What developer do you use

Discussion in 'Film Developing / Chemistry' started by jai, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. jai

    jai FF Regular

    Apr 8, 2015
    I started out using D76, as recommended by this guide:


    I then started using D76 diluted 1:1 which I liked a bit better. I think its easier to control the more dilute solutions, and my shots looked really good.

    Just now trying XTOL, again diluted 1:1. My first roll was a bit overdeveloped, I think this may be a common problem with XTOL. The grain was super fine, my shots just weren't as sharp as before. Need more practice obviously.

    What do other people here use?
  2. Mijo

    Mijo FF Regular

    Mar 25, 2015
    San Francisco
    I mainly use D-76 as well, and prefer to dilute it 1:1 as well. For rolls of ilford 3200 I prefer Kodak's TMAX developer as stock D-76 is suppose to be used. I've developed ilford's 3200 with stock D-76 and prefer the grain when using the TMAX instead, particularly if the the 3200 has been pulled.
  3. kingsfan

    kingsfan FF Rookie

    Mar 24, 2015
    happy using XTOL
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FF Regular

    Mar 24, 2015
    Xtol usually gives full emulsion speed of any film. I often rate a little lower for other developers but find I do not have to for Xtol. D-76 1:1 is a nice developer. Used with Plus-X of happy memory it produced exquisite results. I wish someone would get the recipe/license for Plus-X and bring it back. I've recently become a big fan of Xtol.

    For most large format and a good deal of medium format, I still use HC110 diluted 1:7 or 1:15 from mixed stock solution. Measuring the syrup with a syringe and diluting the hell out of it never appealed to me, though you should be able to get the same dilutions using either method. I like the edge sharpness from HC110 in larger formats. I find it excessively grainy on 35mm.

    In a pinch, I use whatever I can find locally, which isn't much anymore. Ilfosol 3 is nice enough, but it won't be what I get when I put in my B&H order.

    Everyone will have his own preference. Ansel Adams once referred to photographers' "holy water" complex about their favorite developers.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  5. jai

    jai FF Regular

    Apr 8, 2015
    I got into a habit of overexposing most of my shots to get the best quality with D76, but as you say I think it's best probably not a good idea when using xtol.
  6. Jesse_S

    Jesse_S FF Rookie

    Mar 28, 2015
    I use D-76 and Rodinal. D-76 is my tried and true performer which I use on the important stuff. I really like Rodinal for it's ease of use (and it's cheap!) but I'm still learning it's many quirks. I use it at 1+50. I tried an hour stand develop with Rodinal and wasn't impressed, but it could very well have been user error.
  7. jai

    jai FF Regular

    Apr 8, 2015
    I was wondering when somebody would say Rodinal.

    I am curious to try it, sounds really convenient in terms of the dilution. Don't know where I'd get it though? I'm in Australia and I'm guessing it can't be shipped internationally.

    I tend to like finer grain, so I think its probably better to stick with XTOL/D76 for that anyway.
  8. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg FF Regular

    Mar 23, 2015
    Canary Islands
    Another Rodinal afficionado, but mostly for the gritty, moody or experimental stuff (1+50 most of the time). Back in the day I started out with Ilford materials, HP5, FP4, mostly in Microphen and Perceptol but never really got the look that I wanted. That changed when I moved over to Tri-X and D-76; more probably due to some 'accidental' mistakes I made when I moved away from the standard prescriptions.
  9. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg FF Regular

    Mar 23, 2015
    Canary Islands
    You could try your luck on German eBay. I've bought my Rodinal from there a couple times; the real stuff, expired long ago but in case of Rodinal that doesn't matter at all plus a little bottle can go a looong way. Some folks ship worldwide at self cost and those little bottles can easily be shipped in a padded envelope. What could you lose?
  10. pdh

    pdh FF Regular

    Mar 25, 2015
    why can't you just buy rodinal from a shop in oz? vanbar for instance ...
    • Useful Useful x 1
  11. MAubrey

    MAubrey FF Regular

    May 19, 2015
    Mike Aubrey
    Right now I'm using Diafine. Basically lasts forever. It's really easy to use and has practical value for scanning negatives since.
  12. brian moore

    brian moore New to FF

    Mar 28, 2015
    brian moore
    I use Rodinal exclusively. It was the first developer I ever tried. I experimented with Caffenol for a while (when I ran out of Rodinal), then I went back to Rodinal. I almost always do a semi-stand of one hour to one hour and a half at 1+100 dilution. Simple and inexpensive and does the job well in my opinion.
    • Like Like x 1
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