Need Ilford Developer Recommendation

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by RattyMouse, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Hello all,

    I am very close to developing my first film ever! I need to start buying chemicals and would like recommendations on which Ilford liquid developer is considered good for Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 film. Is any developer considered a better choice? I'd like to make at least a slightly informed decision when I buy. Thank you very much!!
     
  2. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I shoot tons of Acros... my favorite film.

    First developer choice is Rodinal (now Adonal or R09). Second would be Ilford DD-X.

    The shelf life of Rodinal (and its newer incarnations) is almost limitless.
    We've had reports of people using concentrate that's 40 years old or more with normal results.

    One important point about Rodinal:
    The minimum amount of concentrate is 10ml per 80 square inches of film, regardless of the dilution.
    Depending on your developing equipment, this may influence your choice of dilutinos (I prefer 1+50).

    - Leigh
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2012
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I like DD-X personally. Easy to use, great results.

    The only complaint I've heard about DD-X is that it is a bit more expensive than the others. Not enough extra to keep me from using it and there are ways to streatch it.

    Whatever developer you choose, my advice is to read and follow the directions, then get good following the instructions. If you do that you will get good usable results every time. One of best things about getting good at following the directions is that when you decide to use a different film you will be able to get good results on the first try.
     
  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    i've heard about rodinol, no offense but if this is your first ever, stick to the most tried and true,most universal, the one that works really well with just about everything: D-76 or the same thing from Ilford ID11, which I believe comes in liquid.

    follow the instructions, you cannot go wrong. I am not a bulk user, so I use it as a one-shot stock diluted 1:1 with water and toss it -- a gallon lasts a long time, no complicated mixing formulae...
     
  5. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    this is excellent advice -- follow the instructions and make slight alterations only after you gain experience -- your best policy will be to eliminate as many variables as you can in the process so that the variables yu control -- whether in the darkroom or on photoshop -- are the ones that are easiest to handle and the ones with maximum impact.

    Mary Ellen Mark used Tri-X for decades because she was really good at shooting with Tri-X.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Actually ID-11 and D-76 are powders when they arrive.
     
  7. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I assume this statement was directed at me, since it obviously is the OP's first ever...

    Rodinal has been my standard developer for over 50 years, so I'm reasonably well acquainted with its use.

    Thanks for your concern.

    - Leigh
     
  8. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I agree with the recommendations for Rodinal and ID-11. Can't go wrong either way. Mixing up a powder developer like ID-11 is not very hard and takes less than 10 minutes.
     
  9. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    no offense leigh, certainly none intended-- i just tried rodinol once or twice over the years and wasn't impressed. Your results may vary, of course.

    it's just that my advice for this guy, as for everyone, is to start simple and go on -- and it doesn't get much simpler than d-76. Yes it arrives as a powder and in 20 minutes it's a liquid which has really good keeping qualities.

    DDX looks like ilford's version of microdol x -- and it comes in a liquid... absolutely nothing wrong with that formula..
     
  10. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Certainly Rodinal is not for everyone, nor is any other developer. In particular, Rodinal is not well-suited to faster films.

    I've run a few hundred sheets of 4x5 Acros through it with excellent results. (I sure wish 8x10 Acros was available here.)

    - Leigh
     
  11. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone. I prefer liquids because I only want to make up as much solution as I will use in one day. I dont want to store any chemicals in the house aside from a bottle of concentrate. From what I understand, powders make up 1 gallon. Is this information correct?

    I wont have problems following directions. I'm a formulating chemist with 20 years experience. I work with chemicals all day long but working with them at home is something totally different!!
     
  12. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    That's true of many common developers, but not all.

    For example, Acufine and Diafine are both available in packages to make one quart.

    I have not used any powdered chemicals (except Diafine) in many decades, so I'm not familiar with what's currently available.

    - Leigh
     
  13. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Mixing powder developer is not difficult at all. Ilford also offers powder developers in 1L packages. These can be used straight or diluted, so I don´t think it would make a difference whether you have 1L of real concentrate or liquified powder dev at home. A further advantage is that powder developers last nearly indefinitely in unopened packages. Once mixed, they usually last a 6-12 months.
     
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  15. mr rusty

    mr rusty Member

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    I have only recently started developing myself. I thought about this for a long time as a) I wanted something with good shelf life b) I wanted something with good documentation and c) I knew i wanted to stick with one developer until I have more experience. I chose Ilford LC29 as I am then using an "all Ilford products" process. So far its living up to all expectations. I am nearly through my first 250ml bottle, and its no different to when I started about 6-8 months ago. Mix is 15ml + 285ml at 1:19 for one 35mm film. Works for me.
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Ilford Perceptol and Microphen come in packets which make up one litre. This can be used as is or diluted 1+1 or 1+3 with water.

    For occasional use, DD-X is a good suggestion, as is LC29. I would avoid Ilfosol as its keeping properties are not so good although this should have been addressed by an upgrade a few years ago.


    Steve.
     
  17. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Perceptol 1+2 is my personal favorite for Acros, but it comes as a two-package powder. For liquids, I suggest either Rodinal or Pyrocat HD in glycerol. Here's Sandy's description of Acros/Pyrocat HD.

    I typically use it at 1+2 at 75F for 16 min with Acros.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
  18. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Sounds like me. I use DD-X. I used to use Ilfosol S, but the new version - Ilfosol 3 - has much shorter times and I was getting uneven development. I've only run one roll of Acros in DD-X, but have done several other films and I've been pleased. I'd try it and see how you like it.
     
  19. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I did use powders, D76 and XTol both of which were very nice BTW, when I first started and it is easy to mix, but I'm now firmly in the camp of using "convienient, ready to dilute" liquids.

    I use liquid Wimberley's WD2D+ on occasion but really don't enjoy measuring for the 1+50 mix, this is also why I have avoided Rodinal and the HC's. Even the 1+19ish concentrates make me do more "dishes".

    DD-X is truly convienient in that it is NOT highly concentrated, the 1 part DD-X + 4 parts water recipe means it is easy to measure and mix in one beaker, no pipettes or other measuring tools required, and an error of a few ml is practically speaking, insignificant.

    The big reason I was suggesting following the instructions is that Fuji and Ilford and Kodak have put an incredible amount of work into getting their numbers in the instructions right. It is a safe bet that if you are following their instructions and still having a problem, for example not getting the shadow detail you want, the problem is somewhere else.
     
  20. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    I'm a big fan of Ilford ID11 and find it to be no hassle to mix it up at all.
     
  21. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    No. A packet of powder is diluted according to its formula. If you buy a 1qt packet of D76, it mixes into 1qt. If you buy a 5L packet of Xtol, it mixes into 5L of solution. Most home development packets mix to 1qt or 1L. If you only want a few bottles of chemicals, then there will be no problems with the available selections.
    Don't worry. It's just like mixing anything else. Developer, stop, fixer, wash, final rinse in distilled water.

    All of the developers do the same thing: develop film. All of them will give you good results. Don't worry about having "the ideal" developer, just start with something convenient that works for your personal process.
     
  22. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    +1
     
  23. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    I +1 that remark as well, and as far as conveniency goes, Rodinal is the deal. At least to me. It's just so allround. Dilute it 1:100, pour it in, agitate 30 sec, watch an episode of your favorite series. Agitate. Watch another. Agitate, pour, stop. fix. done. And apparently it keeps forever, as long as its undiluted.
     
  24. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    DDX as an example is 1L of concentrate but then again so is ID11 powder to make up 1L of stock from which you use it as concentrate or dilute at 1+1; 1+2 or 1+3 in the same way you dilute DDX at 1+4 for a working solution.

    In effect once the powder is a liquid of stock solution then it fits your preference as above. Just a thought

    pentaxuser
     
  25. crsantin

    crsantin Member

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    I just developed my first roll of Fuji Acros 100, my 3rd roll in all, using Ilfosol 3. No problems at all other than me getting some dust on my negatives. I really like the Fuji film. Developing time was 5 minutes, I went to 5 and a half to get a bit more contrast. I mix it 1+9 and I mix just enough to use for that day and the next if I'm developing that day too. If you dilute it to 1+14 then your developing time is a bit longer. I'm happy with the results and will be using Fuji Acros 100 more regularly now. Ilfosol 3 has worked out really nicely for me and is not hard to use, and I'm a complete beginner.
     
  26. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Thanks for your feedback. I'm excited to get started developing film. I have shot some Fuji Acros film and had it processed in a lab. I was very impressed with the sharpness and tonality. This is an immediate favorite film of mine. I just wish it also came in 400 speed in 120 size!! What a shame that only ISO100 is available.