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  1. #21

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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

  2. #22
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    D-76, ID-11 and Xtol are very similar. As stated, just pick one most available to you. I personally use Xtol diluted 1:1 with distilled water and use it one-shot. Once you pick a developer and a film, you can run tests (there is tons of information in the archives here) to find your personal EI and development times. I think it is possible to get a combination pretty good after you run a few tests and burn some film on scenes. Also if you keep notes, and pay attention to your results you can modify your EI and development time ever so slightly as you shoot more and more film and learn your combo better. I've done this over the past few years with my combo.

  3. #23

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    The only problem with D-76 is that it's a PITA to mix. The mixing temperature is pretty high (120+ F IIRC), so waiting for it to cool means you must possess some form of patience. If you can wait a day after mixing (or hours if changing cooling baths), by all means go for the D-76. You can buy it locally (wish I could), so it's convenient. And you'll probably be perfectly happy with the results for many years to come. Also, both Ilford and Kodak have development times for their films using many developers on their websites.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandro Serrao View Post
    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.
    I'd even take it a step further and say: Pick up a developer that you yourself can make from published ingredients/recipes (for the future of course), .

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by moouers View Post
    The only problem with D-76 is that it's a PITA to mix. The mixing temperature is pretty high (120+ F IIRC), so waiting for it to cool means you must possess some form of patience. If you can wait a day after mixing (or hours if changing cooling baths), by all means go for the D-76. You can buy it locally (wish I could), so it's convenient. And you'll probably be perfectly happy with the results for many years to come. Also, both Ilford and Kodak have development times for their films using many developers on their websites.
    Wow! D-76 a PITA to mix? It should rest for a day before you use it anyway. I mix it up a gallon at a time. When I crack open the last quart, I mix a new batch so it's always there.
    Frank Schifano

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    Wow! D-76 a PITA to mix? It should rest for a day before you use it anyway. I mix it up a gallon at a time. When I crack open the last quart, I mix a new batch so it's always there.
    Yes, a PITA to mix. Word choices are relative beasts. Our hot water heater places a "sulfur" smell to the water, so I doubt it's all that free from deposits. So yeah, heating up a gallon of distilled water on the stove in a big pot is a touch annoying. At my old house, the water heater was just fine and the water was as clean as the cold water from the pipes. Worked fine. Unfortunately I don't have that luxury now. Comparing this to XTOL or highly dilute developers like Rodinal or PMK with room temperature mixing/diluting brings about my choice of words to describe the mixing of D-76.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by moouers View Post
    The only problem with D-76 is that it's a PITA to mix. The mixing temperature is pretty high (120+ F IIRC), so waiting for it to cool means you must possess some form of patience. If you can wait a day after mixing (or hours if changing cooling baths), by all means go for the D-76. You can buy it locally (wish I could), so it's convenient. And you'll probably be perfectly happy with the results for many years to come. Also, both Ilford and Kodak have development times for their films using many developers on their websites.
    Most people know when they are going to develop film, so mixing a day before shouldn't be an issue. It also lets anything that doesn't quite dissolve, some extra time to go into solution. If you need to get your developer shipped to you, powders are much lighter, easier and cheaper to ship, then liquids. Powders also last longer on the shelf, you can order several packets and keep them on the shelf, some people keep them for years, where as this is more difficult with liquids.
    Paul Schmidt
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  8. #28
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    I haven't tried the Ilford developer. I have used D76, Tmax, and Xtol developers. You really can't go wrong with D76 or Xtol, though each has some practical pluses and minuses.

    D76, widely available, mixes with hot tap water. Easy 1 gallon mix.

    Xtol, mixes at room temp, but recommends distilled water. Lasts for a long time in a container without air (some people have said 6-9 months). Odd 5L mix size. I did some up and put some in a 3L jug and some in a 2L jug. (I use juice jugs for chemicals).

    For the quantity of film you are getting, buy some of each, and you'll gain experience with both and know them both.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    I Xtol, mixes at room temp, but recommends distilled water.
    Not necessarily. The following is the only recommendation from Kodak about water quality. From the tech pub J109:
    Note: If your water supply is exceptionally hard (above
    200 ppm of CaCO3), you may need to use conditioned
    water to avoid cloudiness when you mix higher dilutions.
    Contact your water authority for information on the water
    in your area.
    Frank Schifano

  10. #30
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    For HP5, I use the times listed on the box for D76, but I actually use D23. This is very ballpark, but I have not had time to do rigorous testing, and this has been working very well. I suggest you follow the film manufacturer's directions at least at the beginning. It's almost guaranteed to work, at least for certain values of "work".
    f/22 and be there.

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