I like Ansco 130 and LPD myself.
I like Ansco 130 and LPD myself.
If Ilford produce the paper, does it not make sense that their Multigrade developer is the one to buy.
I use Dektol or Ilford Universal.
Kodak Polymax T (sold as Liquid Dektol elsewhere) for me.
I like the results, and the fact that it is a liquid you dilute 1+9 means that it is convenient and takes very little storage space.
Another recommendation for LPD if tray life of the working strength dilution is important to you.
The liquid is expensive (but very convenient and lasts a long time) while the powder is not. Note that the powder mixed to stock is half the strength of the liquid so it isn't fair to compare the prices directly. Powdered LPD is mixed to stock then standard dilution of 1+2 where the liquid is diluted 1+4.
LPD for me. I use it with Ilford MGVI.
I used to use Dektol with Seagull (the old graded) and switched to LPD after getting better low end separation with a test. When I moved to MG, I just kept using it. I think it is great stuff, although, I've always been curious about Ansco 130, just never tried it.
Dektol is a good developer with which to start. More than a few million photographers have ended up finishing their careers with it too, it's that good.
Another alternative is Ilford Bromophen. It's a hydroquinone-phenidone formula instead of hydroquinone-metol, and phenidone is known to be more friendly to those who have sensitive skin (some can develop allergies to metol). In Canada I find that Bromophen is quite a bit more expensive than Dektol, but I like it a little better. It goes a little further (you dilute it 1:3 rather than 1:2 like Dektol). One nice thing is that it comes in metric packaging (the 1L Dektol packs are too expensive relative to the awkward US gallon size).
You don't say where you are, as different products are sold in different places.
There are two ways to go, the powder products and the Liquid concentrates. The postage to ship the liquids is of course greater, but you can sometimes find one of more brands at a local store. Polymax liquid from Kodak, (sold as Liquid dektol in some markets) is great. Ilford Multigrade is very good. The foma liquid version is also good and may be cheaper in europe. ALso in Europe there are a few other brands.
In the US and Canada, the Liquidol sold by Freestyle Has excelent keeping properties.
Dektol is Kodak's Powder, Foma sells a smilar one. Ilford calls theirs Bromophen (sp?) Again in Europe there are a few others .
The third way is to mix from Scratch starting with the D-72 Recipe - but getting raw chmicals is hard to do in some places.
I put dektol back in the bottle after use and keep using it. It will get looking like iced tea and have floaties in it. Strain it through a coffee filter and keep using it. It's good for multiple sessions over a couple months for me.
When it stops making the contrasts you want, exchange it for fresh.
If you need a liquid, Foma's liquid developer is fine by my experience. Haven't tried much else recently.
I am a big fan of Ilford PQ Universal since first trying it a few years ago. I used to use Ilford Multigrade, and Dektol before that. PQ is my favorite. It gives me slightly snappier whites, and it feels ever so slightly warmer than Dektol or MG. And it's easy as pie to use, aside from the fact that it comes in a 5L bottle that must be special ordered from some retailers.