which developer for bit by bit use over time....
what i mean is which developer can i get that i dont have to use up within a short time and I dont have to mix all up once i open the package....I would have thought the powder ones would be the easiest to live with.....so which do you think is best option.....
e.g. i bought some Perceptol.....I have to mix it all up once open....one would have thought there's a powder developer or whatever you can buy a lod of and mix up over 2 years even.....
Good Afternoon, Sperera,
My own darkroom work is intermittent, so I understand your situation. My preference is to mix directly from a liquid concentrate for each session. I use both HC-110 and T-Max Developer and am very satisfied with each. Both concentrates keep extremely well, and I can avoid storing a couple of large jugs of mixed developer. It's almost certainly possible to save a bit of money by using powdered developers, but the convenience of the liquid concentrates trumps that for me.
Rodinal is another developer with good keeping properties. In fact, it is legendary for staying good for absurd amounts of time. Powders, in my experience, don't last nearly as long once mixed, and really need to be mixed a full batch at a time for best results, I would personally recommend HC-110 for faster films, or for grain control, and Rodinal for slower films, or where grain is not a concern.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Perceptol will only make 1 litre of stock solution which in most tanks is a max of 4 films used at stock strength and only 3 in some tanks. So even at 1+1 dilution which is a common dilution that's still only 6-8 films. Unless you are a very low volume user you are likely to get through 1 litre of Perceptol before it goes bad. I have found Perceptol in its stock solution to be good for 9 months which is 1 film per 6 weeks. A very low rate of usage.
In fact if you shoot even a moderate amount of film, the main problem with Perceptol is its expense compared to some other developers and not its short life.
In 35mm and with trad films ISO 400 films such as HP5+ then my experience is that few developers can match its ability to produce very fine grain.
However if I was using ISO100/125 films in 35mm and unless I was producing prints in excess of 10x8 and was looking for value for money then Perceptol wouldn't be my first choice.
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Ilford makes Ilfotec HC. I've never used it, but it's supposed to be like HC-110.
Ilfotec HC was the first thing that came to mind when reading the initial post. Have used it, first litre of concentrate lasted over a year (easily), just started on another bottle.
Originally Posted by jim appleyard
But honestly, all suggestions so far will do the job. I've also had more than a year of good results with 5 liters of Kodak Xtol, Ilford ID-11, Ilford Microphen, Agfa Rodinal, you name it... Well, the exception to the rule: Ilford Ilfosol 3. Didn't last more than a few months until it so dramatically changed colour that I didn't even attempt to use it.
Anyway. Ilfotec HC comes highly recommended.
-- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --
23 May 2009
I would recommend HC110, or Ilfotec HC. I have had good results keeping D76 stock in a full bottle for 6 months with no problems.
- 1/2 teaspoon Metol
- 1 tablespoon S. Sulfite
- 250ml water
just enough for one roll of 35mm.
You can also mix up Kodak T-Max and T-Max RS developers on an as-needed basis.
Many developers in liquid concentrates last a very long time. Rodinal, HC-110 and Ilfotec HC have already been mentioned. If you want to try staining developers, you can add PMK and Pyrocat to your list. I have kept PMK for (way) more than two years before the last little bit in the bottle went bad. I've not yet used Pyrocat, but it is available in a version mixed in glycol that should last for a very long time as well. Do a little searching on Pyrocat and you'll turn up lots of info.