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  1. #1
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Wow! D-76 Is Actually Pretty Good.

    Hi All,

    I been using or experimenting with several developers for B&W development, such as XTOL, Rodinal, FX-37, PC-TEA as well as a couple of pyro forumulas. However, I've never had an opportunity to use D-76 so I whipped up a homebrew batch and developed some film undiluted. Well, I was surprised at the quality and it certainly gave XTOL a run for its money at the same dilution level. I found the tones and gradation to be quite good and sharpness acceptable. I've also tried D-96A and found it to be the equal of XTOL in my unscientific observations and measurements.

    I guess exotic formulas aren't necessary to get decent results for B&W. Also, it demonstrates that the actual differences in developers are fairly small when compared to the intrinsic grain and tonal qualities of the film being developed.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Well most companies used to make a D76 equivalent because it was the standard fine grain motion picture developer. It's what most commercial photographers used for many years, usually in deep tanks, and is a good all round developer

    Ian

  3. #3
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    Developer choice is a matter of film, physics, chemical engineering, taste, Old Wives tales, experimentation and a bunch of personal bias tossed in.

    D-76 is a darn good developer.

    vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  4. #4
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    I guess exotic formulas aren't necessary to get decent results for B&W.

  5. #5
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    I switched to D-76 as my main developer after getting tired of HC110, messing around with something the consistancy of honey wore a little thin. I don't mind mixing up the powder. I also have a five litre packet of ID-11 which is the same stuff which I will get to at some point.
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  6. #6
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    I guess exotic formulas aren't necessary to get decent results for B&W. Also, it demonstrates that the actual differences in developers are fairly small when compared to the intrinsic grain and tonal qualities of the film being developed.

    You can say that again! I've been developing for about four years, and I'm just starting to understand which developers behave better in which situation!
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  7. #7
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    The one challenge is its aging

    If you home brew, be aware that how the d76 works new versus once it is a few months old is the issue. That said, I until the pyro bug bit used to develop all of my traditional silver in d76, 1+1 and tabular in fx-37.

    If I am unsure of how to process a new to me one off film, then D-76 is still my go-to developer.

    If there are a ream of films to be processed, then HC-110B or twice as weak, and a syringe to deal with it can be awfully handy though, and to my eye the results are not a mile off of D-76 1+1

  8. #8
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, it seems I have too much time today. I've now used D-76 undiluted and at 1+1 dilution. I must be blind because I can't see much of a difference. It must be noted, however, the subject matter is different and it may contribute to my difficulty in discerning differentials. Has anyone else experienced similar observations? I'm also wondering if replenishment is a serous option or is there too much compromise.
    Last edited by Snapshot; 01-15-2008 at 04:53 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: To correct very poor grammar.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    D76 was designed to be used in deep tanks or processing machines and when used with replenishment gives superb results. I've always used developers like ID-11/D76 and now Xtol this way and it's very easy even on a relatively small scale. The developers ripen with use and settle to an equilibrium as they are replenished, the quality improves giving slightly better results compared to using as a one shot.

    Ian

  10. #10

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    D-76 and Rodinal are the devs I keep coming back too. Other devs are excellent as well, but D-76 and Rodinal are just simple and time-honored.

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