Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
I'm with markbarendt - it's better to have a full contrast negative than a severe shoulder. That highlight compression makes it MORE difficult for me to create a print with good texture in the highlights than one that is dense but has good definition of tones.

To the OP: The choice of developer is one that you should be making based on what tonality you can achieve. That is the most important thing. And that negative tone curve should ideally fit what your photo paper is capable of. This way you have much less headache in the darkroom while printing, and a LOT less waste of paper. Sometimes it turns out so well that the negatives print themselves. DD-X is great because it has a lot of energy, gives great shadow detail, and is still keeping it sharp with moderately fine grain. You can't really go wrong with it.

The grain that a developer produces is actually not that big of a difference from one developer to the next - IF you develop the negatives to the same contrast. Seriously - try it some time. You'll be surprised how little difference there is. But you may also be surprised at how different the tonality is.
Grain is something you see when you press your eye to the print surface. Tonality SCREAMS at you from across a room. Never forget that.
Surely that is easier to do if all the information has been preserved in the negative instead of being overdeveloped and lost through blocking?

Those compensating developers and the semi-stand regime for the agitation make it more likely, well they do for me...


To answer the OP's question DDX is more expensive than many developers and certainly more expensive than many of the make-it-yourself recipes such as 510-PYRO, CAFFENOL (and its variants) and OBSIDIAN AQUA etc., etc. So maybe that is one reason why more people don't use or recommend DDX?


RR