View Full Version : Techniques for HP5+ in HC110?

6-Mar-2013, 17:58
I've been going through a box of HP5+ after many years of no film development (borrowing a friend's Sinar P).

I've been using the Taco method, four 4x5 negatives in a 1L tank. I use HC-110 at a 1:50 dilution, 68F, and 8 minutes. I'm very careful with the temp and time, and err on the side of more developer, but get pretty close to 1:50. 1 min agitation to start, and then 10 sec every minute. This is a recipe I found online, because I like to use HC110 right out of the bottle rather than make a solution to keep around.

Issue is that most of my negatives look like they are about two stops under developed. I've been using my 5Dii to dial in the exposure before taking the shot. My next step would be to increase from 8 to 9 or 10 minutes. Can anyone look at what I'm using right now and suggest a different course of action?

Larry H-L
6-Mar-2013, 18:21
Time sounds about right, so I'd look at exposure. Try rating film at 200, HC-110 doesn't give full box speed.
Don't forget compensation for bellows extension and long exposures over 1 second.

Jan Pedersen
6-Mar-2013, 18:22
Are you sure you are not underexposing instead? I ask because it is at least for me very easy to underexpose HP5+
When i do use and it is not much anymore i have found Iso 200 to work best.
Have you made any prints with the negatives you find under developed? It is hard to tell if you have the correct development time without printing.
If you did print and have to use a grade 4 paper or filter try to increase your developement time with 20% and make another print.

Not sure a digital camera is the best light meter for film as a sensor does not see light the same way as film does.

Noah B
6-Mar-2013, 18:23
I'd suggest getting an incident light meter, the 5d may seem like a good option, but depending on what metering style you use (spot, evaluative, or center weighted), it can give you mixed up readings. The sekonic 308 is a cheap and great digital meter. I wouldn't suggest the taco method, too risky for me, why not tray? If you don't want to do tray, try a couple more minutes or rate at 200. If you use XTOL, you can rate at box speed.

Gem Singer
6-Mar-2013, 18:34
Since you already know that you are under-developing, merely develop longer, or increase the developer strength.

I knew a guy who made his HC-110 working solution by adding a shot glass full of concentrate to a 1 quart Mason jar filled with water (Dilution"B").

He developed HP-5+ for 9 min.

Keep the same agitation pattern you are using.

6-Mar-2013, 19:59
Thanks for the suggestions- I took a couple more photos earlier today and developed for 10 min instead of 8, and things look much better (keeping all else the same). I think what Jan and Noah said about using my 5D as the guide may be my problem... when I use the Sinar in natural light and use my Twinmate to meter, I had good exposures, but it was all the flash photos I had issues with. They looked lovely on the 5Dii which I used to set up the shot, but when I transferred the values to the Sinar, the results were dark. I'll need to work on that further.

thanks again.

Michael Graves
7-Mar-2013, 05:25
I did film speed and development tests with HP5, HC-110 and Jobo processing. With continuous agitation, I ended up with an EI of 200 when developing for 11 minutes at 68 degrees. Everybody's technique, equipment and water supply is different and all of these factors will impact on the final results. So there is no substitute for doing your own tests.

Neal Chaves
9-Mar-2013, 18:50
In any given lighting situation (SBR), film can only be pulled (contraction) or pushed (expanded) a finite amount or the resulting prints will be too flat or too contrasty, even when attempts to normalise contrast are made in the printing process.

I use diffusion enlargers and have used a great deal of Tri-X in the past. Now I use Ilford HP5+. I did extensive tests on both and found them essentially identical. Using HC110 B (1:31) in tray development, I find a time of 5:00 at 68* produces a "normal" negative exposed for 100EI. A time of 7:30 will produce a normal negative with the film rated at 400EI. The negative from the 100 sceme will have slightly more shadow and highlight detail, seen only upon careful examination side by side of prints from both the 100EI and 400EI negatives. If I use a water presoak when processing a stack of sheets, I add an additonal thirty seconds.

Expansions and contractions are done as follows. I keep the time constant and vary the dilution.
N-1 3/4 oz. concentrate to 31 1/4 oz H20 EI is one half the N speed
N-2 1/2 oz. concentrate to 31 1/2 oz. H20 EI is one quarter of the N speed
N+1 1 1/2 oz. concentrate to 30 1/2 oz H20 EI is twice the N speed
N+2 2 oz concentrate to 30 oz H20 EI is four times the N speed

For several years when I first started developing this way with Tri-X, I used an N speed of 64 for 5:00 at 68* in HC110 B, but I later increased it to 100. If you look at Phil Davis' BTZS charts, you can pick off the Tri-X speed as EI 64 at 5:00 in HC110 B. Of course, your times and speeds may be quite different due to variables in shutter, meters, water quality, etc.