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Thread: After D76?

  1. #1
    bvy
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    After D76?

    I've been using D76, stock and diluted 1+1, to develop Tri-X 400 mostly (other stuff too). I like it and plan to keep it in stock for "critical" film, but would still like to experiment with other developers. What might be a good next developer to play around with? I'm thinking Rodinal or Xtol maybe Diafine. Again, the only aim here is to experiment and learn. Thoughts?

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    Rick A's Avatar
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    I use Pyrocat-HD and Rodinal besides D-76, all good combod for the different films I shoot. My choice for any particular film I've shot is lighting and contrast, how much grain I want to accentuate. Alot depends on format as well.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

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    Second Pyrocat-HD in gycol and Rodinal, also HC-110 for their long shelf life for occasional experimentation.

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    dektol

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    HC-110

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    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Depends on what you're looking for.

    I like Diafine a lot and always keep it in stock. In my high school days its economy (it does eventually wear out, but I could get 70+ rolls of 35mm through a quart!) and ease made it the only developer I used. If I wanted a 400 speed film I shot Plux-X (which I found was actually better at 500 than 400.) Now it's my film for Tri-X at 1250-1600. When I need more speed it's TMZ (in 35mm) or Delta 3200 (in 120) in T-Max RS.

    Rodinal is well known for sharpness.

    My main developers are Diafine and TMax RS. For TMax RS, forget the instructions about mixing the stock. Just dump the little bottle of B solution into the big bottle of A and mix. Then dilute when ready for use. Standard dilution is 1+4 but I like it better more diluted. I mostly use 1+6 which is something I settled on myself from experimentation. There's plenty of folks posting on the web who use it at 1+7 and 1+9.

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    use a lot of Rodinal, as well as D76/id11, and I sometimes use Champion Promicrol if I want a bit of extra speed,
    Richard

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    jbl
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    I'm fond of HC-110, mostly for practicality perspective (the concentrate lasers forever) and Tri-X works very well in it. I love the look of D-76, but my shooting volume makes it hard to use all of. A liter is a bit small, a gallon is way too much. My last batch I only made it half way through in 6 months :-(.

    Rodinal is nice too, keeps forever as well. It's quite grainy, sometimes I feel like that.

    One of the HC-110 sites, talks about using it at Rodinal ratios, 1+49, it makes mixing for development much easier.

    -jbl

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    I've been through this process a couple of times, and I always seem to come back to D-76 for (for me) the best combination of ease and results. I mix my own, and that surely has an influence. But for your exploration, I would first suggest Xtol. I have no experience here, but test results and anecdotal evidence suggests that this is an excellent developer of the D-76 type, possibly with improved results. I would also suggest Pyrocat-HD. That developer comes in several variations, which probably give different results. My experience is only with the original. The results are excellent, although there is a very slight loss in film speed (maybe a quarter to a third of a stop) compared to D-76. It is a very good introduction to staining developers.

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    Rodinal - partly because it is user friendly (lasts forever, developes anything, easy to mix) but partly because it is different to D76. Lower base fog, not fine grain, sharp, capable of compensating and high (ish) acutance effects at high dilutions. Better to try something in a different class than a high tech replacement for D76, IMHO.
    Steve

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