View Full Version : Liquid Alternative To D76 1+1

Shilesh Jani
10-Jul-2004, 15:12
Hello All,

I am new to LF and B/W and have had success processing Fuji Acros 100 and some Ilford FP4+ in D76 1+1. I would like to migrate to a developer sold in liquid form that has the "universality" of D76. Grain is not an issue for me, but I would like high accutance. Any help/experience is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


10-Jul-2004, 15:18
I don't know of any liquid developer that acts exactly like D-76, but as an alternate try Ilford Ilfosol-S which has published development times for many common films. For the uncommon films, check out the guidelines at the Massive Development Chart:



Ralph Barker
10-Jul-2004, 15:42
You might try Ilford's DD-X liquid concentrate. Standard mix is 1+4, but some folks like to go 1+6 or 1+7, and extend development time. I use it at 1+4, and really like the balance between tonality, grain, and accutance it provides. (I use 8 minutes in trays for Fuji Acros shot at ISO 100.)

Another alternative is Ilfotec HC, which ends up being a little more economical with a 1+31 standard dilution (with a small graduate capable of measuring out 1 ounce accurately). Its formulation is supposed to be similar to HC110.

Tom Westbrook
10-Jul-2004, 15:58
It doesn't look like D76, but for high accutance try Rodinal. It's a pretty cheap, syrupy liquid, used in high dilutions, like 1:25-1:100 or even higher. I haven't used it with the films you mentioned, but have with Tmax 100 with good results. It also has the advantage of having advertised times for just about every film known, since it's a pretty old and commonly used developer. It's readily available, too.

Chris Gittins
10-Jul-2004, 16:08
My standard combo for several years was FP4 with D76 1+2 or 1+3. (I now shoot primarily HP5 rather than FP4). I did some testing with FP4 in DDX 1+6. It looked like a promising combo. I didn't stick with it because, when exposed appropriately and developed to the same overall contrast, the negs didn't seem fundamentally different than the ones developed in D76 and D76 is cheaper. One noteworthy effect was that DDX did increase the film speed substantially - at least a stop over D76 for both FP4 and HP5. I did a couple test shots with FP4 rated at 400 which, from a technical standpoint, came out acceptably - no significant loss of shadow detail. Rating it at 250 or 320 probably would've been more appropriate. (I rate FP4 at 100 when using D76.) If I had stuck with DDX, I probably would have gone to a more dilute solution, but if you're using D76 1+1 then DDX 1+4 or 1+6 may work nicely for you with comparable developing times.


Shilesh Jani
10-Jul-2004, 16:21
Oh, this is excellent. Those with other ideas, please chime-in. What a great group of helpful people - thank you.

I don't have a darkroom, and don't shoot enough to want to mess around with powders. Besides, I cannot get the small packets of D76 anymore. I load my film in the bathroom in a Jobo 2521 tank, followed by developing on my kitchen coutertop.

This afternoon I bought a bottle of DD-X, so I am glad to get feedback which included it, and thank you Ralph for the time at 1+4 dilution on Acros.

Once again, thank you so much.


PS: I have a small set of images posted at photo.net, including a few shot on my relatively recent 4x5 aquisition.

10-Jul-2004, 16:37
Shilesh, may I suggest you invest in a large film changing bag or tent. I have a midsize one (27"x30" ~$27) which I use for loading and unloading cameras/film tanks/film holders from 16mm to 8x10. It will save the headache of lightproofing your bathroom and/or waiting till the middle of the night to swap out your film. Welcome to the highs and lows of LF by the way. Cheers,

Ralph Barker
10-Jul-2004, 17:45
Don't forget, Shilesh, that your times in the Jobo will likely be shorter. Tray processing almost amounts to continuous agitation, like Jobo processing, so the 8 minutes may be a reasonable starting point for your own testing of Acros. I'm not a Jobo user, so I'm not sure, however.

Shilesh Jani
10-Jul-2004, 18:03

I have mixed DD-X 1+4, and put it into my fridge, along with stop, and fixer. I am waiting 2 hours for night. Here is my method of madness for previous sucess(?) with Acros in D76 1+1.

(1) take solutions out of fridge, and place bottles in sink filled with warm water ~100F, (2) same with a bottle of tap water, (3) when solutions reach ~65 F, pour in water for pre-soak of 5 minutes, (4) by then developer is 68 F, (5) develop for 10.5 mins by aggresive inversions 60 seconds followed by constant back-and-forth rolling of tank on the couter-top. Note: Fuji literature calls for 12.5 minutes small tank development. (6) stop, fix (10 minutes), wash-aid (3 minutes), wash (10 minutes). With this method, I found my negatives to be slightly thinner and less contrasty than the identical negatives devloped at a commercial lab that uses T-Max RS at 75 F for 4.5 minutes. I scan my negatives, so the thin negative is no issue, and I can punch up contrast in photoshop.

So, I am guessing, if I follow the same method with DD-X 1+4, and use 8.5 or 9 minutes, I should be OK. Will find out soon enough! I have dupes, so if it goes south on me, I can revert to my previous method.

Thank you for your excellent suggestions.



Ralph Barker
10-Jul-2004, 19:48
My first trial of Acros in DD-X was at 9 minutes, that that seemed a bit too contrasty for the way I tray process, so I trimmed my time back to 8.5 minutes. But a half-minute difference barely covers the potential variation in technique between individuals. So, I'll be interested in hearing how your test comes out, Shilesh.

I'll keep my (virtual) fingers crossed for you. ;-)

Shilesh Jani
10-Jul-2004, 21:23
6 sheets are now hanging to dry - and all looks well:-)



John Kasaian
10-Jul-2004, 22:40
If you want liquid D-76, you might give Nacco Super 76 available from Freestylea try---its very economical, too.


Brian McGuiness
11-Jul-2004, 11:55
At my local mom & pop photo store, they sell Lauder Formula 76 in gallon and liter sizes. It runs about $12 a gallon, worth it in my case.

Kevin Crisp
11-Jul-2004, 12:32
If your Rodinal is a syrup, you better get something fresher. Were you thinking of HC110?

Nigel Smith
11-Jul-2004, 18:01
I'd be wary of pre mixing your developer, cooling it, and warming it up again. Can't name which ones, but I'm sure I've read some developers once diluted, need to be used in a certain timeframe.

I mix my developer after loading film into the tank. I use various temp water to dilute the developer concentrate to my working temp. Then, into the tank it goes...

Mike Chini
12-Jul-2004, 06:23
Try Edwal FG7 or HC110 for similar results to D76 1:1.

12-Jul-2004, 06:32
Sprint's liquid concentrate developer is listed as comparable to D76 1:1.


Don Wallace
12-Jul-2004, 08:40
FWIW, I use HC-110 and it has an amazing shelf life, as long as you keep the air out, which I do with glass marbles.

Bruce Barlow
13-Jul-2004, 06:22
Clayton F76 Plus, available from Freestyle. It weaned me away from HC-110.

John Sarsgard
14-Jul-2004, 19:02
I'll elaborate on the comment of just one other poster. Sprint's liquid concentrate film developer is excellent, and produces results very similar to D-76 1:1. Very complete and helpful directions right on the container. Not too expensive either. Adorama, B&H, etc. all stock it. I also regularly use DD-X. I would have a hard time picking between them.