DiXactol Developer

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Has anyone had any experience with the new film developer--DiXactol-- being offered by Photographer's Formulary? It seems to be a staining developer like Pyro, but without the potential toxic side effects. Thanks for any help that you can give. Kent

-- Kent McClelland (JuKeMa2@aol.com), February 06, 2000


I have used DiXactol for some films and it seems to work fine but have not yet done any systematic comparison with PMK Pyro. DiXactol was invented by the British photographer Barry Thornton and launched last year after very long and thorough experimentation. Mr Thornton has described the properties of his developer in a couple of articles in British photographic journals, so I can tell some of what he has written. The staining and tanning compound in DiXatol is (pyro)catechol, not pyrogallol, but they are chemically related. Catechol gives finer grain than pyro and results in brown color as pyro gives yellowgreen. As the staining intensity with pyro depends very much on film type DiXactol behaves more consistently with all films. Because of the difference in color, with VC papers the stain acts more as printing density and less as highlight softening filter as compared with pyro. DiXactol can be used in several ways, single-bath or two-bath. The latter gives very good compensation and the developing time is the same practically for all films. But all this is very thoroughly explained in the instructions. Catechol is maybe not as toxic as pyro but it's not harmless either, so be carefull. DiXactol is certainly worth a try!

-- Olli Jaakkola (llolja@uta.fi), February 11, 2000.

Sounds great, a non toxic pyro! Do you know is there any dealer or distributor in Europe, as owerseas mail of liquid materials are always expensive and long timed. Thank's in forward, Jan from Finland.

-- Jan Eerala (jan.eerala@itameri.net), February 11, 2000.

In my first comment I forgot to mention that in Europe DiXactol can be ordered directly from Mr. B. Thornton, address: Fine Print Photographer's Workshop, P.O.Box 17, St. Pierre Parkwall, Caldicot, Monmouthshire NP26 5UF, U.K.

-- Olli Jaakkola (llolja@uta.fi), February 17, 2000.

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