best first developer...
Old 03-30-2012   #1
Gary Briggs
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best first developer...

Does anyone know of a list that shows relationship between developers and film? Meaning this developer goes well with these films.
I've yet to develop and want to start with a developer that will allow me to use other films later without changing developers.
Now I like Acros 100, efke 25, tmax (this one if a new type right?).
I don't like trix, but then developing yourself....
So I want to start with a developer that is optimal for at least 3-4 films.
thanks all
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Old 03-30-2012   #2
paulfish4570
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i think tmax might fit your bill, at least for acros and tmax film. it is a syrup, making one-shot doses easy to mix. i have used it 1+4 and 1+9 on a variety of films, including acros 100.
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Old 03-30-2012   #3
filmfan
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Easily Kodak D-76.
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Old 03-30-2012   #4
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D76, I second that. It's straightforward, goes with anything, and has a great tonal rendering.
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Old 03-30-2012   #5
J. Borger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmfan View Post
Easily Kodak D-76.
Agree!

All 3 work good with Rodinal too.
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Old 03-30-2012   #6
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I think this chart will help you with the types and timing, etc. The best matches usually are personal choices, you must try some and see whether you'll like them.

http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php
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Old 03-30-2012   #7
david.elliott
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Diafine or rodinal are easy to use and last ages.
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Old 03-30-2012   #8
batterytypehah!
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You may not like working with D-76 (I don't) but it's so cheap and versatile that you should try it.

Mixing a whole gallon from powder and then storing it is not ideal if you don't shoot a lot. It's possible, but tricky, to mix up only half of the bag. Other members have had better success with mixing the full gallon and then splitting it into 1-quart containers. And hey, even if you never use more than half of it before it goes bad, it's still cheap.
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Old 03-30-2012   #9
Moriturii
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Rodinal. Much better and forgiving then D76. Although D76 is a good second place, tied with Xtol (same stuff as difficulty goes)
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Old 03-30-2012   #10
J. Borger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batterytypehah! View Post
You may not like working with D-76 (I don't) but it's so cheap and versatile that you should try it.

Mixing a whole gallon from powder and then storing it is not ideal if you don't shoot a lot. It's possible, but tricky, to mix up only half of the bag. Other members have had better success with mixing the full gallon and then splitting it into 1-quart containers. And hey, even if you never use more than half of it before it goes bad, it's still cheap.
We have bags for 1 L in Europe (for 4 films at 1:1).
Very convenient!! Are these not avalable in the US??
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Old 03-30-2012   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david.elliott View Post
Diafine or rodinal are easy to use and last ages.
+1. I started w/ Diafine, since you don't need to worry about temperature or time as much as w/ other developers. You can also re-use it. I still use Diafine w/ Plus-X and have started using it w/ FP4+: I get excellent tones with Diafine and these films.

Rodinal is great w/ films rated 400 or slower. It's wonderful w/ TMax 100.
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Old 03-30-2012   #12
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They are.. The point with the D-76, although it can be used for a wide range of film with excellent results, some beginners prefer to work with liquid types and to last for months, if not years also. D-76 is not that good to keep months long once the bottle is opened.
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Old 03-30-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Borger View Post
We have bags for 1 L in Europe (for 4 films at 1:1).
Very convenient!! Are these not avalable in the US??
Yes they are but I haven't seen them in stores--the few stores that still carry chemicals in the first place. Besides, I think it's around $4 for a liter versus $7 for a gallon (3.8 liters).
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Old 03-30-2012   #14
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I mix my D76 from scratch, using measuring spoons. Dirt cheap, very fast, and you don't need to make a lot at once. I tried Rodinal and hated the empty black shadows. Check peoples' examples on Flickr, for Rodinal's consistent salt and pepper tonality, with large areas of empty black shadows and bad midrange. I really don't get why people like the stuff.

Actually what I currently use is D23. Two teaspoons of metol, four tablespoons of sodium sulfite, a quart of water. Seven minutes at 75 degrees, and a quart will do a dozen rolls or more over a couple of months. The tonality is similar to D76, but a bit flatter, with better shadows.
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Old 03-30-2012   #15
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Rodinal is NOT a good developer to start out with (IMHO).
There are way too many variations of dilutions and agitation methods to factor in. It is forgiving, yes, but no more than D76 1+1. Don't get me wrong, I use Rodinal myself (along with D76), but when one is just starting out, it is very important to get one's developing technique standardized, and D76 allows one to accomplish this much easier.
There is a reason that almost EVERY beginning photo class uses D76. I also know of many seasoned pros who also use D76, so it goes to show this stuff is widely accepted.
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Old 03-30-2012   #16
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i like d-76, too, but storage space is premium in our little cabin; ergo the tmax recommendation. it is more expensive even at 1+9, but so convenient. then again, i shoot only one or two rolls a month, making tmax an ultra-convenient developer for me. i've no idea of the OP's storage space ...
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Old 03-31-2012   #17
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D76 is among the best developers to use on a wide range of films. I've developed almost all currently available films in it and apart from some technical films they all look good once developing time and EI are matched. But D76 is only a good choice if you can mix it each time you want to develop (the 1L bags are good for this). It becomes more alkaline with storage, making it very difficult to get really consistent results. Liquid developers are better for consistency in occasional use.

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