ID11 is the normal beginners' recommendation. This is a metol-hydroquinone developer. Unfortunately, there seems no such developper exist in liquid form. Perhaps because of the short shell life.
You can go with one of the liquid phenidone developers, which are the "murderer" ones. Phenidone was detected as developing agent in the 40ies. Here we hve DDX from Ilford, or Ultrafin Plus from Tetenal or TMax developer from Kodak or LP Supergrain form Laborpartner or perhaps some more. Not each of these contains the pure phenidone some use a derivate of it, mostly pyrazolidone.
One of the powder equivalents of these developers is Microphen.
I would stay away from calling ID-11 a beginner's developer. It is every bit as professional a developer as anything else. There is no such thing as a beginner, intermediate or professional/expert developer. A beginner can start with virtually any well formulated developer as long as he practices with it.
Thank you Michael for your support in my opinion. I was too annoyed to reply myself. I've been involved in photography for 35 years and what counts with me is the final image and how satisified I am with it. If Ilford recommend ID11 to develope Delta 400 that's good enough for me. I have not seen any other photos developed differently to make me question my choice of developer.
I hope Piu58 was not offended by my comment. I just think we need to be careful in how we describe materials - particularly in a thread started by a newcomer to the process. Calling ID-11 a "beginner's" developer implies some sort of tradeoff of image quality for ease of use, and to me that is dangerous because it is the kind of thing that can give a beginner the impression there are "higher quality" or more "professional" alternatives. We all know where that idea leads...
We're veering off on a totally stupid exercise in semantics, which has no relationship whatsoever to the original intent of Piu58's post.
Identifying something as a "beginner's developer" means only that it will produce good results on a wide variety of films using
standard techniques, not requiring extraordinary measures such as tight temperature control or precise timing.
It means nothing beyond that. The same could be said for D-76.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato
Calling ID-11 a "beginner's" developer implies some sort of tradeoff of image quality for ease of use...
- For every film you fnd a producer's information for the devloping time. That is not the case for many devs.
- I recommend a rather compensating developer fort the first steps. It forgives some of the processing errors we all made in our erlier days.