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Thoughts on universal developers (for TX400)


grahamc
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Hi everyone 

I’m travelling at the moment but have some exposed / undeveloped film with me that I’m thinking of getting developed.

At home I use D76 and am extremely happy with the results.  I’ve reached out to a couple of labs to see what developer they use and both use universal developers. One is manufactured by Tetanol, the other Fuji but I can’t remember the name sorry. 
 

Needless to say both these labs will know more about developing than I ever will but what are your thoughts on these generic chemicals. Will the difference In “look” that I’m used to getting with D76 Be noticeable , or marginal.

I’m wondering if I just be patient and develop at home. My only experience of changing chemicals since I got a little more serious about analogue photography is that when I changed to home dev in D76 I noticed less grain than when I used to use a local lab that were developing in Rodinal.  

I think I’ve answered my own question and may wait or seek out a lab using D76. 
 

But thanks for any input 
G

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Posted (edited)

I'm presuming you are talking B&W filmstock Graham...........So unless your travels mean that you would have to put your films through Airport or any other Security scans if it were me I'd stick with what I know and wait to process when back home.

Is it TriX that you have shot? If yes then for me that's another reason to wait until you can soup it in D76, that is in my opinion the best combo' for that classic TriX look, ( even when taking into consideration that the present TriX emulsion is probably changed some from the so called "classic" one of decades back).........For other films with newer emulsions I don't think it makes too much of a difference what developer is used as long as it's an established brand at an established lab, and anyway if you are finishing to print digitally a lot of "looks" can be closely approximated now.

Safe travels, and good luck........

Edited by petermullett
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Thanks Peter

Yes, it is Tri-X so I think I’ll be patient and wait until I return.  I only wanted to see the images to get a gauge on how the photos have been going, but I think I’ll just relax and do it all at home.  I agree D76 + Tri-X is just great 

i haven’t had any issues with airport scanners, all flights so far very happy to hand inspect the films.  Fingers crossed that continues 

 

All the best 

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Update / I found a London lab hand developing using Kodak XTol so I have decided to give it a try :)

By all accounts in my research the differences to D76 are negligible so it will be nice to see how it is for future reference in my own developing   

i doubt I’ll be disappointed in the negatives and feel more comfortable than using universal chemical 

As I’m using a new-to-me lens on this trip I’m happy with this outcome to see the images ao far and how I’m going with it 

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8 minutes ago, grahamc said:

Update / I found a London lab hand developing using Kodak XTol so I have decided to give it a try :)

By all accounts in my research the differences to D76 are negligible so it will be nice to see how it is for future reference in my own developing   

i doubt I’ll be disappointed in the negatives and feel more comfortable than using universal chemical 

As I’m using a new-to-me lens on this trip I’m happy with this outcome to see the images ao far and how I’m going with it 

Do let us know how it works out. I do like Xtol a lot, for a lot of films. 

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39 minutes ago, oldwino said:

Do let us know how it works out. I do like Xtol a lot, for a lot of films. 

Thanks - I will do ! The more I read about it the more I thought “why not” 😁

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Xtol has a good shelf life and results in slightly finer grain than Rodinal or RO9 and it’s easy to dissolve when making it up (at least that’s what I found when I used it).  
It’s a common dev with labs who still process black and white negs, also popular with colleges.

If you’re happy with the outcome when you have your developed films back, why not name the lab so that others are aware of the option if needed.

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13 hours ago, Ouroboros said:

Xtol has a good shelf life and results in slightly finer grain than Rodinal or RO9 and it’s easy to dissolve when making it up (at least that’s what I found when I used it).  
It’s a common dev with labs who still process black and white negs, also popular with colleges.

If you’re happy with the outcome when you have your developed films back, why not name the lab so that others are aware of the option if needed.

I've just received these back and very happy with the results - nice flat scans and 2-3 day turn around.    The lab is in St John's Wood, London and called 'The Black & White Basement' - only developing B&W :D

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On 7/5/2022 at 4:53 PM, petermullett said:

So unless your travels mean that you would have to put your films through Airport or any other Security scans if it were me I'd stick with what I know and wait to process when back home.

Not related to the topic but on the above quote. I recently was on a trip to California and completed a round trip via plane. I had a number of rolls of film with me. On the way to CA there were numerous rolls of color and B+W along with 135 and 120mm film. On the return I have about 10 rolls of undeveloped exposed film that went through in my luggage. I also have have another 20 rolls of in exposed film that was in the luggage as well.  Has this been impacted by TSA scanners?

Years ago when I did film there were no impacts or concerns with film through scanners. I this no longer the case? I just returned and plan to develop 5 color rolls at a lab and 5 BW at home.  Can I assume these are still good for development or are these ruined?

What protection can someone take to ensure the safety of your film?  Thanks.

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Posted (edited)

The short answer is “maybe”……….checked baggage can in many places be exposed to a higher dosage of X-rays. The best thing for you to do is have one or two rolls processed and see if they’ve been damaged, if not then process the rest.

Protecting rolls?….Better to buy your film at your destination but if I was traveling to somewhere where I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy the filmstock I wanted  I would use lead lined bags to port my film onboard with me but those bags tended to attract more attention from the TSA check points, so best to arrive early, have your unexposed film out of their plastic boxes all together in a ziplock clear bag and ask for a hand check of your films. After you’ve exposed the films at your destination it’s a good idea to have them processed there, even if you have to get the lab to mail them onto you because you’ve left for home. Otherwise try the same as the outgoing flight, arrive early and ask for a hand-check of the rolls.

Edited by petermullett
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