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View Poll Results: D76 or XTOL
D76 160 44.20%
XTOL 202 55.80%
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D76 or XTOL. Why?
Old 10-03-2009   #1
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D76 or XTOL. Why?

XTOL is supposed to be the new age D76. Which do you prefer and why?
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Old 10-03-2009   #2
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D-76 Why? Because it's cheap, it works, I have probably 20 gallon packages in the darkroom, and "If it ain't broke don't fix it!"
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Old 10-03-2009   #3
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D-76. Why? Because it's readily available, and I've never actually tried XTOL. And D-76 seems to work well for Kodak and Ilford products that I regularly use.
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Old 10-03-2009   #4
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So ... I wonder how many people who have never actually tried XTOL will back D76?

Shouldn't be allowed to vote I reckon!
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Old 10-03-2009   #5
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My response presupposes that Availability is a valid factor for holding a preference. Perhaps it's unfair. Anyway, I'm not trying to deceive anyone as to why I "prefer" D-76.
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Old 10-03-2009   #6
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Quote:
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My response presupposes that Availability is a valid factor for holding a preference. Perhaps it's unfair. Anyway, I'm not trying to deceive anyone as to why I "prefer" D-76.

Then again ... the US pres gets voted in without having to really prove that he can actually run the country!
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Old 10-03-2009   #7
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Whether or not we tried it we still made a decision. Try it or don't try it. Who has tried FR X-33? Promicrol? Acu-One? UFG? Polydol? Microphen, ...etc...etc.
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Old 10-03-2009   #8
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Interesting poll, I've just recently tried XTOL and really like the results. I also bought D-76 at the same time, but haven't tried it yet. What differences can I expect ?
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Old 10-03-2009   #9
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Xtol. Switched after using D-76 since the 60s and after buying 10 1 gallon bags of D-76. Keith, is that fair?

Why? I can cram more film in a Jobo tank per volume of Xtol 1:3 versus D-76 1:1. Xtol makes nice negatives. Nice enough for me.
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Old 10-03-2009   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Kaplan View Post
Whether or not we tried it we still made a decision. Try it or don't try it. Who has tried FR X-33? Promicrol? Acu-One? UFG? Polydol? Microphen, ...etc...etc.


You're the worst offender ... this siege mentality you've developed (pun) with D-76 worries me Al.
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Old 10-03-2009   #11
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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.
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Old 10-03-2009   #12
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Thanks for the worry, Keith! How about D-96? Anybody using that?
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Old 10-03-2009   #13
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Quote:
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Thanks for the worry, Keith! How about D-96? Anybody using that?


Tragic ... I just googled D96 ... now you're winding me up!

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Old 10-03-2009   #14
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Quote:
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Thanks for the worry, Keith! How about D-96? Anybody using that?
I tried to make my own D-85 lith developer, substituting acetone for the paraformaldehyde.

Edit: It didn't work though
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Old 10-03-2009   #15
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Keith, D-96 is the suggested soup for Eastman Double-X Negative 5222. Some folks here use the stuff.
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Old 10-03-2009   #16
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Quote:
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Then again ... the US pres gets voted in without having to really prove that he can actually run the country!
Allowed to vote in this poll, just as I was allowed to vote in the Presidential Election.

...and still very satisfied about both votes.
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Old 10-03-2009   #17
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Quote:
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Keith, D-96 is the suggested soup for Eastman Double-X Negative 5222. Some folks here use the stuff.


Sorry ... according to Wiki it's this ...

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HMS Gloucester (D96)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

HMS Gloucester is a Batch 3 Type 42 destroyer of the Royal Navy. The ship was built by Vosper Thorneycroft at Woolston, Southampton and launched on 2 November 1982 by The Duchess of Gloucester. The present HMS Gloucester was one of the last four of the class to be built. They have a lengthened hull design giving better seakeeping qualities and greater endurance.

... they never lie!
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Old 10-03-2009   #18
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Then again ... the US pres gets voted in without having to really prove that he can actually run the country!
Australian PM's take office after a trial period?
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Old 10-03-2009   #19
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Australian PM's take office after a trial period?

No ... but they should!

Far better off with the system in North Korea etc where the reigns to the country are just handed down from father to son!
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Old 10-03-2009   #20
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Quote:
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Wayne, I must be missing something. how do you fit more film in the tank? two rolls of 120 or one 35mm fits on a spool. the same amount of liquid to cover the spools of film
It's the other way round: 2 35mm or 1 120 in the small Jobo tanks.

I use a 3010 Expert and a 2553 tank. 400ml to 800ml of developer depending on film load. According to Kodak, that's not enough D-76 for the amount of film I can load in the tanks.

Since I have a ton of D-76 & I can make side by side comparisons, I may give it another try.
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Old 10-03-2009   #21
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Quote:
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Whether or not we tried it we still made a decision. Try it or don't try it. Who has tried FR X-33? Promicrol? Acu-One? UFG? Polydol? Microphen, ...etc...etc.
Jeez AL ...YOu sound TRES Hardcore...
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Old 10-03-2009   #22
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"Hardcore" Helen? Not me, no way. The closest I ever came to "hardcore" is living within a few blocks of the house where Linda Lovelace lived, the bar where she worked, and the former motel where Deep Throat was filmed. I also helped catch her big red dog a few times when he ran off. At the time nobody had any idea about the infamous movie that was being filmed. North Miami can be a very happening place!

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Old 10-03-2009   #23
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I use Xtol 1+2. Why?

Cheap
Good grain and acutance
Gentle working - deals with harsh light very nicely
good speed
Great shelf life

D76 gives less speed, comes in daft 3.8l/US gallon packs, has a pH which oscillates on the shelf giving variable neg density (I believe you should not mix it and use it immediately for example). Otherwise it is pretty similar. Kodakl says less fine grain which fits in with my experience too, but this is no issue to me.

Another advantage of Xtol is that you can mix it with Rodinal in variable amounts for a change in grain structure and acutance.
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Old 10-03-2009   #24
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I notice the post office has run a deficite since i stopped sending bags of xtol back to Kodak. In fairness, they always sent me two. Then I sent those back too. They were not the infamous 1 liter packes either.

The last straw was an out of date pack that was not dated. Ruined some of the best landscapes i ever made in weather that will not repeat.

At least D76 is known fresh and it is good to new specs 6/7 months.

I now mix mix D76 from raw chems and never have a problem.
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Old 10-03-2009   #25
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For me, Xtol has numerous advantages: finer grain, better speed and with similar neutral tonal characteristics to D76. Our local water is terrible enough that I would need to use RO or distilled water for D76 anyway. I test by getting a film leader and adding drops at intervals and then fixing. You can tell if it's oxidised. But mostly it doesn't last long enough to even start to show signs of oxidation.

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Old 10-04-2009   #26
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Old 10-04-2009   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
I notice the post office has run a deficite since i stopped sending bags of xtol back to Kodak. In fairness, they always sent me two. Then I sent those back too. They were not the infamous 1 liter packes either.

The last straw was an out of date pack that was not dated. Ruined some of the best landscapes i ever made in weather that will not repeat.

At least D76 is known fresh and it is good to new specs 6/7 months.

I now mix mix D76 from raw chems and never have a problem.
In recent years, or is this from a while back. It is important to note that Kodak did make some changes to Xtol (allegedly) a while back and I am not aware of recent issues being reported. It is surely current Xtol that is being asked about.
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Old 10-04-2009   #28
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In one of many conversations with Kodak, they told me there is "NO HOME TEST" that can measure the the activity of Xtol reliably. You have to run a full roll in appropiate amount of developer and that is the test. 6 frames will not do. Neither will your drops unless it is nearly dead and then it will show.

Furthermore the exp date now shown is to be followed. It may mix without clumping and look good, buy it goes to half strength within a week. I always mixed with distilled water at 85 deg using gentle stiring. My last pack was pre exp dated package and I was did not look for it. I know they are now dated and have been for years.

D76 does not change activity on the shelf. Ice cubes and 30 min does not work, 24 hours does. Someplace in there is the correct "wait time". After that is is more stable than Xtol IF IT IS IN A FULL STOPPERED BOTTLE. 120 ml work for me. Someone on P Net did the test and measured negs at intervals over 6 months with a densitometer. All the results and readings were posted ten years ago. The D76 was perfect, ie within experimental error. Xtol was close and the average user probably would not see the changes. I have run my own with a step wedge and actual printing and find it is perfect to 6/7 months.

I am aware the packaging was changed to better seal the product from oxidation. I have received bad product after that took place. The seals looked good, but the bad area was not found until after a failure and I went looking for it. It was along one edge for a distance of 1". I got a free replacement pack. Big deal. My work was lost.

You can`t tell it is bad and it may be good when mixed but bad in a week. I just can`t commit to the stuff for the small improvement over D76 .

I am sure you like it and never had a problem. To me it would be like remarrying a woman you previously divorced.
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Old 10-04-2009   #29
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Ronald,

Not disputing you had problems. Just curious how long ago the problems last occurred because as well as packaging changes I also heard that they made some other changes to make it more stable and resilient to water impurities that killed it. It may be that your experiences are after they changed the packets but before the other changes.

All I can say is that using it heavily in the last few years, stored in brown plastic bottles it has lasted at least 9 months with not visible change in anything on film. I use the nastiest water which is uinpredictable, often needs filtering and you would not drink. No problems in many hundreds of rolls.

As there are no problems associated with more recent use of Xtol, I can only conclude that the issues were fixed, but understand why you would never go back.

Kodak would not commit to a home test any more than a doctor would advocate home diagnosis! But I do not believe for a minute that leader tests have no value: Either they will not develop (it is dead) or they will develop very slowly (the active ingredients are mostly dead and you are effectively running on a low concentration). If your leader develops nice and quickly it would at least suggest that there is a reasonable concentration of active ingredient?

Whenever Xtol comes up, there are lots of refs to failure; however few actually put a date on the problems and talk about them as if they happened yesterday when in fact they were nearly a decade ago. Maybe there are more recent failures that occurred despite correct handling (i.e. not leaving the dev in bottles without tops on etc), in which case it would be much more of a concern. I don't know, but I have taken part in lots of threads on various forums on this subject and I have yet to hear of a single recent example, but maybe yours is one?

I'd happily use D76 too. I used too, but enjoy the additional speed of Xtol to change unless I have to. If I did, it would probably be DDX.
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Old 10-04-2009   #30
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I can't vote for one over the other. They both have their qualities. Xtol gives me smaller grain and higher push ability, while D-76 gives me a softer look with large grain.
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Old 10-04-2009   #31
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Likewise, I use both. Love the fine grain of Xtol and the tones of D-76 (especially with Tri-x).

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Old 10-04-2009   #32
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I like D-76 very much but after having read this thread I bought a package of Xtol.
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Old 10-04-2009   #33
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Didn't vote, because I happily use both.

Despite Ronald M's experience, I've found Xtol to be far more stable than D76, the activity of which changes with its ph (see Anchell & Troop's notes on D76 modifications). Xtol also gives you a slight speed boost and finer grain. It does seem a bit soft though, and I've never had luck using it diluted past 1:1. I like the stock stuff for pushing.

D76 gives you a bit more bite, and the 1 liter packages are easy to mix up in a Nalgene bottle. The big packages of XTOL have to be mixed in a bucket, which is a hassle. A 1 liter bottle of D76 is stable enough if used up within a few weeks, but after that results can vary.

Lately I'm using more rodinal than anything.
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Old 10-04-2009   #34
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Matt,

why no luck past 1+1? I foun1 1+2 does give noticeably more bite than 1+1, but agree the overall tones are somehow softer than some other devs, particularly in the highlights (shoulder?) This is very handy for me in Afghanistan's light.

I mix Xtol in a 5L plastic container then decant into smaller bottles (1L).

If you like Xtol and also rodinal, experiment with mixing them perhaps. You do get results on a sliding scale between the two. Good for adding a touch more bite to films without going all the way. I sometimes add rodinal to Xtol for Delta 100 for example, or TriX when I want some grit, but not gravel!
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Old 10-04-2009   #35
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Quote:
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In one of many conversations with Kodak, they told me there is "NO HOME TEST" that can measure the the activity of Xtol reliably. You have to run a full roll in appropiate amount of developer and that is the test. 6 frames will not do. Neither will your drops unless it is nearly dead and then it will show.
I can show a 5% reduction in activity, either by the drop test (running drops at 30s intervals to 4 min) or by developing a Kodak B&W Control test strip (CAT 180 2990) in an appropriate volume of solution. You just need a sufficiently sensitive instrument to measure the density. I can show this with statistically significant repeatability. You need to use consistent water.

You also need to test just before you develop - what I mean is you may not be able to test for problems right after mixing, but I am very confident that you can immediately before use.

Marty

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Old 10-04-2009   #36
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Cool Alone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
In one of many conversations with Kodak, they told me there is "NO HOME TEST" that can measure the the activity of Xtol reliably. You have to run a full roll in appropiate amount of developer and that is the test. 6 frames will not do. Neither will your drops unless it is nearly dead and then it will show.

Furthermore the exp date now shown is to be followed. It may mix without clumping and look good, buy it goes to half strength within a week. I always mixed with distilled water at 85 deg using gentle stiring. My last pack was pre exp dated package and I was did not look for it. I know they are now dated and have been for years.

D76 does not change activity on the shelf. Ice cubes and 30 min does not work, 24 hours does. Someplace in there is the correct "wait time". After that is is more stable than Xtol IF IT IS IN A FULL STOPPERED BOTTLE. 120 ml work for me. Someone on P Net did the test and measured negs at intervals over 6 months with a densitometer. All the results and readings were posted ten years ago. The D76 was perfect, ie within experimental error. Xtol was close and the average user probably would not see the changes. I have run my own with a step wedge and actual printing and find it is perfect to 6/7 months.

I am aware the packaging was changed to better seal the product from oxidation. I have received bad product after that took place. The seals looked good, but the bad area was not found until after a failure and I went looking for it. It was along one edge for a distance of 1". I got a free replacement pack. Big deal. My work was lost.

You can`t tell it is bad and it may be good when mixed but bad in a week. I just can`t commit to the stuff for the small improvement over D76 .

I am sure you like it and never had a problem. To me it would be like remarrying a woman you previously divorced.
The opinion of a minority of one.

You also lead a charmed life if you get useable results with the tiny amount of D-76 you mentioned in another thread.

Meanwhile, my Xtol in the recycled wine box is working fine. I am blissfully happy ignorantly using more Xtol than the tank makers suggest. Chemicals are cheap. Photos are priceless.

Have fun!
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Old 10-04-2009   #37
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Then again ... the US pres gets voted in without having to really prove that he can actually run the country!
NO president has ever been elected having first proved they can run a country. Of course sometimes people beat the bushes to find someone who has proven they can run one or more companies into the ground, and elect them (sorta) anyway.

Neither, I'm primarily a Rodinal man. But given the choice, XTol because of the more flexible dilution options. And I like the look, not that D76 is inferior.
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Old 10-04-2009   #38
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Of the two, I prefer D76. It has a better tonality, and I like the appearance of the grain more on Tri X. Having said that, in 35mm my preferred developer is Prescysol EF. Fantastic sharpness, good tonality, extremely easy to scan, good results with 400 ISO as well as Acros and the like. The only film that sucks in this developer is Neopan 1600.
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Old 10-04-2009   #39
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I very much liked D76 but have switched to HC-110 mainly because it comes in a syrup form. I haven't tried Xtol yet.
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Old 10-08-2009   #40
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I hate being a burden on nature. So it's XTOL for me.

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