One developer: 100,125, 400 and 1600

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by sd_woods, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. So I was wondering if there was one developer which worked with Fuji Acros 100, Ilford FP4+ 125, Ilford HP5+ 400, and Fuji Neopan 1600., I mean one developer to develop each film at their rated speeds. Not at once in one massive tank or something bizarre like that, but separately, in the correct solutions. Is there a developer that will do that?
    I'm very new to this by the way.
  2. HC-110...I've wandered around the developer arena for 30 some years, and I find HC-110 to do every and any film I use quite well....if not excellently.
  3. D-76 is good, but XTOL is my favorite general-purpose developer.
  4. Try ilford dd-x, I've tried other developers recently but have returned to DD-x as my standard chemical for 400 iso and up, fine grain, gets full film speed and good tonality. I haven't tried it with fuji 1600 but had good results with delta 3200, much finer grain than I had expected. I tend to reach for rodinal for lower iso's but dd-x produces good results with low speed films as well. The only drawback is price, it's an expensive developer.
  5. Any general purpose dev will do the job. That's why they're called general purpose! :)
    Like has been said, HC-110, D-76, X-Tol, DD-X are all good.
    You can also look at Edwal FG-7, Clayton F-76 and tons of others that are sure to pop up.
    You CAN dev all of these in one massive tank if you wanted too. A divided dev can do that for you, just do a search here.
  6. I second HC-110.
  7. For almost any film exposed at or below its rated ISO speed you really can't do much better than D-76 or the equivalents, such as Ilford ID-11. They just work.
    If you don't develop film often enough to use up a batch of D-76/ID-11 stock solution within six months, consider HC-110 concentrate. The results are nearly identical to ID-11/D-76 in my experience with Tri-X, HP5+, FP4+ and most other films. And if you don't want to hassle with one shot mixing from concentrate you can always pre-mix stock solution per Kodak's guidelines - a good option that's mentioned surprisingly seldom online.
  8. Diafine will work for all of them, and is very forgiving of times and temperatures. Not great for printing but excellent if you plan to scan your negatives and process the images digitally.
  9. There you have it. You've opened a can of worms, and this will probably go on and on for some time yet again.
    But seriously, you really can't do much better than D-76 or XTOL. Like Robert wrote a little earlier in this thread, I prefer XTOL. It's a little bit of a speed enhancing developer. If you're so inclined, push processing works a wee bit better with XTOL than with D-76. It also works very well, as does D-76, for films rated normally. But the best part of the deal is that you don't need to go through hoops to find the stuff. Just about any reasonably well stocked darkroom supplier will have these products and they are not terribly expensive.
    HC-110 is good, but it really is a different sort of animal. The concentrate lasts nearly forever, and it might be the least expensive developer you can find if you consider the cost on a per roll basis. But I find that while I like it for processing sheet film in open trays, I don't use it much. I'm always looking to eke out that extra 1/3 stop of speed from my roll films and HC-110 doesn't do that for me.
  10. Jean-Yves Mead
    Diafine will work for all of them, and is very forgiving of times and temperatures. Not great for printing but excellent if you plan to scan your negatives and process the images digitally.​
    I'd say almost exactly the opposite on every count. While it offers certain advantages, Diafine is not really a good all-purpose, all-film developer. It works great with some films within a fairly narrow exposure range, not so well with others. There's no effective way to control contrast. And it isn't a fine grain developer despite the "fine" in the name.
    And my experience with printing and scanning is exactly the opposite. It's excellent for conventional printing using variable contrast paper, but challenging to scan well. It tends to be flat with murky midtones and grainy.
    If the primary output is scanning the negatives for web display or printing to inkjet, especially when fine grain and normal gradation is desired, almost any fine grain developer including D-76 is preferable.
  11. I have developed all of those films sucessfully in AGFA Rodinal. It's a liquid concentrate that you dilute with water. It's not a fine grain devloper, but contrast can be easily fine tuned with Dilution and temperature variations. It keeps for years, if not decades. I love D-76 but mixing powders is a huge pain. You have to wait for it to cool down before you use it. And it dies after about 6 months.If you're shooting medium format grain is not an issue.
    So that's my vote! Rodinal.
  12. I would probabky use different developers for all of these films. For the ACROS I would use Fuji Microfine. FP4+ is good in just about anything. D-76 1:1 is fine. HP5+ is more grainy than Tri-X and I might like to use undiluted D-76. For the Neopan 1600 I might use Fuji Super Prodol of Ilford Microphen. If I had to use just one developer for all of these films I would probably choose Microphen. Undiluted it easily gets full box speed from any of these films. If ACROS were not included I might use HC-110 instead. ACROS can be developed in HC-110 but I don't think you can then use an EI of 100.
  13. Most developers would work, would they not? If you must have box speed, then maybe stay away from the slower developers, but the standards should work fine: D-76, ID-11, HC-110, XTOL, DD-X.
    I'd use XTOL because... well that's what I use :D
  14. I think I'll just buy some ID-11, to round out a pile of Ilford products. Thanks for your help everyone, maybe you'll see my pictures 'round the forums in a week or two.
  15. Ilford DD-X would work very nicely with all, and comes close to being optimal for the FP4 and HP5.
  16. Ilford DD-X would work very nicely with all, and comes close to being optimal for the FP4 and HP5.
  17. Except for neopan 1600,which i have not used, I develop all these in Rodinal.
    It's simple keeps for ages and is cheap.
    my $ 0.02
  18. And about $0.02 a roll if you use 1-100 or 1-50. :)
  19. Well I've already bought the ID-11, I'll try Rodinal next time.
  20. Well I would go with HC-110 next as you may not like Rodinal for the sharpness.... :)
  21. Another vote for XTOL... because that's the one I'm most familiar with and one I've used for anything from ISO 100 through 3200.
  22. XTOL for me. It is cheap (GBP6 for 5L - enough for 30 films at 1:1 dilution), fine grain and very flexible. My standard film stock is HP5, but I do use FP4 and Neopan 1600. The great thing about XTOL is that it produces great results if you decide to push process. So nowadays, I only use HP5. I shoot a lot of low light stuff and so rate my HP5 regularly at 1600 and develop appropriately in XTOL with minimal grain (unlike Rodinal).
    If you want to see HP5 rated at 1600 in XTOL, then have a look at the pics in my Berlin, Royal Opera House & Madeleine Peyroux sets on my website below.

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