Suggestion for beginners: start with D76, skip the monobath

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Steven Seven
Steven Seven Regular Member • Posts: 362
Re: Suggestion for beginners: start with D76, skip the monobath

Tomm111 wrote:

Steven Seven wrote:

D76 or ID11 are probably best for beginners

Why? What is so special about them to be "best for beginners". Why not Xtol or DD-X or HC-110?

OK if you are using Tri-X or HP5 you can't really go wrong with D-76 or ID 11. BUT I feel it is better to go with a liquid developer and not to have to mix anything

Makes sense. I asked the question above 3 months ago, and since then I've been pretty busy every weekend developing 2-4 rolls per session, trying different developers and reading relevant literature in between. I have been using various flavors of D76, DD-X and Xtol.

I think I now understand where this "D76 is great to start with" advice is coming from. D76 just never looks bad with any film. The development time / agitation published for this developer by film manufacturers are usually a great starting point.

Xtol and DD-X have been brilliant for some emulsions (T-Max, Delta) and subpar for others. For me, HP5+ did not work with them nearly as well as with D76, in fact in DD-X I've gotten nothing but garbage output with it, with several rolls. My technique may be to blame here, but this only reinforces the D76 advice, where a beginner's technique has not been a problem, I was getting good results with D76 consistently and on the first try with every emulsion I tried.

Strangely, I much prefer powders to liquid, precisely because I don't have to mix every time: just pull the amber glass bottles with a pre-mixed solution out, adjust the temperature slightly by holding them under hot water for 30-50 seconds, and start cooking! Mixing DD-X with water before each use was more annoying.

I worry about XTol due to needing distilled water to mix, haven't used Ilford developers as they weren't that available when I started photography. Photographers are so locked in their ways.

Due to my relatively high volume, I haven't had a chance to see Xtol longevity with tap water (I can't buy distilled locally due to hoardres). I go through 5L rather quickly and I really, really, love the low-toxicity of it. There's less smell and it's better for the environment, so I think I'll be moving primarily to Xtol and will keep a few 1L packets of ID-11 for couple of emulsions where Xtol doesn't deliver, HP5+ primarily.

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow