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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah Smith View Post
    Should I use Xtol or D76 for all 4 films I will test again? I had narrowed my favorites down to Plus-X and Tri-X in D76 or Xtol in Alaska, but I also liked the fine grain of Tmax-100 for some applications. Fuji Across is a close second on that score.
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    I guess what I'm wondering is if there is a developer combo that will give me better result, in the sense that I would be handi-capping one film here by using all the same developer.
    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.

    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.
    Bruce Watson
    AchromaticArts.com

  2. #22
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    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.
    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.

    Thanks,
    Lee

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L View Post
    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.

    Thanks,
    Lee
    Sheet film -- the only camera I own is my 5x4.
    Bruce Watson
    AchromaticArts.com

  4. #24
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    Sheet film -- the only camera I own is my 5x4.
    So is it correct that your observations apply to TXP, not to Tri-X?

    Lee

  5. #25

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    Thanks for all the input, and especially to Frank and Bruce for the summaries of years of use. That's what I love about this place. I could pay for all the chems and spend a bunch of time doing a very limited test in my own house, but I can get so many years worth of experience in the answers from all of you. Definitely shows the Internet could be GOOD for photography!
    I will probably try with X-tol first and see if I like it again. A note about the Clayton developer - yes, I see they are down here. I always wanted to try that dev. when I was in Alaska, but shipping was crazy for some reason. So, maybe at some point I'll give that a try as well.

    Did anyone ever find any information on that Paterson FX-50 "Crawley" developer? That stuff sounds like the bomb, but I've never used it...so might just be hype. Don't know. I will start first with X-tol as a base-line, and go from there.
    Jed

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    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.
    Actually, I'd buy 5 1L jugs (the Photographer's Formulary sells brown glass bottles that are cheap and ideal) and stay away from soda bottles.

    If you're wondering why you get those great deals on soda at the supermarket it's because it has a limited shelf life before it goes flat. And the reason it goes flat is the gas permeability of plastic soda bottles (which, after all, are designed to be blow-molded at minimal expense)

    That same gas permeability does your developer's shelf life no favors.
    Digital Photography is just "why-tech" not "high tech"..

  7. #27
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    There's a post for Crawley FX15 by Ian Grant on here somewhere this past week. But I have it on the magazine website as well.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
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    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah Smith View Post
    Thanks for all the input, and especially to Frank and Bruce for the summaries of years of use. That's what I love about this place. I could pay for all the chems and spend a bunch of time doing a very limited test in my own house, but I can get so many years worth of experience in the answers from all of you. Definitely shows the Internet could be GOOD for photography!
    I will probably try with X-tol first and see if I like it again. A note about the Clayton developer - yes, I see they are down here. I always wanted to try that dev. when I was in Alaska, but shipping was crazy for some reason. So, maybe at some point I'll give that a try as well.

    Did anyone ever find any information on that Paterson FX-50 "Crawley" developer? That stuff sounds like the bomb, but I've never used it...so might just be hype. Don't know. I will start first with X-tol as a base-line, and go from there.
    Jed
    It was the bomb all right, as in "tick, tick, tick...boom".

    Roger Hicks did a very thorough test of the developer and it seems to produce superb results.

    But, as has been the case wiith a lot of Crawley's formulations, shelf-life was a problem. FX-50 has been, AFAIK, discontinued. Crawley has recently introduced a new formulation known as FX-55, the formula for which is available on APUG. FX-55 is not, as far as I know, commercially available; if you wish to try it you must mix it yourself.
    Digital Photography is just "why-tech" not "high tech"..

  9. #29

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    Ok, thank you for that info. I do not have any kind of a scale or anything to mix chemicals yet, but I may in the future. That would be kind of fun - but for now I just need something consistent when I re-test some film, so X-tol will have to do it. :-)

    By the way, you had me laughing at my "bomb" analogy. :-) Hehe...tick, tick...boom!
    I will take your advice and look for some good 1L bottle - they can't be that expensive, can they? And it's probably better for my health because I won't be tempted to drink 5L worth of soda! :-)

    Jed

  10. #30
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Jed, the DataTainer 1L bottles are just a couple of bucks each.
    "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

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