I live in Los Angeles, and the city's water contains chlorine. Two days ago I developed a roll of Fuji Acros 100 with faucet water and Microdol-X 1:3 at 75 degrees for 16 minutes and got gorgeous negatives. Yesterday I developed the same film with faucet water and Photographers' Formulary D-76 substitute, TD-16, and the negatives were horribly under-developed and mostly lacked tonality. Today I developed a third roll of the same film with faucet water and Paterson's FX-50 developer and got the same horrid under-developed results.

I spoke with Bud at Photographers' Formulary late yesterday and he blamed the TD-16 problem on chlorinated water, adding that, unlike Kodak's developers, the Formulary's developers contain no buffers and must be mixed with distilled, not faucet, water. I now infer that, if he is correct (and I believe he is), since FX-50 is made in England, it, too, contains no buffers and must be mixed with distilled water. However, the instructions in the box do not mention this.

Have any of you experienced this anomaly before and, if so, did you rectify it by mixing your developers with distilled water? Thanks immensely for your clarification!