New (2019 version) HC-110 developer not the same?

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MattKing

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The 6 month figure is for opened bottles. The best before date on the bottles relates to unopened bottles.
Historically, the old stuff had much longer practical longevity than Kodak would guarantee to its commercial clients.
The MSDS for the new (not manufactured in Germany) HC-110 is significantly different from the old MSDS, and the chemists here on Photrio - including Photo Engineer - quickly opined that the new stuff would likely have much more normal longevity.
 

abaugnet

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I purchased 4 bottles of the new HC110 with expiration dates of 05/2023. This is the "new" HC110. The batch number is: 2021/05/1413626.

I have been using HC110 for 30 years. I shoot a lot of 4x5 film and I process 6 sheets at a time using combination tanks, and generally process 6 tanks in a session, 7 minutes apart. I use it out of the bottle at 1:40 and shoot FP4 almost exclusively.

Here is the problem I am having. I get a very very faint image. If I were to guess, I would say the negatives are developing about 10-12%....that's it. I have tried two of the bottles and results are the same. No crystals have formed in these bottles. The bottles are properly sealed with the white plastic seal needing to be broken after unscrewing the black plastic cap. These are the first bottles of the new HC110 I have ever used.

Anyone else having this unfortunate experience?

I purchased the bottles with an expiration of 2023. If I'm reading the batch number correctly, I'd say 2021/05/1413626 means is was made in May of 2021. I've tried two of the bottles with the same results. Puzzling to be sure. I'll update if Kodak Alaris gets back to me.
 

Donald Qualls

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The possibility of this is one reason Ansel Adams, in The Negative, advocates for mixing your own developers if you have the ability. Home mixed D-23 or D-76 (or D-72 for your prints) isn't subject to the manufacturer changing the formula (or making a mistake mixing theirs -- if there's a mistake you know whose it was).
 

alanrockwood

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I read somewhere (it might have been at photrio, but I don't remember) of a homebrew developer that was frozen into ice cubes, with each cube being a standardized dose of developer. The cubes are then melted into the right amount of water and mixed prior to use.

Developer in the frozen cubes would be relatively protected from oxidation because of the temperature.

I wonder if this could be a practical way for getting better longevity with the new HC-110, or any other concentrated developer for that matter. (One might think "rodinal" except for the fact that rodinal lasts forever anyway.)

I can see some risk with this approach, and that is the fact that when a solution freezes it first freezes as more or less pure water, with the solutes remaining in solution. Eventually the solutes either precipitate out or freeze as part of the last part of ice to form. There is the risk that if the solutes (the developer components) precipitate they might be hard to re-dissolve.

By the way, I think that if we think about the dynamics of feezing of ice in those flexible ice cube trays there could be an extra level protection from oxidation. I think ice freezes from the outside in, which means that the developer components would be focused to the center of the ice cubes, and the outer layer of ice would provide additional protection from oxidation.

There could be some inconvenience associated with this scheme. It would take space in the freezer. It would take time for the cubes to melt, and for any precipitate to re-dissolve. Also, it would take some time for the solution to come up to temperature. There is also the inconvenience of storing the ice cube trays in the future, and the small risk of using them in drinks rather than in the developer tank. Maybe adding dye to the ice cube mixture before freezing could be used to color code the ice and reduce or eliminate that risk.

Any thoughts?
 

MattKing

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I purchased the bottles with an expiration of 2023. If I'm reading the batch number correctly, I'd say 2021/05/1413626 means is was made in May of 2021. I've tried two of the bottles with the same results. Puzzling to be sure. I'll update if Kodak Alaris gets back to me.

It isn't Kodak Alaris any more, although they may refer you along.
It is the "Kodak Professional Imaging Solutions" division of Sino Promise Holdings - last year they bought the Kodak photochemical and colour photographic paper businesses from Kodak Alaris.
And they are really struggling with the fallout from the Covid 19 pandemic.
Here is their email: ehs-questions@sinopromise.com
 

Donald Qualls

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a homebrew developer that was frozen into ice cubes

I've also seen a homemade TEA based developer that works out like bullion cubes -- solid at refrigerator temperature, but dissolves quickly in room temperature water. Where I see issues with these is in getting a consistent mass of concentrate per cube -- if your cubes vary by 5% in mass, your negative contrast will vary visibly, and 5% tolerance in the mass of poured or cut cubes seems like about the best you could do. I'd be more inclined to prefer a high concentration liquid (not unlike Rodinal or 510 Pyro).
 

markjwyatt

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The possibility of this is one reason Ansel Adams, in The Negative, advocates for mixing your own developers if you have the ability. Home mixed D-23 or D-76 (or D-72 for your prints) isn't subject to the manufacturer changing the formula (or making a mistake mixing theirs -- if there's a mistake you know whose it was).

But Ansel Adams was also a fan of HC110.
 

markjwyatt

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Here is the HC110 I bought at Freestyle, I believe it was December 2018.

I do not know if this is the "original", or an intermediate, but it is not the "new" HC110. It expired almost a year ago, and it is still working fine.
 

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MattKing

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Here is the HC110 I bought at Freestyle, I believe it was December 2018.

I do not know if this is the "original", or an intermediate, but it is not the "new" HC110. It expired almost a year ago, and it is still working fine.

That is the Made in Germany version - the old, old stuff. Probably made by Tetenal.
For a while there was a US manufactured version that probably doesn't have the same longevity - we could now call that the old stuff, because apparently the new current stuff is made for Sino-Promise in China.
The very new made in China version appears to have gone back to the same formula as the old, old Made in Germany stuff, so could very well offer the same longevity as that.
And of course there were one or more versions made in the USA (and elsewhere?) before manufacture was moved to Germany. They too offered legendary longevity. Perhaps we should refer to them as the old, old, old HC-110.
 

McDiesel

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What I find strange is that Alaris has been selling the reformulated HC-110 for 3 years now, which means there are people who have purchased the product in 2019 and have not posted anything here regarding its longevity.

Maybe I am thinking too highly of photrio.com but I am not aware of any other comparable web community in terms of visitor count. Perhaps I am underestimating people's interest in posting/sharing vs just lurking and reading?

The concentrate life span of 3 years after opening would be stellar in anyone's book. And there are probably thousands of people who purchased HC-110 in 2019. Some of you are reading this right now. Do you mind registering an account and telling us if that bottle is still going strong? :smile:
 

MattKing

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What I find strange is that Alaris has been selling the reformulated HC-110 for 3 years now, which means there are people who have purchased the product in 2019 and have not posted anything here regarding its longevity.

Kodak Alaris hasn't had that business since they sold it to Sino Promise Holdings in July 2020. And that sale completed at almost the same time as the manufacturing world was thrown into disarray by Covid 19.
Even when Kodak Alaris was selling US produced HC-110 - the stuff with uncertain longevity - they were still using up the Made in Germany material by selling that into the European market.
The short term USA production of HC-110 will most likely turn out to be a momentary blip in the timeline for HC-110, which coincides with so many other disruptive factors as to make reliable accumulation of data nearly impossible.
As the other current HC-110 thread mentions, the newest HC-110 indicates manufacture in China, and the new/current MSDS appears to go back to the old, more complex manufacture used for the Made in Germany and much earlier Made in USA (and elsewhere?) versions.
 

MattKing

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@MattKing so this basically means there are more than two versions of HC-110, possibly many more. Interesting...

I don't know, and don't think, that the various versions are in any way different in practice - within the manufacturer's recommended storage time.
The manufacture has been done in several locations over the years, and has no doubt reflected differences in equipment and availability of constituent components during that time.
But when it comes to developing with HC-110, each version has apparently responded the same, for all the myriad of applications that HC-110 was actually designed for.
It needs to be remembered though that HC-110 was never intended to provide longevity that was immensely longer than Kodak's recommendations. The fact that it actually did provide that longevity for many people who were using the developer outside of its recommended timeframe was a benefit that was never guaranteed.
The more than guaranteed longevity is good though, because in the modern world there is a huge amount of variation in the efficiency of distribution. A return to a manufacturing process that makes that increased longevity more likely is therefore a good thing.
 

Donald Qualls

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But Ansel Adams was also a fan of HC110.

He was -- while continually aware that if he had to buy from a new batch, he'd have to redo all the developer-related testing. I strongly suspect he bought in case quantities once he started using the stuff a lot and had confirmed its longevity -- so as to have a couple years or more supply from the same batch.
 

pentaxuser

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I remain confused if anyone cares to look at the thread on the new yellow bottle that HC110 now comes in

The more I am told the more confused I am

pentaxuser
 

markjwyatt

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I remain confused if anyone cares to look at the thread on the new yellow bottle that HC110 now comes in

The more I am told the more confused I am

pentaxuser

Yes, It looks lighter in color than the German made version, and does not explicitly list "sulfur dioxide" in the content as the old German made version does.

@MattKing believes that they have some process involved that produces sulfur dioxide, and that the Sino version is more similar to the old German version than the intermediate version available the last few years.

From my picture, HC110 (made in Germany) contains

1,2 benzenediol (120-80-9)
diethanolamine (111-42-2)
diethyleneglycol (111-46-6)
ethylanolamine (141-43-5)
hydroquinone (123-31-9)
sulfur dioxide (7446-09-5)


From @Eddy Lin 's picture, the new Sino Promise HC110 contains

1,2 benzenediol (120-80-9)
diethanolamine (111-42-2)
diethyleneglycol (111-46-6)
ethylanolamine (141-43-5)
hydroquinone (123-31-9)


No sulfur dioxide listed on the label, but it is listed in the MSDS (see bottom of this post)


From Freestyle, the intermediate Alaris HC110 MSDS (rearranged, concentration ranges removed),

1,2-Benzenediol (120-80-9) SAME
Diethanolamine (111-42-2) SAME
Diethylene glycol (111-46-6) SAME

Potassium sulphite (10117-38-1)
Sodium tetraborate, pentahydrate (12179-04-3)
3 4-hydroxymethyl-4-methyl-1-phenyl-3-pyrazolidinone (13047-13-7)
Potassium hydroxide (1310-58-3)
Hydroquinone (123-31-9) SAME


No sulfur dioxide. No ethylanolamine (141-43-5).



The Freestyle version certainly looks different than the German and Sino Promise (which look very similar, see below).

MYSTERY SOLVED: The Sino Promise MSDS states

2-(methylamino)ethanol, Compound (21049-70-7) With Sulphur Dioxide

The sulfur dioxide is in this ingredient (which is 20-30% of the developer), and apparently is not listed on the label.

Conclusion (as @MattKing indicated) - the Sino Promise HC110 looks to be at least very similar to the old (Tetenal) German made HC110.
 
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