View Full Version : DiXactol with 4x5

Brian Schall
31-May-2006, 12:49
I've been reading Barry Thornton's 'Edge of Darkness' and decided to try his DiXactol developer. All the information on it's use is geared towards roll film development in a standard developing tank. I haven't found any info on developing sheet film. I know I won't be using my Unicolor drum but how about tray development or possibly the taco method in a tank.

Has anyone used DiXactol? What were your impressions about it? Film wise, I have some T-Max 100, Tri-X and some old Plus-X waiting to be developed. What I've read so far, I hoping DiXactol will help with the contrasty situations here in New Mexico.

Thanks in advance.


David Karp
31-May-2006, 13:38
I have not seen too much discussion of Dixactol on this forum, but there has been a lot of discussion of it over at apug.org. Never used Dixactol, but loved that book. I use his metol 2 bath.

Mark Pope
31-May-2006, 13:41
Hi Brian,

take a look at http://www.awh-imaging.co.uk/barrythornton/dixnote.htm There's a section on developing sheet film.
I used this developer ages ago with roll film and quite liked it.



Jay DeFehr
31-May-2006, 15:10

with all due respect to Mr. Thornton, 510-Pyro is, in my opinion, a much better developer. It is a single solution which keeps forever on the shelf, and is simply diluted with water to make a working solution. It can be used over a very wide range of dilutions (1:100-1:500) and agitation schemes to suit any film, format, or scene, and can be used with any development process, from tanks (large or small), to trays, to Jobo or other tube/drum processors. You could even use your Unicolor drums. 510-Pyro gives full emulsion speed, or better, very high acutance, extremely fine grain, and excellent gradation, with no general stain, for short printing times. 510-Pyro is extremely economical, and better yet, almost foolproof in use. 510-Pyro tolerates over and under exposure/development to an amazing degree, for fewer unsalvageable negatives, and less darkroom gymnastics in printing. 510-Pyro makes the most of Tmax 100's virtues (high resolution, fine grain) by enhancing sharpness through tanning and local contrast instead of clumping grain. With 510-Pyro you'll find TMX more forgiving of exposure/development variations, sharper, and its tonality much improved over other developers. 510-Pyro is a non-proprietary formula, which makes it immune to the fate of any manufacturer, and ensures maximum economy. It is semi-commercially available in the form of kits of the dry components from Artcraft Chemicals:


By supplying your own TEA just as you would distilled water for Xtol/D-76, etc., you simply add the premeasured kit (no scales necessary) from Artcraft to the appropriate volume of TEA at room temp., and heat with stirring until the chemicals have dissolved. It's actually easier to mix than D-76. I get my TEA from The Chemistry Store:


If you decide to give 510 a try, let me know, and I can provide times for the films you use. Good luck.


Brian Schall
31-May-2006, 19:24
Thanks for the insights and tips.

Jay, I've bookmarked your links for future reference.

Mark, I guess I just needed to read EVERYTHING on Thornton's site. But I don't think I'll invest in a Combi tank at this time. See if I can use what I got.

Just waiting for the mail and time. The mail will come first.