film/developer combinations : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I'm getting back into black and white after a bit of time. I took an evening class at the local high school, and the instructor had bulk-load TMAX 400.Try as I would , could not get what I considered passable negatives. I have no idea what the developer was. I will probably use Tri-X or Plus-X or similar film for my shooting,and would like to know which of the "old standard" developers will give full film speed, good sharpness, and fine grain. I read what Kodak had to say re: Xtol,then I read what the forum participants have to say, and don't think I'll do that to myself. My choices are D76/ID11(written like that, are they the same developer?) HC 110, Ethol UFG, or Acufine. We used a lot of Acufine for yearbook work when I was in college, but the results were more of the "soot and chalk" variety with pushed development, and I am not sure if that is a good choice, either. I like to shoot at the manufacturer's rated speed. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

-- Carl Crosby (, January 29, 2001


D-76 works great with Tri-X or Plus-X. Grain will be plenty fine, especially with the Plus-X.

-- Keith Nichols (, January 30, 2001.

ID11 is essentially the same but instead of Metol it uses their phenidone. It's great if you get a skin reaction to metol. UFG, HC110 are good also but stick with one and explore that.

-- Scott Walton (, January 30, 2001.

ID-11 is identical to the published D-76 formula; metol, hydroquinone, sodium sulfite and borax. You may be thinking of Microphen/ID-68, which contains phenidone.

-- John Hicks (, January 30, 2001.

John, If I'm not mistaken, Kodak's "proprietary" chemical is metol and Ilford has always been Phenidone!

-- Scott Walton (, January 31, 2001.

According to The Film Developing Cookbook, the only difference between ID-11 and D-76 is that the Ilford product comes in two packages, while Kodak uses only one. The formulas are identical. Either should do just fine.

-- Brian Hinther (, January 31, 2001.

Thanks for the input. It feels good to be back. C

-- Carl Crosby (, January 31, 2001.

> Kodak's "proprietary" chemical is metol and Ilford has always been Phenidone!

Kodak's trade name for the developing agent commonly known as metol is Elon. I believe Agfa has another trade name for it, as did DuPont, Ansco etc.

Ilford developed Phenidone many years ago and it's used in Microphen and a derivative is used in DD-X. Kodak's trade name for their Phenidone derivative is Dimezone; Phenidone or a derivative is used in HC-110, Xtol, Crawley's FX-37 and (I believe) its variant Paterson FX-39 plus many others.

-- John Hicks (, January 31, 2001.

General wisdom these days is that Kodak D-76 contains sequestering agents, a buffer etc and is very close to D-76b (buffered D-76) while ID-11 is precisely the D-76 formula.

At any rate, this is deep trivia and they should work identically.

-- John Hicks (, January 31, 2001.

You are smart in deciding to try just one film & developer combination.Many years ago I got caught up in "experementing" and got myself so confused that I was ready to quit. When I settled down I decided on Tri X and D 76 and have been perfectly happy with the combination for the last 40 years or so. I use the D 76 1-1 most of the time a gentle 5 sec agitation every 30 seconds[turnCCW then CW}5times with the tank staying flat on the sink bottom. Normal dev time 10 min at 68 deg. just like Kodak recomends, I get good contrast for printing on a condenser enlarger using VC paper usually with out a filter Ilford VC/RC premium pearl surface. I shoot 21/4 X 31/4 and never have a grain problem up to 16 X 20. Hope this helps. good luck Frank

-- Frank Bowing (, February 18, 2001.

What are now know as old technology films (Tri-X, Plus-X, HP-5, most Euro films except the Agfa APX product)all respond well to D-76/ID- 11, I've always been a sucker for the look of Tri-X in D-76 but I don't use it straight out of the bottle. I use it 1:1 and one shot. I feel that straight D-76 has a little bit too much solvent action on the edges of the silver grains (for the same reason I NEVER use Microdol-X/D-23/Perceptol). D-76 1:1 is consistent, rather non- critical for agitation, perhaps a little compensating for contrast and creates a very pleasing negative to print. I mix my D-76 per instructions then divide the stock solution into smaller glass bottles that I fill to the very top. This greatly extens the shelf- life of the stock solution.

When I was doing custom darkroom work, I used HC-110 which I mixed straight to Dilution B from the concentrate, I used it one shot in a drum processor and it was very econonical at the volume of film processing I was doing and had developing times for nearly every film on the planet--handy when you are processing film for others.


-- Mike King (, March 30, 2001.

What about APX? I thought it is an old technology film like PX & TX?

-- xosni (, March 30, 2001.

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