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View Poll Results: D76 or XTOL
D76 154 44.51%
XTOL 192 55.49%
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Old 03-13-2011   #121
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James and Higgins got quite a few things wrong about Rodinal; among others is that Rodinal is made from the HBr salt of p-aminophenol, not the HCl salt. That's how the bromide, needed for restraining infectious development, gets into Rodinal. I've done GCMS on Rodinal back to samples from the 1920s and it's remarkably consistent in terms of its manufacture, with some significant abrupt changes along the way.

When I made my own Rodinal for some experiments I synthesized my own P-aminophenol-HBr. It's not exactly easy to do.

Chris101 - if you worked in my lab, you'd have been fired. Someone who hurts themself hurts someone else eventually.

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Old 03-13-2011   #122
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Hey Marty, well then I'm glad I don't work for you! I figure the chemist who has never gotten at least a mild chemical burn is either inexperienced or a theoretician. Which is the same thing, eh?

Can you clarify for me how your GC-MS results can tell the difference between dissolved PAP-KBr and the base with added KBr in a KOH solution? Since J&H doesn't mention the formulation of Rodinal, I fail to see what they "got wrong".
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Old 03-13-2011   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris101 View Post
Hey Marty, well then I'm glad I don't work for you! I figure the chemist who has never gotten at least a mild chemical burn is either inexperienced or a theoretician. Which is the same thing, eh?
Unfortunately, in some ways, we operate in an environment of very heavy surveillance and regulation. In Australia, theoretically, although it would be very unlikely to happen, you can be prosecuted for breaches of occupational health and safety for injuring yourself. Many employers, especially those who are self-insured, are incredibly intolerant of even minor breaches of safety controls. It's just how it is.

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Can you clarify for me how your GC-MS results can tell the difference between dissolved PAP-KBr and the base with added KBr in a KOH solution?
Ratiometrically: there will be some minor variation because of manufacturing variation using tech grade photo chemicals between the concentration of PAP and Br if the latter is added separately. In the samples I tested the ratios are statistically so close to 1:1 as to be almost impossible to achieve using mass manufacturing techniques. If the manufacturers QA is very tight, it could be achieved using PAP base and KBr, but PAP base is much more expensive than its salts and photo chemicals all have a reasonable amount of manufacturing variation. In terms of industrial chemical manufacture, their tolerances aren't very tight. But our lab makes analytical standards, so my idea of normal variation is pretty skewed.

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Since J&H doesn't mention the formulation of Rodinal, I fail to see what they "got wrong".
My 19_4_8 edition has a formula which is Rodinal-like, but isn't really. Sorry, I just noticed that you used the 19*6*8 edition, which I don't have.

Take it easy and stay safe,

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Old 03-14-2011   #124
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Ok. I still don't buy the PAP-HBr complex - it's more expensive than the base (PAP-HCl is about the same mole-for-mole as the base. Bromides are WAY more expensive than chlorides in general.) I can't disprove it, and I don't believe that your experiment has proved it. However, you find your results compelling, which says something in favor of your hypothesis.

Unfortunately, at this point we'd be lucky if there was a single other person here who cares what we are talking about. But I'm intrigued by your experiment, and I'd love to know more, but I don't plan on visiting Australia any time soon. (Not to mention that I'd probably spill lye on everybody! ) If there is anything published about this, please send me a pointer by PM.

You take 'er easy too Marty!
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Old 03-15-2011   #125
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Quote:
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Ok. I still don't buy the PAP-HBr complex - it's more expensive than the base (PAP-HCl is about the same mole-for-mole as the base. Bromides are WAY more expensive than chlorides in general.) I can't disprove it, and I don't believe that your experiment has proved it. However, you find your results compelling, which says something in favor of your hypothesis.
I wondered about that but couldn't find any sources for quotes on industrial volume PAP salts. Br salts are always more expensive, yes, but the way that a Br and Cl containing solution restrains development will be different to that of one containing only Br. Activity is important when manufacturing a developer.

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Unfortunately, at this point we'd be lucky if there was a single other person here who cares what we are talking about. But I'm intrigued by your experiment, and I'd love to know more, but I don't plan on visiting Australia any time soon. (Not to mention that I'd probably spill lye on everybody! ) If there is anything published about this, please send me a pointer by PM.
This was all done for my own interest and isn't published. If you visited you could see the lab but I wouldn't be able to let you touch anything anyway, because as a non-employee or student you would not be insured. That's how serious we have to be about it.

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You take 'er easy too Marty!
Watch those concentrated alkalis and stay safe.

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Old 03-15-2011   #126
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Ok, this explains why I sometimes feel sick or get spots of rash in my hands when using Rodinal.
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Old 03-15-2011   #127
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Just let me clarify: always obtain the MSDS for materials you are working with and follow the recommendations about preventing exposure. If recommended, wear gloves, a mask and goggles when handling developers. Work in a well-ventilated area and wash any spills immediately and thoroughly.

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Old 03-26-2011   #128
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I agree Chris. For the one doing the developing, personal protective equipment is a must, as their exposure is thousands of times greater than is environmental exposure. A dust mask and nitrile gloves are essential. Chemical splash goggles (ANSI Z-81 compliant) should be used with highly alkaline solutions such as Rodinal. I always tell my (chemistry) students the first time they use it, "If you get sodium hydroxide in your eyes, take a quick look around, because that will be the last thing you see."

Speaking of Rodinal, I cringe at it's popularity. The main ingredients are sodium hydroxide and hydroxyaniline. The former, sodium hydroxide is a contact hazard - it'll cause your skin to crack and bleed, especially with multiple exposure. It feels like soap on your skin, because it is dissolving the fatty acids out of your cells, and making soap out of you.

Hydroxyaniline (aka para-amino phenol) is toxic in very small doses, and can be absorbed through the skin. The symptoms of a small dose are nausea, and loss of fluids. A large dose is usually fatal. It biodegrades very slowly, and is toxic to aquatic animals as well as the microorganisms that are used to break down sewage in waste treatment plants. Nasty, nasty stuff.
Well, as ever, a lot depends on concentration. As VIth formers in the mid-to-late 60s, in the Biology and Science VIth (Biology-Chemistry-Physics and Maths-Chemistry-Physics), my chums and I were exposed to some pretty frightening stuff, and we weren't always careful (hell, we were teenagers). I remember my room-mate at school spending a day or two in Plymouth Eye Hospital, I think for NaOH exposure but it may have been the result of throwing metallic sodium in the sink. When I went to see him, they said, "Are you his brother?" As I'm large and (in those days) hard dark red hair, and Dave was small and dark, I remember reporting the story afterwards (to widespread laughter), "But then, it was an eye hospital."

Or to quote Mike Gristwood, late of Ilford, "There are things you worry about your kids doing, and things you worry about doing yourself." Neither Mike nor I would counsel for a moment against taking sensible precautions, but there is always the question of when 'sensible precautions' tip over into paranoia (in the colloquial sense). See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12860842

Cheers,

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Old 04-01-2011   #129
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Unfortunately, at this point we'd be lucky if there was a single other person here who cares what we are talking about.

Actually, I've been getting really bored by RFF of late, and discovering this thread has absolutely made my evening. Thanks, guys!
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Old 04-01-2011   #130
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Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
...always obtain the MSDS for materials you are working with and follow the recommendations about preventing exposure. If recommended, wear gloves, a mask and goggles when handling developers. Work in a well-ventilated area and wash any spills immediately and thoroughly.
This is not a joke, folks. Those of us who deal with chemistry for a living will do no less, and amateurs shouldn't, either. If you're dealing with toners and the like, all of this goes double. There are some nasty, highly toxic things residing in many darkrooms.

You don't have to be afraid, but you don't have to be stupid or foolish, either.
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Old 04-01-2011   #131
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Some great info in this thread. I use Rodinol a great deal and I'm going to snag some goggles after reading this. My eyes are crappy enough as it is
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Old 04-21-2011   #132
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I store my Xtol in mason jars. Just dev'd some 7 month old xtol last weekend. Results were good. I think I'm sticking with Xtol, but I am looking into DD-X in the future.


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Old 09-06-2011   #133
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I have found that XTOL gives nice tight grain with Ilford Delta films and with Neopan. D-76 gives more of a "classic" look -- and by classic I mean medium contrast, medium grain more of a 1960s/1970s look. I like that look sometimes -- it is the look of my childhood and of the pictures on which I "learned to see." But I don't always love it for my own work. I have D-76 -- I use it, and divided D-76 when desired. But I prefer XTOL for the reasons Freakscene set forth above.
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Old 09-06-2011   #134
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I feel I can't really vote because I have never used D76. I use XTOL more and more and it lasts easily a year+ in the fridge in well filled bottles. I have always used filtered water for the set up. Apart from the fine grain, excellent results and easy processing I like the fact that it appears to be more friendly to the environment.
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Old 09-06-2011   #135
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i like xtol for its flexibility (ability to push while retaining fine grain, but i like d76 for its tone, works great with classic films like plus-x and tri-x)

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Old 09-06-2011   #136
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There is nothing wrong with D76, but XTOL gives slightly better shadow and highlight detail. Also somewhat finer grain.

that said I prefer divided d76 over either....
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I feel strongly both ways
Old 09-26-2011   #137
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I feel strongly both ways

I have used both over the years and haven't made up my mind. I like the classic tonality of D76, but the finer grain and extra shadow detail of XTOL is nice. I'll try to post some images that demonstrate the above.

That being said, I recently went back to TMAX developer. I have a love/hate relationship with TMAX developer and Tri-X film...
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Old 09-26-2011   #138
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I have used both over the years and haven't made up my mind. I like the classic tonality of D76, but the finer grain and extra shadow detail of XTOL is nice. I'll try to post some images that demonstrate the above.

That being said, I recently went back to TMAX developer. I have a love/hate relationship with TMAX developer and Tri-X film...
I second that. D-76 for tonality, XTOL for shadow detail, extra speed, and fine grain.
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Maybe not a fair comparison
Old 09-26-2011   #139
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Maybe not a fair comparison

Alright, hopefully these are good representations. Unfortunately all were shot with different lenses...


Tri-X in D76 (OM 85/2)


Tri-X in TMAX (50 Summicron)


Tri-X in XTOL (35mm Ultron)

All in all there are probably more factors involved than just developer. I've always shot Tri-X at 250, but have used several different developers over the years. I don't recall one that was noticablly off - only that D76 looses a lot of shadow detail. Its a lot easier to put more contrast in than take it out.
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Old 09-26-2011   #140
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Might seem like a rather silly reason but I prefer XTOL over D76 simply because you can mix/prepare it at room tempts.
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Old 09-26-2011   #141
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Its not silly at all. The increased ease of mixing is a big deal for me too, esp if mixing it up in kabul. I don't have to worry about getting lumps to dissolve etc and the resultant Xtol stock is very stable. I just used some that was 12 months old and it was fine. I tested on a film leader and it seemed nice and active so just went for it. It was quite yellow and so I expected it to be dead, but far from it.

When I have the time I might try some D76 again and see what I think of the tonality differences, but for me the additional speed of Xtol was quite a big deal when I adopted it about five years ago. Compared to Xtol 1+2, I think D76 1+1 is more than 1/3 stop behind.
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Old 10-22-2011   #142
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Originally Posted by Trius View Post
NO president has ever been elected having first proved they can run a country.
Hey, don't forget about Grover Cleveland!

On topic, I used D-76 quite a bit in my youth, but have been exclusively Xtol for the last few years. I chose it initially because I have kids and wanted something innocuous, but have found it reliable. Reliability is everything to me; I can adjust exposure and development for an image as long as the developer doesn't introduce other variables. I use it solely as a 1:1 single-shot developer, stored in brown glass until needed. I can't comment on replenishment.
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Old 10-22-2011   #143
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I read the thread in APUG regarding Xtol replenished and started down that path with excellent looking contact sheets (will start to print tommorrow). Appears more consistent than what I was getting with HC 110 or Rodinal.

Took a risk and developed 70 rolls this way at once; I mixed up 2 packages of Xtol (10 liters!) and used 7 liters at one setting.
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Old 10-22-2011   #144
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I'v tried Xtol and prefer D76. Xtol does give finer grain but I have never liked its tonality, and I really tried to like it because of the finer grain and the less toxic formula. Just couldn't make it work for me as well as D76. I use Rodinal a lot and Tmax Developer too, and prefer both of them to Xtol as well.
yeah, exactly. dreadful stuff, Xtol.
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Old 10-22-2011   #145
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I haven't used D76 in ages. I migrated to HC-110 and FG-7, then lots of Rodinal and some XTol.

Xtol 1:1



XTol straight ... pretty sure I technically knackered the development on this one

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Old 10-22-2011   #146
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Today I asked this in another thread, but it really should go here:

anyone that can share their M.O. on using D76 to push Tri-X exposed at 800 for one stop? I'm interested in times, movement and temperatures since it will be my maiden voyage with the combo!
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Old 10-25-2011   #147
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yeah, exactly. dreadful stuff, Xtol.
Rather silly to condemn a developer in such broad strokes. It might not work for yor films, or your subjects, or your development regime. But those are precisely the details that matter.









Top three: Neopan ACROS in XTOL 1+1. Bottom: TMAX400-2 in XTOL 1+1.
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Old 10-25-2011   #148
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I've just switched from Xtol (which—incidently— I bought for its versatility and convenience as well as its supposed safety) to D76 (which I prefer for its smoother midtones and contrast with my prefered film: HP5+).

Could the chemists amongst us spell out the relative dangers of the two specific developers in question? Obviously I'm not going to start drinking the stuff but it would be nice to have an informed opinion nonetheless.
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Old 10-25-2011   #149
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^--- What do you mean by "smoother midtones"? Less grain? Less tonal separation?
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Old 10-25-2011   #150
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Warning: optional science lesson:

Organic compounds with a benzene ring structure in them are called aromatic compounds. Not all of them smell, but the name began before organic chemists knew that much, and it remains in common use today. A benzene ring is six carbon atoms bonded together into a six membered ring. There is a hydrogen attached to each carbon. Think of a hexagonal shaped ferris wheel.

(I would bet that more that most organic compounds that are of commercial interest today are aromatic compounds.)

If a single hydrogen on a benzene ring is replaced by a nitrogen with two attached hydrogens (an 'amine' group), it is called aminobenzene, or by its common name, aniline. A benzene ring with a hydrogen replaced by an oxygen and a single hydrogen (a 'hydroxy' group) attached is called phenol. A benzene ring with two things attached opposite each other is referred to as being 'para' substituted. So a benzene ring with a hydroxy group attached opposite of an amine group can be called either para-aminophenol, or para-hydroxyaniline. In practice, one can drop positional prefixes, such as para, so long as all the compounds under discussion are para substituted. So calling the compound either aminophenol, or hydroxyaniline are both correct.

The hydrochloride part of the name, means that it crystallized from a hydrochloric acid solution, and that a single molecule of hydrochloric acid remains attached to the hydroxyaniline molecule in the solid, crystalline form. In Rodinal solution however, the hydrochloric acid is removed and neutralized by the KOH. In practice, the HCl is inconsequential, and only affects the weight of the hydroxyaniline used in formulation.
[/url].
Chris101: Thanks for the lesson. The last time I took organic chemistry, I was 18. That was about 52 years ago. I followed you up to the part I put into bold, which i didn't follow. I wonder: can you make some sketches of the chemical structures you mentioned? Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2011   #151
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^--- What do you mean by "smoother midtones"? Less grain? Less tonal separation?
Actually I think what I mean is more of a natural distribution of midtones with D76. I found Xtol could look a little flat with all the middle values "bunched up" together rather than there being a smooth transition from dark to light. I think that also gives less—or less noticable—grain too. Of course with enough post-processing or different developing routines you could probably even out the differences: I'm talking about pretty subtle variations.
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Old 10-26-2011   #152
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Interesting. What films are you using? Most of my work is with TMAX 400 and ACROS, with some Neopan 400 as well. I'm happiest with XTOL at 1+1.
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Old 10-26-2011   #153
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What's the best way to use XTOL with Tri-X or HP5+
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Old 10-26-2011   #154
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HP5 and occasionally Tri-X in both developers 1+1. I usually rate both films at 200 and sometimes 1600 in low light. I haven't tried the D76 for 1600 but I always loved the Xtol for that.
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Old 10-30-2011   #155
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Actually I think what I mean is more of a natural distribution of midtones with D76. I found Xtol could look a little flat with all the middle values "bunched up" together rather than there being a smooth transition from dark to light. I think that also gives less—or less noticable—grain too. Of course with enough post-processing or different developing routines you could probably even out the differences: I'm talking about pretty subtle variations.
Odd since XTOL tends to produce an 'S' shaped film curve that maximizes mid-tone contrast.
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Old 10-31-2011   #156
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Odd since XTOL tends to produce an 'S' shaped film curve that maximizes mid-tone contrast.
I find that D76 gives a more pronounced S curve but that may be down to processing technique or developing times: it's early days. But I like it so I'm sticking with it for now!
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Old 10-31-2011   #157
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XTOL, because of fine grain, reliability, low cost, and low toxicity.
That is why I have used only it (1:1) for the past several years.
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Old 10-31-2011   #158
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There are quite a few excellent developers. I limit myself to just a few.
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Old 11-01-2011   #159
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Been switching back and forth between D-76H and Xtol. Several years ago, I had used Xtol replenished in a Kodak hard rubber tank and was always satisfied. Now I'm back to that and find it consistent and it works with a mix of lighting on the same roll of Tri-X - clear, contrasty autumn light and this past weekend's snowstorm. The D-76H also works just fine, but I use it 1:3 and the times are longer. So far, I can't choose between them.
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