After growing tired of Kodak D-76 developer, which gives you consistent if not stellar results regardless of the film you use, I started using TMax developer. TMax developer costs more than powdered “mix it yourself” developers, but it’s convenient. Unfortunately, the TMax developer does not handle pushed films well, unless you want big, chunky grain. Rodinal is another favorite developer, but again, pushed films will come out ultra grainy. So, I grabbed a bag of Kodak Xtol developer. It’s cheap and you can mix it with room temperature water, unlike D-76 that has to be mixed with hot water that requires cooling. Xtol comes in two different bags glued together. You mix bag A in 4 liters of water. Then after the solution A powder is fully dissolved, you add bag B and another liter of water. In the end, you get 5 liters of working solution that can be used full strength or diluted.
I like the look that Xtol gives. These shots are on Kodak Tri_X 400 pushed an extra stop to 800 ISO.
A gorgeous vintage Schwinn Racer in the rain on First Street in the East Village
Another view of the classic Schwinn Racer in the rain, East Village
There was this beautiful old Cadillac on the same block, East Village
The New York City Marble Cemetery, one of the beautiful old graveyards in Manhattan. This is on First Street in the East Village.
Prune is one of our favorite go to spots for food in the East Village. It’s busy a lot of the time, and will probably get busier now that the chef’s book is getting so much attention, but we usually find a spot at the tiny bar and just relax. The food is fantastic and the staff treat you like family.
A bonus image from later in Nolita. The Xtol handles the wet pavement on this basketball court. It’s not too shiny, but it does capture the sheen of water and the texture of the surfaces.
All images shot with Nikon FM2n and Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Ai lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film pushed to 800 ISO and developed in Kodak Xtol (stock solution) for 7.75 minutes.