You can buy developers "off the shelf" or you can mix them up yourself.  There are pros and cons to each approach.  

Buying them off the shelf saves you a LOT of time.  Buying, storing and mixing raw chemicals is a real pain.  In addition, there are some formulas that can not be mixed from scratch since the actual ingredients are unknown.  

But mixing your own has several advantages.  First, you'll save a LOT of money.  For example, a package of D-76 costs $2-3 in the store.  If you mix up the chemicals yourself, it would cost about $0.10 -- that's right ten cents, plus your time.  In fact, you can get a lot of the chemicals that you need at the grocery store.  And over time, this cost saving really adds up.  In addition, there are many formulas that you can make yourself that are not available in the cameras stores.  Just take a look at the list below.  But before using any chemicals -- from raw chemicals OR in the premixed bags and kits -- we suggest you check out this page on chemical safety.

All formulas include at least one developing agent.  They normally also include an accelerator (to speed up the developer),  a restrainer (to keep the accelerator under control), and a preservative (to prevent oxidation).

Developer Comments Dilution Metol Sodium
Hydroquinone Borax Potassium
Potassium Carbonate Sodium
Phenidone Glycin Potassium
Sodium Bisulfite Chlorhydro-
Pyrocatecol Benzotriazole
D-76 fine grain 1+0 - 1+3 2.0g 100.0g 5.0g 2.0g
Beutler high acutance 1.0g 5.0g 0.0025g 5.85g
Crawley FX1 high acutance 0.5g 5.0g 0.0025g 2.93g
Crawley FX13 high acutancce 1+2 0.5g 40.0g 0.0025g 2.93g
Crawley FX11 fine grain / extra low light 125.0g 5.0g 2.5g 0.25g 1.5g 0.5g
Edwal 10 maximum speed 5.0g 100.0g 10.0g 5.0g
Edwal 12 finer grain 6.0g 90.0g 5.0g 10.0g
Edwal 32  super fine grain 12.0g 90.0g 12.0g 10.0g
Edwal 36 fine grain 50.0g 25.0g 5.0g 9.0g
D-23 medium grain 7.5g 100.0g
Adox MQ fine grain 2.0g 80.0g 4.0g 4.0g 0.5g
Agfa 14 soft 4.5g 85g 1.2g 0.5g
D-76 Y longer-lasting D-76 1+0 - 1+ 2.0g 100.0g 5.0g 9.6g 3.0g
Mason high acutance 0.5g 5.0g 0.005g 5.85g
Edwards 20X higher ISO 1+20 10.0g 100.0g 0. 75.0g 5.0g 0.1g

All of the formulas listed make one liter of stock (i.e. undiluted) development solution.  All of the developers listed in this table must be used under specific conditions. For example, some are designed for high temperature use, some for low tempertures, some for high contrast, some for low, some for immediate use, some for reuse over time, etc.  With some, the ingredients can be mixed in any order, with others, they must be mixed with specific instructions.  The times and temperatures vary according to your equipment, film and use, and require testing on your part.  We suggest that you consult your local library before using any developer listed here.

If you have any additional formulas for this page, please contact the Sub Club at the FRONT DESK.

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COPYRIGHT @ 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Joe McGloin. All Rights Reserved.