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  1. #1

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    Ilford Film Developers.

    Let me start by stating that I work on 35mm format. I believe this is an important point to my question. I have been using Kodak D76 and Kodak TMAX Dev. as my only film developers since I started processing B&W myself. I have my times and processes fairly down in terms of knowledge. But, I have never tried another developer. I am at a point where I am curious to explore further. I looked a the Ilford brand to begin exploration to my surprise; they have about 11 different types of developers. For the most part, I can read the basic differences of one and the other on their website. And of course there is endless information on the forum. I read that ID-11 is similar to D76 , then I am intrigued to read Ilfotec DD-X is best for Delta line of films. I am a good friend of fine grain where is almost imperceptible on people's skin. For that reason I favor low speed films such as TMAX 100 . For Nature though I have a hard time ruling out Tri-X. Having said that it is impractical both financially and time-wise to try them all in all the different ways and films available. But what is a good advise you can give me for further exploration. ?

  2. #2

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    D-76 or ID-11 is fine, as is XTOL. You won't gain much from switching to another developer. T-max developer or DD-X may give a "stronger" or higher contrast negative but this is not always helpful when printing depending on your intentions.

    Tom

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhalcong View Post
    Let me start by stating that I work on 35mm format. I believe this is an important point to my question. I have been using Kodak D76 and Kodak TMAX Dev. as my only film developers since I started processing B&W myself. I have my times and processes fairly down in terms of knowledge. But, I have never tried another developer. I am at a point where I am curious to explore further. I looked a the Ilford brand to begin exploration to my surprise; they have about 11 different types of developers. For the most part, I can read the basic differences of one and the other on their website. And of course there is endless information on the forum. I read that ID-11 is similar to D76 , then I am intrigued to read Ilfotec DD-X is best for Delta line of films. I am a good friend of fine grain where is almost imperceptible on people's skin. For that reason I favor low speed films such as TMAX 100 . For Nature though I have a hard time ruling out Tri-X. Having said that it is impractical both financially and time-wise to try them all in all the different ways and films available. But what is a good advise you can give me for further exploration. ?
    ID11 is more or less the same as D76

    I can tell you that I had great experience with Ilford Microphen for pushing films. It is an excellent developer and you must try HP5 at 1600 in microphen, at least in medium format. Excellent image quality!

    In any case, if you like fine grain and are using 35mm format, i would say that Ilford Delta 100, with your typical D76/ID11, will give you really really fine grain AND great tonality. I like it more than 100TMX.

    If you want to use Tri-X at full speed and don't want to see any grain, go to medium format! It's the easiest way. Tri-X at 6x6 format looks a bit less grainy than Delta 100 at 35mm (which is to say "almost no grain"), and with slightly better resolution and sharpness.
    This Nikkor lens is so good... that it should be labeled as a Canon lens!

  4. #4

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    I'd be cautious about comparing 35mm with medium format. The extra square inches make life disproportionately easier in my experience.

    Tom

  5. #5
    PDH
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    Welcome,

    You will find that Ilford and Kodak have many developers that have much in common. For fine grain you can try Extol, Foma version is Excel, or Legacy Pro Eco Pro another version of Extol. I don't think Ilford makes a version of Extol. Old school is ,Microdol X, no longer available under the Kodak brand but you can find it as Legacy Pro Mic-X another is still on the market as is Ilford Perceptol. Further outside the box is Ethol UFG, I have not used Ethol in a couple of decades and was somewhat surprised that is still being made. Adox Atomal is also very fine gain. You can try a staining developer like PMK, or Pyrocat.

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhalcong View Post
    Let me start by stating that I work on 35mm format. I believe this is an important point to my question. I have been using Kodak D76 and Kodak TMAX Dev. as my only film developers since I started processing B&W myself. I have my times and processes fairly down in terms of knowledge. But, I have never tried another developer. I am at a point where I am curious to explore further. I looked a the Ilford brand to begin exploration to my surprise; they have about 11 different types of developers. For the most part, I can read the basic differences of one and the other on their website. And of course there is endless information on the forum. I read that ID-11 is similar to D76 , then I am intrigued to read Ilfotec DD-X is best for Delta line of films. I am a good friend of fine grain where is almost imperceptible on people's skin. For that reason I favor low speed films such as TMAX 100 . For Nature though I have a hard time ruling out Tri-X. Having said that it is impractical both financially and time-wise to try them all in all the different ways and films available. But what is a good advise you can give me for further exploration. ?
    Try T-Max RS, in a replenishment regime.

    Or X-Tol in a replenishment regime.

    Or ID-11 in a replenishment regime, using the instructions available through the Ilford website.

    Replenishment does change the behaviour of developers for the better (IMHO), and the convenience and economy of the replenishment approach is great.
    Matt

    “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

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lhalcong View Post
    Let me start by stating that I work on 35mm format. I believe this is an important point to my question. I have been using Kodak D76 and Kodak TMAX Dev. as my only film developers since I started processing B&W myself. I have my times and processes fairly down in terms of knowledge. But, I have never tried another developer. I am at a point where I am curious to explore further. I looked a the Ilford brand to begin exploration to my surprise; they have about 11 different types of developers. For the most part, I can read the basic differences of one and the other on their website. And of course there is endless information on the forum. I read that ID-11 is similar to D76 , then I am intrigued to read Ilfotec DD-X is best for Delta line of films. I am a good friend of fine grain where is almost imperceptible on people's skin. For that reason I favor low speed films such as TMAX 100 . For Nature though I have a hard time ruling out Tri-X. Having said that it is impractical both financially and time-wise to try them all in all the different ways and films available. But what is a good advise you can give me for further exploration. ?
    Waste of time

    http://www.lostlabours.co.uk/photogr...6_variants.htm

    ID11 and D76 are the same chemicals...

    TMAX and microphen difficult to tell apart in 20x16...

    The film choice is the critical thing

    TMAX or delta for fine grain
    Fomapan 400 for golf balls

    Various in between...

  8. #8

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    While developers can be put in different classes, ie general purpose, acutance, fine grain, speed increasing, etc there is nothing particularly magical about any of them. What you ultimately decide on really isn't important. What you do need is a familiarity with a single developer where you always know what results you will obtain. Developers are merely tools. Concentrate on the final product the print.
    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

  9. #9
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    Do not change developers. Work on your photography. Chasing magic bullets is just avoiding the hard questions.
    f/22 and be there.

  10. #10
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    Try new developers by all means, but bear in mind that any differences in the final result may be very subtle and you will likely have worse results until you get your time, exposure index and other parameters dialled in properly. A simple move to ID-11 from D76 will be essentially no change, but if you try Perceptol, you will have finer grain and good sharpness, but working speed of the film will be cut. My suggestion for you would be to try Ilfotec HC which is analogous to Kodak HC-110. There is great scope for experimentation with varying the dilution of these highly concentrated developers and also they are useful as compensating developers when highly diluted. It is the swiss army knife of developer and can be used for literally everything. A little goes a very long way and they keep forever. Good luck with your search !

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