Developers T-Max vs Ilford DD (no X)

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by andy_buck|1, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. I shoot primarily landscapes, use 120 400TriX at ~125 and under develop. There are two labs near me that do dip&dunk. One uses T-Max developer and the other Ilford DD, no -X. I cannot develop the film myself.
    How would users (no speculation, please) compare these developers for my use? btw, one lab charges 2/3 what the other does and is close enough to drop the film off, i.e. no two-way shipping costs. Hence, my curiosity.
    I can and may do tests, but I'm curious about what peoples' experience is.
  2. It all comes down to the quality of the work the labs do. Even if T-Max is the best developer ever, if they do crummy work and always overdevelop things, the other lab would be the better choice. I'd shoot a couple test rolls of the same things and send one to each lab.
    Also, as I understand it, T-Max in a dip and dunk is going to be different then using T-Max at home in small tanks, as many of us develop. Just so you know.
  3. They are both extremely competent and consistent labs.
    What makes you say T-Max is the best developer ever? Or was that a hypothetical?
    I probably should have said this, but I thought it would be obvious from my over-exposure/under-development statement: I want less contrasty than normal negs with an expanded midrange...
  4. i think you'll do best to contact the labs and just ask them if they're willing to pull your film by probably more than a stop if you're shootingt at 125EI. I say this from experience running deeptanks with TMAX RS. I would pull by 25% to get good negs off TX shot at 320-400EI. TMAX RS is a great tank developer--lasts a long time and is very clean working, but it doesn't handle films like TX or PX as good as the t-grain or delta films. The other thing is whether the labs are doing one-off runs of film, or running everything together etc. if all the film is run at the same time, then you can get good enough negatives, but in my experience here, you need to be shooting box speed in TMAX RS for that. not 125 EI. more like 640 or so for TX for a "normal" run. just my opinion--think you're looking at a custom run one way or the other. hope this helps. can't say much about DD other than that it's Ilford's replenished tank developer.
  5. DK -
    Thanks for the response, but that wasn't what I was asking. I currently use the Ilford DD lab but would like to use the TMAX lab as they charge 2/3 as much and I can drop it off - IF TMax is at all comparable. The DD lab I have to ship to...
  6. sorry--didn't understand that from your question. tmax rs and dd are both similar developers in that they're made for using in replenished tank systems. your problem is more of which one will pull the film rated at 125 EI rather than 400. with the tank I ran, I wouldn't been able to pull tri-x 2 stops. I might have done something like used a water bath halfway through to hold back the film. that's why I suggested asking the labs first. i don't think there is an answer in this for the way it's posted. it comes down to who is running the film more than which developer is best, because they're both about the same.
  7. AFAIK, Ilford DD and DD-X are the same, the X is the hobby size.
    A former Ilford employee describes them in the link below and he helped to design them.
  8. AFAIK, Ilford DD and DD-X are the same, the X is the hobby size.
    A former Ilford employee describes them in the link below and he helped to design them.

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