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View Poll Results: D76 or XTOL
D76 144 44.58%
XTOL 179 55.42%
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Old 10-26-2011   #151
johnamazement
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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnamazement View Post
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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Originally Posted by semilog View Post
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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Old 07-20-2012   #160
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D76 because it is capable of incredible sharpness if used right and lovely tones. Xtol is too smooth. plastic almost.
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Old 08-21-2012   #161
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Originally Posted by John Bragg View Post
D76 because it is capable of incredible sharpness if used right and lovely tones. Xtol is too smooth. plastic almost.
Sorry, but the claim that XTOL looks plastic is really odd. Fine grained with gentle tonal gradations, yes. But plastic?

I wonder how may people could really tell the difference in a properly designed double blind test.
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Old 08-21-2012   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RObert Budding View Post
Sorry, but the claim that XTOL looks plastic is really odd. Fine grained with gentle tonal gradations, yes. But plastic?

I wonder how may people could really tell the difference in a properly designed double blind test.
I could, though not from shots people post online. 90% of people who post BW film scans don't know how to properly post-process the scans to get the most out of them tonally, and many don't have their screens calibrated right. I can see the differences between developers in my own work, and I choose developers for each project based on how I want the image to look.

That said, I agree with you that Xtol does not make pictures look "Plastic", whatever the heck that means. I suspect people who say such things just have not learned to use it correctly.
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Old 08-21-2012   #163
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by david3558 View Post
What's the best way to use XTOL with Tri-X or HP5+
1:3 according to the old German PDF available online. Don't worry about translating from German. The numbers are the same in English. You may need to ask GOOGLE to translate "small tank". I think that is listed on Page 13.
Continuous agitation in rotating Jobo tanks.

http://wwwfr.kodak.com/AT/plugins/ac...Entwickler.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
I could, though not from shots people post online. 90% of people who post BW film scans don't know how to properly post-process the scans to get the most out of them tonally, and many don't have their screens calibrated right. I can see the differences between developers in my own work, and I choose developers for each project based on how I want the image to look.

That said, I agree with you that Xtol does not make pictures look "Plastic", whatever the heck that means. I suspect people who say such things just have not learned to use it correctly.
Some of us occasionally manage to muddle through.





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Old 08-22-2012   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
I could, though not from shots people post online. 90% of people who post BW film scans don't know how to properly post-process the scans to get the most out of them tonally, and many don't have their screens calibrated right. I can see the differences between developers in my own work, and I choose developers for each project based on how I want the image to look.

That said, I agree with you that Xtol does not make pictures look "Plastic", whatever the heck that means. I suspect people who say such things just have not learned to use it correctly.
I do see differences in developers, too, but I print with an enlarger.

What I really love about XTOL is that I can shoot several different films at box speed and still capture shadow detail. Great developer. D76 is very good, too (I used it for over 5 years), but I do prefer XTOL.
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Old 01-09-2013   #165
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Another vote for D-76 here. I have being used both, have made prints using both (not larger than 50x60cm tho') and to my taste and tonality on the negative I prefer the D-76. Eventually I find T-Max developer to suits me perfectly when pushing Tri-X to 1200/1600
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Old 12-02-2013   #166
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xTol, because it works much better on Polypan F for me.
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Old 12-02-2013   #167
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I tried Xtol and kind of remember liking it. However, I stopped using it because the quantities did not work for me. They sell it in 1 liter and 5 liter mixes. 1 liter is not enough when I am working on a B/W project. 5 liters?? Maybe a bit too much, but also I don't have a container large enough to mix it in! So I settled on HC110 and Rodinal.
Loving Rodinal with Tri-X.
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Old 12-03-2013   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
Why do internet forums aways turn things into an either/or decision? Lots of talk about the grey tones in film but what about the grey areas in life, where most of use live and work?
Agreed. From that point of view, a better way to frame the discussion would be: "In what ways do you prefer XTOL? In what ways do you prefer D-76?" "When do you use each?" That could encourage an integrative discussion, rather than a dichotomous one. Still, I think the merits and limits of each have been well reviewed in this thread!

A good result of this thread, is that it has stimulated ongoing interest and experimentation. Several have written something like, "I think I'll now go get a package of ---- and try that one some more!" As for me, as soon as I use up my new gallon of D-76, I think I'll have to try some XTOL again . . .
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Old 04-19-2014   #169
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When I buy a pair of shoes, it takes a while to "break" them in so as they feel comfortable, fit my feet, well, kind of like a good pair of leather gloves.

I've used lots of different developers, still have a bunch of them. I was on the Rodinal, then Pyro kick for a while.

Like my old pair of shoes that are comfortable to wear, I feel the same way about D-76. It's been at my side for most of my photography life. The negatives just look and feel good to me!
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Old 04-19-2014   #170
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I've used both D-76 and XTOL quite a lot, also HC-110. I found that the task of producing negatives for scanning showed XTOL a distinct advantage over D-76 due to finer grain structure, higher acutance, flatter contrast curve, and more detail in the highlights. In essence, it produces more data to work with ... the best negative for scanning is highly detailed, has low grain, and has a relatively flat contrast curve. All the magic happens in doing the image processing.

HC-110 produces a negative quite similar to D-76. I tend to use it instead of either of the others because it comes in a liquid concentrate form which I can mix one-shot at the time I process film, which is very infrequently these days.

D-76 and Tri-X produces a sharp, contrasty, grainy negative ... the signature look of the 1960s and 1970s in 35mm B&W. It is best when you're making wet lab prints IMO. I have to punch it around a little bit to tame the contrast for scanning as I only render and print through digital means these days.

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Old 04-19-2014   #171
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D-76 and Tri-X produces a sharp, contrasty, grainy negative ... the signature look of the 1960s and 1970s in 35mm B&W. It is best when you're making wet lab prints IMO.
Agree.

Perhaps, in my mind, I like seeing prints like they were back then.

Good assessment.
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Old 06-09-2014   #172
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I've only got experience with D76, but have really been wanting to try XTOL for a while now. I've seen great stuff from it.
I always get the D76 one gallon bags and I just mix it up in two batches. Is there any disadvantage to that? I was planning on doing the same for XTOL. What's the shelf-life of mixed XTOL, granted they're stored oxygen-free?
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Old 06-16-2014   #173
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You're really supposed to mix the entire D76 bag up; you really can't ensure that you'll getting the correct proportions of the powder when you divide like that
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Old 06-16-2014   #174
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I use Xtol because I always push my film, for that it's perfect. If I was shooting @400 D76 is nicer and less flat than Xtol, the most beautiful is Fuji Neopan 1600 (@1600) in D76
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Old 06-16-2014   #175
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Can you believe this thread started in 2009! Talk about longevity.
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