Need advice on HC-110, reduced tonal range
I have been trying HC-110 for the first time.
I had a roll of HP-5, exposed at 400.
i developed it in HC-110 dilution H (i wanted longer time) on a smal 300cc stanless steel tank.
the temperature was about 22 c° (cannot go lower) and time was 9 minutes, normal agitation.
the negatives look not so bad, but the tonal range is very compressed.
I "scanned" some with my D600, using a bellow and 50mm lens, and a TTL flash.
the histogram is centered, but tightly compressed.
What is my mistake? do i have to expose for less ISO, or change developing time?
i'm attaching those scans for your inspection...
It looks under developed to me. At asa 400, try dilution B for 5 minutes to start.
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Yeah, just seems underdeveloped. You'll probably be able to easily work with these negs.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
You need at least 6ml of the syrup (based on US packaging, which at least used to and may still differ from Europe's) per roll. Dilution H is very dilute, containing only ~4.7ml of syrup in 300ml of mix, so you probably exhausted the developer, resulting in underdevelopment. Either use more solution, or a different dilution like B. The trouble with A and B is that developing times can be very short, so if your tank is limited to 300ml you might want to use D or E, especially in warm conditions.
HC-110 is a nice developer, you should be able to get it to work. Google "HC-110 Covington" and you will find a very comprehensive resource page. It is also available in German translation if that is easier for you.
Try dilution B. I found some excessive compensating effect using dilution H.
the tonal range is very compressed
Use some ice cubes in the water used to prepare the developer. Aim for 18°C. Measure temperature in developing tank when 2-3 min into the developement (heat exhange with developing tank), and adjust actual time according to that temperature.
the temperature was about 22 c° (cannot go lower)
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I've been happiest with dilution E (which is roughly 1:50 from syrup). It avoids the developer exhaustion issues mentioned above, but still gives reasonable processing times (7-8 minutes @ 20C). 9 minutes in dil. E at 22C is probably too much, but I suggest trying one roll with those parameters anyway, so that you only change one variable at a time. You can then shorten the time or lower the temperature until you're happy.
I found that the first roll was also underexposed, due to a defective selenium cell in my retina IIIc...
tried another roll in my Nikon F4, and the results are better; i did it before your latest posts; it went better, but still a little "muddy", so my next try will be with dilution D or E in order to stay away from developer exaustion...
i'll post my next results... thanks to all!
Excessive? Not in my experience, nor most of what I read in others using dilution H. I use dilution H almost exclusively. Staying consistent roll to roll at short B times is more an issue than the mild if any compensating effects from H. What agitation regime do you follow?
Originally Posted by bernard_L
I don't believe it is because of exhausted developer. My experience is that 3ml US syrup probably is the minimal since I've used 7.5ml to develop 2 rolls for hundreds of rolls with no problem. I think it probably is due to the scene and the exposure.
Originally Posted by Steve Goldstein
I have used Dil H. for the last ten years and have not noticed any compensating effects just longer development times. Which for me meant less room for error and more consistency roll to roll. I don't use HP5 but have read it may need a little more dev. time to boost contrast. Looks like you need to do some more testing to get your work flow figured out with your setup. There are several threads in this forum explaining how to go about testing.