View Full Version : HC-110/Jobo volume dilemma

Don Wallace
18-Feb-2006, 10:39
I have just started using an expert drum for 5x7 and 8x10. I have been using HC-110 at dilutions D and E because at B the development times (for my 4x5) were too short with the rotary processor method. I mix directly from syrup, not from stock. Using Covington's HC-110 page (http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110/), I calculated that I would need a minimum of 4ml of syrup per sheet of 4x5. This comes out to 0.2 ml per square inch which would result in a minimum of 7 ml per sheet of 5x7 and 16 ml per sheet of 8x10.

Here is the dilemma. At dilution D (1:39) from syrup, I would need 624 ml of solution for ONE sheet of 8x10. If I did 5 sheets in the drum, that would be over 3 litres. That seems like a LOT of solution and a LOT of developer. Is it time to go back to trays or switch developers? The advantage of HC-110 for me is that I don't develop all the time so mixing from syrup is cost effective, rather than using a developer that requires a stock solution first. What are some other possibilities? Am I missing something?

Michael Graves
18-Feb-2006, 11:51
I think you're misreading the page. It says around the middle of the page to use 3ml per 36 exposure roll of film. That's the equivalent of 1 sheet of 8x10. I typically use HC-110 in 1:63 dilution. I like the compensating effect better than the high energy. I mix 50 ounces of solution for my 12x16 trays and can generally do a dozen sheets of film from that without noticing any difference in density. Mathematically, I should be able to do a few more, but 1) I've never SHOT more than a dozen sheets in a day, and 2) even if I did, HC-110 is cheap enough that I wouldn't want to take the chances.

That being said, on the Arista Edu-Ultra that I just bought, I'm not terribly enthusiastic about the highlight densities I've been getting. I've ordered a PMK Pyro kit and plan to give that a try.

18-Feb-2006, 11:53
Your math is correct, but I think the 16ml syrup per 8x10 sheet is a bit high. Somewhere, I canít recall exactly where, I once read you only need 3.5ml syrup per 80 square inches. With rotary agitation, Iíve been using 6.0ml per sheet and 240ml total. Developing a 35mm roll in a small Nikor tank with HC-110 dil B is only 7.5ml per roll. If you used 7.5ml at dil D, you would use 300ml per sheet. I donít think the JOBO motor or lift is designed to move much more than 1L.

Ron Marshall
18-Feb-2006, 12:53
Kodak's website says the capacity of dilution D is 8 sheets per gallon. This is 473ml per sheet.


Bruce Watson
18-Feb-2006, 13:02
Is it time to go back to trays or switch developers?

It's time to switch developers.

I went through this exact same thing three years ago. I moved to a Jobo and 3010 drum for 5x4. I was using Tri-X and HC-110. I couldn't control it - too much contrast/density. I went all the way to dilution H and it still wasn't enough - five minutes in HC-110H was still too dense.

I switched to XTOL at 1:3, which is much easier to control with continuous agitation. It gives you a little better grain (size and structure), a pleasing tonality, and full ISO film speed. That's 2/3 stop faster than I could get from HC-110H.

It was hard letting go of the HC-110. Like losing an old friend. But I'm not going back. XTOL is good stuff. I'm very happy I made the switch.

Ron Marshall
18-Feb-2006, 13:42
Don, I also switched from HC-110, which I still use for stand development, when I started using a Jobo. I had the same problems as Bruce. Now I use D76. Mixed from powder it keeps 6 months in full bottles.

Bob Fowler
23-Feb-2006, 06:22
I have a page here:


which has dilution tables for both the US and European versions of HC-110. Look on the left side of the table for the quantity you want to mix, then across for the dilution you want to use. The volumes of water and concentrate are right there.

Don Wallace
23-Feb-2006, 11:49
Thanks for all the replies. It prompted me to call Kodak, who tell me that the capacity of 1 gallon of dilution B is 10 sheets. Here are my calculations based on that. Does this look ok or am I still missing something?

1 US gallon = 3785 ml

Dilution B is 1:31, so 3785/32 = 118 (rounded off)

There would 118 ml of syrup in one gallon of dilution B, which will do 10 sheets, according to Kodak. So, 1 sheet would require 11.8 ml. Let's round off to 12 ml.

I worked this out for dilution D and go the same answer: 11.8 ml per sheet of 8x10 (Kodak says 1 gallon of dilution D will do 8 sheets of 8x10).

So to do 1 sheet of 8x10 in dilution D, I would need 12 ml of syrup + 468 ml water for a total of 480 ml solution. Five sheets in my Expert drum would thus required 2400 ml of solution.

If any of you have no life and a calculator, feel free to check this. It still seems like a lot to me.

I am still thinking of changing developer but now this has become a question I really want to answer. Just how much syrup per square inch? Bob Fowler tells me he has been using 3 ml per 8x10 sheet for ages!