Originally Posted by retinax
Marty, can you elaborate what the problem is with T-grain films and higher dilutions of X-tol? Seems to work well for me, although times do get long. I think the curve shoulders off more unless you agitate a lot, but I'm fine with that.
Do you have more thoughts about PC-TEA? I'm preparing to make some, I expect it to be a little more grainy and very cheap and convenient.
T-Grain and epitaxial films contain a lot of silver iodide, and it needs more developer to develop it. Particularly with T-Max 100 and high key scenes, there just isn’t enough developer in a normal volume of high dilution Xtol to develop the film to a normal density. This is why Kodak dropped the dilutions greater than 1+1 in the 2004 version of the Xtol datasheet. If you are seeing an increased shoulder in the usable portion of the negative you are probably operating near exhaustion of the developer.
If high dilutions work for you with these films, that’s great, but bear in mind one day it might not, although a lot of photographers aren’t attuned enough to the these details to notice unless the development fails entirely.
PC-Tea produces negatives with coarser grain than Xtol because the alkali is unbuffered. It works better if you use dimezone-s instead of phenidone because dimezone-s develops silver more synergistically with ascorbate than phenidone. I had problems with it failing the same as Xtol, and although cheap, it was slow and unpleasant to mix. I corresponded with Pat Gainer, who invented PC-Tea, before he died, but essentially we could only agree to disagree. Tremendously intelligent and nice man.