Ilford Universal vs Multigrade Developer?

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SamG

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I've been using Ilford Multigrade paper developer for quite a while. Given
the apparent scarcity of Ilford products, our local store still has
Universal developer in stock but not Multi. Can anyone help me with the
true difference between these products? As far as I can see, there is the
option for a higher dilution with the Universal (14:1). What else do I need
to know?? Should there be any appreciable difference in the print tonal
qualities? If they are pretty similar, is it possible to make a more dilute
solution of the Universal developer and have decent results (like for
contact sheets)?

Thanks, Sam
 

Tom Hoskinson

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SamG said:
I've been using Ilford Multigrade paper developer for quite a while. Given
the apparent scarcity of Ilford products, our local store still has
Universal developer in stock but not Multi. Can anyone help me with the
true difference between these products? As far as I can see, there is the
option for a higher dilution with the Universal (14:1). What else do I need
to know?? Should there be any appreciable difference in the print tonal
qualities? If they are pretty similar, is it possible to make a more dilute
solution of the Universal developer and have decent results (like for
contact sheets)?

Thanks, Sam

I have used the concentrated version of Ilford Universal Developer for many years on single graded and muti-graded papers. The formula is posted in the APUG Chemistry Recipes section.

Dilute 1:4 for Chloride contact papers
Dilute 1:9 for Bromide papers

If you are contact printing on a bromide or chlorobromide paper, the 1:9 dilution works fine.
 
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SamG

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Sorry, in my posting, I was in error---the Multigrade dev. gives the option of 1:9 OR 1:14 while the Universal does not. I'm trying to figure why there is a difference since the developers look the same on the surface. Thanks, Sam
 

Tom Hoskinson

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I would expect that the difference is in the concentration of the stock solution.

I assume you are comparing commercially prepared/purchased Ilford Universal Developer with commercially prepared/purchased Ilford Multigrade Developer.

From what you have stated, it looks like Ilford Concentrated Liquid Universal Developer (the formulation posted in APUG - not the commercial prepared/puchased version) is probably similar in concentration, makeup and performance to Ilford Multigrade Developer.

A quick way to answer this question is to perform some simple testing at various dilution levels. Cut some small test pieces of your favorite paper, expose them and time the development in the dilution levels of interest until maximum black is achieved. This should answer your question.
 
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