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  1. #1

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    Choosing developer(s)

    Coming back to developing B&W negative after many years, availability of developers in professional photography shops in my country (2 of them) is meager: -- Kodak D-76, Kodak HC-110 and Tetenal Ultrafin Liquid. However, chemicals for mixing developers are available at chemicals stores. So, reluctantly, I will mix my own developer(s) out of individual chemicals.

    Though I shoot with various films, since I don't shoot very much and I intend to mix 1 liter of developer at a time, I should constrain myself to 2 or 3 developers to work with.

    My first choice is Mytol (Xtol substitute), for general use. Second developer will probably be FX37, for better acutance, at the price of coarser grain (for slow and medium speed films).

    Any recommendations for 1, 2 or at most 3 developers to mix?
    Please mention benefits of each recommended developer over D-76 or Xtol (Mytol).
    Last edited by Joshua_G; 07-14-2007 at 06:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_G View Post
    Coming back to developing B&W negative after many years, availability of developers in professional photography shops in my country (2 of them) is meager: -- Kodak D-76, Kodak HC-110 and Tetenal Ultrafin Liquid. However, chemicals for mixing developers are available at chemicals stores. So, reluctantly, I will mix my own developer(s) out of individual chemicals.

    Though I shoot with various films, since I don't shoot very much and I intend to mix 1 liter of developer at a time, I should constrain myself to 2 or 3 developers to work with.

    My first choice is Mytol (Xtol substitute), for general use. Second developer will probably be FX37, for better acutance, at the price of coarser grain (for slow and medium speed films).

    Any recommendations for 1, 2 or at most 3 developers to mix?
    Please mention benefits of each recommended developer over D-76 or Xtol.
    D19. Punchy, keeps well, ideal for deep tanks with replenishment where it lasts half way to forever.

    Cheers,

    R.

  3. #3

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    Thanks.

    I use small tanks, one shot, no replenishment.

    I'm looking for the best balance between "film speed/grain/sharpness (acutance)" and pushing ability – for both conventional films and T-Grains, for medium speed and high speed films. Ideally 1 developer, okay with 2 developers, possibly 3.

  4. #4
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Why not use HC-110 as one of the choices? I don't use it myself but I understand that it lasts forever, there is a wealth of information about it, and it is easily available where you live. Then mix your own brew for the other two choices so you can compare them to a standard baseline such as HC-110.
    Jerold Harter MD

  5. #5
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Also, you might experiment with some of the developers from Photographer's Formulary until you find what you like and then mix it yourself.
    Jerold Harter MD

  6. #6

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    HC-110 is a good choice. Cheap, versatile and lasts forever. http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110/index.html

    D-76 is also a good choice. It's the old stand-by.

  7. #7
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    Another choice, retaining many of the virtues of Xtol as well as the shelf life of HC-110, is PC-TEA. It's an ascorbic acid-phenidone developer mixed in TEA, a commonly available organic solvent.

    Like you, I love Xtol and Mytol, but my film developing sessions are (painfully) so intermittent that my chems tend to go bad before I use them. Mixing mytol each session, or PC-TEA, would be good choices.

    Google PC-TEA and "Gainer" and you should get the formula easily.
    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  8. #8
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    2 part devs always keep longer because the dev agents and alkali doohickies are separate. PCAT is cheap to mix, gives lovely tones and keeps for at least a year (not a true finegrain dev though). Mytol has worked well for me too.
    "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. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    D19. Punchy, keeps well, ideal for deep tanks with replenishment where it lasts half way to forever.

    Cheers,

    R.
    An interesting choice, but for which films and applications etc?
    Kodak D-19 is very robust and clean working, although I consider it to be more of a special pupose developer than one for general use, particularly for films such as Kodak Technical Pan.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Tapscott. View Post
    An interesting choice, but for which films and applications etc?
    Kodak D-19 is very robust and clean working, although I consider it to be more of a special pupose developer than one for general use, particularly for films such as Kodak Technical Pan.
    Dear Keith,

    Yup. Probably a nightmare with Tech Pan. Surprisingly good with most general application films, though. Personally I'd prefer to pay for DD-X. Ain't gonna bankrupt even me.

    Cheers,

    R.

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