Alternate developers for tech-pan : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Does anyone out there have any experience using developers other than technidol for tech pan. I'm very interested in the Photographers Formulary developers, because one of them promises an increase in film speed by 1-2 stops or so, while maintaining tech pan's fantastic sharpness. At EI 50 or EI 64 tech pan becomes a much more attractive film to me. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments? I would also be curious to know how these "unapproved" developers affect tonal range, sharpness and grain.

-- Jason Eitelbach (, June 01, 2002


Photoformulary's "MODIFIED WINDISCH CATECHOL FILM DEVELOPER" Seems very interesting. Catechol is often used in compensating developers and can give a very long tonal range. The developer above is also very economical. 40 liters for $10.25. They say that the part B has a shelf life of one month, but since it's only a Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda) solution, it's very easy to mix when you need more.

I have the chemicals for this developer in my darkroom, but I haven't used Technical Pan for a long time, so I haven't tried this film/developer combination. I have however tried a catechol developer with lith-film with low to normal contrast as result; much better than with highly diluted Rodinal (1+200 to 1+400).

-- Patric (, June 01, 2002.

Photographers Formulary TD3 Tech Pan developer. Very economical and tames the contrast way down. Grain is nearly invisible and sharpness is good. The speed can be doubled to 50 asa. This developer is also good for Macophot Ortho.

-- Phil Glass (, June 01, 2002.

I second PH TD3 developer. The results I got with it were quite satisfying. The highlight tones I got had a pearlescent look-- different, but pleasing. Very high sharpness. Grain was certainly fine, but a little more prominent than, say, Technidol. However, I strongly prefered the look from TD3 to Technidol. I found an EI of 50 was about right.

-- Ted Kaufman (, June 02, 2002.

I forgot to mention, TD3 is also a catechol based developer. I suspect the B component is potassium charbonate, as opposed to sodium hydroxide, and the shelf life is very good.

-- Ted Kaufman (, June 02, 2002.

Try the developer used for C41 films. Its basically a PPD (paraphenyline diamine)developer that provides very fine grain and low contrast. 8 minutes at 68F is a good place to start. AGitation is the same as for regular B&W films. After development in the C41 developer, you just stop, fix, and wash as you normally do with the standard B&W processes.

-- Ken Burns (, June 02, 2002.

Pota and Divided D76 work excellent also.

-- Scott Walton (, June 04, 2002.

Pota and Divided D76 work excellent also. I have tested DD76 at 100asa and it should be rated at 64 where as POTA I shoot at 25asa.

-- Scott Walton (, June 04, 2002.

Two other developers that I have used for tech pan are Ethol TEC and Diafine. TEC gives the 1-2 stop boast in speed, the grain is about the same as technidol. Unfortunately, the two solution, dry formulation does not seem to be available, only the 4 oz liquid. The two solution developer was extremely economical. I've not tried the liquid concentrate.

Diafine will give acceptable results if you develop in the A solution for the full 3-4 minutes and develop in the B solution for 45 sec to 1 minute. The contrast may be a bit high, requiring 1-1 1/2 grades for a condenser head and probably 2 on a diffusion light source. Grain is slightly larger than either TEC or Techidol, but is very economical. You also get the 1-2 stop speed increase.

See for the massive development chart.

-- Gene Crumpler (, June 05, 2002.

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