For economy, PC-Glycol is actually about half the cost of PC-TEA, on a per-roll basis, at least if you use propylene glycol anti-freeze as your source of propylene glycol. (In theory this is a bit risky because you don't know what else is in the anti-freeze. Personally I've had no problems with it.) PC-Glycol is:
Originally Posted by outofoptions
ascorbic acid 10g $0.28
phenidone 0.25g $0.07
propylene glycol to make 100ml $0.36
sodium carbonate, anhydrous 15g $0.04
water to make 100ml
The prices are from my costs spreadsheet; yours are almost certain to differ. Assuming 250ml of working solution per roll and a 1:1:48 dilution, this works out to $0.04/roll. Note you mix parts A and B with water; this is not a divided developer.
The formula for PC-TEA is:
triethanolamine, 99% 100ml $1.39
ascorbic acid 9g $0.25
phenidone 0.25g $0.07
At 1:50 dilution, this works out to $0.08/roll.
Both formulas were published in the March/April, 2004 issue of _Photo Techniques_. You can order a back copy for $5, IIRC; check at http://www.phototechmag.com. The article has a few more formulas and information on the creation of these. It doesn't use the name "PC-Glycol," though; that formula is unnamed in the article but seems to have picked up the name "PC-Glycol" somewhere along the way.
Personally, I've used PC-Glycol but not PC-TEA. In addition to cost, PC-Glycol has the advantage that you can experiment with part "B" if you like. You could create a part "B" that'd create something that should, in theory, work just like E-76, for instance. I get the impression that PC-TEA is more popular, though. I'm using PC-Glycol with Fomapan 400 and like the results. I've yet to try it with any T-grain films, though.
All other things being equal, developers like D-76 achieve their highest solvent action at a sulfite concentration of 80 g/l. This may explain why Xtol uses 75 g/l.
My big flip-flop.
I have many times said bad things about XTOL...
...I don't know what the hell I have been thinking. I went back and printed some TMZ XTOL 1:2 negs from a couple of years ago and this is by far the best I have ever seen this film look. Somehow I got a bad spot in my head regarding XTOL-probably from my long time dislike of lab developed straight XTOL negs. It also comes from a side by side test I ran with this film and four developers, wherein I failed to equalize the contrast of each sample and the XTOL print came out the softest. Maybe some little good ol bad attitude too.
The negs I printed were shot around 800. Nice tight, but sharp grain, with smoothness and tonality I haven't seen in this film without a highly solvent developer.
I will do some testing with some of the longer push processing times and will go from there. As for now, at least for reasonable EI's, I can vigorously recommend XTOL with Kodak P3200.