Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
Another alternative to Ansco 130 is PPPD - it's a Pyro developer for paper.
I've used PPPD a fair amount. Made it my standard developer for about a year. In its straight form with equal amounts of catechol and pyrogallol (50/50 mix), it leaves a very warm tone. A neutral-tone paper will look as warm as a warm-tone paper. Pyrogallol oxidizes relatively fast and its tray life is about 6 hours in the 50/50 mix. That's far shorter than the Smith amidol formula which would stay active for about thirty-two hours

Because the 50/50 mix was too warm for my taste, I started mixing it using 20 grams catechol, no pyrogallol. Storage life was a nearly two weeks and the tone was entirely neutral.

In both mixes, PPPD allowed using a water bath for contrast control. The water bath capability of 130 is about the same. Neither developer gives as much water bath control as an amidol formula does.

I believe Ansco/PF 130 gives just as good development results as any amidol formula or PPPD. Having used all three, I like them all and don't favor one over the others. But, 130 has an incredibly long tray/storage life. It just never seems to give out. Its nice not having to mix developer from scratch for every session and this makes it very economical. That was the deciding factor for me. I'm well into my second year of using it as my only paper developer and don't have any plans for change as long as it stays available.