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  1. #1
    Rhodes's Avatar
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    Best dev for pushing?

    I know that that question may have a thousand answers and one thousand years of philosophic debate, but I ask, what is a good developer for pushing film? I now that possibly diafine types are the best or very good, but for immediate use, I only have TMAX and XTOL avaliable.
    I doing a work for a photo workshop and doing a bit of photodocumentary about a martial art training, so fast moving subjects and also low light, since the trainings are at 19:00 to 20H or more. I have tmax3200 and thinking of using at the box speed, or more, insted of iso 1600.
    So, what is best for it? XTOL (that is one of my main developers for BW) or TMAX Dev that I know several people like for pushing.
    Also, my question being narrow to this two is, that they are both avaliable here in Portugal and can have it in two or 3 days if bought online.

  2. #2

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    Those would both be fine choices for pushing.

  3. #3
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    Iris Davis tested both these developers with Tmax P3200 for Chris Johnson' book The Practical Zone System. She found that Tmax developer gave an ISO of 1600 with normal contrast, while XTOL gave an ISO of 2400 for normal contrast. This suggests that XTOL may be the better choice if you don't want too much contrast increase when pushing to 3200. I have no idea whether this is correct, but it does seem to be based on extensive testing.

    See http://www.chrisjohnsonphotographer.com/charts.shtml

  4. #4
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    It depends very much on which film and how much you want to push it. I love Diafine but it doesn't give nearly the speed increase with modern T-grain films that it does with older films, and I don't even think it does as well with today's Tri-X as it used to with older Tri-X. The combo with Tri-X is still great, but I shoot it at 1000-1250 now where 1600 used to be fine.

    Xtol is reportedly fine. I was soured on it back in the days of the bad 1L packs and have never quite persuaded myself to go back to it. I should give it another try, I'm sure. For now I use T-Max (not RS) developer for pushing TMZ and Delta 3200 with great results. I use the RS for my non-pushed TMY-2 4x5, which means stocking several developers but it does last very well.

  5. #5

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    Here's a vote for Microphen. It's a little pricey for day-in-day-out use unless you mix your own. There's nothing exotic to it.

    But there is certainly nothing wrong with Xtol, if that's what you have. I know nothing about Tmax.

  6. #6
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew.roos View Post
    Iris Davis tested both these developers with Tmax P3200 for Chris Johnson' book The Practical Zone System. She found that Tmax developer gave an ISO of 1600 with normal contrast, while XTOL gave an ISO of 2400 for normal contrast. This suggests that XTOL may be the better choice if you don't want too much contrast increase when pushing to 3200. I have no idea whether this is correct, but it does seem to be based on extensive testing.

    See http://www.chrisjohnsonphotographer.com/charts.shtml

    Good tests it seems, but nowhere (unless I'm missing it) she mentions agitation patterns. Kodak recommends TMZ @ 1600 and TMAX dev for 8 min at 75 degrees, with their standard agitation of 5 quick inversions at first and 3-5 every 30. That's what I use and it works just fine. Eleven minutes, as per Davis, with that agitation pattern, normal contrast would be out of the question, I am pretty much sure.

    http://www.kodak.com/global/plugins/...essChartLo.pdf

  7. #7
    Rhodes's Avatar
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    ABout films and pushing them, got two tmax3200 and thinking of rating both at 3200 (or one at 6400) and two tri-x to go at 1600 (do not know if above is advisable). All 35mm, MF I have tri-x, can go above 400 also.

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I usually use Acufine as my push developer. Gives a good one to two stops with most films, which is as much as you can realistically ask for.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9

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    have been using Xtol for quite some time, diluted and stock, regular inversions and now mainly rotary movement. Conclusion : I like it for its consistency, speed enhancing and fine grain + accutance. BUT, with Ilford Delta 400 135 ( the film I use most often) it just won't push! ei 400 is fine but even 50% more development doesn't give much more contrast. I've recently tried Xtol with Neopan 400 and what a difference!! Here I can push - have not yet established how far beyond the ei 400.
    So Delta 400 is more likely go with something like ID11.
    Peter

  10. #10
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodes View Post
    ABout films and pushing them, got two tmax3200 and thinking of rating both at 3200 (or one at 6400) and two tri-x to go at 1600 (do not know if above is advisable). All 35mm, MF I have tri-x, can go above 400 also.
    Rhodes, all these are doable technically, even the TriX at 3200.

    Both developers will work fine for pushing.

    A bit of practice would be in order.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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