Ultrafine Xtreme 400 Developing Time

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Ektagraphic

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Hi Guys-

I recently picked up some Ultrafine Xtreme 400. I have some D-76 and some XTOL. I have tried developing this film in D-76 for 14 minutes and am not sure I like the results. I developed one roll that I haven't printed yet and the negatives look quite thick/dark. I also have some XTOL and was wondering if anyone had a recommendation of a development time for this film with XTOL. It seems like people have better luck with this film and XTOL than they do with D-76. Any recommendations? Thanks!
 

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If you used D76 straight, at 14 min., that seems a little long to me. I've used the UX 100, but not the 400 so I'm just guessing of course.
 
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JW PHOTO

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Agree. Even MDC recommends only 11 min for 1:1. 14 min for stock??

Well, he really hasn't said he used D76 "stock" or not. I just assumed since he didn't say diluted he must have used "stock"????? I would think 14 minutes would be about right for 1:3 maybe? JohnW
 
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Ektagraphic

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I should have mentioned that I was using 1:1. I initially didn't have good results with this dip with D76 1:1 at the published
time so I was following up going of the idea that this may be kentmere film, using it's recommended 14 mins for D76 1:1. Do any of you have experience using this film with XTOL?
 
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Hi Guys-

I recently picked up some Ultrafine Xtreme 400. I have some D-76 and some XTOL. I have tried developing this film in D-76 for 14 minutes and am not sure I like the results. I developed one roll that I haven't printed yet and the negatives look quite thick/dark. I also have some XTOL and was wondering if anyone had a recommendation of a development time for this film with XTOL. It seems like people have better luck with this film and XTOL than they do with D-76. Any recommendations? Thanks!

What about the results did you not like? Are the negatives difficult to print? Is the contrast too high? Are the shadows thin? Are the highlights blocked up? Be specific, please.
 
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Ektagraphic

Ektagraphic

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The negatives were difficult to print and seemed very flat and the contrast very high. They seemed to require print exposure times that were more than double what tri-x typically requires for me. The negatives themselves turn out very dark looking compared to other films that I shoot along side of them
 

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The negatives were difficult to print and seemed very flat and the contrast very high. They seemed to require print exposure times that were more than double what tri-x typically requires for me. The negatives themselves turn out very dark looking compared to other films that I shoot along side of them

What were they like at the published time? Too light - thin or what?
 
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Ektagraphic

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I found them to be a little thin, yeah. It is hard to describe. I will try to upload a print. I didn't have contrast filters with me the first time that I printed, so I do think that had something to do with it.
 
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OK. Flat and high contrast is a contradiction in terms. A negative can't be both at the same time.

To me it seems that the negatives are 'dense'. That could have happened for two reasons:
1. The film is fogged somehow.
2. You gave the film too much exposure.

It seems that on top of that you also developed the film longer than recommended, so I'm guessing it's a combination of overexposure and over-development.
Before you start working with a different developer, do yourself a favor. Sacrifice a roll, and bracket exposures of static object in average contrast lighting. Shoot it at 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, and 400. Two different scenes. Develop normal, say D76 1+1 for 11 minutes. Evaluate your negatives by looking at shadow detail only. Print the two you think have the best shadow density, using your normal paper, and at the contrast grade you usually like to print, and make your decision which effective film speed works best for you, without looking at the rest of the tones for now. Evaluate only shadows.

Next shoot a roll at the film speed that gave you the best shadows. Evaluate the frame with the best shadows from the first roll, but now look at the mid-tones and the highlights. If the highlights are not bright enough, this next test roll should be developed longer. If the highlights are blocked up, the roll should be developed shorter time. Adjust until you have a negative that prints well at your normal print grade.

You can get to this point with any developer, and giving up after using only one roll is not a good way to progress to good results. The mechanism is to make your negatives print well on your paper. In the beginning that can be like putting square pegs in round holes, but after you adjust your negative tonality, by first evaluating film speed, and then evaluating needed developing time, you will have a good recipe for making good negatives moving forward. This is the underlying principle for even having different developing times, to adjust to your individual needs in combination with making sure that all pieces of the puzzle fit in nicely.
 
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Ektagraphic

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I think that would be a big help. Thank you for your recommendations! Perhaps I'll give that a try over the weekend…I'm not sure that the film is improperly exposed because everything was shot in one place at which I had shot another roll (of tri-x) right before putting this one in and it was exposed properly. I'm also not sure that the film could have been fogged because the edges around the frames do not seemed fogged.
 
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I wasn't implying that the film IS fogged, just that it is one of two reasons why a neg would be more dense.

I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of your problems. But focus on how you use your materials instead of what the materials are.
 
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Ektagraphic

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I will give that a try. Thanks again for your help! It's just strange to me since I have never had results like this shooting the range of Kodak films and using the range of Kodak developers. I found this similar performance with a couple of Ilford films that I tried though.
 

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I always use HP5+ time for Xtreme 400, works beautifully for me.
 
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I will give that a try. Thanks again for your help! It's just strange to me since I have never had results like this shooting the range of Kodak films and using the range of Kodak developers. I found this similar performance with a couple of Ilford films that I tried though.

Some say you get what you pay for. :smile:

But honestly, every time you try a new film you want to attempt developing it to the same contrast as the other film you use. That is if you're interested in meaningful comparison that actually tells you something of value how they perform.
That's why testing is recommended.
 
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