View Full Version : Developer Comparison: PQ Universal vs. HC110

Robert C. McColloch
18-Mar-2005, 16:55
I plan to use Ilford Ortho Plus for some images that are are very low contrast (e.g., Native American pictographs). For the contrast gradient that I've selected, Ilford reccomends PQ Universal.
I prefer to use my standard developer HC110 (I've used this quite successfully with other films that "supposedly" require special/different developers, e.g., Kodak Tech Pan).

Can anyone advise me on the comparitive relationship of PQ Universal to HC110? What I am attempting to do is minimize the testing needed to arrive at a desirable negative.
Note: Ilford spec sheet for Ortho Plus advises an ISO of 80.

Any helpful would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

Robert C. McColloch
18-Mar-2005, 17:10
Regarding the PQ Universal/HC110 post. Perhaps I should be considering Dektol?

18-Mar-2005, 20:03
I have not used the Ilford Ortho, but I have used Kodak in the past, and am now using Arista's APHS and have had pretty good luck using Dektol at 1:9, and also have used the PQ Univ at 1:9. Did not really notice much difference. Where I found any differences was in the fix. Rapid fix tended to bleach the Kodak. Quickly and thoroughly. I started using straight fix, and have not tried the rapid with the Arista.

Gem Singer
18-Mar-2005, 20:06

Since Ilford PQ Universal developer is a Phenidone/Hydroquinone paper developer and Dektol is a Metol/Hydroquinone paper developer, it would probably be wiser not to interchange them in this instance.

HC110 is a great film developer, and although it may work with Ilford Ortho Plus film, it will probably require extensive testing to reach the exact contrast level you are seeking. Why not follow Ilford's recommendation and avoid trial and error? PQ Universal is not a high priced developer. It is readily available. By using it as Ilford recommends, you will avoid the need to do extensive testing and possible disappointment.

19-Mar-2005, 03:54
Ortho film reacts differently to a number of situations (lighting types). Generally you're either using daylight or tungsten, but only 'you' really know what sort of neg you want. Obviously you need to 'up' the contrast... I found that ID-11 worked well for continuous tone. (yeah , I know, I didnt really answer your question! but I had to go through the tests, it may help!).
Good luck!

Robert C. McColloch
19-Mar-2005, 13:07
Eugene - Took your advice and purchased PQ Universal. However, I did not find it "readily" available in Southern California - so, have ordered from B&H. Perhap someone can point me to a more local Southern California Ilford dealer that carries this developer?
Meanwhile, thanks to all for the help

Gem Singer
19-Mar-2005, 16:45
Hi Robert,

Did you try Sammy's in L.A.? Freestyle in L.A.? I know that they both handle Ilford products. Perhaps Ilford hasn't been able to catch up with all of their back orders yet. I noticed that B&H had it in stock in the 500ml. bottle. Even with the shipping charges from NY, it is still quite reasonably priced. I used to get PQ Universal in the 5 liter bottles, but switched to Multigrade Developer when Ilford had their financial troubles. I found that I liked the Multigrade developer for Ilford Multigrade Warmtone paper, even better.

Robert C. McColloch
19-Mar-2005, 16:47
Eugene - Tried Freestyle and Sammy's - nothing, so went to B&H