great wedding shots on it). Pity VP is now no more, but such is life (better get some more APX 100 in 5x4 while I still can).
Forte 200/PMK- Great combo for LF. Tonality that's smoother than a cashmere codpiece as Stephen Fry would say and great price too-just over £35 for 25 8x10s.
APX 400/PMK- The old AP400 was the very first film I tried with Pyro-I was instantly hooked. Becoming my mainstay for 6x6, especially for portraits.
Delta 3200/Rayco UFG- Lovely rich negs with good shadow detail and prints to match. FX10-see the Darkroom/Film Developing Cookbook is a very similar formula. Lengthy dev time (16-18 mins 24c at 3200) but as a Guinness ad put it, good things come to those who wait. Love it for portraits.
Polaroid Type 55- No dilemmas about which developer to use with this film! Another favourite for portraits. Obviously much quicker to process and no more fiddling around reloading darkslides or carrying them around (well not till I get my 8x10 anyway).
There is no Holy Grail (" no thanks, you see I already 'ave one"...) in films or developers (PMK comes close though) so work on that vision thing and don't get obsessed with chasing the BEST combo. 3 or 4 films and devs should just about cover any situation you might encounter-probably you'll use a couple of these most of the time. That said, a little bit of experimenting goes a long way-that's how I discovered my current faves (hmmm...must try Delta 3200 in 777 some time).
My problem with favorite combos is that I'm at the point of overload. If I'm tempted to try another I feel the need to clean house by dumping a previous favorite.
Recently I've been very tempted to try some form of pyro. If I do, which of my current faves will have to go?
Yeah, I've kind of pared down to shooting mostly Tri-X in all flavors and formats, either PMK or ABC, but I keep the others on file for occasional use.
I still have 300-odd feet of 35mm Double-X cine stock to go through and just discovered yesterday that it looks much better in Acufine than Dektol (it's kind of old and needs a really active developer).
If I were shooting 4x5 or larger I could easily feel comfortable using nothing but Tri-X and not feel restricted.
But shooting mostly 35mm and 120, as well as having a wide range of photographic interests and approaches, I have to keep a suitable variety of films and developers on hand along with techniques for making effective use of them.
For example, fine art work or landscapes with TMY at EI 1600 in straight Microphen? Heck, no! I wouldn't even bother using this combo in 120. That's strictly one of my two mainstays for handheld available "dark" candid photography in 35mm.
TMX and ID-11 for fine art work in 35mm? Nah. Seems like a waste of time. That's one of my favorite combos for 120 work.
OTOH, there are some combos I use comfortably in both formats. APX 100 or FP4+ and whatever developer.