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  1. #11

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    If you feel you must move from Xtol then far be it from me to dissuade you but my Xtol is now 18 months old and still in perfect condition. I mix up the 5L stock solution then decant it into winebags.

    pentaxuser

  2. #12
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    What about HC-110 for normal outdoor work and Diafine with Tri-X when a push is needed (eg indoor avail light)? Both solutions will last forever....
    Andy

  3. #13
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    If it was good enough for Ansel Adams...

  4. #14
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    There are ways to mitigate the grain with Rodinal. I use table salt from time to time (NaCl) non iodized. It works to reduce the grain but there is a bit of a speed penalty sometimes. It may also work with HC-110 but I have never tried it. Others have mixed Rodinal with Vitamin C or Sodium Sulfite to reduce the grain.

    If you are looking for a replacement for X-Tol, your best bet in my opinion would be Pyrocat or PMK. Pyrocat mixed in Glycol lasts a long time, a couple years at least. I had a bottle of PMK for 10 years and it was still good.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    That depends on the dilution. Both developers are solvent developers. Higher dilution will reduce the solvent effect, increasing grain and sharpness both.

    All things equal D-76 is slightly higher quality (sharpness at a given level of graininess is higher) but you can't really get rid of grain without getting rid of sharpness (unless you minimize enlargement or go with slower films of course).
    Grain will be markedly reduced by exposing at 1/2 box speed and cutting development 20%. You get fabulous shadow detail, sharp negs that print well. The grain reduction is roughly equal to moving up one format in negative size.

    Some believe keeping the shutter speed up is more important. Their loss. Others like to push film which looses shadow detail, boosts grain and that results in a nasty looking print.

    Pull process shows up well in scanning also.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    That depends on the dilution. Both developers are solvent developers. Higher dilution will reduce the solvent effect, increasing grain and sharpness both.

    All things equal D-76 is slightly higher quality (sharpness at a given level of graininess is higher) but you can't really get rid of grain without getting rid of sharpness (unless you minimize enlargement or go with slower films of course).
    Perceived acutance may be higher, but resolution appears to increase with solvency I've found from experience. Acutance is something you can give in the dark room, and in scanning.

    In any case, here is Kodak's chart


  7. #17
    Jesper's Avatar
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    Rodinal

  8. #18

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    Keep the xtol if you like it, and ditch the accordion bottle. I use xtol replenished, like Pentaxuser's my base stock is over a year old, works fine.

  9. #19

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    Just be careful what you read...

    Quote Originally Posted by noacronym View Post
    This is amazing information about film developers that I have gleaned in my short time on APUG. And in all categories, each has a nuance of advantage. Mind-boggling, actually.yet, for roll-film, I have yet to see any advantage or combination of same that there's anything any better than Microdol-X, 1:3. I'm speaking of roll film now, as the limited experience with it as a sheet film developer is something I would not recommend, as I have found it to be a developer prone to stain unpredictably. But in roll film there's nothing like it. For what it's worth, 41 years of using it has convinced me.

  10. #20

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    Rodinal for slow and medium speed films (50-100), specifically PanF+, Acros and TMax 100. Parodinal is a clone made from paracetamol (acetaminophen), and works just the same.
    HC-110 for ISO 400 films. No clone available, and chemicals are rather difficult to obtain. The exact formula is also a trade secret.
    Some swear by Ilford DD-X. It is expensive compared to the above alternatives. I think it is a PQ developer, and could be replicated if you can get hold of Dimezone S and hydroquinone. But don't hold me to that one.
    There are a few "open-source" options, e.g. PC-TEA, but only if you know what you are doing when working with chemicals, and can source the raw materials.

    If I had to settle on only one, it would be HC-110, used as single-shot dilution H (1:64). However, it seems to be going up and down in availability. B&H currently lists it as discontinued, don't know if that is permanent or not. A 500 ml bottle will develop a hoard of film, so it may be all you need for three or more years. I am also using TMax Developer quite often, and it is a rather easy and excellent developer overall. It is great at shadow detail, and worth having for that reason alone. I tend to think that it is not possible to combine fine grain with high acutance and good shadow detail. If you pick two, the other one will suffer. For slow and fine-grained medium speed films such as Acros, no matter which developer you use the grain will be fine enough. So it makes sense to choose the developer that gives you the best tone curve for what you typically want to photograph, according to your taste.

    As you are in Europe, you could maybe find what you are looking for at Maco Direct or one of the other web-based suppliers. We have ordered from Maco to South Africa, and the shipping was quite reasonable.

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