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  1. #1

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    HC-110 - Seasoned Developer Question

    I have been using this seasoned developer for the last year since I moved back to Ontario. I have heard of people using it for years and years. Well, as I near the year end mark, I've noticed a pretty big change in it's character. For one, I have to replenish about 2 litres, dilusion B every time I develop (once a week or once every 2 weeks), where about 2 months ago, I would have the same time and results as 2 weeks prior without any replenishing. I've also noticed it's much darker, almost black and I'm developing at 16 minutes to get the results of 10 minutes from a couple months ago...even after replenishing. Even then, my highlights aren't hitting how they used to

    I'm not sure if it's contaminated, but I don't see how it could be. The only thing I can think of that changed is that I had a large supply of natural spring water for replenishing. Well I got backlogged and ran out of spring water and was in a big rush, so I used regular tap water from the well a couple months ago....when everything started to go in it.

    So, I just ordered two new bottles of HC-110 and I'm wondering if I should just start over and cut my losses, or replenish something like half of it. Also, anyone know what would cause such a rapid depletion of such a stable seasoned developer? I have lids for my 10 Gal tanks that I use and never had a problem with such rapid depletion before. My workflow stayed the same, kept everything clean. But I did filter it out once in coffee filters because residue that would stick to my film...but it worked fine for a couple weeks after that at the same speed...had good colour and everything. I don't think the two litres of normal tap water would do anything, would it? I'm siding with just starting over, but as you seasoned developer users know, it's a hard conclusion to come to.

  2. #2
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    How do you replenish? I used to use replenished HC-110 (B) and had to quit because Kodak stopped making HC-110 replenisher years ago. Right now, I use HC-110 as a one shot developer and that works well too. I do like the look of seasoned developer. If you do like using seasoned developer, you can use Xtol. The two developers look different though. I also bought some Legacy's equivalent of HC-110 called L-110 and replenisher, but I didn't get a chance to do tests yet.

  3. #3
    Photo-gear's Avatar
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    I started film three years ago and I have been using HC-110 only as a one shot developper.

    I heard about a replenisher but I have no clue how to use it. So far, as Mainecoonamaniac said, there ain't no replenisher on the market.

    But if someone could tell me what was the principle of this formula, I would appreciate to hear about it.


  4. #4

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    I replenish when I run a test or develop and my ideal times are under 10 minutes, I take out 1L, dump it and then put 1L of fresh Dil.B in it, which gives it a little more punch in the contrast and puts the time back to 10 minutes. This is about every 10 rolls or two to three weeks. Depending on water type and numerous variables, this will be different for everyone, but it's a system that has worked well for me for almost a year.

    I don't want to switch to xtol. I really like what HC-110 is giving me, although 5 years ago I would have said the opposite. Funny how things change.

    HC-110 is certainly not necessarily a one-shot developer. It's very versitile. I've seen people use it for years as a seasoned developer.

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    How do you replenish? I used to use replenished HC-110 (B) and had to quit because Kodak stopped making HC-110 replenisher years ago. Right now, I use HC-110 as a one shot developer and that works well too. I do like the look of seasoned developer. If you do like using seasoned developer, you can use Xtol. The two developers look different though. I also bought some Legacy's equivalent of HC-110 called L-110 and replenisher, but I didn't get a chance to do tests yet.
    Just a reminder about using HC-110 as its own replenisher: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/9...-hc-110-a.html
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Contact Graeme Mitchell of these forums. He's been using replenished HC-110 for a seasoned tank a lot, and I'm sure he could offer valuable insight.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #7
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I hope Graeme Mitchell will share his replenishment secrets for HC-110 without Kodak replenisher.

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    I hope Graeme Mitchell will share his replenishment secrets for HC-110 without Kodak replenisher.
    I think he already did, in the thread I linked to before
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9

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    Funny, haven't been by Apug in about a month, and then the morning I think to stop in there's this thread.

    That old thread is worth reading, but I was still working through a few issues, one in particular I had trouble solving when I added to that discussion...so I was less than concise. The problem is something I've since figured out...or had guidance from a Master in the field to figure out...I'll get back to that later.

    Anyway, to update/recap: Hc-110 replenished, imo, is such an interesting developer. It doesn't do some thing things as well as other developers, but what it does well is really unlike anything I've ever been able to get elsewhere. At this point, all work on my site is done with it.

    I began w/ a 3.5 gallon tank of 1+47 (Dil E) which I used for maybe a year. I found during the summer months, when it got hot in my darkroom (upper 80s), it was just too hard to keep stable though. With the amount of film I ran it was falling off in activity b/c of the heat. So I went to 1+31 (Dil B). It is much much more stable. I've not had a chance to let it sit in a hot degree darkroom for 2 weeks yet, but still, I've let it sit for 2 weeks otherwise and not seen any sort of drop in activity that can't be predicted. (After a few hundred rolls you really get to know the tank intimately, if you're paying attention) .

    I replenish just like you would with a replenisher. I did the simple math to figure out how to do it from syrup. My current tank has maybe had 800 rolls through it and is remarkably stable - suprisingly so to me sometimes. I don't think it's necessary, but at 400 rolls I dumped off about 4 liters and put 4 liters of fresh in. I was processing film from an important shoot and did it for piece of mind.

    The developer is a dark orange / brown sort of color. It's not black. But I only run TX really...some hp-5 and fp-4, but rarely. I've seen someone w/ a similar tank that was almost this dark navy blue color. I presumed he was running a lot of other films and not pre-soaking. I pre-soak.

    As to your question about it dropping off, Jordan, I don't know why it would do that. The developer, as you probably know, will season and mellow out, but dying off it should not do. I use tap water filtered through a water board filter, but it's NYC water and may not be the same as yours. I don't know enough about water content and HC-110 and chemistry to know what could go wrong there...but anything is possible in the darkroom as far as problems. I'd ask what you're replenishing at, but you seem to have used the tank for long enough that if yo'd have been under replenishing it would have died long ago. Ditto for any mistreatment such as not covering it, or exposing it to a lot of heat... Other contamination could also be possible. Bottom line is, I've never seen what you're seeing, and don't know why it would happen. My tanks have always been stable...or as stable relative to how consistent I am with them. With that, if it's stressing you out, dump it and start new. Order 100 sheets of cheap 8x10 xray and run them through it to get it started on the seasoning process (they're double sided so 100 sheets is actually 200 I think).

    Replenishing is in my mind extremely simple with HC-110, but b/c it's not sanctioned w/ a proper "replenisher" any longer there is a certain feeling it out opposed to exact science and test strips. Regardless, even feeling it out, I'm not a rocket scientist in the darkroom and my tanks always delivered if I've done my part.

    Finally, the problem I had that I mentioned earlier and in the last thread that was linked here was streaking, a very specific and odd sort of streaking that ran down the length of the film. The odd part is that it only happens w/ Tri-x in deep tanks. It's something w/ replenished HC-110 and the new Tri-x base...combined w/ deep tanks and reel and rack agitation. I'd never seen anything like it and it drove me nuts. It took me a year or so to figure this one out. The guy who turned me on to HC-110 finally showed me how to get rid of it through a modified agitation and processing method in the deep tanks...a bit slower but still way better than daylight tanks for me. It's a different conversation though. And frankly, I'm not even sure I could explain it in writing since it's a specific agitation movement. But if you're not using TX or deep tanks you've probably not seen this.

    Hope this stuff helps.
    Last edited by GraemeMitchell; 05-09-2012 at 07:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    Jordan, replied to your PM, but just saw that you said a 10 gallon tank at dil B and running film every 2 weeks...is it 10 gallons of solution? If it's 10 gallons of solution and not seeing a LOT of film, then I have some revisions to my above thoughts and some further ideas.

    Anyway, I asked you a few specific questions in my reply to your PM that may help spot possible problems. You can answer them here if you like, might be cool to trouble shoot it where others can offer thoughts too.
    Last edited by GraemeMitchell; 05-09-2012 at 07:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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