Need Developer for Wide Variety of Films

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by richterjw, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. I did a preliminary search but didn't really come up with what I was looking for. I am will be developing a wide variety of films in soon, and would really like to only purchase one developer for all of them; I'm kind of on a tight budget. Here are the films, all Ilford: Pan F, Delta 100, HP5+, and (possibly) Delta 3200.
    I currently have some T-Max, but it's been in the attic for several weeks, which can't be good for it. If that would produce good results and anyone thinks it would still be good, I'd like some insight on that.
    So to summarize, I am looking for a general developer that will produce satisfactory results for all of the above films. Thanks. JR
  2. Ilford ID-11
    Kodak D-76
    Here is a pdf on ID-11
  3. Thanks for the link. It looks like ID-11 may be my guy. I have never used it before; is stock the best choice, or should I consider a dilution? JR
  4. In the US at least, you'll find D-76 to be less expensive and it works exactly the same as ID-11. Here's the link to Kodak's tech sheet . There is no problem using Ilfords times for ID-11 with D-76. I like to use it diluted 1+1 as a 1 shot developer because it's consistent and easy. Other people like it full strength. Still others like to run a replenished system.
  5. I have used HC-110 at a 1:7 ratio at 68F for all of the Ilford films you list, and very rarely had any problems, except with the content of some of the shots. Of course, the developer didn't have a damn thing to do with that!
  6. Ditto ID-11/D76 (virtually identical). For occasional use, HC-110 will deliver very similar results. I can hardly see any differences between my negatives developed in ID-11 and HC-110.
    If you can use up at least a liter of stock solution within six months, go with ID-11 or D76. If you develop only occasionally, or wait several months between developing sessions, try HC-110.
  7. Xtol would be my choice, but right up there with D-76/ID-11.
  8. When I had to make a similar choice, I chose HC-110. It's quite comparable in results to D-76/ID-11 (which are more or less the standard "one-size-fits-all developers"), but as I had no idea how much film I would develop, the keepability of HC-110 made it my first choice.
    But nowadays it's not my only developer anymore, I also bought Rodinal for my slow films and Microphen for my fast films. And now, the nice things with HC-110 is that I don't have to care about using enough of it within 6 months...
  9. I use ND-76 - it's the same stuff as ID-11 and D-76 but almost half price. There's bound to be similar small-brand versions of it for cheap where you live too.
    I like using it one shot, mixed 1:1. One-shot means I always get the same results, and the stuff is so cheap that I have no concern about the cost anyhow.
  10. I like XTOL.
  11. Funny that Edwal's FG-7 never comes up as a favorite. It has to be the best never-talked-about film dev out there.
  12. Diafine isn't cheap, but seems to last forever. The other extreme advantage is that all films have the same development: 3+min in A and 3+ min in B. And it usually boosts the speed of the film by 1 stop.
  13. Well I use basically two, WD2D+ and Rodinal. Both as one shot.
    Rodinol will ether look fantastic or total crap, depending on your taste. It will last forever as dilutions are typically 1:25 - 1:200 (I use 1:100). The standard soup for WD2D+ is 1:50 for 'A' and 'B' solutions, which also makes it last forever. I like pyro so I tend to use it on everything. If I want a 'charcoal' look, I will use Rodinol, otherwise I enjoy the nice soft tones of a pyro....
    I've said this before but.... Go to and search for the developer. This will give you an idea with the developer can do for you. Going just "cheap" just might make you wind up with something you don't like to use and I may not want to look at your stuff! ;)
    ps: I go through far more fixer than developer..... you may be asking the wrong question.....
  14. D-76 or equivalent is good for all of those (except I've never tried it for Delta 3200). HC-110 is good for everything (except I've never tried it for Pan F+). I use HC-110 for most of my stuff (Tri-X, Plus-X, Fuji Acros 100, HP5+, FP4+, as well as for my expired stock of Panatomic-X and Super XX.) I use D-76, though, for Rolleipan 25 and Rollei R3.
  15. In my opinion HC-110 is the best developer going. Does every film I've put thru it...and that is everything you mentioned and more....inexpensive, in syrup form it kinda lasts for ever (well.....years anyhow..heh). Although I will say, I like the look of Tri-x and HP5+ when pushed at 1000...just a personal opinion, no testing Acufine a little better.
  16. I use empty 2 liter soda bottles plus a 1 liter bottle for the stock solution. It keeps real well, lasting a long time. I just used up my last batch of ID-11 I mixed in April 2008 and worked well the entire time.
  17. Thanks for all the responses. It may be a while between developments for me, so I will definitely have to consider HC-110 as well. JR
  18. XTOL. About $8-10 for a 5 liter bag. You can run it replenished very easily (uses the same formula for replenisher as for developer), or use it one-shot full strength or 1:1. You can also use it 1:2 or 1:3 but have to be more careful. Using it one-shot 1:1, you should get about 42 rolls out of it. That's $.25/roll, which is cheap enough for me. If you ran a lot of film, you'd probably save some money by using it replenished, but I'm not familiar enough with that to give you advice.
    It mixes up pretty easily at room temperature, is relatively benign, and is great for pushing since it gives you a nice speed boost. It plays well with T-grain films, and looks great on older tech films too. I use it with Tri-X, Plus-X, and TMAX 3200 all the time. I've used it with HP5+ and PanF+ in the past with no problems either.
    If you do use it, mix up the 5L and then pour it into smaller bottles. I use 10 .5L bottles. That way you never have a large amount of it sitting around for too long oxidizing, and it's also a lot easier to handle. I shoot around 100 rolls of film a year, so I mix it up every 6 months or so and have had no problems with XTOL dying with this storage method.
  19. D76/ID11 are very good general purpose developers but...
    Like you, Jeremy, it is "a while" between developments for me, too. I prefer to use Ilford DD-X. The concentrate seems to keep very well. Since it is a liquid, it mixes easily. I mix it 1+4, use it as a one shot developer, and discard after use. It gives excellent results with all the films you use. It is more expensive than D76/ID11, but not that much more if you are doing small quantities of film.
    Although DD-X gives very good results with Pan F+, you might consider purchasing a small bottle of Rodinal, which keeps "forever", as an alternative developer for the Pan F+. Rodinal is a liquid, mixes easily, but you will need a way to measure to 1 ml to mix it. I use a syringe.
  20. I'm in the HC-110 camp.
  21. I can't get Kodak chems here so it's Ilford or nothing.. ID-11 is my current favourite, I re-use a litre of stock for 10 films, adding 10% to the time for each film and it works wonderfully!
  22. I believe this is the Ilford version of HC-110
  23. I use DD-X, mostly because I'm lazy and don't want to mix a powder developer to working dilution, knowing that its spoiling by the day. DD-X comes in concentrate form, so I can mix to working solution on the spot for small tank usage. Works for me. It works well for Delta 100, Pan F+, Neopan 400, and okay for Tri-X. Haven't used it on TMax yet.
  24. Significant advantage of Ilford (Harman) developers (DDX, ID11, others) is that they give developing data for many non Ilford films, whereas Kodak generally gives only data for its own films. Recourse to 3rd party data is not always as good.
  25. Well they give starting points like any B&W developer film Combo. and that is much more than the others.... though my favorite 35mm film is Tri-X I love FP4+ for many times.
  26. Jim, Edwal FG-7 is a good developer, but like so many other good developers, is not so easy to find in my neck of the woods unless you mail order it.
  27. D-76. I like D-23 for a fine grain developer with those films; but I have to say that it's tough to beat the D-76. I'd get the D-76 and use it for a while. I think it is a good guidepost for understanding a lot of other film and developer combinations. Many people have experience with D-76; it'll turn up as a reference frequently. When I'm using a homemade developer; or, when I can't get established info on solutions I am interested in, I find out how something relates to D-76 performance in that situation, and then extrapolate from there.
    For the reference benefits alone, I'd say D-76 is a good choice to ground your experience.
  28. I'm with Tim: Xtol.
    Simply better than ID-11 or D-76 or HC-110. In all respects. It's an all-round developer and likes all kinds of films – some really sing in it (the Neopans, for example). Moreover, no film looks really ugly in it. Can't say that for most specialized developers.
    Buy 5 one litre/quart dark glass bottles with solid plastic screw caps and use only deionized water. Leave the water in the sun for a couple of hours as warmer water helps a lot at producing a good, completely residue-free Xtol solution and you'll also have less O2 in the water).
    Fill the glass bottles up to the brim. Glass marbels or Tetenal's Protectan (both are hard to get in the U.S. it seems) help protecting the solution in opened bottles.
    Done like this, you get Xtol stock solution which will keep for a year for sure: I repeatedly forgot such bottles for 12 to 18 months in some drawer and all of them developed like fresh solution.
    Have fun!
    Cheers, Pete

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