Developing prints in HC110

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by joe_hodge, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. On a recent trip to the darkroom, ended up sharing the space with another photographer who accidentally brought his film developer instead of his paper developer, and decided to try developing his prints in HC110 1:31. Just for the fun of it, I decided to give it a try also. I worked up a good print using the Polymax-T that I normally use, and then make a second otherwise identical print processed in the HC110. What I found:

    • The HC110 required almost exactly twice the time as Polymax-T to develop good blacks
    • The resulting print was flatter, and had an almost soft-focus look
    Overall, the print in HC110 is quite acceptable. I don't see myself using it intentionally, but I was pleasantly surprised by the result.




  2. When I first started in photography, I had Tri-Chem-Paks with a developer that worked for either film or prints.
    But the dilution was much more for film than for prints.

    Given that, I would try a lower dilution (more concentrated) than 1:31.
  3. There used to be a good site: covington innovations, but it's no longer up. It had quite a bit of good I info re: hc-110 and the mix he used for making prints. I tried the way bak machine and that was a no-go. Perhaps a more thorough search?
  4. The HC-110 print looks pretty decent to my eye, and I wonder if the flatter look could be compensated by bumping up a grade or so.

    I admit to not ever having used film developer for paper, but a lot of that is because I always keep Dektol mixed and I've never really had a good reason to use something else. I've experimented before with Dektol to develop paper, but even used relatively dilute(1:9) I've found the developing times too short for my liking and too much contrast.
  5. There used to be 'universal' developers on sale that could be used for both film and paper with just a change in dilution.

    They generally gave grainy and contrasty results on film, and prints that were a bit flat. In short, a total compromise.

    Like any job, there's a right tool to use. You can knock a hole in wood with a screwdriver, and undo a screw with a chisel, but it's better to use them for their intended purpose.
  6. And if you want to do it the other way, Dektol is one of the recommend developers
    for Technical Pan film, for higher contrast (2.5). No dilution is given, so I presume

    On the other hand, HC-110 (F) is next to lowest contrast for TP, just a little
    above Technidol.

    No idea what this means for prints with the two developers.
  7. The site is still up, and fairly interesting: Kodak HC-110 Developer - Unofficial Resource Page

    Not all of the links work, but it was an interesting read.
  8. Using a slower developer is a little like being Cinderella--
    "Someday your prints will come"
    :rolleyes: sorry
  9. I actually found a Tri-Chem Pack in a drawer in my darkroom...Dektol was the developer and the dilution for film was exactly double that for prints.
  10. There used to be Versatol. Much more dilute for film, which made it expensive for a print developer.
    I don't think it stayed around very long, but I had a bottle (it comes liquid) when I was young.

    It seems that Dektol gives high contrast for TP, and maybe for other films.

    Between desired contrast and cost, separate developers seem a good choice.

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