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Thread: DD-X or HC-110

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    markbarendt's Avatar
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    DD-X or HC-110

    Well as much as I like Xtol I'm considering a switch, simply put I'm not using it fast enough to keep the stock fresh. Color is taking the biggest share of my shooting.

    So, DD-X and HC-110 are the short list candidates. DD-X would get used up quicker because of it's lower capacity so the real cost per roll after tossing the out of date Xtol would be similar. HC-110 concentrate lasts long enough that it doesn't matter.

    Delta 100 and 400 are my primary films.

    I want to try to use my Jobo CPA 2 with a 1520 tank so a full load is 2 films in 240ml.

    With the DD-X rotation should reduce the needed time by about 15% per ilford's fact sheet for the Deltas, but the volume of developer is about half of the recommended volume pushing it mathematically close to Ilford's "reuse" capacity limit which would add about 90% to the time per DD-X's data sheet.

    So standard time * .85 * 1.9 = about 1.6 * standard for a starting time. Does that make sense? Will DD-X work well used this way?

    HC-110 looks like it may be easier to use and more flexible in mixing.

    Any thoughts?
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

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    I don't think you need to increase time based on the capacity. It sounds to me you are planning to use the developer one-shot. If that's the case, you just need 15% adjustment for rotation, and that's it. I'd like to warn you that DD-X and HC-110 have very different looks. I would suggest trying both to see if you might prefer one or the other.

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    I'd use DD-X for the speed boost all the time if it weren't so expensive. I use HC-110 for 80% of my rolls instead. I've been happy with the look I get out of each when used appropriately.

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    If you like Delta films to really look like Delta films were designed to look optimally, then I'd use DD-X, the same way I'd use T-Max developer with T-Max film. However, if you just want to use Delta as "any old" general-purpose film and need a general-purpose developer, HC-110 is great for any film. It's probably the most convenient and versatile developer there is, except for maybe those third party pre-mixed D-76 solutions (e.g. Clayton F-76).
    2F/2F

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    I cant speak directly to the effect of the soups on the films (I'm not much on t-grain films yet -- this may change). I can however say that I love both soups dearly, albeit for different things.

    For me (ymmv, natch), 7 minutes of HC-110 dil B in the Jobo is perfect for Tri-X. Gives me excellent, printable negs. Kind of an old-school look, though. Still plenty of grain in there. HC-110 is also freakishly easy to use. That syrup comes with excellent instructions and makes up about 1/2 gallon of working solution. Be sure to find the PDF of Kodak's instructions for it so you make sure you're making and using the right formulas, though. IIRC, there are two bottle thicknesses and you dilute based on which one you worked from.

    As for DD-X, I've used it with Delta 3200 and had fine results, but when paired with 120 Neopan 400 (RIP) I find it truly magic. A nearly grainless 400, excellent skin tones and nice printable negs.

    Interestingly, HC-110 seemed to work much better in the Jobo for me. DD-X seemed to like really easy, gradual rotations.

    Now if getting the very last penny per ounce of soup is the big factor, go with HC-110. It's cheap and the working solution lasts ages. Maybe not into the Rodinal paleolithic era or $.00001 per roll like Rodinal (or whatever the acolytes claim), but long enough for sure.

    But tell you what, I sure love both of them. And Rodinal, too for that matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anikin View Post
    I'd like to warn you that DD-X and HC-110 have very different looks. I would suggest trying both to see if you might prefer one or the other.
    How would you describe that difference anikin?
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Legge View Post
    I'd use DD-X for the speed boost all the time if it weren't so expensive. I use HC-110 for 80% of my rolls instead. I've been happy with the look I get out of each when used appropriately.
    The extra speed is nice.

    The cost was a factor in my decision years ago when I switched from ID-11 to go with Xtol.

    The math has changed. At 2-3 rolls a month a bottle of DD-X and a batch of Xtol will go the same distance. My choice is $9 or $18 for 6 months supply so the real difference is small.

    HC-110 would be less expensive but given that the expensive route is under $3 a month it's not worth sweating about. Even at $6 a month I wouldn't care.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    If you like Delta films to really look like Delta films were designed to look optimally, then I'd use DD-X, the same way I'd use T-Max developer with T-Max film. However, if you just want to use Delta as "any old" general-purpose film and need a general-purpose developer, HC-110 is great for any film. It's probably the most convenient and versatile developer there is, except for maybe those third party pre-mixed D-76 solutions (e.g. Clayton F-76).
    I do like the way Delta looks.

    That's probably the strongest argument for DD-X.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino View Post
    Interestingly, HC-110 seemed to work much better in the Jobo for me. DD-X seemed to like really easy, gradual rotations.
    It would be easy for me to stay with hand tanks. Using the Jobo would be nice but it's not a deal killer.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

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    Mark, I've used alot of DDX with Delta 100 in the past. Note that DDX is a little sharper with Delta 100 than HC110. Also you will get better film speed with DDX. Depending on contrast, you can get a pretty usable box speed out of Delta 100 with DDX.

    DDX and HC110 are really not the same developer as some people claim.

    One additional note on DDX with Delta. I suggest you do a few tests of your own for development time. With other developers I have normally found Ilford's instructions to be pretty accurate starting points. However for some reason I have always found their standard recommended DDX/Delta 100 time of 12 minutes (small tank, manual agitation) too long for normal contrast. I much prefered the results I got rating the film at a slightly lower EI and developing for 8-9 minutes vs 12 (just to give you an idea).

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