Barry Thornton's original formula DiXACTOL is a unique developer of special interest to artists and photographers producing monochrome fine prints, yet it is also uniquely tolerant and easy to use. It has four main distinguishing characteristics. It produces the fullest palette of richly graduated tones, especially in the holding of translucent and delicately drawn highlights particularly resistant to blocking up at high exposure levels. At the same time, shadow detail and separation is nursed up to unusual levels.
Printing is likely to need significantly less burning in, in landscape skies for instance, and graduation is likely to be markedly superior in these burned-in areas. Discriminating workers appreciating the fine separation of tones should find this a satisfying developer. Secondly, the sharpness of images produced is remarkable with outstanding acutance. The maker believes this to be the sharpest developer of any commercially available solution. Thirdly, unlike normal high definition developers, the grain appears as fine as standard developers due to a special grain masking effect. (Photographers requiring the finest grain of any developer at a slight expense of acutance compared to DiXACTOL should use DiLuxol). Finally, all films (with the exception of adapted document copying films and ultra high speed films) can be developed together in the two bath option, regardless of film speed or make, for about the same time, and with great tolerance of exposure and processing temperature, to produce printable negatives. The maker believes the tolerance to be superior to any other make or type of developer, and it makes the simultaneous processing of roll films containing many different pictures with greatly varying subject brightness ranges practical.
Photographers using zone system exposure control on roll film should find it possible to give a single processing time that allows higher quality printing on a narrower spread of paper contrast grades. N+ or N- development times are still perfectly possible for those zone system workers wishing to exercise tight control of tonal contrast, but the need for this is much reduced. For ultimate control of negative density for individual film emulsions, and for even greater solution economy, single bath processing is available, and the 'spread' of suggested development times for varying films is narrower than conventional developers. This means developing differing film emulsions together for the same time is frequently a practical proposition. Single bath development gives slightly greater sharpness and stain masking too.
Available as a two bath or single bath liquid concentrate (standard version contains 250ml A + 250ml B, single bath version contains two 250ml bottles of Solution B only). Dilutions vary by application, please see instruction sheet.