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Thread: Film/Developer choices

  1. #11

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    Re: Film/Developer choices

    Thank you Pere, very helpful. What I find interesting is the Ilford equivalent of Xtol is the Ilfosol 3 in liquid, one shot form, which is appealing. I may get a small bottle of that to compare side by side with Rodinal. I would rather not mix powders and keep track of shelf life. Due to my crazy life with kids and a business, there may be times when weeks to months pass before I process so a liquid, one shot is very appealing.

  2. #12
    Peter Carter mrred's Avatar
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    Re: Film/Developer choices

    All developers are fine gran in LF. You use a developer / film combo now. Why not stick with what you know and (I assume) are good with? Being good with something is more important than switching and not being good with it. Shots are more expensive in LF.

  3. #13
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Film/Developer choices

    Years ago when I joined this forum I got good advice to simply pick one developer and use it until I knew it very well.

    I tried many chems listed here, but choose Rodinol and have used it for 7 years. I like how it lasts and works to the last drop even if stored for years. A Pro gave me a case of it 3 years ago that WAS old, it works the same as fresh.

    I just ordered 5 more 500ml bottles from Freestyle, the cheapest one.

    I use it most of time at 1/100 but for slow glass dry plates 1/25 seems good.

    I have mixed dry chem developers from scratch and have many bottles of dry poison, I like how Rodinol is very mild at 1/100.

    I also have chemist friends that love mixing custom developer.

    My advice is try 3 developers and pick one to use for some time.
    TIN CAN COLLEGE

  4. #14

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    Re: Film/Developer choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Laminarman View Post
    there may be times when weeks to months pass before I process so a liquid
    If you use Kodak Xtol then better mix it with deionized/distilled water, Xtol stock keeps very well, even 1 year, but if mixed with some tap waters preservetion is not as good. Read and follow well mixing instructions https://www.digitaltruth.com/product.../j109_Xtol.pdf

    You will have to make 5L, you can keep it inside 2L soda bottles (mark it well, with skull and bones !!!) Xtol is one of the less toxic developers because it's Vitamin C based, but safety is frst. Soda bottles are a very good barrier for oxygen in the outside. Just pointing that inconvenience of having to mix 5L can be solved in that way...

    ilfosol is close but not exactly the same, xtol (IMHO) has an slightly higher real speed, and accutance, but if you wnat a liquid then ilfosol is also pretty good IMHO.

  5. #15
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Film/Developer choices

    But then I need to buy poison Soda Pop!

    No way, pop is battery acid. Yuck!

    However USA 2L soda bottles are very strong. I once pressure tested one with a rig I had that was safe to 5000 PSI. I installed a special N2 fitting in the cap, put the bottle in a room with blast doors and tried to find the psi limit. I quit at 500 psi N2 as I didn't want a big boom.

    I was working in a test lab and daily used many 2.2K N2 size 300 bottles.
    TIN CAN COLLEGE

  6. #16

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    Re: Film/Developer choices

    Here's the plan: I ordered a bottle of Ilfosol 3. I'll shoot some 400 tab film and traditional and compare Rodinal to Ilfosol both 8x10 and highly enlarged. I'll pick what I like. I am a sort of audiophile too, and a tip I got from a guy at McIntosh Labs (five minutes from my house) who is an engineer, said "All the data points and charts and graphs are great, but just listen and if you get tired of listening quickly there's something wrong. When you don't leave the room, and keep listening, the system is good for you, cost notwithstanding." So I lay my photos out after mixing them up (marked on the back) and stand back and simply pick which ones look most pleasing. I did this with the 100 speed and always picked the Delta 100 in 1:50 Rodinal so that's my starting 100 combo. Many many thanks to everyone!

  7. #17

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    Re: Film/Developer choices

    I'd largely agree with Maris' comments - and the extent grain will be visible depends not just on film choice, but exposure, development time relative to enlarger light source, & contrast grade of paper used for printing on etc. Also worth noting that Kodak recommends two of its most solvent developers as the sharpest - and there are good reasons for this - though it doesn't matter as much in smaller enlargements from sheet film as it does in bigger enlargements from 35mm.

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