I do not find HC-110 to produce negs any granier than D-76 myself. I use it mostly dilution H to get longer times and help with consistency. Frankly, HC-110 or D-76 are both awesome developers with unlimited potential, just got to work with them to get what you want.
I always thought HC-110 B produced a tighter grain than D-76 1:1. It does have a bit less acutance. These days, the new version of Tri-X calls for a 3.5 minute developing time for dilution B. That is too short. A high dilution would be the way to go, but I have yet to try it.
I have used HC-110 for about two years now, since I bought two bottles for half price, and I have probably developed about 150+ films, and the first bottle isn't empty yet! It is very convenient, i use a 20ml syringe to extract the concentrate, and i don't bother with A, B, H or G, I just use it 1+60, 1+90 or even 1+120 (A. Adams used this). It is great for contrast control, I use Ilfords Pan F+ in 120, and I can control contrast by using dilutions like 1+90 or 1+120 with this film. It might be grainier than D-76, but it isn't an issue with 120 size Pan F+ or FP4+ (I use 1+60 or H for this). HP5+ in 135 has some grain, indeed, but that's just charming.
Edit: I expose Pan F+ at 32-40 ISO, and FP4+ at 100 ISO, the tonal range is wonderful.
IME, HC-110 is very slightly contrastier, very slightly lower in speed, and quite a bit less grainy.
D-76 is cheaper if used to the last drop. It is much cheaper if you mix it from scratch. And it costs almost nothing per roll if you replenish.
I prefer HC-110 because it is absolutely consistent, and there is never any waste.
I use it mainly at dilution B. Often I will pull or aim for soft negatives with dilution H. (H is the commonly-referred to letter for an unofficial dilution that is twice as diluted as dil. B) At dilution H, I find it gaining some graininess, losing some contrast, and gaining some speed, so it looks very much like D-76 IMO (though still less grainy than D-76 at 1:1).
I mix up small batches of stock. Others like to inject the syrup directly to make working solution. I prefer making it from stock for a few reasons, which I have mentioned in past posts. But both ways work.
Both should be decanted and kept away from oxygen as much as possible.
I'd suggest HC-110 as a standard developer for just about everyone except for the extremely budget conscious. In that case, I would suggest mixing D-23 or D-76 from scratch, and/or replenishing.
"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)
HC 110 gets my vote of those two.
But I prefer ID11plus myself
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I'm so used to D-76 that I really can't comment. A while back, PE posted a link to a chart comparing Kodak developers in terms of grain, sharpness, speed, and something else. I can't find the link right now, but HC-110 came out as not a champ in any category but a pretty decent compromise in general. Xtol came in best in both grain and sharpness, and D-76 scored well in grain and speed, as I recall.
What is the minimum mL of HC110 concentrate to develop a roll of film?
1:3 you say
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
What is your starting time for this D76 at 1:3 thing you've mentioned? Assuming 68 degrees F., three inversions every 30 s., etc.
Here's the chart:
Originally Posted by nworth
According to this chart from Kodak, Xtol has finer grain, greater film speed, and better acutance than either D-76 or HC-110. HC-110 produces finer grain, but lower film speed and lower acutance than D-76.
This is with Xtol and D-76 undiluted and HC-110 at Dilution B.
I have a half full bottle of HC-110 (still in the original plastic bottle) that's about two years old now and it works great. I use it only for Tri-X. I was suggested a dilution of 1:50 at eight minutes. This works great for me as I can shoot indoors and still maintain decent highlight detail whenever a window is in my shot. I don't use Tri-X much hence why my bottle is half full after two years. The syrup lasts forever I've heard.