TMX/Jobo-which Dev? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm getting back to b/w lf after a long hiatus. Film will be primarily TMX Readyloads and possibly Acros QL, although not too impressed with the latter so far. Dev will be via Jobo CPP2 with Expert 3010. Fine art landscapes are the main interest. Any new real-use (with this setup) recos for film developer out there? I don't have time to test every possible combo. Thanks.

-- Al Seyle (, September 14, 2001


I use Xtol 1:2 in my 3010 and 3005 drums, for TMX TMY and HP5+. I use the times recommended in Kodak's original documentation, which provided times for 1:2 dilutions. Kodak have since dropped the 1:2 and 1:3 times, and replaced them with times for 1:1 only, due to people having problems with not enough chemistry per roll (minimum 100ml per 80 square inches) but for sheet film, the 1:2 dilution works wonderfully.

Eric Boutilier-Brown

-- Eric Boutilier-Brown (, September 14, 2001.

Thanks for your comments, Eric. I'm using Xtol 1:1 with good results-- so far, but in view of all the horror stories of sudden failure, I thought maybe there might be alternatives. Ilfosol-S, Rodinal, DD76, HC110, Pyro etc?? BTW, enlarger is Durst L1200 w/Colorhead.

-- Al Seyle (, September 14, 2001.

I have used T-Max RS at 1:4 with very good results at the recommended dilution from Kodak. At 21 degrees C, you are looking at about 6 1/2 to 7 minutes for both TMax 100 and TMax 400. It is a liquid concentrate that is easy to mix. It can also be used at 1:9. I have not used XTol myself because I have heard of an occasional problem from others.

-- Michael Kadillak (, September 14, 2001.

I've standardized on Ilfosol-S 1:14 at 75 degrees for 120 TMX in a Jobo. It has *consistently* provided results similar to non-failed Xtol. It's a convenient liquid concentrate and seems readily available. Haven't used it on sheets yet (plan to), but can't imagine the results being too much different.

-- Sal Santamaura (, September 14, 2001.

Al, try Tmax RS dilution 1:9 for 11 minutes at 75 degrees F. Sexton uses that formula and it works for him. I tried it, and hey, it works for me. Good luck and happy shooting.

-- Pat Kearns (, September 14, 2001.

There's always good old D76. try 1:1 for 8.5 minutes at 68F to start. (using a 5 minute prewet in the expert drum)

-- gary frost (, September 17, 2001.

Here's an article John Sexton wrote for Jobo on using the TMAX films in their Expert drums:

He has his times for TMAX-RS and D76. You may find other details in the article useful to get a good start.

Note: In expert drums using TMAX RS 1:9 75deg F is 8 minutes for Normal development. (EI 64)

His times for D76 1:1 are very close to where I ended up... (after starting at 11 minutes and getting around N+1.5)

-- Gary Frost (, September 17, 2001.

I've been processing TMX in Rodinal 1:75. I use a Jobo ATL1000 which runs at 75F. My standard time is 9 min. I tested both Rodinal and Xtol and found that I prefered the look of the prints made with the Rodinal negs. Although I have to say the prints made from the Xtol negs were very nice as well, with extremely fine grain. Format is both 4x5 and 120. I would suggest testing just 2 or 3 combos and then choose one and stick to it for a good while. Then you will really know what your system is capable of.

-- erik gould (, September 18, 2001.

I use a CPP-2 and expert drum with TMax 100. The real challenge with TMax is repeatability. You MUST watch your temperature to the tenth of a degree, and your methods for diluting your developer have to be precise. If you pre-rinse, as Sexton advises, get the temperature of the pre-rinse water exactly right. Don't let your development times get sloppy. Keep them carefully timed. Whatever developer/time combinations you settle on are up to you, but careful darkroom work is a big part of getting the results that the CPP-2 and TMax are capable of delivering.

Don Welch

-- Don Welch (, October 25, 2001.

Don, I have to disagree with you very strongly....1/10 of a degree? This is overkill, as a matter of fact T max is more sensitive to variations in agitation than it is to temperature. Back when I first got my densitometer I tested this. I plotted the different CI for T max developed from 70 to 78 F. The difference from one film to the next was very little, of course the difference between th 70 degree roll and the 78 degree roll was very great, but the rolls that only had one degree difference did not have a big change in contrast. What does make a big difference is agitation, this is a well known fact of T max films. If you wish to obtain the same results you need to agitate the same way. Although I agree with you that consistent darkroom practices will yield the best results, I am answering to your post because it this type of erroneous information that make beguinners paranoid and leads them to hate darkroom work! As a chemist I can tell you that 1/10 of a degree will not make a difference one way or another, give me a break! Althought there are many specialized chemical reactions that are dependent on rigorous temperature control, darkroom work is not the case.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, October 26, 2001.

I agree with Jorge on this....I don't have any rotary tube experience with TMAX RS (I do with E6 though), but for the last 6 or 7 years, TMAX RS replenished has been our choice for the deep tank line. We run mainly TMAX 100, but will do batch runs of other films such as Ortho+, Tri-X, TMY etc. Our normal run is 7 min. at 75 degrees F for TMX. I agree that consistency (in everything: mixing, agitation etc.) is the key, but even with running waterjackets for the tanks, I've never experienced a 1/10 th degree sensitivity with any b&w developer.....even running daily control strips on E6, that process isn't THAT sensitive to minute temp changes....our Intellifaucet constantly cycles, calibrating the mix down to a tenth or so, but in the end, you have to have some really wild fluctuations to see a difference even in the plots. Of course, this could be more of a problem if you're using really dilute developers....we use RS straight in the tank, replenished. And our Wing-Lynch uses a heck of alot more chem. in it's trough than any Jobo does. Exhaustion is not a problem with those machines. I know that some people have figured out ways to dilute TMAX RS down & use it one-shot, but I think this developer really excels as a deep tank developer...used straight & replenished (as it was designed). In that capacity it's the cleanest working developer I've ever used.

-- DK Thompson (, October 26, 2001.

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