My experience has been that with modern cold-tone papers, developer choice doesn't matter a whole lot. Ansco 130 does produce a subtly different tone, but its cost and the 3' dev time sent me back to Dektol. Having tried Amidol, 130, Ilford and Zone VI developers, Dektol is the best compromise. And I'll second Anscojohn's recommendation above.
I'm an Ethol LPD user too. I've a gallon of stock solution that I had mixed a year ago and it's still fine. It lasts and lasts and lasts.. You can dilute it working strength to make it either a cold or warm-tone, it's cheap. You can replenish it even. I like it.
That is really good advice! I've used the same paper developer for over a year now, and I have to say I learn every time. I do not plan on changing either.
It's my opinion that it's more how you use it than what you use. Any developer recommended will be fantastic.
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
I suggest you use Dektol to try your new paper. When you see what that looks like, then change developers. One variable at a time.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Dektol is to paper developers, as D-76 is to film developers. Sure there are differences in paper developers. If you look closely though, many of them are pretty much variations on the Dektol formula. I like the stuff, and haven't seen much of a good reason to switch. It can be tweaked with the addition of more water and maybe a little bit of restrainer to be a warm tone developer like Selectol. What's not to like? An Amidol or Glycin based developer will behave differently, but those are altogether different animals. If you want to try something different, make sure it really is or you won't notice if much or anything is substantially changed.
I thought I'd let everyone who suggested that I'm going to order Dektol (and the new paper) which I'll play with first then try something like the Tektol. I'm attracted to the non metol ascorbic acid base under the apprehension that it might be less toxic to me and perhaps allow me to return to working without gloves in the future (I prefered to have a wet and a dry hand and quickly splash my fingers in a water tray after being briefly in fix or dev then touch a towel to dry) seems more natural and shouldn't be too hazardous without metol and hydroquinone)
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Here theory and practice meet, things don't work and I don't know why
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'perhaps allow me to return to working without gloves in the future'
Oh blimey. Please get the gloves back on. Why would anyone choose to dip or soak their fingers in any photographic solution? Not nice; fingers smell bad despite a quick rinse, can contaminate paper, (and of course skin), and all the things that are touched in the darkroom. Not for me.