Which liquid (i.e., not a powder in concentrated form developer do you recommend?

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I've been a solid D-76 user over the years but am finding my darkroom time sporadic enough that I am wasting the chemistry because of age since mixing from concentrate. What would be a good choice of a developer that I could mix from concentrate (presumably in liquid form) in individual batches for use when I am ready to go? Thanks.

-- Chris Werner (cbwerner@att.net), October 26, 2000


Oops. Forgot to mention. Mostly T-Max 100 and Tri-X, 35mm and sheet film in a tank.

-- Chris Werner (cbwerner@att.net), October 26, 2000.

If you are using Tri-X, (firm favourite of mine), you can't go wrong with Agfa Rodinal (1+50). This stuff lasts years in its undiluted form. They even found a bottle dating back from the 2nd World War in good condition! It will produce very sharp results although a bit grainy depending on your tastes. Try some anyway, God uses it himself!

-- Gary Holliday (garyholliday@hotmail.com), October 26, 2000.

I find Sprint Chemistry easy and convenient. The one-liter bottles should be about right for your requirements. [Mixes 1:9]

OR, since you are using T-Max, get T-Max developer and use it for your Tri-X as well. I have had fine results with T-Max developer [1:6] and Tri-X. Sorry, I don't remember the time/temp for that combination.


-- Christian Harkness (chris.harkness@eudoramail.com), October 27, 2000.


Time/Temp for Sprint 1:9 film developer is the same as D-76 1:1.


-- Christian Harkness (chris.harkness@eudoramail.com), October 27, 2000.

I use Rodinal a lot, and it sure keeps for ages! Paterson developers comes in 300 ml bottles. FX-39, Acutol and Aculux 2.

-- Patric (jenspatric@mail.bip.net), October 28, 2000.


Bear in mind that most liquid concentrate developers deteriorate just as stock solution powdered developers do. For long-term storage, powdered developers are best because the powders last for years.

For a long time, I used Ilford's 600 mL packages of ID-11 developer and diluted it 1:1 (this is almost identical to D-76 so diluted). My tank needs 300 mL per roll, so with dilution this was enough for four rolls. You can use that up quickly. I don't know if Ilford still sells packages so small or not.

PMK's big advantage is that it lasts pretty much indefinitely in storage, but it is not a typical developer and requires some special care in use. It also stains the emulsion, which to some is a bad thing but to me is good (better tonality, finer apparent grain, very high perceived sharpness).

As stated, Agfa's Rodinal is very durable in storage but it is also very grainy. As a plus, it is extremely sharp.

-- Jim MacKenzie (photojim@yahoo.com), November 03, 2000.

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