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  1. #1

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    Looking for liquid concentrate developer with good shelf life.

    Unfortunately I find myself doing film processing more and more infrequently (other things taking up time), and I fear that the Xtol I've been using may not hold up very well sitting unused for too long (I keep the working solution in an accordion bottle), when I did my last roll the developer was slightly yellow-ish and the negs came out a bit on the thin side, which I fear may be due to the developers age (I mixed it sometime in November). I've enjoyed the results I got with Xtol, but I fear that I may need something that will keep longer. I've heard that liquid concentrate developers generally last longer, as you can mix smaller batches of working solution at a time, the most oft-cited example being Rodinal, but I fear that Rodinal may result in a bit too much grain for me. I tend to shoot a variety of subjects (landscapes, portraits, 'street' etc.), and I oftentimes do push-processing and I use both traditional and modern 't-grain' films.

    I've searched the internet and found people recommending Ilford DD-X (as it supposedly is somewhat similar to Xtol), which unfortunately is difficult to find around these parts, but I've also read about 'Studional' or 'R09 Spezial' which supposedly is like Rodinal, but with finer grain (and it is more readily available here), but I am unsure about the other qualities of it (tonality, speed etc). There seems to be a lot of other alternatives as well but I'm not quite about their various characteristics.
    "Art is is a picture of some dude I never met smoking under a lamppost at 6400 ISO and in BW."

  2. #2
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    A lot of people like Kodak's HC110 which is very concentrated and last a very long time. It is a bit grainier than Xtol as is most everything but it does give nice tonality.

  3. #3
    Alan W's Avatar
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    As dpurdy says-it lasts a long,long time.I've heard reports of hc 110 outliving the bottle it came in.

  4. #4
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Hc110 for sure, it's by far my favorite developer, its the one I've standardized on.

    Liquidol for paper.

  5. #5
    jp498's Avatar
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    pyrocat-hd, pmk, hc110.

  6. #6

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    HC-110, Rodinal
    Tri-X in HC-110 forever.

  7. #7
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    PMK is nearly immortal. Stock solution lasts many years (at least six in my experience). It works best on non-T-grain films in my experience. I use it about 90% of the time on such films. Caveat: it contains pyrogallol so one should wear gloves while using it. The staining it causes on negatives makes them easier to print, in my opinion, since the stain is proportional to image density.

    Rodinal is nearly immortal too. It's grainier than many developers so I don't think it suits all films, but for some it's terrific.

    HC-110 is quite long-lived. It results in lower quality negatives than XTOL or D-76 do but it's very convenient. It's more suitable to T-grain films than PMK is.

    Another option is to switch to something simple like D-76/ID-11, that you can mix from scratch. That way you can mix up the exact quantities you need, e.g. 2 litres for the next 3 months. It can also be bought in one-litre packs but costs more this way than mixing from scratch.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  8. #8
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noacronym View Post
    Is HC 110 grainier than D-76?
    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).
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  9. #9

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    Good Evening Cybertrash,

    Ditto on the HC-110. Kodak T-Max also last well; hope it's available where you are.

    Konical

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by noacronym View Post
    Is HC 110 grainier than D-76?
    according to Kodak "Compared to D-76, this chart indicates that HC-110 (dilution B) produces:

    Slightly less shadow detail or true film speed;
    Slightly finer grain;
    Slightly lower acutance. "
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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