you can use most developers for those films.
tmax developer is made for tmax films, and they
suggest developing times for the other films ...
and xtol and hc.. d76 and the other developers suggested
work very well for all those films as well.
Jim - you know, I could never figure that out back in the day - why did Kodak choose to put X-tol in 5 Ltr. package? Who's got a "5 Ltr" jug laying around in their house in the U.S.? :-) Not to be picky but come on... 1 gallon is easy to store.
Have you found an appreciable difference between D76 and X-tol for your work? I know you're a good proponent of the older style films, ala plus-X, and I always have been in the past as well. I just know that I need to re-evaluate everything now that I'll have a different enlarger setup and live thousands of miles south with different light.
Thanks to all,
I'm a big fan of both D-76 and XTOL. There are some films for which I prefer D-76, mostly because I don't have reliable starting point data for XTOL. For Plus-X and Tri-X, of course, there is no question. Kodak has excellent data for both developers paired with either film. I use both developers one shot, and diluted 1+1 99% of the time. The results I get with these films are different in each developer, but the differences are very subtle and not something you'd really notice until you compared the same scene, taken with the same camera and lens, in the same light, side by side. That said, XTOL will deliver about 1/3 stop bit more shadow detail without blowing the highlights all to hell. In practice, it means that if you rate the film at box speed, you get a little more shadow detail. Grain is about the same; a little less noticeable with XTOL, but nothing dramatic. The same advice holds true for TMX and TMY. D-76 is good; XTOL a little bit better. I tried using TMax developer a few times, and was unimpressed. It's nothing special, except that it is a liquid and easy to mix up. It does not deliver the fine grain or slight speed boost of XTOL. HC-110 is ok for sheet film in trays, when you want short development times. It's a bit hot for tank use at the official dilutions, making it harder to control.
You owe it to yourself to give the newly reformulated TMY-2 a try. It really is superior in every way to the old TMY. Under moderate enlargement of 4x to 5x, it's hard to distinguish grain under a grain focusing microscope. The tonality is fantastic. I'm able to get detail in very dark places, all the while holding the highlights in check. It's really that good. It doesn't replace Tri-X though, which is more punchy through the middle tones. Each has it's uses. Practice will tell you when to use each.
Who needs a 5L jug anyway? Five 1L soda pop bottles will do the trick better. Fill 4 of them to the very top and the fifth one will come in at bit more than 1/2 full. The completely full bottles will last 6 months, The partially full one, about two.
Last edited by fschifano; 06-12-2009 at 07:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Hi Jed, Frank sums it up every time! Yes, you can certainly split-up X-tol into smaller bottles and the extra liter that D-76 doesn't have shouldn't make that much of a difference. I haven't noticed much, if any, difference between the two.
xtol used to be sold in 1L packages, but there were problems, just like the extreme dilutions that were recommended
for different printing applications ... and kodak discontinued the 1L packaging and the recommendations of extreme dilutions ...
when xtol was first introduced it was suggested that it was very difficult to get blown highlights using this developer.
i never liked xtol ( some people swear by it ), even when over processed by 30% the negatives didn't have the "snap"
that other developers tend to offer ( i used it for about 3 years ) ...
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One way of using the Xtol developer that is very economical and changes the developer to yield negatives that are all but flat is to re-plenish it. And this is where the 5L packaging comes in handy.
I use a 2L stock working solution (my largest tank likes 1,850ml full), and with each 35mm/120/8x10 equivalent area film I pour 70ml of fresh stock solution into the working solution jug before I pour back what I used during development.
This way you can process 70+ rolls of film with one 5L package. I would recommend to use 1L bottles to store the stock replenisher so you don't oxidize it unnecessarily.
The developer, once seasoned, is wonderful. It appears that the remains from film processing (bromide among others) seem to be good for the process. I've had a batch going for about three months now, and I aim to continue using it perpetually.
It's a very economical and good way to use this developer.
Also, Xtol seems to work really well in scenes with high brightness range. In flat lighting it might not be the best choice.
"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
We are from the same town, Jedidiah. Personally I would be stoked if we had some weather once in a while. I have personally liked what I have gotten with ID11 which is Ilford's copy of D76. So there is my answer.
You have Clayton F76plus in Calif. It is a liquid eazy to use.comes in quarts or 1000ml 33oz jug not sure of size. Very good stuff.
I've used all those films but Plus-X (which they no longer offer in 5x4). XTOL is your answer IMHO. Let me tell you why.
Originally Posted by Jedidiah Smith
First, XTOL right off the bat gives me about the same level of graininess and a bit more sharpness. And at least 2/3 stop more real film speed than D-76; with XTOL I can always shoot at box speed. Then, XTOL can easily be diluted. So use it straight for Plus-X for that softer "old school" look, and your prints will look surprisingly similar to D-76. Then you can diluted it 1:1 to get a little more sharpness, and 1:3 to get a little more sharpness yet. And the cost in increased graininess is very small for doing this. Yes, you can dilute D-76 too, at least to 1:1. But I think the XTOL dilutions superior to the D-76 ones. Of course YMMV.
I've used XTOL 1:3 with Tri-X and TMY-2. I liked the results very much with Tri-X. Then I tried TMY-2 and loved it. I liked the tonality better, the graininess is considerably better, and the reciprocity characteristics are way better (this matters to LFers more than others of course). So Tri-X is history for me. Again, YMMV.
I'm just sayin' I used D-76 for like 20 years. Some HC-110 for a while. But since I tried XTOL there's been no looking back. And one more time: YMMV.
For clarity's sake: It appears that you are mostly talking about sheet film. Are you discussing Tri-X, or TXP? That would make a difference when you're talking about tonal characteristics.
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson