Whats your favourite chemistry and why?

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Canon AV-1

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Hi, I've just got into developing my own film. I'd like to get an idea of what chemistry works best for different applications. What is your favourite chemistry and why? Is there any techniques that give different looks, etc?
 

Ian Grant

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Pyrocat HD for all my films, gives me outstanding results. negatives that print easily and also scan well.

Ilford ID-78 warm tone print developer because it gives me great flexibility controlling print tones/colour of the final print.

Ian
 

R.Gould

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For film developing my all time favorite film developer is Rodinal, at 1/50, gives a very sharp negative due to the edge effect, gives grain but in general with my favorite film, Fomapan 400, which is grainy anyway,I find it gives a nice grain, I sometime use D76 at stock if I need shorter developing times and fine grain, The other thing about Rodinal is it never goes bad, I have used rodinal that must have been 10 years old or older and it works great,
 

DanielStone

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I like D-76 and Pyrocat HD. I use either, depending on my desired end result.
I really like Ilford's Hypam fixer, since it comes as a liquid, and the stock lasts almost forever. I can also use it for paper(printing) or film.

For a newbie, I'd recommend the following:
Start with the basics. Start with easy-to-use, and easily sourced stuff.

I'd recommend the following:
developer: D-76 or HC-110
water stop bath
fixer: Kodak (or Ilford Hypam, liquid)
Hypo clear: (anyone)
Photo Flo

Do some reading here(LOTS of information to read through, much of it really useful) and HAVE FUN!

Youtube also has many good vidoes available to show the basics, and talk about them as well.

cheers,
Dan
 

markbarendt

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B&W developers all pretty much do the same thing.

The differences in the prints they produce is pretty small in the real world and typically the differences only become significant/controllable/visible/reliable after much refinement of your processes (getting darn good at the craft) and if or when your style dictates a certain characteristic. Even then, the only person that will really be able to see a difference, or even care about it, will be you; your audience won't care.

When starting out (as you learn the craft) it really doesn't matter much. Any good general purpose developer will do; D-76, Sprint, DD-X, Tmax, Rodinal... whatever.

I got to DD-X through a long trail of rationalizations, I continue to use DD-X because it is so darn convenient to use. It takes less thought which frees up brain cells for other things.
 

MDR

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Rodinal 1:100 or 1:25 depending on the light conditions 1:100 is very compensating and gives sharp results 1:25 adds a bit of oomph if the light was dull or the contrast flat.
Jay De Fehr's Hypercat if I need Negs for Alt. Processes or very good highlight control.
For Paper I use Agfa 123 a very variable warmtone developer (color change depends on dilution) or Tetenal Eukobrom for cooler to normal tones
Since I also do lith printing I use Rollei vintage lith for that purpose.
I agree with Daniel start with the basics and stick with them for a while.

Dominik
 

cliveh

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D76 at 1:1, complete consistency.
 

Photo-gear

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B&W developers all pretty much do the same thing.

The differences in the prints they produce is pretty small in the real world and typically the differences only become significant/controllable/visible/reliable after much refinement of your processes (getting darn good at the craft) and if or when your style dictates a certain characteristic. Even then, the only person that will really be able to see a difference, or even care about it, will be you; your audience won't care.

When starting out (as you learn the craft) it really doesn't matter much. Any good general purpose developer will do; D-76, Sprint, DD-X, Tmax, Rodinal... whatever.

I got to DD-X through a long trail of rationalizations, I continue to use DD-X because it is so darn convenient to use. It takes less thought which frees up brain cells for other things.
I like your point of view. Indeed, I haven't seen much differences between developers. I have tried X-Tol, Ilfotec DD-X, HC-110, D-76 and Rodinal. The most convenient is Rodinal because it never dies. HC-110 is as hard to die as well and very much flexible. I would have liked to use X-Tol but it is sold with industrial package and also it could give up on you any time (sudden death).
Finally, I think I am not that fuzzy with B&W developers: as long as it lasts and it is easy to use, that is what matters to me.
 

jonasfj

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Hi,

I started out about a year ago. I then used the following chemicals:

Developer: Ilford Ilfosol3
Stop bath: Ilford Ilfostop
Fixer: Ilford Rapid fixer
Wetting agent: Ilford Ilfotol

I felt that there was some inconsistecy to my results and after 3 months the Ilfosol3 died. My next developer was Ilford ID-11 (which supposedly is exactly the same as Kodak D-76, at least regarding the components involved in the film development). I could not be happier than with ID-11. I almost always use it at 1:1. My theory is that the much shorter development times for Ilfosol3 was the reason for the inconsistencies.

When the ID-11 was up I got Kodak Xtol and a bottle of Rodinal, mainly by curiosity. I agree fully with previous posts. A good picture is a good picture regardless of developer! Still, I enjoy both the creative side of photography as well as the technical part. Kodak Xtol is supposed to give a little bit better speed, to be slightly sharper, still with better grain control than D-76/I-11. I have never made side by side comparisons so I do not claim to see it, but I'm quite happy with my results. I usually go 1:1 with faster emulsions (Kodak Tri-X and Ilford HP5+) and 1:3 with the slower (Ilford FP4+ and Pan-F+). I do however imagine to see a difference with Rodinal. My impression is that I get more glow out of Rodinal and more pronounced grain. Therefore, I always use Xtol when I push process and most often when developing faster films. Rodinal is my go-to developer when I shoot into the light and/or if there are a lot of reflections. For the rest I just pick one of them a little bit arbitrary to learn.

The Xtol is supposedly sensitive to high iron (Fe) in the water. In Europe the water supplier must publish the analysis and I found out on the web that the Fe where I live is very low. However, calcium (Ca) is rather high. Therefore, I boil the water and carefully decant thru a coffee filter to mix the developer. I also use this water for the final rinse.

Another topic I've been debating with myself is stop bath or no stop bath. Because of my earlier problems with inconsistency I now use it, but not a second longer than the recommended 30s.

Of course I control temperatures carefully, not only for the developer but for all process steps and I try to agitate exactly the same way every time (12 times = 30s just after adding the developer and then 4 times = 10s start of every minute. ilford style!).

Anyways, as a beginner you cannot loose using D-76 or HC-110. Many of the best photographers do.

Those are my two cents. As said, I am not that experienced.

Best regards,

Jonas

Sent from my ADT 2.6 using Tapatalk
 

removed account4

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caffenol-c and ansco 130
both either mixed together or by themselves work great

why?
they are both easy to use
 
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jerrybro

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Playing with Xtol again, but my favorite has to be D23. Simple and can be mixed just before use.
 

markbarendt

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I like your point of view. Indeed, I haven't seen much differences between developers. I have tried X-Tol, Ilfotec DD-X, HC-110, D-76 and Rodinal. The most convenient is Rodinal because it never dies. HC-110 is as hard to die as well and very much flexible. I would have liked to use X-Tol but it is sold with industrial package and also it could give up on you any time (sudden death).
Finally, I think I am not that fuzzy with B&W developers: as long as it lasts and it is easy to use, that is what matters to me.

I have thought about trying HC-110 and Rodinal for both their keeping qualities (and just to see their mythic character traits on one of my own negs).

But, and it's actually two buts that Canon AV-1 should be aware of; 1- I really don't believe that either would make enough difference in my prints that anyone would care and 2- that convenience means different things to different people. For me measuring out small quantities of chemicals is a PITA not a convenience.

I have and use on occasion Wimberley's WD2D+, it produces nice negatives but measuring for it's 1+1+50 ratio takes more tools and time and thought and math. Same problem with C-41 x3, which is why I tend to do C41 in batches.

With DD-X I can pull the bottle out of the box from Adorama, never even set the bottle down and pour straight from the bottle into the beaker until it indicates 50ml then pour in water until the beaker indicates 250ml, 30 seconds after I open the box the DD-X can be fully ready. May sound lazy but I don't even need to wear my glasses or stir. :D
 

pdeeh

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wow Mark is your water always the same temperature so you don't have to check or adjust it? :wink:
 

Gerald C Koch

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HC-110 and Dektol. Always there, always dependable.
 

markbarendt

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wow Mark is your water always the same temperature so you don't have to check or adjust it? :wink:

Room temp distilled and I have a thermometer on the same shelf so... :D
 

BenJT

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I've always used rodinal (I think what I'm using is actually called adonal) 1:50, never had anything to complain about, easy and does what I want it to do. I recently started experimenting with Clayton f76 for extra speed when I need it and I was just curious how it would perform as I've always been interested in DDX and heard its very similar to that. I might just switch to it for everything as it produces great looking negs, its simple, versatile, convenient and affordable.
 

JW PHOTO

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I've always used rodinal (I think what I'm using is actually called adonal) 1:50, never had anything to complain about, easy and does what I want it to do. I recently started experimenting with Clayton f76 for extra speed when I need it and I was just curious how it would perform as I've always been interested in DDX and heard its very similar to that. I might just switch to it for everything as it produces great looking negs, its simple, versatile, convenient and affordable.

Ben,
I just started on my first bottle of Arista Premium Liquid, which is "re-branded" Clayton F76+ and I really like the results so far. It really seems to dig into the shadows and my negatives look great. I'm going to scan one of my 120 shots today on my Nikon LS 8000 scanner and that will tell me more. I developed a roll of Acros 35mm for a friend and used F76+ at 1:19 since he was only going to be scanning. The negatives were a little on the thin side, but scan beautifully. Mid-week I'm going to print the same negative to see what it yields. I got this developer for my grandkids to use, but I might just be using it from time to time myself. My three main developers that I use most are Rodinal, Pyrocat-MC and homebrew FX37, but it's still nice to have something like F76+ on hand. JohnW
 

Pioneer

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Like Cliveh, I have settled on D-76 1:1. It works very well and is easy to use.

Have some Rodinal and HC110 so I will develop a few rolls occasionally with either of those, but that is becoming less common. I will purposely use dilute batches of Rodinal when I know that the roll was shot at very high contrast.

Use DDX for my Ilford D3200 because I have tried D-76 and prefer the results with DDX.

I do have some Diafine lying about somewhere and should probably break that out and try it since it is allegedly the wonder developer that works for all films. One of these days I will. :smile:
 

kintatsu

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For film, it's either HC-110 Dilution H or Tetenal Ultrafin plus 1+6 for film. The results are quite similar, although I favor the HC-110.

For paper it's Tetenal Eukobrom. I like the cool to neutral range of the print. I've never favored overly warm tones, so being cool-tone, it gives a nice neutral.

Stop and Fix are Tetenal, which is pretty common here, and works without problems.
 

jernejk

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Hydric acid

Also known as Dihydrogen Monoxide. Even though each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment, it's very useful and I can't imagine photography - or my life - without it.
 

BradS

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For films, I've used D-76, HC-110, D-23, ID-68, Accufine, and a few others....D-23 is by far favorite and the one I use most frequently.

D-23 is easy to mix, easy to use, and produces reliable results. It is very forgiving of my relaxed approach.

For papers, I have only ever used Dektol and the home brew equivalent, D-72. I leared with Dektol years ago and have never felt any need to try anything else.
 

MattKing

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HC-110 1 + 49 replenished for film.

Kodak Polymax T for paper.
 
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