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.
Originally Posted by TheSohnly
No, these are very dependable and with experience you can make any of them work well.
Originally Posted by TheSohnly
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Originally Posted by TheSohnly
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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.
"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.
I selected XTOL to start with because it produces the finest grain of the Kodak chemicals. All three that you listed are good general purpose developers and all are forgiving.
I use XTOL straight [undiluted] and I like the results. I add 70ml of fresh XTOL developer into the same developer that I just used. This is called replenishment.
One other recomendation though, is to get a large plastic paint bucket from a paint store and mark the levels of one gallon, and one to five liters with a wide marking pen. The bucket will be easier to mix the chemicals in especially if you have to use hot water, as opposed to mixing in smaller containers. When the chemicals are mixed, add water to the proper level. Using the bucket to mix and then pouring into smaller containers is much easier than mixing in a four liter or one gallon container.
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I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
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.
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.
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