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  1. #21
    gainer's Avatar
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    If you can get phenidone, ascorbic acid and borax, you can make a developer that may suit your requirements. Mix 1/4 teaspoon (a teaspoon is 5 ml volume) phenidone, 2 teaspoons ascorbic acid and 2 tablespoons borax to make a liter of developer.
    Gadget Gainer

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    Why not use HC-110 as one of the choices
    Thank you. I have no objection to HC-110, as much as I have no objection to any other developer.

    Since I don't mind mixing my own, availability isn't an issue for me, not anymore.

    I'd like to know the qualities of each recommended developer, since I don't have the time to research them all. So, please specify why do you recommend HC-110 (other than availability and durability).

    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    Also, you might experiment with some of the developers from Photographer's Formulary until you find what you like and then mix it yourself.
    Thank you. Living in Israel, Importing chemicals from the USA is too expansive for me.

    Furthermore, since I don't have the time to experiment all developers, I'm asking others about the results of their experiments.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    HC-110 is a good choice. Cheap, versatile and lasts forever.
    Thank you. How about its other qualities, concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSeb View Post
    Another choice, retaining many of the virtues of Xtol as well as the shelf life of HC-110, is PC-TEA.
    Thank you. What are its other qualities, concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bragg View Post
    Another vote for HC-110 here, also you could mix your own D76. It is versatile and keeps well.
    Thank you. What are their qualities, concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson View Post
    I'll stick with the Pyrocats,
    Thank you. What are its qualities, concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    I really like Xtol, so Mytol's a good substitute, Xtol is probably the best developer of the D76/ID11, Microphen variety good in deep tanks and replenishable. I use it replenished.
    Thank you. I use neither deep tanks nor replenisher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    But Pyrocat has a quality which lifts the negatives and prints, acutance and tonality are outstanding and still excellent fine-grain. So I'm switching, even for 35mm which I just started using again. It really is an outstanding developer, and all credit to Sandy King.
    Thank you. At last, a description of pictorial qualities.
    How is its grain compared to Xtol/Mytol?
    Does it maintain the negative written ISO srnsitivity?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    If you can, grab copies of Anchell's "The Darkroom Cookbook" and Anchell/Troop's "Film Developing Cookbook". Lots of recipes in their, cheap too!
    Thank you, I have both of them. My predicament is that they contain very many formulas, or recipes. I have neither the time nor the money to research and try all recipes, so I'm asking others about the results of their own experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson View Post
    Thank you. I have more formulas at hand than time and money to try them all. I'm asking others about the results of their own experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by aldevo View Post
    I would recommend Gainer's PC-TEA over Mytol. Far superior shelf life and, essentially, the same resutls. Also, it's MUCH easier to mix than Mytol. .
    Thank you. Does both Mytol and PC-TEA share the same qualities concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"? Or, where do they defer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aldevo View Post
    Similarly, I would recommend King/Gainer Pyrocat-MC over FX37. Although the formula for Pyrocat-MC has been published, this developer is readily available through the Photographer's Formulary.
    Thank you. Living in Israel, Importing chemicals from the USA is too expansive for me. What are the specific qualities of Pyrocat-MC?

    Quote Originally Posted by aldevo View Post
    In your case, the ultimate in convenience is probably Kodak HC-110.
    Thank you. How about its other qualities, concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"?

    Quote Originally Posted by gainer View Post
    If you can get phenidone, ascorbic acid and borax, you can make a developer that may suit your requirements. Mix 1/4 teaspoon (a teaspoon is 5 ml volume) phenidone, 2 teaspoons ascorbic acid and 2 tablespoons borax to make a liter of developer.
    Thank you. I can get all those chemicals and many other. What are its qualities, concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"?

  3. #23
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Joshua,
    For one shots, the advice about HC110 is very good. I mix my own developer; use it for practically everything because I like the "look" of the shadows and midtones. I use Eastman D-23 for practically everything, and rather than depend upon the vagaries of my water supply, I replenish it the stock with DK-25R. It lasts "forever" when mixed with decent water.
    You can use stock D23 1:1 and 1:3. You can use stock replenisher as a substitute for Beutler's acutance developer with an alkali solution of borax, kodalk, or sodium carbonate.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    For one shots, the advice about HC110 is very good.
    Thank you. What are its qualities, concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"? How does it defer in those qualities from D-23?

  5. #25
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    Hi, Joshua. I have used HC-110 for a long time now as my standard developer. It simply does everything I want or need. Grain with Tri-X or Neopan, my two standard films, is fine and crisp, with all round excellent tonality.(see my gallery for examples). Mixed one shot from the syrup, it is 100% dependable. I also reccomended D76 as it is so easy to mix your own, and is the industry standard developer,very sharp in 1:1 or 1:3 dilution, and easy to use.

    Regards, John.

  6. #26
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    Xtol and PC-TEA compared

    joshua, PC-TEA has most of the characteristics you like in Xtol. PC-TEA at 1+50 dilution is about equivalent to Xtol/Mytol 1+2, while 1+100 is similar to 1+3 Xtol/Mytol.

    I find Xtol and its cousins finer grained and sharper than D76--others will surely differ--and the tonality is beautiful. The greater the dilution, the smoother the tonality, the greater the sharpness and grain. I find the higher dilutions work great with Ilford Delta and Kodak T-max.

    Overall, PC-TEA I find a bit grainier than Xtol/Mytol and about the same sharpness, with tonality of either developer depending on dilution more than on developer per se.

    If you like Xtol you will probably like PC-TEA since they are quite similar.
    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_G View Post
    Thank you. What are its qualities, concerning "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation"? How does it defer in those qualities from D-23?
    ********
    HC!!0 at EK dilutions are more linear acting than D-23. Subjectively, I would say HC is "sharper" than D23 used stock and replenished. At any speed film speed rating, D23's shadow detail is outstanding. Where D23 falls down (if indeed it does) compared to HC, it is in highlight separation.

    One great strength of D23 is with roll film where the exposures are mixed between high contrast and low contrast scenes, or where some negs are under or overexposed. It is possible to give full development with little chance of blocking up the highlights.

  8. #28
    Black Dog's Avatar
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    Yes, D23 is really versatile stuff-most 2 baths are based on it (I use Barry Thornton's formula).
    "He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.

  9. #29

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I'd try to sum up the qualities of each developer, mentioned so far.

    D-76

    The industry standard developer, sharp in 1:1 or 1:3 dilution, easy to use, easy to mix ones own, versatile, keeps well.


    D-23

    Outstanding shadow detail, high latitude and "forgiving" over-exposure and under-exposure, versatile.


    HC-110

    Fine grain, crisp, with all round excellent tonality, sharper than D-23, reliable, long lasting, very convenient.


    Xtol/Mytol

    Finer grained and sharper than D76, beautiful tonality.


    PC-TEA

    Similar results to Mytol, though a bit grainier and the same sharpness, with superior shelf life and it's much easier to mix than Mytol.


    Pyrocat HD

    Very high quality, outstanding acutance and tonality, excellent fine-grain.


    Pyrocat-MC

    ?


    In my quest for best "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)/gradation" qualities, from your recommendations, so far (if I read correctly), Pyrocat-HD is first. Second is probably Xtol/Mytol. Ease of mixing, convenience, durability and cost are much less important to me, though I do care about tolerance to deviations in exposure.

    Any other insights into the qualities of different developers?

    Which developer is better for push processing?

  10. #30
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Developer and film combinations are very personal. Over the years I've tried and tested a great many combinations, but only rarely change my working methods.

    For years I used Adox Borax MQ, a bit similar to D76, but better grain, tonality & sharpness, also gives the true film speed - not suprising as it's the same formula used for the DIN speed tests. Then I switched to Rodinal, for about 10 years before eventually trying Xtol. Xtol really was a major imrovement compared to ID11/D76 and is probably the best commercially available film developer.

    Your comments about Xtol are about right.

    However staining developers are different and Sandy Kings Pyrocat is outstanding. Simple cheap and easy to use the results speak for themselves.

    Now you ask about push processing, I'd have to say I haven't push processed a conventional film since XP1 was introduced. XP1, and now XP2 are superb films and push process brilliantly in C41 chemistry, I always used the Photocolor C41 kit (now Paterson). I used XP1/XP2 commercially for many years to shoot Rock concerts and grain, sharpness and tonality the films are way ahead of conventional B&W.

    Ian

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