Devellopers Qualities : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Hello, i'll like to know what are the qualities or advantages to use one type of develloper over another such as Rodinal, 1D-11, Xtol with TriX, TriXpan, Hp5+,...


-- Michel Leclerc (, June 27, 2000


Hi Michel, I think the very best way to get a full grasp on this huge subject is to understand the different chemicals of developers/properties+curves of emulsions in general. For example, what is characteristic of metol? in what quantities compared to the other chemicals in the soup? What about hydroquinone? What does the shoulder and toe region of an emulsion tell you in advance of an emulsion's tonality and contrast. Etc. A great place to start is The Negative by Ansel Adams. It's The Bible as far as I'm concerned; even if the emulsions/developers themselves are out of date in some cases, yet the theoretical grounding in TN is constant.

If, however, you have a particular developer/film combo you are interested in talking about, this forum is a great place to start, in conjunction with your own experiments. Sorry if this is a little pedantic or 'hi-falootin'...shawn

-- shawn (, June 27, 2000.

The qualities and advantages are mostly subjective in nature, what is it you want from a neg/dev/print combination, that is why there are so many different ones out there, pick one and spend a year or two working with it to see if it gives you what you want. We can get instant information online, but not success, that comes with work, work, work, and if some one else does it for you, you have not learned a thing. Do the tests for film/paper and you will know for yourself and it will be much eaiser for those who have done it also to help you. The object is not to have success with one roll of film but with them all. Pat

-- pat krentz (, June 27, 2000.

Read The Film Development Cookbook (Anchell) - available at and lots of other places. It will answer all of your questions.

-- Jim MacKenzie (, June 27, 2000.

First let me back the idea of reading a good book. Never the less some personal comments:

There are different developer types available:

Ilford ID 11/Kodak D-76, (Metol,Hydrochinone)traditional formulas, universal developer.Split D-76 seems to work nicely with HP5.

Fine grain developer like Ilford Perceptol, Agfa Atomal FF, usually film speed is reduced. E.g. Tri-X in Atomal FF gives less grain but also less definition.

Xtol, is a rather new developer, based on vitamine C/phenidone, works very well for Delta Films. Usually used 1:1 or 1:2 as one-shot.

Push-developer, Tetenal Ultrafin Plus, Ilford Microphen (HQ/phenidone) will give a higher filmspeed, try one of these for HP5/Tri-X up to 1600-3200.

Compensating developers, Tetenal Emofin, Rodinal 1:100, Split D-76 reduce contrast by exhaustion of dev. in the highlights, useful for high contrast stuff like stage.

Accutance developers, Tetenal Neofin red/blue, Rodinal, give higher sharpness with slightly increased grain.

See you have plenty to choose from!


-- Wolfram Kollig (, June 28, 2000.

You will find your answer in The Film Developing Cookbook. After reading it 20 times I decided to use two developers for the general purpose photography I do. To reduce experimentation, I picked a developer in the solvent and non-solvent class. XTOL is a flexible, environmentally safe, solvent developer. Rodinal is a traditional non-solvent developer.

I have been romanced by Rodinal, but don't reach for it much. Rodinal is ideal for high resolution, thin-emulsion 120 films where the problem is to maintain, not to reduce the extremely fine grain. In highly diluted form, Rodinal has compensation action. For general purpose photography with medium to high speed films, D/76/ID-11 or XTOL is the place to start.

-- Richard Jepsen (, August 13, 2000.

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