D76 vs HC-110

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ckpj99

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I ran into a guy today who was looking for someone to develop film for him. He had a regular guy who he paid to run film for him and I guess that arrangement isn't working out.

Apparently, he mainly shoots Tri-X at 800, and then gets it developed normally. He likes thin negatives, I guess. His current guy is souping stuff in D76.

So my question is: if I start developing his stuff in HC-110, what type of differences will he see? I run stuff with Solution B with normal agitation.

I'm not sure he's going to be too picky, but I'd like to give him a heads up.
 

DREW WILEY

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Check the relevant charts to correct for the dev timing. Otherwise most things will be similar, except that the grain will be even more pronounced in HC-110. It's an especially gritty combination, which someone might like or not like.
 

cjbecker

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I find that hc110 has more of an s-curve then d76. I used both extensively and they both are great developers.

35 or 120?
 
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ckpj99

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He shoots 35mm. It strange that you say it makes grain more pronounced, because I find my current negatives pretty solid. Maybe I just don't remember what D76 is like. I haven't used it in a decade.
 

Fixcinater

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I'll agree with the added S-curve of HC110 as compared to D76. Not sure about the grain, yet.
 

Gerald C Koch

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DREW WILEY

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That S-curve issue is more likely to factor with high-contrast scenes than low contrast, but it's more a characteristic of TX in general than of
the developer. HC-110 is a bit unusual in that it can still be very effective at a wide range of dilutions, but with the side effect of potentially
changing the curve some. Dil B is kinda the starting point. #76 is quite similar either straight or 1:1 except for the time, but changes quite a
bit with greater dilution, sometimes toward uselessness.
 

NB23

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Both are classic developers in every sense. Let's not forget why has tri-x become legendary: because it worked so well in these 2 developers.
I bet my shirt he will not see a difference.
 
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Do you know if he previous guy used development times with D-76 as if it was shot at box speed or did he change anything knowing the guy shot Tri-X at 800?
 

hdeyong

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I used D-76 for years, and now I've been using HC-110 for several years, (1:49), and both produce excellent negatives with Tri-X. The differences are subtle, and you'd probably have to know what to look for to notice.
Kodak formulated HC-110 to be similar to D-76, but more convenient and quicker for the processing needs of newspaper reporters, etc. Used 1:49, it's an excellent, dependable developer.
 

Gerald C Koch

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There is the potential for a loss of shadow detail using HC 110 developer.

Please before a bad rumor is started on the net may I correct your statement. Kodak says that HC-110 produces slightly less shadow detail compared to D-76. Casual readers are apt to skim over the word "potential" and get the wrong idea.
 
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Gerald C Koch

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Kodak formulated HC-110 to be similar to D-76, but more convenient and quicker for the processing needs of newspaper reporters, etc. Used 1:49,

Kodak formulated HC-110 for photofinishers who machine processed films in replenished D-76 or DK-50. This is the reason for some of the strange dilutions. They were designed so that the processing times would remain the same.
 

cjbecker

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I will have to say I like hc110 better. Ease of use and the final outcome.
 

Simonh82

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Please before a bad rumor is started on the net may I correct your statement. Kodak says that HC-110 produces slightly less shadow detail compared to D-76. Casual readers are apt to skim over the word "potential" and get the wrong idea.

If not for all films, Kodak certainly seem to think HC-110 offers slightly less film speed for T-Max 400. They suggest you rate that at 320 in HC-110 but 400 for D76.

I guess another question is, do you use Kodak's published times for Tri-X in HC-110 (3:45 in Dil B)? This time is often suggested to be much shorter than necessary with people often suggesting 6-7 minutes. Personally I use 4:45 and shoot at 320. This may not be much help if your man shoots at 800 though.
 

DREW WILEY

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HC-110 will give a little steeper toe than 76, that's all. But with the film shot at 800, it's academic anyway. It will be virtually impossible to
resolve details way down in the shadows, either way.
 
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When your potential customer exposing the film at 800, I recommend using a dilute developer, like the unofficial Dilution H (I believe 1:63). When you have a more dilute developer you have to develop longer, which helps the shadows develop more.

Please don't view this as some kind of magic to extract impossible levels of shadow detail, but there is an appreciable difference in shadow detail which can only help.

Other than that, I'd be very surprised if your acquaintance would be able to see much difference. Why don't you do a test roll with this person and see how they like it? Free of charge. Easy to do, and then make sure to follow up with them to see if they are happy or not and see what they think is missing, and try to adjust.

It can take time to build up a relationship with somebody whose film you process, and some trial and error is likely to be expected. That's how we did it at the pro lab I worked at years ago. People would come in and inquire about b&w processing, and sometimes we'd extend the favor of doing a test roll for them, to see how they liked it. We used replenished Xtol for the b&w process, and often the master printer would come out and talk to the customers about how they could adjust how they shoot to improve the results, or ask and probe with questions to figure out what they wanted. Most discussion hovered around the contact sheets that were made, examining shadow detail and contrast.
 

DREW WILEY

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I've often used HC-110 at 1:96 for special applications. It's a remarkable developer in having that much versatility. But I wonder if something like TX would simply turn out "all toe" clear up onto the lower midtones if you tried something like this. More ordinary two-step compensating developers might do it too, but with an analogous exaggerated s-curve. Just depends on the look someone wants. If they don't mind blacked-out shadows below III or possibly even IV, ordinary dev at 800 should be fine. Would seem to be a harsh look for many subjects, however.
 
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