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Thread: D-76 -v- XTOL

  1. #1
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    D-76 -v- XTOL

    I'm presently using HP5+ in home brewed D-76 with rotary processing and would like to investigate TMAX 100 as an additional, slower film.

    What I find in my research is XTOL is a very popular developer for Tmax 100 and D-76 just about as popular.

    While there must be a difference I wonder if anyone here has bothered to compare them one on one?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    I understand Sexton uses TMAX 100 souped in D-76. I could be wrong but there was an audio clip I listened to a month ago and I'm sure that's what he said.
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    23mjm's Avatar
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    I have used XTOL and D-76/ID-11 a lot and the results from both are great. I have moved to ID-11 for 2 reasons. One we won't talk about. The second is because ID-11/D-76 has a longer shelf life. I would notice that my negs were a little thin when I used XTOL that was stored in a Vac-Seal for a month of so, when using ID-11/D-76 I have used 2 month old soup with great results. But I would say try them both and make your own opinion----thats half the fun of photography trying new different stuff

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    I've used TMX and Xtol for quite a few years now. I use it 1+1, one shot. Love it!

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    Dear Bruce,

    While I use Xtol almost exclusively, by changing to it you will essentially be picking the fly poop out of the pepper. TMX will work very well in D-76.

    Neal Wydra

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    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Interestingly, I noticed that Brian Kosoff uses some sort of D-76 + Xtol mixture.... Might be worth asking him about it. Good luck, Bruce. Shawn

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    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Curve shape might be of interest to you. XTOL often creates an S-shaped, midtones-optimized curve. I don't know about D-76 exactly, but other developers like HC-110 create an upswept curve, enhanced for the highlights. For that, XTOL is just amazing for portraits.

    In terms of grain, sharpness you might find D-76 1+1 v. XTOL 1+1 to be very close. I find that XTOL is a little smoother in terms of grain than metol developers, which I appreciate in 35mm.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neal View Post
    Dear Bruce,

    While I use Xtol almost exclusively, by changing to it you will essentially be picking the fly poop out of the pepper. TMX will work very well in D-76.

    Neal Wydra
    I've never heard more sage advice, nor a better metaphor! A comparison of identical images made on the same film and shot under the same conditions, but developed separately in the two developers, will reveal very little difference. You can nitpick all you want. Any differences are likely to be swamped by other variables introduced during the processing workflow.

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    X-tol is a bit friendlier to the environs, but if someone were to take an X-Tol neg, make and 8x10 and then have you compare to a D-76 neg/print, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. IMHO, that's the way it is with most devs.

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    Based on my own tests with a number of films find that D-76 is slightly sharper than Xtol, but Xtol gives about 1/3 stop increase in real film speed, and has slightly finer grain.

    I find that the pyro staining developers PMK and Pyrocat-HD/MC are sharper than both D76 1:1 and Xtol 1:3, with about the same grain as Xtol, but about 1/3 less real film speed than Xtol.

    Any of these developers may show an increase or decrease in sharpness depending on dilution and type of agitation.


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    Last edited by sanking; 01-23-2008 at 05:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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