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View Poll Results: D76 or XTOL
D76 160 44.20%
XTOL 202 55.80%
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Old 10-12-2009   #41
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With D76, Xtol and Rodinal, do you guys find any real difference in how big the prints can go?
Xtol is slightly shaper than D76 = slightly bigger prints?
Rodinal has grains which although nice with smaller prints, how are they with big prints?

All 3 are nice classics !!! (Gee... i am having a hard time choosing one to begin my journey into the world of film development)
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Old 10-12-2009   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixbones View Post
With D76, Xtol and Rodinal, do you guys find any real difference in how big the prints can go?
Xtol is slightly shaper than D76 = slightly bigger prints?
Rodinal has grains which although nice with smaller prints, how are they with big prints?

All 3 are nice classics !!! (Gee... i am having a hard time choosing one to begin my journey into the world of film development)
Fixbones, It all depends on the film. I find some films give lovely grain with rodinal and look good big and some dont. Xtol is smoother than D76 in many cases but for every film the grain structure will be slightly different. I use Xtol not becvause D76 is worse per se but because I get more speed and it is cheaper as well as easier to mix. The grain I get is fine so I am not too concerned by precise differences in grain between it and D76. John Hicks on APUG always says Xtol gives more coarse grain than D76 but in my experience it is always the other way round. BUT grain structure has a big impact on the aesthetics of a large print and to make that call, you have to see it in person, first hand.
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Old 10-12-2009   #43
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Turtle: Thanks for the input!! Don't think i'll have the opportunity of seeing any of them in large print in person. So will have to go with word of mouth i suppose.
Will be shooting mostly trix
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Old 10-12-2009   #44
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Cant go wrong with TriX in any developer really, though Rodinal is very grainy. You might like it for certain things tho, even big. Xtol 1+anything and D76 are both fantastic in D76/Xtol. Xtol, diluted 1+2 has good bite to it, but a softer tonality than D76 in my experience. great for harsh light and more speed (about 1/2 stop)
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Old 10-13-2009   #45
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I use xtol 1:1. Read that it was sharper and gives finer grain than D-76 and thats why I bought it. I like it alot and it works great for me so I´m sticking to it.
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Old 10-13-2009   #46
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I have found that X-Tol 1:1 works best for me. I love the tones it produces with TMAX 100 and Tri-X.

I'm on my last 400ml or so of my X-Tol that I mixed last June 2008. I used 300ml or so last week and it seems fine. I normally decant the 5l mix into 2x1.5l, 1 x 1l, and 3x330ml+, making sure that I fill them up to the brim and minimise gaps as much as possible. So 16 months after mixing it, I've still got a working solution!

I've decided to try Rodinal after I finish my X-Tol.
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Old 10-13-2009   #47
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My stock of ID11 (D76 ish?) is nearly out. I've wanted to give XTOL a spin for a while but didn't want to chop and change my process. Now it is nearly half the price of ID11 (in the UK), I'll order up a few packs and make the change.
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Old 10-25-2009   #48
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Another vote for D-76. I tried Xtol and it does seem to give slighter smoother grain, but I prefer the `look` I get with D-76. Classic stuff.
I also like Paterson FX39 which I use occasionally.
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Old 10-29-2009   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monokrome View Post
Another vote for D-76. I tried Xtol and it does seem to give slighter smoother grain, but I prefer the `look` I get with D-76. Classic stuff.
I also like Paterson FX39 which I use occasionally.
Yes, I agree that it gives smoother grain but it's rather fuzzy IMHO. The nice thing about Xtol is that it's difficult to blow the highlights and here in the UK it's quite cheap. But I agree, when I've finished the 3 litres or so of stock that I've got sitting around I'll go back to D76...or Aculux...or TMax...or....
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Old 10-30-2009   #50
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I did a side by side comparison of the two once, and decided that both could be excellent developers. I could see a small difference in grain and tone rendition with XTOL, and decided to stick with it because of that. XTOL is slightly less harsh than D76, and in 35mm it's a good thing.

In 120 I use it with TMY to get those glassy, perfectly smooth tones.
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Old 10-30-2009   #51
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I use both all the time, and to be honest, I don't see a massive difference. Some people with a technical eye might, but both work great for me. I don't use any other type of developer.
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Old 10-30-2009   #52
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In 120 I use it with TMY to get those glassy, perfectly smooth tones.
Don't you find those kinds of tones to be a bit too 'digital'?
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Old 10-31-2009   #53
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Can't compare them, since I mostly use D-76.
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Old 10-31-2009   #54
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D-76 1+1. Fine grain? Not so much, but if I wanted fine grain I would not be shooting Tri-X. (And when I want fine grain, I use Microdol) D76 is available at the corner store, cheap, and easy to work with. Until they come out with a cheap standard developer available as a concentrated liquid, I think I will stick with it.

XTol I have tried. it is not that I didn't like it, just that it was not worth the effort to find / order it.

I can use up a gallon long before it goes bad.

Also, lately, I have been using rodinal 1+100 as well. There is a completely different look for you.
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Old 10-31-2009   #55
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...and when you can no longer find Microdol-X what will you use?
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Old 10-31-2009   #56
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...and when you can no longer find Microdol-X what will you use?
What, like now? I will live without it. (I believe that was in last weeks "announcement").
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Old 10-31-2009   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by degruyl View Post
What, like now? I will live without it. (I believe that was in last weeks "announcement").
It was only one (very large) package size that was discontinued. Microdol-X is still available. If it becomes unavailable, D23 is similar and very easy to make. So is a D76 or Xtol substitute, for that matter.

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Old 10-31-2009   #58
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xtol produces flat thin negs for me, really don't like it and it's NOT a question of the developing time. Much prefer D76.
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Old 11-01-2009   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
It was only one (very large) package size that was discontinued. Microdol-X is still available. If it becomes unavailable, D23 is similar and very easy to make. So is a D76 or Xtol substitute, for that matter.
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Old 11-01-2009   #60
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Years ago I used ID-11 and HP5 almost always: that's the combo "officially" recommended for the first three years of B&W in the place where I cursed my career... ID-11 is very close to D-76... When I tried Xtol after that, I didn't like it at all. Grain had no clear, classic presence, and prints were fuzzy and flat.

Cheers,

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Brown Xtol
Old 12-08-2009   #61
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Brown Xtol

I recently found a half full bottle of Xtol stock solution that I made up in 2006 in the back of my darkroom. It was brown in color and gooey in consistancy as I poured it out. Three year old Xtol definately exhibits color changes - but I didn't try to develop anything to prove that it had pooped out.
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Old 04-24-2010   #62
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Tested D-76, XTOL and Rodinal with my favourite BW films.
Tri-X, HP5, TMax100, HP4.
XTOL was found better than D-76 on all films but one.
XTOL was clearly sharper and had more pleasant grains on large prints.
The exception was TMax100 where Rodinal (!) came out on top.
As usual: IMHO :-)
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Old 04-24-2010   #63
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Having used XTOL for a couple of years I stopped using it because it was a pain to make 5L of it everytime. I wish they sold it in 1L. Then I migrated to Rodinal which lasts forever and comes in a nice 500ml bottle, and lately ID-11 in 1L packages which proved quite convenient lately, so I voted for D76 which is similar, right?

ps I loved Xtol but then I loved Rodinal even more. time will tell about ID11, works ok at the moment
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Old 04-25-2010   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
xtol produces flat thin negs for me, really don't like it and it's NOT a question of the developing time. Much prefer D76.
So what is it a question of? I've tested XTOL pretty extensively, and if you underdevelop (or underexpose) I can confirm that you'll get flat thin negs.
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Old 04-25-2010   #65
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In Hong Kong, XTol is unavailable. If not, I will try the Xtol. Now I have to use D76.
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Old 04-25-2010   #66
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I tried XTOL in college. I wasn't impressed or unimpressed. I stuck with D76 as I knew it like the back of my hand. That and I have a stockpile of it from a high school that closed down years ago (along with Microdol-X, Polydol, Dektol, Fixer, Hypo Clearing Agent, Photo-Flo). I always wanted to try Polydol but could never find any info on it.
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Old 04-25-2010   #67
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XTOL, because of fine grain, reliability, low cost, and low toxicity.
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Old 05-04-2010   #68
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I just ordered several packs from BH and will try. I only use D76 so far due to availability issue but is satisfied except the shorter shelf life. I wanted to order the 1D11 and Rodinal but it's in liquid form and might not be allowed to ship across the sea.
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Old 05-04-2010   #69
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Almost had first the husband (Clinton) and then the wife, but we call this democracy.

Our constitution states "for the people, by the people" but I don't really think so.

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Old 05-04-2010   #70
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I use both of these developers quite often. I voted D76, as I prefer how it looks when printed wet. Scanned, I see only very slight differences that usually disappear once ran through photoshop. I use XTOL with my pushed (and high speed) film.
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Old 05-10-2010   #71
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I can agree with Chris and the others who say that D-76 has the better tonality of the two. That is, with films such as Tri-X and Plus-X. But with Delta 100 and 400, I like what I get with XTOL. I have also gotten some excellent negatives with XTOL and Neopan 400. Granted XTOL is a PITA to mix. Storage properties in full, corked bottles are excellent. I have a 13 month old bottle I just opened, and it's perfect. And its speed-increasing effect is real!
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Old 05-10-2010   #72
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I've now tried D-76 and I must say, with Arista EDU Ultra 100 (Foma) - a truly great combination, some of my best negatives I think.

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Old 05-29-2010   #73
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I switched to XTOL for many of the reasons stated above. I use replenished and get a lot of rolls from a gallon. The reason for looking at it originally, is that it is a bit better for the environment being ascorbic acid based and no hydroquinone.
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Old 05-29-2010   #74
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XTOL
Because, because, because, because, because;
Because of the wonderful things it does.

If you were trapped on a desert island with 6,000 100-foot rolls of Tri-X and sufficient developer, either would get you where you need to go. I happen to like the grain with XTol and Delta 400/Tri-X/Neopan 400, but I used a D-76 equivalent for many, many years and still like my best negatives from that time.
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Old 06-14-2010   #75
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Fomadon Excel by Foma is said to be exactly like Xtol but it's sold in a powder package for 1 liter of stock. Does someone have any experiences of using Fomadon Excel instead of Xtol?
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Old 06-14-2010   #76
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There seem to be a lot of folks here saying that they like the tonality of D-76 better than XTOL. I don't doubt that there are differences, and I don't doubt that people have preferences, but this all seems a bit vague.

Can anyone describe in densitometric terms what's happening here -- what the differences in the characteristic curves produced by each developer are, for representative emulsions (Tri-X, Neopan, 2TMY, etc.)?
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Old 06-23-2010   #77
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There seem to be a lot of folks here saying that they like the tonality of D-76 better than XTOL. I don't doubt that there are differences, and I don't doubt that people have preferences, but this all seems a bit vague.

Can anyone describe in densitometric terms what's happening here -- what the differences in the characteristic curves produced by each developer are, for representative emulsions (Tri-X, Neopan, 2TMY, etc.)?
Xtol produces greater speed and a more s-shaped curve. Explained here: http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/ D76 tends to be straighter. I found it was fairly minor and varied more within developer by dilution than it did between them.

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Old 06-25-2010   #78
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Xtol produces greater speed and a more s-shaped curve. Explained here: http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/xtol/ D76 tends to be straighter. I found it was fairly minor and varied more within developer by dilution than it did between them.

Marty
Thank you very much.
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Old 06-27-2010   #79
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Fomadon Excel by Foma is said to be exactly like Xtol but it's sold in a powder package for 1 liter of stock. Does someone have any experiences of using Fomadon Excel instead of Xtol?
Fomadon Excel is indistinguishable from Xtol in use. I used a lot of it (hundreds of litres) when I lived in the Czech Republic. Use it as you would Xtol, including being careful about water quality, air exposure and dark storage and you'll be fine.

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Old 06-28-2010   #80
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I'd like to have XTOL in a liquid concentrate, like HC-110! I'd probably seldom use anything else.
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