High UK prices for Kodak Chemistry, notably HC-110. Re changing to Ilfotec HC.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by John Bragg, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    I was stunned at the recent price rises for Kodak HC-110 in particular. My last purchase was £20 and now it goes for @ £35. Whilst it is still very economical and I do have a fair ammount left, I will seriously consider the Ilford equivalent Ilfotec HC when it comes time to re-stock. It can be had for £22 - £27 depending on the source. I am guessing that a large part of the price rise is down to a weak £ (Brexit etc). I know that the two developers are considered (for all intents and purposes), interchangeable like D76 and ID:11 so I am confident that I can move seamlessly on. Has anyone here made similar changes ? What is your experience with Ilfotec HC ?
     
  2. Harry Stevens

    Harry Stevens Member

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    I am in the UK and my last bottle cost £16.00 and a week later it went up to £22.00 that was about a year before the Brexit vote and look at the Tri-X price rises, I personally think Kodak want out of the B&W game and are hyping the prices to use lack of sales as an excuse to say goodbye to us film users. As for the Ilfotec HC I have been asking myself the same question but I have come to one conclusion and that is to support Ilford and Foma with my money from now on.

    Nearly forgot the long life Rodinal (home made or bought) option which is available to us.
     
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    John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    Hi Harry
    I have tried to like Rodinal but it is not as good for me as the HC-110. Hence my interest in Ilford's Ilfotec HC, as even the majority of times are the same. I now use HP5+ instead of Tri-X so logic says go all Ilford.
     
  4. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    Both Ilfotech-HC & HC-110 are complicated to make - they are not like regular aqueous developers. If demand falls, the prices will have to rise to compensate. It's still ridiculously cheap per film, especially if you use it at a dilution that gives sensible times - 1+50 to 1+60. Don't forget that a big part of HC-110's market was in pre-press/ colour separations & various industrial/ technical markets which have declined in their need for photochemistry. Both Ilfotech-HC & HC-110 come from the same plant anyway now.

    Kodak's preference is quite clearly XTOL (& has been for 20 years). That both them & Ilford still offer such a range of developers is remarkable when you consider that XTOL & ID-11 are (respectively) probably their biggest selling film developers.

    Dektol is also disproportionately expensive in the UK, but that's because few people use it compared to Ilford's paper developers, especially large scale users. HC-110's US prices converted to GBP + VAT are about £28 - ie at the upper end of HC's prices.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Was your last purchase of HC-110 the 16 ounce size? The current bottles are more than twice that size - 1 litre.
     
  6. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    Here in the US the price seemed to have doubled a couple of years ago but I think it was because the size of the bottle went from 16oz to 1 liter. I bought 3 of the new 1 liter size back then as the store seemed to be still selling them at the 16oz price.
     
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    John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    No Matt. It was the 1 litre made in Germany by Tetenal for Kodak.
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Whether it is Kodak driven, Kodak and currency driven or purely currency driven I have a terrible feeling that if the Brexit talks go badly or even hit a prolonged "sticky patch" things can only get worse on the Kodak scene. There is a thread on the price of bulk Kodak rolls and while this is film and not chemicals I cannot help feeling that the future for UK Kodak product consumers may be yellow but it is not bright to mangle a TV advert.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    What is so hard about dissolving some chemicals into a glycol base? I suggest that it is very easy to make HC-110. Very easy.
     
  10. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Not exactly. It also involves dissolving gasses in there.
     
  11. Harry Stevens

    Harry Stevens Member

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    Still know one used Ilfotech-HC then?
     
  12. Every time I buy photochemistry on this side of the pond the prices go up. Have been for many years and I have never seen a decrease. The mathematical term could be monotonic increasing although that term allows for the increase not to occur.
     
  13. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    What is so hard about that? Chemical companies do this every single day.

    Are you talking about difficulty making HC-110 at home?
     
  14. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    It's certainly not something to do at home. Now, in an industrial facility, it's not anything exotic, but still requires some more sophisticated equipment and/or procedure compared to a fixer for example. Operating this equipment comes at a cost and I'd assume this adds to the price. That said, low demand is probably what really increases the price.
     
  15. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    The non aqueous (or mostly non aqueous developers) of the HC-110, Tmax (& TmaxRS), Ilfotech HC & LC-29 use (amongst others) sulfur dioxide & hydrogen bromide in their manufacture. Slightly different set of safety protocols needed when dealing with toxic, corrosive, pollutant gases compared to most photochemicals.
     
  16. Harry Stevens

    Harry Stevens Member

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    I have looked round in the UK and with the best prices both the HC110 and the Ilfotech HC work out cheaper than Rodinal mainly because you get a litre bottle, of course postage plays a part in all purchases but I tend to buy developers when I do a bulk buy along with fixer and paper developer ect.