DD-X or HC-110

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by markbarendt, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Well as much as I like Xtol I'm considering a switch, simply put I'm not using it fast enough to keep the stock fresh. Color is taking the biggest share of my shooting.

    So, DD-X and HC-110 are the short list candidates. DD-X would get used up quicker because of it's lower capacity so the real cost per roll after tossing the out of date Xtol would be similar. HC-110 concentrate lasts long enough that it doesn't matter.

    Delta 100 and 400 are my primary films.

    I want to try to use my Jobo CPA 2 with a 1520 tank so a full load is 2 films in 240ml.

    With the DD-X rotation should reduce the needed time by about 15% per ilford's fact sheet for the Deltas, but the volume of developer is about half of the recommended volume pushing it mathematically close to Ilford's "reuse" capacity limit which would add about 90% to the time per DD-X's data sheet.

    So standard time * .85 * 1.9 = about 1.6 * standard for a starting time. Does that make sense? Will DD-X work well used this way?

    HC-110 looks like it may be easier to use and more flexible in mixing.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    I don't think you need to increase time based on the capacity. It sounds to me you are planning to use the developer one-shot. If that's the case, you just need 15% adjustment for rotation, and that's it. I'd like to warn you that DD-X and HC-110 have very different looks. I would suggest trying both to see if you might prefer one or the other.
     
  3. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    I'd use DD-X for the speed boost all the time if it weren't so expensive. I use HC-110 for 80% of my rolls instead. I've been happy with the look I get out of each when used appropriately.
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If you like Delta films to really look like Delta films were designed to look optimally, then I'd use DD-X, the same way I'd use T-Max developer with T-Max film. However, if you just want to use Delta as "any old" general-purpose film and need a general-purpose developer, HC-110 is great for any film. It's probably the most convenient and versatile developer there is, except for maybe those third party pre-mixed D-76 solutions (e.g. Clayton F-76).
     
  5. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    I cant speak directly to the effect of the soups on the films (I'm not much on t-grain films yet -- this may change). I can however say that I love both soups dearly, albeit for different things.

    For me (ymmv, natch), 7 minutes of HC-110 dil B in the Jobo is perfect for Tri-X. Gives me excellent, printable negs. Kind of an old-school look, though. Still plenty of grain in there. HC-110 is also freakishly easy to use. That syrup comes with excellent instructions and makes up about 1/2 gallon of working solution. Be sure to find the PDF of Kodak's instructions for it so you make sure you're making and using the right formulas, though. IIRC, there are two bottle thicknesses and you dilute based on which one you worked from.

    As for DD-X, I've used it with Delta 3200 and had fine results, but when paired with 120 Neopan 400 (RIP) I find it truly magic. A nearly grainless 400, excellent skin tones and nice printable negs.

    Interestingly, HC-110 seemed to work much better in the Jobo for me. DD-X seemed to like really easy, gradual rotations.

    Now if getting the very last penny per ounce of soup is the big factor, go with HC-110. It's cheap and the working solution lasts ages. Maybe not into the Rodinal paleolithic era or $.00001 per roll like Rodinal (or whatever the acolytes claim), but long enough for sure.

    But tell you what, I sure love both of them. And Rodinal, too for that matter.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    How would you describe that difference anikin?
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The extra speed is nice.

    The cost was a factor in my decision years ago when I switched from ID-11 to go with Xtol.

    The math has changed. At 2-3 rolls a month a bottle of DD-X and a batch of Xtol will go the same distance. My choice is $9 or $18 for 6 months supply so the real difference is small.

    HC-110 would be less expensive but given that the expensive route is under $3 a month it's not worth sweating about. Even at $6 a month I wouldn't care.
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I do like the way Delta looks. :D

    That's probably the strongest argument for DD-X.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    It would be easy for me to stay with hand tanks. Using the Jobo would be nice but it's not a deal killer.
     
  10. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Mark, I've used alot of DDX with Delta 100 in the past. Note that DDX is a little sharper with Delta 100 than HC110. Also you will get better film speed with DDX. Depending on contrast, you can get a pretty usable box speed out of Delta 100 with DDX.

    DDX and HC110 are really not the same developer as some people claim.

    One additional note on DDX with Delta. I suggest you do a few tests of your own for development time. With other developers I have normally found Ilford's instructions to be pretty accurate starting points. However for some reason I have always found their standard recommended DDX/Delta 100 time of 12 minutes (small tank, manual agitation) too long for normal contrast. I much prefered the results I got rating the film at a slightly lower EI and developing for 8-9 minutes vs 12 (just to give you an idea).
     
  11. OMU

    OMU Member

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    To me, HC in Jobo is excellent.
    These are my times in JOBO:

    FILM ISO E.I. Dil. Time


    FP4+ 125
    N - 1, 80, H, 3 min 30 sek
    N, 80, H, 5 min 45 sek
    N + 1, 80, H, 7 min 12 sek
    N + 2, 100, H, 9 min

    HP5+ 400
    N - 2 200 H 6 min 50 sek
    N - 1 250 B 5 min 45 sek
    N 320 B 7 min 45 sek
    N + 1 320 B 9 min 30 sek
    N + 2 400 B 12 min 40 sek

    Delta 100
    N 80 B 4 min 45 sek

    Delta 400
    N 320 B 6 min 20 sek
    N + 1 320 B 7 min 36 sek
    N + 2 320 B 9 min

    This is a paste from Excell and there is something wrong with the format, but the read it like this:
    Exemple.
    Delta 400, N (Normal) development. The film has an EI at 320. Dilution B for 6 min 20 sek.
     
  12. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    If it's economy you want, consider Rodinal...the stuff lasts forever after you open the bottle. Differing dilutions for one-shot use is handy and it gives fine results with just about everything.

    Although, I tried DD-X on a few rolls (HP5 pushed, Pan 400) and was really impressed. Easy to mix up, great for speed and wonderful grain...based on your choice, I'd vouch for this one.
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    If you don't intend on doing much BW work then HC-110 is a good choice. The concentrate keeps for years even in opened bottles. Do not follow Kodak's recommendation for making an intermediate solution but dilute the concentrate directly.
     
  14. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    Agreed that DD-X will give more XTOL-like results with the Delta films than HC-110. Having HC-110 on hand in concentrate (syrup) form is easy, and for the times you run out of DD-X it will serve you well, plus not go bad for a long time (if mixed from the syrup). You'll just need a 50ml syringe to use the syrup.
     
  15. Gabino

    Gabino Member

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    I just used for the first time HC110 as developer, so I don't have much experience with it, but why do you recommend using the syrup directly from the bottle as opposed to the stock solution recommended by Kodak?
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The concentrate lasts a very, very, very long time, even when in a half filled bottle.

    The intermediate stock solution lasts a much shorter time.
     
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I'll test some regardless of my choice.

    The extra speed is one of the reasons I'm leaning toward DD-X. Extra shapness is good to.
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I'll probably just buy more real early since it keeps for 24 months in full undiluted bottles.:D
     
  19. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Not necessarily after economy. Quality is a bigger consideration.

    My impression of Rodinal is that it is great for the slower films but not necesarily the first choice for say pushing Delta 400 to 3200.

    One thing I know I want is "just one developer" on my shelf.
     
  20. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks all!

    After thinking about the responses and my motivations the only "ace" that HC-110 really brings to my darkroom over DD-X is it's shelf life.

    DD-X seems to hold the stronger hand everywhere else.

    The only real complaint I've ever heard about DD-X is on price, and that is reflected in this thread.

    Given it's well within my budget I am giving DD-X the job. :happy:
     
  21. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    I've never had DD-X fail, even with open bottles a year old. I did have one crystallization event, but that I'm sure I can blame on a very cold winter chilling down the basement. Very happy with the results, always look wonderful.

    I also keep HC-110 around, for work which would be breathtakingly expensive with DD-X, like running the Nikor sheet film tank, or developing a roll of Verichrome Pan 122 in 28 ounces of developer in a Nikor reel and tank. Also, the fog-inhibiting properties of HC-110 are good for processing 20, 30, 40, or even 50 year old Verichrome Pan.
     
  22. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    HC-110 is a rather unique developer in that the concentrate contains no water. Without water oxidation is very slow. I think Kodak gives a shelf life for the intermediate solution of 6 months.
     
  23. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    That's good to know.

    I can see not wanting to spend $3.60 on one sheet of 4x5. But, for me, if I get out the 4x5 camera I'm normally going to shoot much more than one and/or shoot something really important. In the latter situation I would happily spend $3.60 for one sheet. :wink:

    The low fog characteristics were an interesting side note in my research.

    For the purposes of this discussion though; well kept, fairly young film, is my target.
     
  24. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    By now you have plenty of good descriptions in this thread. I use both developers, but for different applications. If I need smooth tones with very little grain (portraits for example), then it's DD-X. HC is a great cheap middle of the road developer - more grain with great sharpness, good speed and contrast. It's a perfect reliable general purpose developer. And since HC110 lasts for years, there is no reason not to have it. So there you go. Try them both, they are both good.
    :munch:
     
  25. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks Anikin.

    I've made the decision to go with DD-X.

    I really don't want to have two different developers.