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Thread: First time developing , Delta 100 and advice

  1. #1

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    Jan 2017
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    First time developing , Delta 100 and advice

    I ordered some XTOL and have a bunch of 4x5 delta 100 and HP5+ negatives. Been reading up on the internet and am a bit confused regarding dilution. I do scan so that is a factor. I believe XTOL is better for Delta 100 but to honest there are so many different combos and conflicting advice that I'm overwhelmed.

    I'm not looking to blast contrast as I'd like to retain as much shadow detail and neutrality as I can.

    And tips or bits and bobs to hopefully send this project in the right direction will be warmly received.

  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: First time developing , Delta 100 and advice

    For the first time in years I used XTOL for a few different films recently. Not Delta 100 though. Generally I've found that XTOL in "standard" 1:1 dilution gave full speed or even a bit more. Sometimes I felt like my film was overexposed when shot at box speed. I most recently tried 1:2 and 1:3 dilutions which I really liked - seemed a bit more "tame" in comparison to my experiences with 1:1. I personally would first try the recommendations on the massive development chart for a 1:2 dilution (EI of 100, 13 minutes at 68 degrees F) and see what you get. Myself, I use FX-39 with most T-grain films, including Delta 100, and like the results. FYI, the higher dilutions are no longer recommended by Kodak because they can be subject more commonly to the "sudden death" syndrome with XTOL. Not sure how that works with higher dilutions, but what turned me off XTOL for awhile was exactly that - suddenly not working after a few months if in a larger bottle subject to more oxygenation.
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  3. #3

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    Re: First time developing , Delta 100 and advice

    I can't speak to xtol but have used delta with HC110 a bit, and have tested it some in PyroHD. In my experience shadow placement is key with delta 100 as it tends to lose shadow detail with extended development unless using compensating techniques. It also depends on what you tend to shoot and the types of edge contrast you are likely to find within a subject.

    My method for testing retaining shadow detail is to shoot at box speed a scene with lots of shadow detail zones 2-4 like dark foliage in shade (meter with a grey card). Take 3 of the same image. Develop for the Normal time, Normal - 20%, and normal + 20% (so 10:30, 13:00, 15:30 based on Corran's example) . Scan, then study the differences. Think about a scene of high contrast vs low contrast and what happens to the shadows based on the tests you just ran.

    Or if not into testing, take two shots of the same subject every time. Develop one at suggested times. Dry then scan. Then make adjustments on the second exposure and note the differences. Even if you like the first results, process the second one so you can learn the impact of changing the dev time.
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  4. #4
    Huub
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    Re: First time developing , Delta 100 and advice

    Xtol is an exelent developer and both Delta100 and HP5+ combine very well with it i know from personal experience. When it comes to dilution it is told that 1+2 will give you the best balance between sharpness, grain and speed. I have used all three dilutions on HP5+ and found it pretty hard to notice any differences when it comes to the final result. The best thing is probably to try for yourself and actually develop your negatives and work from there. Don't fuzz to much about all the things you can read on the net.

  5. #5

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    Re: First time developing , Delta 100 and advice

    Yeah. I was worked up over nothing. Developed one of each last night in 1:1 and they both look amazing. Scanned them today ( zero dust ... ). I'm sure I'll find something to complain about but for now I've saved $8 bucks and I can shoot and see the negative in 30 mins.

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