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  1. #1

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    Paper developers: Multigrade/Dektol/LPD

    For paper developers, I've only used Ilford Multigrade to date. I've acquired some Dektol and some LPD paper developers, but haven't tried them as yet, and am interested in the differences that others have observed among these paper developers. For example, do Dektol or LPD yield "softer" print contrast than Multigrade? Any other differences? I'm using Ilford RC Pearl and RC Pearl Warmtone papers.

    Any insights would be appreciated...

    Dale

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Dektol had always been my choice of developer until I tried LPD. LPD (IMO)outshines Dektol. It lasts longer, and you control tone by dilution without affecting development time. Use straight for cold tone, and dilute more for warmer tones. I still have a ton of Dektol on hand, as well as Selectol and Selectol soft, but I get the benefits of all those in one developer with LPD.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You'll see a difference with the Warm tone paper, Dektol is much colder in tone, there shouldn't be s a significant difference with contrast.

    Rick, there's a big difference using Selectol & Selectol soft which can't be obtained with a dev like LPD or Dektol, it's more noticeable with Warm tone papers.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I consider Dektol to be a developer of higher contrast than Multigrade and LPD.

    LPD is a bit unique here in that it lasts long enough that you can use it replenished. Same developer works fine for six months or more.

    To me, LPD gives better separation in the shadows, and the highlights are 'calmer' with smoother transitions of tone than both the others. My printing system is based on Fomabrom 112 and LPD, though, so if I switched paper developers, I would have to start working on how I develop my negatives again.

    Thanks,

    - Thomas
    "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

  5. #5
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Hi Dale, I have used all three of those developers and prefer LPD as well. Dektol is the most contrasty. Mutigrade is a great developer as well. But for my money LPD is very economical and lasts a long time. I've been using 130 1:1 lately and re-using the working solution for months. The stuff is amazing. It lasts forever. My recommendations to anyone looking for paper developers are LPD and 130. That's all I'll ever use.

  6. #6
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    You'll see a difference with the Warm tone paper, Dektol is much colder in tone, there shouldn't be s a significant difference with contrast.

    Rick, there's a big difference using Selectol & Selectol soft which can't be obtained with a dev like LPD or Dektol, it's more noticeable with Warm tone papers.

    Ian
    Ian

    How does ID-78 (Ilford Warmtone, Agfa Neutol WA) compare to LPD?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Ian

    How does ID-78 (Ilford Warmtone, Agfa Neutol WA) compare to LPD?

    LPD is a Neutral toned developer according to the manufacturer's data-sheet, so it would be more comparable to Neutol NE (liquid) and Ilford Multigrade.

    Ian

  8. #8
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    So, LPD is 'colder' than ID-78 but 'warmer' than Dektol, correct?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #9

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    Try them with negatives you have printed before to see how you like them. Neither Dektol nor LPD will be softer. Dektol will have a somewhat colder tone.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    So, LPD is 'colder' than ID-78 but 'warmer' than Dektol, correct?
    Yes, but remember that a warm tone developer is significantly warmer than a Neutral tone developer, the differences between a Colder tone developer like Dektol and a Neutral tone developer far less so. The specific cold tone developers like the discontinued Ilford Coldtone and Neutol Bl are a bit colder toned than Dektol.

    Ian

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