Ilford DD-X information?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by trooper, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. After searching around the internet and in particular, I am
    finding very little direct discussion of attributes of DD-X. There
    are many references to it as part of other discussions and Ilford's
    technical sheets list it as their preferred developer for almost every
    aspect of every film (grain size, overall quality, full emulsion
    speed, etc). I just recently added some to a supply order and will be
    trying it out myself but would like to know of any direct experiences
    you may have had. Also, some especially successful combinations
    you've discovered with it would be helpful.
  2. I was pretty hot for DDX when it was first announced.<P>I was hopin' it would turn out to be Ilford's liquid version of Kodak XTOL: therefor my weapon of choice for D3200.<P>I bought about eight jugs of it. Used it on all the Delta's, Tri-X & the APX's. In the end I gave it up.<P>Yes it was an easy to use speed enhancing developer but as far as tonality and accutance went DDX was priced far too high for what it did -- which was nothing brilliantly (although I understand it's good for taking D3200 into deep dark speeds of 12,500 and beyond).<P>Some say DDX is just a liquid Microphen -- I can't comment on that because I don't have enough experience with that developer.<P>And so to end the story -- XTOL still reigns supreme in my darkroom.
  3. I was hopin' it would turn out to be Ilford's liquid version of Kodak XTO​

    I thought it was supposed to be their equivalent of TMAX developer.
  4. Have you tried searched the forums on this site? A google search of for DD-X produced nearly 300 matches.

    It is effectively a liquid version of Microphen. Ilford are a bit too hard-sell with DD-X, claiming it is ideal for everything. However, I do like it, and am hoping to do a comparison with ID-11, my preferred developer to date (I'd prefer not to mix up powder dev). DD-X is the only dev I use with Delta 3200. But there's no substitute for trying it yourself...
  5. I'm not persuaded that DDX is simply the liquid concentrate version of Microphen.

    For one thing Ilford's specs for the developers differ slightly. On a couple of specifics they give a slight nod to DDX over Microphen.

    I've compared the ingredients listed on the containers for each. They're not identical. While they might achieve very comparable results I suspect that certain alterations had to be made in each to accomodate the fact that one would be normally stored in liquid concentrate while the other would be in powder form until prepared as stock solution.

    I haven't tried DDX only because I'm so satisfied with Microphen. It does what I need of a speed enhancing developer, and a little more.
  6. I read in a post somewhere that there was a major article in a magazine (French?) in which many film/dev combinations were tested, and DD-X came out a little slower than Microphen. You might find it in a search in, which is a great storehouse of info and opinions, but IMHO has deteriorated in tone and quality lately.
  7. Further to my previous post, I looked up the article, and have taken the liberty of copying two posts here:

    From: Christer Almqvist
    Subject: delta 3200 & ilfotec dd-x
    Date: 1999/03/06

    The current issue (#84 ) of the french monthly Réponses Photo has an
    interesting article on Delta 3200. Issue #85 will be on sale 12th March with
    further details including detailed comparisons of Delta 3200 and Tmax 3200
    exposed at 800, 1600 and 3200 and developed in five different developers.

    Here are some of the points made in the current issue: 1.) overall, Delta 3200
    got five points out of five, 2.) the film has an ISO rating of 1000 and the
    reason it is called 3200 is that Kodak calls its ISO 1000 film 3200, 3.) there
    is a loss of shadow detail if exposed at 6400 or higher and the magazine thus
    reports in detail only on test up to and including 3200, 4.) development times
    recommended by the magazine for all developers are significantly higher than
    those recommended by Ilford: e.g. 19 min rather than 10.5 min for exposure at
    3200 when using ID-11 stock, 5.) Ilford's new Ilfotec DD-X diluted 1+4 was
    rated best developer for Delta 3200, but it was a close call with ID-11, and
    Microphen gave one-third to one-half stop more speed, 6.) a comparison with
    Tmax 3200 developed in Tmax developer (DD-X used for Delta) showed less grain
    for Delta but more shadow detail for Tmax, but this may depend on different
    developers being used. The films were both exposed at 3200 and developed to
    the same contrast. Tmax developer was used as it gave more shadow detail than
    D-76 and Xtol. 7.

    Well, I already told you all this, based on my own test, didn't I? ;-)

    BTW, Réponses Photo is highly recommended. They do not forget that in the end
    it is all about pictures, so he picture content is very good. However the
    technical side is not forgotten and the special B&W issues contain very much
    relevant information, and in general all tests are to the point.

    ============and another post================

    From: Christer Almqvist
    Subject: 3200
    Date: 1999/03/16

    The April issue (# 85) of the French magazine Réponses Photo has a
    side-by-side test of Delta 3200 and Tmax 3200 both exposed at 800, 1600, 3200
    and 6400 and developed in ID11/D76, Ilfotec DD-X, Microphen, Xtol, Tmax and
    Microfine. That makes 48 different tests!!

    Both films give very good results at 800 with all developers, but so do all
    400 films pushed one step, so why use 3200 asks RP. At 1600 Microphen gave
    very good results with both films, as did Tmax developer and Microfine with
    Tmax 3200.

    At 3200 the Tmax developer with Tmax 3200 gave the best results, other
    combinations gave good results. At 6400 no combination was very good. The
    reason = as we know ;-) = is that these film are true ISO 800-1000-max
    1200 film so that exposing at 3200 is already pushing one-and-a-half to two steps.

    BTW, Anchell & Troop in their new 'Film Developing Cookbook' recommend another
    approach to obtaining good results when pushing film: use Xtol or FX 37 and
    dilute twice as much as you normally do and increase development time 50-100%
    for a two-stop push. They say Tri-X can be pushed three steps (i.e. to 3200)
    with acceptable results. I have found the same. Detailed times for almost all
    films are in the book.
  8. Thanks for the DD-X specific responses. I did a quick test roll of HP5+ and discovered that DD-X is quite aggressive! I've been mainly using tanning developers of late and had grown accustomed to the thinner apparent density of those so the charcoal color and relative density of the DD-X was quite different.

    I was taking some color shots of a friend's antique car for him this weekend and noticed an old roll of APX100 in my bag and decided to shoot it on the car, too. I did the film (120-6X7) in DD-X (7 min @ 1+4) and printed some this morning. They printed very easily on grade 2 with good shadow detail, fine grain and a nice general tonality. The light was diffused, late day and not very challenging so I'll be interested in trying it on my more normal films (Ilford's) and trickier lighting. I've got a feeling that if I end up liking the DD-X in general that I'll adopt it for flatter lighting, full emulsion speed situations and the tanning developers (ExLux and WD2D+) for harsher light situations.
  9. Craig,

    Recently I was also trying to learn as much about DD-X as I could...different film responses and general thoughts. I ran across a Jan/Feb 2000 Photo Techniques review of DD-X by Phil Davis. It was very detailed with test results, curves, etc. on Delta 100 and 400, T-max 100 and 400. FP4+, HP5+, Tri-X, and Delta 3200 all developed in DD-X 1+4 or 1+6.

    Even though it is somewhat dated, and some films have changed, I think it is a good review and reference.

    If you want a copy semd me your email address and I'll send a PDF file copy of the article.

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