Delta 400 -- Rodinal or HC110?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by brofkand, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    I have a 100-foot roll of Delta 400. I have shot 2 rolls so far in HC110-B. So far they seem to be just OK; not amazingly sharp, good tones but not striking, not very fine grained. I think I may be doing something wrong, or this developer just doesn't work well with Delta 400.

    Acros does very well in HC110 and Rodinal, so I keep these 2 developers. Does anyone have any hints with using Delta 400 with either of these developers? I also have a 100-foot roll of Kentmere 400, and that film does well in HC110 (OK in Rodinal too). I don't use D-76/ID-11 as I always threw away a quarter gallon (I suppose that would be a quart) every 6 months since I don't use it fast enough.

    I've shied away from using Rodinal with it as I have heard horror stories elsewhere on the internet about Rodinal and Delta 400. But if others on APUG have had good success with it, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!
     
  2. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I used to push Tri-X to 1600 or 3200 in Rodinal 1:25.

    Delta 400 in it at 1:50 is not grainy.
     
  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    The last I shot Delta I used Microdol X 1:3 with good results, I think I would stay away from Rodinal and use HC 110 or DDX.
     
  4. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Acros is inherently quite a bit finer grained than Delta 400 (it is also finer grained than Delta 100) so I wouldn't compare the two. If you find it too grainy in HC110 forget about Rodinal, although it will be slightly sharper. With more dilute HC110 sharpness (and graininess) will increase a little. Regarding tonality both HC110 and Delta 400 are flexible anough that with practice and experimentation you should be able to get whatever tonality you want. For finer grain with tabular grained films such as Delta, XTOL works well.
     
  5. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    It isn't that I want the film to be grainless, I just expected more from it. I'm going to shoot more and try Rodinal as well. Won't know unless I try.

    The first roll with HC-110 was bad. The second was better. I'll keep trying. Hopefully by the end of this 100-foot roll I will have a good combination to keep using.
     
  6. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    It seems to me that with the new technology tabular films, if they even call them that anymore, it would probably be smarter to get a different developer then what you have, not that they won't work in some way. I always knew Rodinal as a middle of the road developer good with the older emulsions and HC110 as a solvent developer. With Delta 400 you don't really need a solvent developer. I've shot alot of Delta and always had sharp negs out of Xtol and FX2. Xtol is considered solvent but gives sharp grain and FX2 is definitively not solvent.. Since Xtol comes in 5 liters it may be too much to deal with so maybe consider one of the Ilford developers which someone else can comment on.
     
  7. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    If you really want to play with D-76 some more, mix it from scratch instead. That way you won't have to throw any away; you'll only make what you want.

    I find Rodinal really shows the grain on smaller format films, so I tend to avoid it on films >ISO 100. For larger formats it probably doesn't much matter.

    Experiment and see what you think.
     
  8. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    I have access to D-76 at a communal darkroom at the local art gallery (obviously I can't take any home, but I can take my film there to process). I don't need to buy it as long as I remain an active member there. I will try it in D-76 soon. Benefit of this is I can make contact prints of the film as soon as I process it. I am open to trying Xtol, but sometime later.

    In the meantime, I'll keep testing it with HC110 and Rodinal. Hopefully I can get one of those to give me decent results, or I will spend more time at the art gallery than I anticipated.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  9. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I might suggest that HC-110 is convenient, but has lower performance in the accutance/sharpness/speed arena.

    One might try, as previously mentioned, D-76, X-tol.

    While I like Rodinal I don't use it much and like it for other reasons than luminance and sharpness.
     
  10. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    The best results are with Ilfotec DD-X
     
  11. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I'd go with Ilford Ilfotec DD-X 1+4. It's their version of Tmax developer for their Delta films. If you can't find DDX, then try Tmax Developer.

    This was shot on Delta 400 back the first week of May in New York City on a drizzly day with an Olympus OM-1.

    [​IMG]
    Along the High Line by Bill Smith1, on Flickr
     
  12. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I've been a Rodinal disciple/cheer leader for well over 50 years. It's the only developer I use other than Diafine.

    However, IM(-H)O it's not well-suited to fast films. I haven't shot anything faster than ASA 100 in decades.

    I think HC-110 or Ilford DD-X would be good choices.

    - Leigh
     
  13. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    How does DD-X compare to TMax developer? LegacyPro LMAX is half the price of DD-X. If DD-X is much better than TMax, I'll go with it, but I'd rather go with TMax as it will work well with Acros as well.
     
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  15. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    You get what you pay for. Always has been true; always will be true.

    When will people learn that these low-ball prices are designed to drive the competition out of business.

    Once that's done, the remaining manufacturers can charge whatever they want, and we'll pay or go without.

    If you buy cheap... you're part of the problem.

    - Leigh
     
  16. trojancast

    trojancast Member

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    Don't disagree with any of the above, but I use ID-11 to process Delta film. Works well for any speed.
     
  17. jcoldslabs

    jcoldslabs Member

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    I'm an HC-110 devotee, but I shoot mostly LF. I have had good luck with variants on the A. Adams compensating formula for just about all films, Delta and T-Max included: dilution G (1:119) with two gentle tank inversions every five or seven minutes for a total of 25 minutes of development time at 68 degrees F. Of course, this works for my own exposure and E.I. settings and may not work with yours. The only time I use stronger dilutions (B or H) is when I need a contrast boost based on scene brightness range.

    Jonathan
     
  18. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I've gotten great results using either.
     
  19. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Kodak is doing quite a fine job going out of business themselves without me buying knockoff chemistry. I buy name-brand film, only because Acros and Ilford films aren't available under house brands (I bought tons of Acros when it was still available under LegacyPro). The solvency of Kodak does not depend on everyone buying "genuine" HC-110 or D-76. It depends on them not being stupid and squandering their resources.

    I suppose the box of macaroni and cheese in your pantry is made by Kraft? And the salt made by Morton's? I could go on; off-brand items are generally produced by the national brand manufacturer, just re-labeled. How many posts on APUG prove that Arista EDU film is Foma, or Arista Premium is Tri-X? Kodak's chemicals are made by Champion, and I wouldn't be surprised if these knockoff chemicals are Champion as well, just in different bottles and with different labels.

    To get back on topic, I am going to shoot a few rolls of Delta 400 and process them in D-76 soon. And yes, it is genuine D-76. I'll also keep trying with HC-110. I don't really want to buy another developer right now; I'd honestly rather get rid of Delta than try to learn another developer. I got Rodinal pretty well figured out then threw in HC-110 and that is taking time to master. Thanks everyone for the responses.
     
  20. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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    I've successfully developed Delta 400 in Rodinal (1:100), T-Max Developer (1:9) and Formulary's BW-2 (1:1:8). It came out fine in all of them, but I prefer the look of the TMD and BW-2.
     
  21. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    Hello Uncle Bill, I think Ilfotec DD-X is their preferred developer for all of their B&W films excluding the one processed with color chemistry.
     
  22. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Member

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    I used stock ID11 to develop Delta 400, and once you store it in the dark it should last a year.
     
  23. jthacker43

    jthacker43 Subscriber

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    Reading Chris Johnson's "The practical zone system". His answer to "What film/developer combination gives the fastest speed with the least grain? is Delta 400 and XTOL. He rates the speed at 400 using XTOL 1:1 for a normal development time of 10min at 20 deg C.
    I pick up on this and I'm getting excellent negatives and his recommended expansion and contraction times (in terms of %) I find to be right on the money.
    Extra plus with XTOL using it with 1:1 the cost is less than $10 for 10 liters. The only other developer I've found to be less expensive is pyrocat HD
     
  24. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input. I just ordered a few pouches of D-76 from Freestyle. While I'm waiting for it to arrive I'll shoot some stuff so I'll have some film to test.

    I decided to go with D-76 instead of XTOL for a very simple reason: I can't find 1 gallon pouches of XTOL, and all I have are 1 gallon bottles.
     
  25. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    5 1-litre bottles are perfect - even better than using one big bottle since all but one bottle will always be full.

    Funny, I avoid the big packages of Dektol and D-76 from Kodak precisely because I do all my work in metric and storing and mixing 3.8 litres is awkward.
     
  26. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    I have used Delta 400 with a personal EI of 200 for many many years and am totally satisfied with the results using Thornton's two bath at 5.5 minutes in each bath.

    Bset,

    David
    www.dsallen.de