HC-110 developer: your success with it?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tbm, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. tbm

    tbm Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I bought a new Metz 45CL-4 flash unit and, after attaching it to my Leica M6 TTL upon loading a roll of Acros 100, I have begun testing it indoors. I'm not done with the roll yet. Before I process the roll of Acros, I find that I'm down to only a bottle of Kodak's HC-110 which I've not tried yet, but I found a developing recommendation of dilution B for 5.5 minutes on the Web. Would you please share your positive and negative experiences with this developer and the films you shoot? Thanks!

    Terry
     
  2. RAP

    RAP Member

    Messages:
    476
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    HC110 is mostly used with TRI-X films. Most of my success is with 4x5, 1/61 dilution from the bottle (Dil B is 1/31 from the bottle) with 10 sec agitation every minute at 68F. It produces medium to fine grain and good tone gradation.

    To the best of my knowledge, Bruce Barnbaum uses it exclusively.

    I have never tried it with slower films.
     
  3. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

    Messages:
    1,691
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use it with both TMY and HP5. Normally dilution B, but occasionally dilution. Have been very pleased with the resulting sharpness and tonality.
     
  4. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Calgary AB,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    The only dev's I use are HC110 dil B and PyroCat-HD. For the flash pics tho you might find the HC110 a bit to active. D-76 would be a better choice IMHO.
     
  5. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,702
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Good Afternoon, Terry,

    I haven't used the Acros/HC-110 combination, but I've use a lot of HC-110, mostly the B dilution, for Plus-X, Tri-X, and, prior to the arrival of T-Max developer, both T-Max films. HC-110 seems to work well with many films and has few disadvantages as a general-purpose developer. I advise mixing directly from the concentrate.

    Konical
     
  6. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

    Messages:
    446
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Manhattan Be
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Another vote for HC110-b. I recently developed 11 rolls of 120 T Max. Using the grain magnifier, there's very little grain. It's forgiving, reasonable developing times (but don't trust anybody else's numbers, get your own).

    For tank development, I agree. Mix it 1:31 directly from the convenient bottle. I use about one bottle every six months and have had no problems with oxidation or decay of the original syrup in the original bottles at R.T.
    And...it's available where ever the great Yellow Mother is sold.
     
  7. tbm

    tbm Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Eric: I just remembered I have a small package of Photographer's Formulary's TD-16 (D-76 substitute) in a closet in my house that makes 1 liter. I just mixed it and put it in two 500 ml bottles. Since flash units highten the intensity of bright highlights (white clothing, light dog fur, etc.), based on your experience should I use the TD-16 straight or dilute it 1:1 to tone that down? Thanks!

    Terry
     
  8. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,219
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    S.F. Bay Area
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    After reading "The Negative" a few months ago, I switched to HC-110. I figure if it was good enough for Ansel Adams, its worth a try. I really like the economy and convenience of mixing the working solution right from the concentrate.

    Have used it at 1+31 and 1+63 with Plus-X, FP-4 and HP-5. Works great.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2004
  9. jcausey

    jcausey Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Location:
    Bloomington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use HC-110, primarily dilution B, directliy from concentrate. I use it primarily for cost and convenience as I learn, but I also found that I adore how it looks with HP5+.
     
  10. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

    Messages:
    2,027
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've use it on 5x4 acros. I thought it made acros relatively grainy, tho it remains very fine indeed. Acros has short dev times, so do not hesitate using more dilute mixes than dil B to give you a decent amount of time in the tank.
     
  11. Louis Nargi

    Louis Nargi Member

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have been using HC110 for years and its basicly all I use. Its probably one best developers available I used it with tri-x, 35, 120,and 4-5 using B dilution.Also I used it with Agfa 100 with excellent results. I mix a stock solution from concentrate because if you make a mistake with the consentrate, even a slite amount it can be to much. My dev. time at 68deg. are 51/2 min. with 35mm.tri-x,51/2 with 4x5 tri-x and 61/2 with 120 tri.Once you get use to working with this dev. you"ll find it one of the best to.
     
  12. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Location:
    Ã…rhus, Denma
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Although I use Rodinal for Acros I use HC-110 for a lot of other stuff (ISO 400 films) and I like it, but it is really active...5.5 min. sounds ok.

    Morten
     
  13. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Calgary AB,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Depends on how you use your flashes. Do you do a lot of bounce or is it direct straight on stuff. I would probably go with the normal dilution so you don't get muddy highlights. You might want to under-develop just a tad.

     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. tbm

    tbm Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Last night I developed the Acros 100 at ISO 100 in TD-16 (Photographer's Formulary's substitute for D-76) at 1:1 dilution for 7 minutes at 75 degrees (based on the Ilford temperature conversion chart at their Web site from 10 minutes at 68 degrees) and discovered that the negatives somewhat lack sufficient tonal contrast. Thus, I'll process another roll with the same factors and perhaps increase the time from 7 minutes to 9 or 10. Two weeks ago I processed Acros 100 at EI 80 in Microdol-X 1:3 for 20 minutes and got wonderful negatives. And the Microdol-X negatives have a tonality character and acutance that the TD-16/D-76 negatives lack. Perhaps this reflects Geoffrey Crawley's following statement in "The Film Developing Cookbook": "Geoffrey believes that D-76 does not fully exploit either the inherent sharpness or speed of modern films, nor does he feel it offers high enough definition to take advantage of the enhanced image quality available with today's lenses. And Kodak's XTOL can be seen as a radical update of the D-76 developer type." Anyway, the Metz 45CL-4 flash with my Leica 28mm lens performed flawlessly on every negative. This is the most wonderful of the three Metz flashes I currently have! BTW, if I am wrong in assuming that increasing the developing time by 2-3 minutes will create more tonal contrast, do correct me, please.

    Terry
     
  16. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,070
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    fairfield co
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    HC-110

    I used HC-100 for many many years. That was the recommendation of Fred Picker and Ansel and many others. What no one tells you is that Kodak has changed the formula several times since then. I have found XTOL to be superior in every way. HC-110 tends to block the shadows where XTOL will not. If you think that HP-5 is good in HC-110 you should try it in XTOL. Plus the fact that you get true speed rating with XTOL.
    Reards Peter
     
  17. Louis Nargi

    Louis Nargi Member

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I"m glad you mentioned that hc-110 was really active because the first time I tryed it my negs came out very dark almost black. My agitation at that time was more aggresive, so I did"nt use it for along time after that thinking it was to harsh. I tryed it again some time latter, but used very gentle agitation and was more able to control the results
     
  18. skyking71

    skyking71 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    I use HC-110 for stand developing efke-100 5x7 and Ilford HP-5 120. I use 3ml per sheet or 120 roll and stand develope for 90 minutes, I contact print the 5x7 and enlarge the 120. I am more than pleased with this combo. It works great for me.
     
  19. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

    Messages:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Shooter:
    35mm
    HC-110 can be tricky. I've developed mostlyFP4 12ml per 2 roll steel tank 7.5 minutes runs about N+1 density. I found the dilution to be the best for my work, it draws out the tones nicely and is active enough to really give punch on the grey days. I agree that it isn't that great for the flash, a metol based developer would be ideal. For the flash shots keep the time you mentioned but do not agitate that much, say 5 seconds per minute or two inversions in 5 seconds. OR I would dilute about 12ml per 500ml, run the film for 10 minutes with 2 inversion in 5 seconds per minute. Agitation can really effect the density. When you get it right nothin can beat it IMO.

    Chris
     
  20. mfobrien

    mfobrien Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have been using HC110 B for about a year now. It's economical as hell, easy to mix, keeps well, and has worked great with Ilford Delta films, APX 100, HP5+, Panatomic -X (yeah I had some ancient rolls that I finally used up!), and others. It has become my all-purpose developer. A friend that has been using it for many, many, years, told me: All you need (fro developers) in your darkroom is HC-110, Dektol, and Rodinal. Anything else is playing around... he left out Technidol and D-19... but what the hell. Those are special-purpose developers.
     
  21. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    In fact, you can leave out the Dektol if you don't mind adding some washing soda to the HC110. I add vitamin C to it as well. With that combination, forget Rodinal.
     
  22. tbm

    tbm Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My second attempt to develop Acros 100 in TD-16 (D-76) by adding three minutes to the initial 7 minutes was also a failure: a gross lack of contrast, making the negatives impossible to print even though I dialed in maximum filtering with my Saunders dichroic enlarger. Granted, all shots were taken indoors with my Metz flash, but my failure appears to coincide with Roger Hicks' article two years ago in Shutterbug Magazine within which he detailed how difficult it was for him to get good negatives, even with various developers. Next I will try HC-110, but believe me, I am not optimistic!

    Terry
     
  23. hortense

    hortense Member

    Messages:
    612
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    Riverside, C
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Used HC110 for 30-years with Tri-X 4 x 5 cut film. Last several years develop 6-negatives (capable of going 12-negs back to back) at a time in a Combi T tank using a dilution and agitation process that allows 12-minutes at 68 deg. F. for N=0
     
  24. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

    Messages:
    2,027
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think the same HIcks article appeared in B&W photography. He used FX39 and perceptol?

    I have found that acros can be nicely contrasty and have produced good contrast using HC110 and pyro type devs (120 and 5x4). Maybe there is a problem somewhere alse?

    It has reasonably short dev times and like all new tech films, increases density fast as time in dev increases.

    Tom
     
  25. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

    Messages:
    530
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    S.E. Texas
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Not a problem!

    Hi Terry, I've so far only used HC-110 with Acros in my Contax G, and Rolleiflex TLRs. I've been very pleased with the grain and tonality range. I mix 1:51 straight from the bottle, everything else is standard.

    But my next rolls will be handled with Rodinal which I hear is the best to use with Acros. I've used it with Forte (aka Arista EDU films), and have been pleased with the results.

    Let us know how it goes!

    Rolleijoe
     
  26. tbm

    tbm Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi, Rolleijoe! Would you kindly mention the development time for HC-110 and Acros at 1:51? Thank you!

    Terry