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  1. #11
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I would agree with eworkman that D76 produces a negative that seems more brilliant, and there's something about HC-110 that looks odd to me. I can't quite put my finger on it. For instance, if I process a negative in Rodinal, I get a very crisp and clearly defined grain. With HC-110 it appears as if I get a grain that is less well defined, more rough around the edges, and my prints look a bit dull from that syrup.
    I have a feeling that it's user error, and not having invested enough time to master it, as you can see that photographers like Bill Schwab uses it exclusively and obviously has amazing results.
    Just my gut feel of how the two look, side by side. It's hard to quantify, but D76 just seems 'brighter', for the lack of a better word, while the HC-110 prints seem a bit gloomy to me.
    "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

  2. #12
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    I have worked with HC110, D76 and Xtol and of the three I like working with the powder developers the best. I find I just get better negatives with D76 and Xtol.
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  3. #13
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rternbach View Post
    If I may interject a newbie question from someone who has only done a little bit of film processing and just with D-76. I would like to know which film+developer combination will yield the narrowest d-max range wjth the most continuous tone negatives. Is it lith film and HC-110? Does using a more dilute solution and a longer time in the developer yield lower contrast more continuous tone? Or am I way off the mark here?
    I'd ask this in a separate thread.

    If you want the flattest negs possible, I would try Delta 3200 and Perceptol. D3200's ISO is 1000, and it is a very flat film. Rate it at lower than 1000 and underdevelop to flatten it even more.

    If that is too grainy for you, try HP5 or Delta 400.

    (Kodak has rough equivalents to all of these films.)

    P.S. D-Max is short for maximum density. It is one density, not a range. I assumed you did not mean "D-Max range", but something more like tonal range.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  4. #14
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I would agree with eworkman that D76 produces a negative that seems more brilliant, and there's something about HC-110 that looks odd to me. I can't quite put my finger on it. For instance, if I process a negative in Rodinal, I get a very crisp and clearly defined grain. With HC-110 it appears as if I get a grain that is less well defined, more rough around the edges, and my prints look a bit dull from that syrup.
    I have a feeling that it's user error, and not having invested enough time to master it, as you can see that photographers like Bill Schwab uses it exclusively and obviously has amazing results.
    Just my gut feel of how the two look, side by side. It's hard to quantify, but D76 just seems 'brighter', for the lack of a better word, while the HC-110 prints seem a bit gloomy to me.
    I agree with you on all counts, including the idea that you have not calibrated your stuff using HC-110. The curve shaped created by each *are* different. HC-110 gives less shadow "speed" at the gain of more "sparkly" high midtones and highlights. The shadows can have a dead and compressed look if not exposed and developed to suit the developer's characteristics. I would say that D-76 is somewhat the opposite. The shadow speed and tonal separation is better, but the high mids and highlights can get dead without proper testing. I would contend that when both of these developers are used to calibrate ones materials and processes, the difference is so slight as to be negligible, and is only seen at the very edges of the print range. (I would say the same about almost any two general-purpose developers when put next to each other.) HC-110 *does* cause softer grain and less sharpness under a microscope. However, to pick this nit, you'd have to be making big enlargements from small film, or using a microscope. Additionally, if I wanted the sharpest of the sharp as a technical goal, I would use T-Max in T-Max developer, and forget about HC-110 or D-76. I am usually not after a technical goal, however, and I find HC-110's sharpness to leave nothing to be desired.

    They are both fine developers. My point is that though they are different, there is too much made of the difference between them, and one should pick whichever one is more convenient.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #15
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    My experience (which could be totally different from everyone else) has been great. With vigorous agitation I've been able to get good, strong grain, with slow agitation I've gotten fine grain and nice tones. YMMV.

    I dev a few rolls a week and a bottle of HC-110 last forever, even when used as a one-shot deal.

  6. #16
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    They are both fine developers. My point is that though they are different, there is too much made of the difference between them, and one should pick whichever one is more convenient.
    Probably why it was tough for me to quantify...

    To OP:

    I definitely agree that either developer can be used successfully, as long as you spend some time with it. The best way to do anything right is to just purchase bulk rolls of film (all the same film, at least while you learn, but there is very little reason to switch around too much), load up, go shoot many many rolls, and then lock yourself in a room to process and print print print. Do this a hundred times, and then you might approach a place where you can really tell what the real difference between developers truly are - after you learn to tweak both exposure AND processing variables to suit a certain look.
    I've claimed for a good while that it makes more difference how you use your materials than what you use.
    "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. #17
    msdemanche's Avatar
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    I agree with Tom, with one exception, 100 times? I have several different soups in which I devlope and often recomend HC110 for push processing over D76. Since I work with students I have them start with one developer and stick with it until they find their desire to really learn about toes and shoulders begins to nag at them. I find that I look at 100's of rolls of film and have a very hard time really seeing major differences. I like them both.

    Michel

  8. #18

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    I find D-76 to be more classic/soft looking, and HC-110 more gritty but also more delicate looking in a way. In general. With that, I do find HC-110 is more interesting b/c you can transform it through dilution and agitation. D-76 sorta is what it is for the most part.

    The notion that d-76 is glowy I think comes from it's flat/chalky highlights, gives'em a soft (glowing) feel. HC-110 is the opposite, having generally closed shadows, mid-tones pushed down, and then lots bite and contrast in the highlights.

    I'll post some links that I think are good examples of differences in the developers:

    D-76:
    http://graememitchell.com/blog/denied-fashion-story
    http://graememitchell.com/blog/portrait-lyn-devon

    HC-110
    http://graememitchell.com/blog/portrait-channing
    http://graememitchell.com/blog/portrait-alex
    http://graememitchell.com/blog/covet-s09 (the black and white, obviously)

  9. #19
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    A hundred times - tongue in cheek. A lot of times is what's meant by that, and I was just pointing out that repetition and studying the results, altering agitation and again studying the results is the key to understanding cause and effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by msdemanche View Post
    I agree with Tom, with one exception, 100 times? I have several different soups in which I devlope and often recomend HC110 for push processing over D76. Since I work with students I have them start with one developer and stick with it until they find their desire to really learn about toes and shoulders begins to nag at them. I find that I look at 100's of rolls of film and have a very hard time really seeing major differences. I like them both.

    Michel
    "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

  10. #20
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeMitchell View Post
    I find D-76 to be more classic/soft looking, and HC-110 more gritty but also more delicate looking in a way. In general. With that, I do find HC-110 is more interesting b/c you can transform it through dilution and agitation. D-76 sorta is what it is for the most part.

    The notion that d-76 is glowy I think comes from it's flat/chalky highlights, gives'em a soft (glowing) feel. HC-110 is the opposite, having generally closed shadows, mid-tones pushed down, and then lots bite and contrast in the highlights.
    I agree about the differences (as I also stated above). D-76 makes for flatter highlights, and HC makes for flatter shadows. However, I don't think the difference is enough to fret over, and I believe that personal calibration nearly eliminates the noticeable differences, as far as obtaining printable negs goes.

    The examples are great. However, to be fair to each developer, they all must have been shot in the same basic quality of light to really tell a lot about their differences.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

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