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  1. #11
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSohnly View Post
    My question is: Will I see a huge difference from choosing between Illford developer, D76 developer, or Xtol developer?
    No, until you have significant experience and a solid routine you won't be able to tell, there are too many other variables that will mess you up.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSohnly View Post
    Should I choose anything other than these three for my purpose?
    No, these are very dependable and with experience you can make any of them work well.

    Ilford ID-11 and Kodak D-76 are in fact interchangeable, if the store was out of one, you could buy the other and never see a difference.

    I started with ID-11/D-76 then switched to Xtol because it can be replenished so easily and it has a slight film speed advantage.

    Replenishment is the easiest and cheapest way to use Xtol and is very consistent once established.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #12
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    Both D76 and Xtol are great general purpose developers. Of the two, Xtol gives slightly better speed and slightly finer grain, but D76 would be fine, too. You'll just have to pick one. When you ask a question like this on APUG, dozens of people are going to tell you their favorite developer, and you might wind up getting confused.

    If you go with Xtol, I would suggest mixing the stock solution and making the final dilution, if any, with distilled water. Xtol doesn't like iron in the water, and distilled water is cheap.

    Whatever developer you choose, I would recommend mixing the stock solution in a big container, and then decanting into 1 liter/quart bottles. Full bottles keep better than opened bottles, so it is better to expose only one smaller bottle to the air.
    Charles Hohenstein

  3. #13
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    My question is: Will I see a huge difference from choosing between Illford developer, D76 developer, or Xtol developer? Should I choose anything other than these three for my purpose?

    Help me 'get it right the first time'. I probably wont be changing the stuff I buy for a very long time, if ever.
    Right first time, flexible and loads of information comes with D76/ID11. Its a standard and is a standard as it does the job easy with no fuss.
    Xtol is also good, but prehaps less available from every single supplier.

    I tend to use R09 (Rodinal) as its economical and lasts a long time if you want to use it one shot, same with Ilfosol3 which is the replacement for the Ilfosol S mentioned on the Chromagenic website.

    To start with I would recommend using developer one shot. (D76 can be used replenished, but its an extra complication)

    Go for something you can pick up anywhere, and have a good practice
    "Flatter Me, and I May Not Believe You. Criticize Me, and I May Not like You. Ignore Me, and I May Not Forgive You. Encourage Me, and I Will Not Forget You."

  4. #14

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    Don't worry. My experience on a night school course was that I and about 22 others( the whole of the class) got it right enough to be able to produce reasonable prints from our first attempt at developing the film. It was ID11 but I am sure it could have been other developers and we simply stuck to Ilford times. Quite frankly if most students got their first attempts so wrong that they couldn't produce prints from the negs then most nightschool courses would fold and not be subscribed to in the future. So no revenue for the college, no passes on the course earning the students their certificates.

    These courses are popular because they work. None of us were photographic geniuses.

    pentaxuser

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSohnly View Post
    (I did a few searches through the forums and I couldn't find anything on this, so I thought I'd ask)
    I'm looking to see what developer to use based on this story and to quell my fears about 'getting it right the first time'. (the question is at the bottom of the post if you don't feel like reading my explanation and worries)

    Recently, I found an AMAZING deal on a lot of frozen, expired Illford HP5+ and Delta 3200 on my local craigslist (about 40 rolls or so, if you must know).
    I picked it up with the purpose of 'getting into' developing my own black and white film (something I've wanted to do, but just never acted upon).

    I've done lots of research (places like Chromogenic and DigitalTruth and places of that nature), and I've picked up a Patterson tank with two reels, a blackbag, tanks for holding chemicals, and pretty much everything I need to develop film but the chemicals. I won't be making a darkroom.

    I've found the 'normal develop-everything' d76 in stores around here, but the Chromogenic developing website I'll be using to develop film for the first time uses Illford developer, not to mention that I've got ONLY Illford film. (minus three rolls of Plus-X, Tri-X, and Neopan 1600 I was given for free). A few other friends I trust online recommend the Xtol.

    I also know that there are many, many more developers and chemicals than I ever hope to care about at this point in time. I'll also ONLY be developing and scanning and not printing.

    I don't want to get the normal "it's all up to experimentation and how you like things and everything is different" schpiel. I just want something that will make me happy for a good long time so I don't have to change/experiment and waste money and, when pressured for a gift idea for myself (or a similarly funny situation), I'll be able to point said plebeian to "THIS".

    Thats the other point. I want to 'get it right' the first time because I don't have infinite cash.

    My question is: Will I see a huge difference from choosing between Illford developer, D76 developer, or Xtol developer? Should I choose anything other than these three for my purpose?

    Help me 'get it right the first time'. I probably wont be changing the stuff I buy for a very long time, if ever.
    Neither of the films you mentioned is a chromogenic film. That is a special kind of B&W film designed to be used in developers designed for color negative film. It may be that the lab you intend to use is equipped to do both chromogenic and B&W film. In any case, check with them before you send them your film.
    Gadget Gainer

  6. #16

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    Pick up whatever developer you can also find in the future. At this stage consistency is much more important than subtleties, imho, and I'm stuck to this stage :-))
    I'd suggest either D76 or Xtol, whatever you find first and cheaper.

  7. #17

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    Dear TheSohnly,

    "Will I see a huge difference from choosing between Illford developer, D76 developer, or Xtol developer? Should I choose anything other than these three for my purpose?"

    No and no. No developer will make a bad photo good or a good photo great. They all have a "look", but you're really starting to pick the fly poop out of the pepper. Learning to print is the best way to improve your photos, in comparison the developer choice is irrelevant.

    The best reason I can give for your choice of developer is that Kodak supplies detailed development times for Xtol. Lots of films, lots of temperatures.

    Enjoy,

    Neal Wydra

  8. #18
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    All very good suggestions, here.

    You really won't go wrong for selecting either D76/ID-11 or XTOL. All three developers are excellent at bringing out the most of your film. It's truly what YOU bring to the development process that makes a "look" -- be it dilution, temperature, agitation, time, etc. It's not a "spiel", but you WILL have to experiment with what film/development combination works best, for YOU.

    If you want useable (in-the-ballpark) results the first time, start off with D-76 or ID-11, and follow the respective manufacturer's development suggestions per film, at box speed -- easy to mix and use. After that, the process is all about personal tweaking (and often, depending with whom you speak, it can get quite quirky).

    FYI, the vast majority of the time, I use Tri-X and XTOL 1:1 (one-shot). Note: As suggested above, mix XTOL with distilled water, and subsequently, dilute in distilled water, as well.

    Keep it simple... and, most importantly, enjoy.

  9. #19

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    Because I use substantially less Xtol per roll or sheet of film, Xtol is more economical than D-76. Don't go by the price per bag alone.
    Wayne
    Deep in the darkest heart of the East Texas Rain forest. Apprentice Analog Activist.
    ... And to paraphrase Yoda, there is no how, only do.
    Vaughn
    My Photos Online

  10. #20

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    There's not a B&W film made (except for the ones designed to be processed in C-41) that won't do well in D-76. If Ilford's chemistry is preferrable, then ID-11 works exactly the same. There is also not a film made that doesn't have lots of good data published for development in D-76. In short, it's probably the BEST option for the beginner. Follow the directions and you will get something that will print well if everything else was done right. Will it be the absolute best that can be wrung out of a piece of film? Probably not, but you shouldn't concern yourself too much with that right now. I've been processing film for a very long time, and I still like D-76 for most tasks. There is very little that can best it, and many that don't work as well.
    Frank Schifano

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