HC-110 developer: your success with it?

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tbm

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I bought a new Metz 45CL-4 flash unit and, after attaching it to my Leica M6 TTL upon loading a roll of Acros 100, I have begun testing it indoors. I'm not done with the roll yet. Before I process the roll of Acros, I find that I'm down to only a bottle of Kodak's HC-110 which I've not tried yet, but I found a developing recommendation of dilution B for 5.5 minutes on the Web. Would you please share your positive and negative experiences with this developer and the films you shoot? Thanks!

Terry
 

RAP

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HC110 is mostly used with TRI-X films. Most of my success is with 4x5, 1/61 dilution from the bottle (Dil B is 1/31 from the bottle) with 10 sec agitation every minute at 68F. It produces medium to fine grain and good tone gradation.

To the best of my knowledge, Bruce Barnbaum uses it exclusively.

I have never tried it with slower films.
 

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I use it with both TMY and HP5. Normally dilution B, but occasionally dilution. Have been very pleased with the resulting sharpness and tonality.
 

Eric Rose

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The only dev's I use are HC110 dil B and PyroCat-HD. For the flash pics tho you might find the HC110 a bit to active. D-76 would be a better choice IMHO.
 

Konical

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Good Afternoon, Terry,

I haven't used the Acros/HC-110 combination, but I've use a lot of HC-110, mostly the B dilution, for Plus-X, Tri-X, and, prior to the arrival of T-Max developer, both T-Max films. HC-110 seems to work well with many films and has few disadvantages as a general-purpose developer. I advise mixing directly from the concentrate.

Konical
 

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Another vote for HC110-b. I recently developed 11 rolls of 120 T Max. Using the grain magnifier, there's very little grain. It's forgiving, reasonable developing times (but don't trust anybody else's numbers, get your own).

Konical said:
I advise mixing directly from the concentrate.Konical

For tank development, I agree. Mix it 1:31 directly from the convenient bottle. I use about one bottle every six months and have had no problems with oxidation or decay of the original syrup in the original bottles at R.T.
And...it's available where ever the great Yellow Mother is sold.
 
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tbm

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EricR said:
The only dev's I use are HC110 dil B and PyroCat-HD. For the flash pics tho you might find the HC110 a bit to active. D-76 would be a better choice IMHO.

Eric: I just remembered I have a small package of Photographer's Formulary's TD-16 (D-76 substitute) in a closet in my house that makes 1 liter. I just mixed it and put it in two 500 ml bottles. Since flash units highten the intensity of bright highlights (white clothing, light dog fur, etc.), based on your experience should I use the TD-16 straight or dilute it 1:1 to tone that down? Thanks!

Terry
 

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After reading "The Negative" a few months ago, I switched to HC-110. I figure if it was good enough for Ansel Adams, its worth a try. I really like the economy and convenience of mixing the working solution right from the concentrate.

Have used it at 1+31 and 1+63 with Plus-X, FP-4 and HP-5. Works great.
 
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I use HC-110, primarily dilution B, directliy from concentrate. I use it primarily for cost and convenience as I learn, but I also found that I adore how it looks with HP5+.
 

Tom Stanworth

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I've use it on 5x4 acros. I thought it made acros relatively grainy, tho it remains very fine indeed. Acros has short dev times, so do not hesitate using more dilute mixes than dil B to give you a decent amount of time in the tank.
 

Louis Nargi

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I have been using HC110 for years and its basicly all I use. Its probably one best developers available I used it with tri-x, 35, 120,and 4-5 using B dilution.Also I used it with Agfa 100 with excellent results. I mix a stock solution from concentrate because if you make a mistake with the consentrate, even a slite amount it can be to much. My dev. time at 68deg. are 51/2 min. with 35mm.tri-x,51/2 with 4x5 tri-x and 61/2 with 120 tri.Once you get use to working with this dev. you"ll find it one of the best to.
 

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Although I use Rodinal for Acros I use HC-110 for a lot of other stuff (ISO 400 films) and I like it, but it is really active...5.5 min. sounds ok.

Morten
 

Eric Rose

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Depends on how you use your flashes. Do you do a lot of bounce or is it direct straight on stuff. I would probably go with the normal dilution so you don't get muddy highlights. You might want to under-develop just a tad.

tbm said:
Eric: I just remembered I have a small package of Photographer's Formulary's TD-16 (D-76 substitute) in a closet in my house that makes 1 liter. I just mixed it and put it in two 500 ml bottles. Since flash units highten the intensity of bright highlights (white clothing, light dog fur, etc.), based on your experience should I use the TD-16 straight or dilute it 1:1 to tone that down? Thanks!

Terry
 
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Last night I developed the Acros 100 at ISO 100 in TD-16 (Photographer's Formulary's substitute for D-76) at 1:1 dilution for 7 minutes at 75 degrees (based on the Ilford temperature conversion chart at their Web site from 10 minutes at 68 degrees) and discovered that the negatives somewhat lack sufficient tonal contrast. Thus, I'll process another roll with the same factors and perhaps increase the time from 7 minutes to 9 or 10. Two weeks ago I processed Acros 100 at EI 80 in Microdol-X 1:3 for 20 minutes and got wonderful negatives. And the Microdol-X negatives have a tonality character and acutance that the TD-16/D-76 negatives lack. Perhaps this reflects Geoffrey Crawley's following statement in "The Film Developing Cookbook": "Geoffrey believes that D-76 does not fully exploit either the inherent sharpness or speed of modern films, nor does he feel it offers high enough definition to take advantage of the enhanced image quality available with today's lenses. And Kodak's XTOL can be seen as a radical update of the D-76 developer type." Anyway, the Metz 45CL-4 flash with my Leica 28mm lens performed flawlessly on every negative. This is the most wonderful of the three Metz flashes I currently have! BTW, if I am wrong in assuming that increasing the developing time by 2-3 minutes will create more tonal contrast, do correct me, please.

Terry
 

Peter Schrager

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HC-110

I used HC-100 for many many years. That was the recommendation of Fred Picker and Ansel and many others. What no one tells you is that Kodak has changed the formula several times since then. I have found XTOL to be superior in every way. HC-110 tends to block the shadows where XTOL will not. If you think that HP-5 is good in HC-110 you should try it in XTOL. Plus the fact that you get true speed rating with XTOL.
Reards Peter
 

Louis Nargi

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modafoto said:
Although I use Rodinal for Acros I use HC-110 for a lot of other stuff (ISO 400 films) and I like it, but it is really active...5.5 min. sounds ok.

Morten
I"m glad you mentioned that hc-110 was really active because the first time I tryed it my negs came out very dark almost black. My agitation at that time was more aggresive, so I did"nt use it for along time after that thinking it was to harsh. I tryed it again some time latter, but used very gentle agitation and was more able to control the results
 

skyking71

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I use HC-110 for stand developing efke-100 5x7 and Ilford HP-5 120. I use 3ml per sheet or 120 roll and stand develope for 90 minutes, I contact print the 5x7 and enlarge the 120. I am more than pleased with this combo. It works great for me.
 

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HC-110 can be tricky. I've developed mostlyFP4 12ml per 2 roll steel tank 7.5 minutes runs about N+1 density. I found the dilution to be the best for my work, it draws out the tones nicely and is active enough to really give punch on the grey days. I agree that it isn't that great for the flash, a metol based developer would be ideal. For the flash shots keep the time you mentioned but do not agitate that much, say 5 seconds per minute or two inversions in 5 seconds. OR I would dilute about 12ml per 500ml, run the film for 10 minutes with 2 inversion in 5 seconds per minute. Agitation can really effect the density. When you get it right nothin can beat it IMO.

Chris
 

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I have been using HC110 B for about a year now. It's economical as hell, easy to mix, keeps well, and has worked great with Ilford Delta films, APX 100, HP5+, Panatomic -X (yeah I had some ancient rolls that I finally used up!), and others. It has become my all-purpose developer. A friend that has been using it for many, many, years, told me: All you need (fro developers) in your darkroom is HC-110, Dektol, and Rodinal. Anything else is playing around... he left out Technidol and D-19... but what the hell. Those are special-purpose developers.
 

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mfobrien said:
I have been using HC110 B for about a year now. It's economical as hell, easy to mix, keeps well, and has worked great with Ilford Delta films, APX 100, HP5+, Panatomic -X (yeah I had some ancient rolls that I finally used up!), and others. It has become my all-purpose developer. A friend that has been using it for many, many, years, told me: All you need (fro developers) in your darkroom is HC-110, Dektol, and Rodinal. Anything else is playing around... he left out Technidol and D-19... but what the hell. Those are special-purpose developers.

In fact, you can leave out the Dektol if you don't mind adding some washing soda to the HC110. I add vitamin C to it as well. With that combination, forget Rodinal.
 
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tbm

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My second attempt to develop Acros 100 in TD-16 (D-76) by adding three minutes to the initial 7 minutes was also a failure: a gross lack of contrast, making the negatives impossible to print even though I dialed in maximum filtering with my Saunders dichroic enlarger. Granted, all shots were taken indoors with my Metz flash, but my failure appears to coincide with Roger Hicks' article two years ago in Shutterbug Magazine within which he detailed how difficult it was for him to get good negatives, even with various developers. Next I will try HC-110, but believe me, I am not optimistic!

Terry
 

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Used HC110 for 30-years with Tri-X 4 x 5 cut film. Last several years develop 6-negatives (capable of going 12-negs back to back) at a time in a Combi T tank using a dilution and agitation process that allows 12-minutes at 68 deg. F. for N=0
 

Tom Stanworth

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tbm said:
My second attempt to develop Acros 100 in TD-16 (D-76) by adding three minutes to the initial 7 minutes was also a failure: a gross lack of contrast, making the negatives impossible to print even though I dialed in maximum filtering with my Saunders dichroic enlarger. Granted, all shots were taken indoors with my Metz flash, but my failure appears to coincide with Roger Hicks' article two years ago in Shutterbug Magazine within which he detailed how difficult it was for him to get good negatives, even with various developers. Next I will try HC-110, but believe me, I am not optimistic!

Terry

I think the same HIcks article appeared in B&W photography. He used FX39 and perceptol?

I have found that acros can be nicely contrasty and have produced good contrast using HC110 and pyro type devs (120 and 5x4). Maybe there is a problem somewhere alse?

It has reasonably short dev times and like all new tech films, increases density fast as time in dev increases.

Tom
 

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Not a problem!

tbm said:
I bought a new Metz 45CL-4 flash unit and, after attaching it to my Leica M6 TTL upon loading a roll of Acros 100, I have begun testing it indoors. I'm not done with the roll yet. Before I process the roll of Acros, I find that I'm down to only a bottle of Kodak's HC-110 which I've not tried yet, but I found a developing recommendation of dilution B for 5.5 minutes on the Web. Would you please share your positive and negative experiences with this developer and the films you shoot? Thanks!

Terry

Hi Terry, I've so far only used HC-110 with Acros in my Contax G, and Rolleiflex TLRs. I've been very pleased with the grain and tonality range. I mix 1:51 straight from the bottle, everything else is standard.

But my next rolls will be handled with Rodinal which I hear is the best to use with Acros. I've used it with Forte (aka Arista EDU films), and have been pleased with the results.

Let us know how it goes!

Rolleijoe
 
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tbm

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Rolleijoe said:
Hi Terry, I've so far only used HC-110 with Acros in my Contax G, and Rolleiflex TLRs. I've been very pleased with the grain and tonality range. I mix 1:51 straight from the bottle, everything else is standard.

But my next rolls will be handled with Rodinal which I hear is the best to use with Acros. I've used it with Forte (aka Arista EDU films), and have been pleased with the results.

Let us know how it goes!

Rolleijoe

Hi, Rolleijoe! Would you kindly mention the development time for HC-110 and Acros at 1:51? Thank you!

Terry
 
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