Has anyone tired the Forma version? They sell in a liter size.
I use both developers with FP4 and Tri-X in small and medium format. I agree with the quote above with a few exceptions. The pain mixing XTOL at room temp is the amount. Its easy to mix but I don't use over 3L in 8 months. It keeps 2x longer in a 1/2 filled container vs D-76 (2 months shelf life). XTOLs 1/3 speed increase is real. I have original XTOL development charts for 1:2 and 1:3. 1:3 produces very sharp images with highlight compensation. XTOL gives a touch more micro contrast. But, negatives are only a tad better than D-76 and you may not notice in a 5x7 print.
Both are excellent and the differences are small. XTOL is a little more of a pain to mix due to the minimum 5L packaging. Some people prefer replenished regimes. I prefer to use developers one-shot.
XTOL will tend to give slightly higher film speed than D-76. But it is difficult to generalize as it depends on the film. Acutance is virtually the same, but again this could vary depending on the film. XTOL seems to give slightly finer grain, but my tests were all with tabular films so I don't have data for Tri-X specifically.
One last pitch for XTOL. It is more Eco friendly unless your pouring unused chemicals down a drain. The answer is to share with a friend.
One more time here, you can buy a case of 500mL amber bottles from USplastic.com for about $25. Decant your 5L of XTOL into ten bottles and you will always have super fresh developer. My last batch stretched out over 1 year and was perfectly fine. It's a very worthwhile investment if you're into XTOL.
Originally Posted by Richard Jepsen
One more thing, if you decide to go with the 1:3 dilution, try standardizing on 75 degrees. This will keep your times in the 10-13 minute range.
Firstly, wow, so many responses since I have been sleeping! Cheers all!
Absolutely no reason other than ignorance. As I say, it was 14 years since I last processed film and my memory is a bit hazy, I just remember I used to use TRI-X and D-76! As for 3200, yes certainly, even at f1.4. Not all the time of course but I do events work in dark clubs and will often shoot a D3 wide open at 6400. I am wanting to do some playing with film in similar environments. I will of course also be shooting Tri-x at 400 for other scenarios.
Originally Posted by henry finley
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I bought a 1L pack of D-76 today. I figure that I probably need to try a few and I might as well start off with an old friend. Probably try some XTOL after that and then possibly one of the Acus for pushing.
Yes, Fomadon Excel is sold as an X-tol clone. There is a thread about X-tol vs. Fomadon Excel:
Originally Posted by PDH
Fomadon Excel is more expensive than Xtol (at least, here, in Europe), on a per-liter basis. So far, I'm happy with fomadon Excel, but since I never tried X-tol I can't compare...
As I understand it X-Tol is still being manufactured by Champion, along with all the rest of the current Kodak chemistry.
The problem is that the distribution system has been made more complex by the Kodak petition for bankruptcy - some of the intervening chains in the distribution system are disrupted somewhat.
Champion is also one of the unpaid Kodak creditors, so they may be a bit grumpy.
I do see new stock of Kodak chemistry being loaded on to shelves though in at least some of the places I shop - and XTol is part of that.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
It depends on where you live.
Originally Posted by MattKing
For Europe all Kodak chemistry is made in Germany for Eastman Kodak, Geneve, so it's not made by Champion.
Liquid chemicals I'm pretty sure they are outsourced to Tetenal.
About packaging sizes....
I used to stress over this but now I don't. D-76 in 1 liter package costs $4. D-76 in 1 gallon (3.8 liters) costs 6 dollars. XTOL in 5 liters cost 10 dollars. Unless you ONLY process few rolls, D-76 in 1 liter bag is the most expensive option.
Assuming using undiluted and 8 oz per one roll of 35mm, you can process 4, 15, and 20 rolls respectively. If you store them in a bunch of 8 oz bottles, they last minimum of 6 months, more like 12 months. If you choose bottles made of RIGHT plastic, these are good enough for this purpose. It doesn't necessary has to be glass.
Even if you don't use them all up in 6 months to a year, it will probably represent the smallest part of your photographic expense.
By the way, I currently use a system of bottles that consists of 1 1/2 gallon bottle, 2 1 liter bottles, and 4 8 oz (250cc) bottles. Total, it'll store just about 5 liters. I start using from the smallest bottles. Once they are all empty, I decant larger to smaller. This way, all bottles are always full and exposure to fresh air happens 3 times at most and very briefly. Using this method, I had all developer last longer than 8 months. (I usually run out at this point)
I just suggest using developers you like and forget the cost. It's not enough to worry about.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?