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venchka
14-Jul-2009, 07:06
My OCD is showing.

Burning question of the day:

Harvey's 777 film developer.

Good?
Bad?
Ugly?

I've read everything I can find at The Unblinking Eye and APUG. I know that I can buy 4 gallons each of developer and replenisher for $105 from Bluegrass Packaging in Kentucky. I know 2 people interested in dividing the order. I figure 4 gallons of 777 might last me the rest of my life. I better like it because I'll be using it a lot. If I really like it, I'll be selling my stash of D-76.

I would use Harvey's 777 for 135, 120 & 4x5 film. Traditional emulsions fit my eye and wallet best.

What say ye?

Thanks for helping a rookie.

evan clarke
14-Jul-2009, 07:13
I don't know about 777 but the quest for it's formula led me to Germain's Finegrain which has been my go to developer with all films for a couple years. Upon the advice of educated guys at APUG, I am about to try Edwal 12 from which Germain's may be derived. I don't think you could go wrong with either one. HP5 sparkles in the stuff...Evan Clarke

venchka
14-Jul-2009, 07:21
Thanks Evan. I do like HP5. At the moment, I'm trying to coax Arista (Foma) 200 to play nice.

Gem Singer
14-Jul-2009, 08:28
Wayne,

As you obviously know, Arista EDU 200 and Fomapan 200 are the same film, manufactured in the Czech Republic.

Very similar to the old Bergger BPF 200. I still have some of that film and occasionally shoot with it.

I have used various developers for Bergger BPF 200 and found that Pyrocat-HD seemed to give the best result, especially when the film was to be scanned and printed digitally.

Have you tried developing the Foma film in Pyrocat-HD?

Small amounts of Pyrocat-HD in glycol can be purchased from The Photo Formulary.

Not expensive, and has a long shelf life.

venchka
14-Jul-2009, 08:42
Thanks Eugene. No, Pyrocat-HD isn't in my inventory yet. Perhaps it should be.

Donald Miller
14-Jul-2009, 09:10
Wayne,

I personally have not used 777 but I have seen prints made from negatives developed in 777 and they were outstanding. Beautiful long tonal scale with subtle gradations. One of my associates swears by the developer.

I do use Pyrocat and like it a great deal...but the fellow that uses 777 says that it is better, in his opinion, than Pyrocat. He says that one should not judge that developer until it has been replenished and that the developer works best when it has had the time and film run through it to "ripen".

Best regards,
Donald Miller

venchka
14-Jul-2009, 09:50
Donald,

Thanks for your time. That seems to be the trend: A lot of folks know somebody who likes 777 or they have seen results they like from 777. Very few people respond who are actually using 777. Somebody must be using it or a tiny company wouldn't be exercising their monopoly position. Kodak & Fuji could take a lesson here.

Lynn Jones
14-Jul-2009, 11:53
Hi Wayne, I'm in Central TX (Austin),

I used Harvey's Panthermic 777 for many years, it was always a very good soup, very reliable and they avertised it as useable over a great temperature range. In the 30's, 40's, and early 50's, that was very important, however by the late 50's film emulsions were not very temperature sensitive in quality if the developing times were correct.

My friend Ed Buffaloe at Unblinking Eye figured out the basic formula some years ago. I think that D76 1:1 when tested for appropriate developing times will be very similar to 777 and it certainly is "panthermic" from 65F to 80F.

Perhaps my favorite general purpose developer has always been MCM 100 (created by the English "Miniature Camera Magazine"). It is still available from Photographers Formulary. My favorite finegrain developer with no loss of speed (it fact is very "pushable") is UFG (and its replenisher) still made in the US from BKA through your favorite camera store (special order of course).

Lynn

Roger Pellegrini
28-Jan-2011, 12:48
My OCD is showing.

Burning question of the day:

Harvey's 777 film developer.

Good?
Bad?
Ugly?

I've read everything I can find at The Unblinking Eye and APUG. I know that I can buy 4 gallons each of developer and replenisher for $105 from Bluegrass Packaging in Kentucky. I know 2 people interested in dividing the order. I figure 4 gallons of 777 might last me the rest of my life. I better like it because I'll be using it a lot. If I really like it, I'll be selling my stash of D-76.

I would use Harvey's 777 for 135, 120 & 4x5 film. Traditional emulsions fit my eye and wallet best.

What say ye?

Thanks for helping a rookie.

I would be very happy to buy 4 gallons myself. I called BPI and they are not making any more at the moment, and make not make it at all anymore. It sounded to me like they would run a batch if there was sufficient interest. If enough of us can get on board, we might be able to get some. I used this stuff in the 1960's when it came pre-mixed in gallon bottles. It is a fantastic developer.

Gem Singer
28-Jan-2011, 13:04
Roger,

Check the date of the last post on this thread.

venchka
28-Jan-2011, 13:52
Less than two years ago 777 was available. Now it's gone. Coulda shoulda woulda bought a bunch. Probably not. The stuff seems to have worked best in large tanks and used on a daily babsis.
Xtol & Rodinal for me. With a dash of Pyrocat-HD.

Roger Pellegrini
28-Jan-2011, 14:01
Roger,

Check the date of the last post on this thread.


Yes. July 2009. What about it?

Sal Santamaura
28-Jan-2011, 14:11
Yes. July 2009. What about it?Yes, what about it? Roger did the right thing, namely, posting to an existing relevant thread. That's what makes a useful archive. This is not a chat room.

Jay DeFehr
28-Jan-2011, 14:24
The article on 777 at Unblinking Eye aroused my interest in superfine grain replenished developers, and I tested several published formulas, but never bought 777. In the end I formulated my own SFG developer, and I've been very happy with it. I don't know how it would compare to 777.

HeinrichVoelkel
28-Jan-2011, 14:38
Actually, is it true? 777 gone?

HeinrichVoelkel
28-Jan-2011, 14:41
I don't know about 777 but the quest for it's formula led me to Germain's Finegrain which has been my go to developer with all films for a couple years. Upon the advice of educated guys at APUG, I am about to try Edwal 12 from which Germain's may be derived. I don't think you could go wrong with either one. HP5 sparkles in the stuff...Evan Clarke


evan, any chance to see the sparkle?

jnantz
28-Jan-2011, 15:00
seems that bluegrass is still in business
http://www.bluegrasspackaging.com/

Brian C. Miller
28-Jan-2011, 15:04
You might try mixing something from The Frugal Photographer (http://www.frugalphotographer.com/info-formulary-general.htm). The Germain formula "has interesting properties." Apparently there is nothing like Harvey's 777, but the stuff really isn't for occasional use. It is stable in big tanks, but not in a small Patterson tank, and certaintly unstable for Jobo processing.

Gem Singer
28-Jan-2011, 15:21
Rodger and Sal,

I wasn't putting anyone down for posting on a two year old thread.

Read Wayne's response (post #11) and you will realize why I mentioned it.

Roger Pellegrini
28-Jan-2011, 16:03
seems that bluegrass is still in business
http://www.bluegrasspackaging.com/

Blue Grass is still in business, but they told me today that they are not making 777 anymore. They might make it again in the future if there is demand. They told me to check back in a few months. I encourage everyone to call them at 502-425-6442 and put your two cents in. Maybe they will start it up again.

Roger Pellegrini
28-Jan-2011, 16:07
You might try mixing something from The Frugal Photographer (http://www.frugalphotographer.com/info-formulary-general.htm). The Germain formula "has interesting properties." Apparently there is nothing like Harvey's 777, but the stuff really isn't for occasional use. It is stable in big tanks, but not in a small Patterson tank, and certaintly unstable for Jobo processing.

Yes. I used to use in my parents studio in tanks for 6x6 and 4x5. I does have a unique look. I will try the Germain formula and the Edwal 12 in the meantime to see how I like it. I am developing 6x7 negs.

Jay DeFehr
28-Jan-2011, 17:34
Blue Grass is still in business, but they told me today that they are not making 777 anymore. They might make it again in the future if there is demand. They told me to check back in a few months. I encourage everyone to call them at 502-425-6442 and put your two cents in. Maybe they will start it up again.

Better yet, if there's insufficient demand to make packaging it profitable, maybe they'll publish the formula? I'm highly prejudiced against proprietary formulas.

Roger Pellegrini
28-Jan-2011, 17:47
Yes. That crossed my mind too. I would gladly pay a price for a copy of the formula.

Jim Shanesy
28-Jan-2011, 17:53
I've used Harvey's almost exclusively since 2003. My current seasoned gallon is beginning to get quite long in the tooth (I've been using it for about 2 years now) and I'm thinking about mixing up a new one.

I have at least 4 one gallon packages but they're all at least 3 years old and I don't have any idea how long the powders last. The last time I corresponded with Fred DeVan he said that they should be ok but in case they're not I'll be looking to buy some more from Bluegrass. If anyone wants to get a custom order together I'm good for at least 2 four gallon cases.

Has anyone asked Bluegrass how much demand they would need to see to begin packaging it again?

Jim Shanesy
28-Jan-2011, 18:01
Better yet, if there's insufficient demand to make packaging it profitable, maybe they'll publish the formula? I'm highly prejudiced against proprietary formulas.

I doubt that they'd do it, Jay. As an aside, the closest thing I've seen to it in a published formula that I've tried is Crawley's FX-2. In fact, it's so close that I'm sure 777 must have glycin in it, though Bluegrass swears that it doesn't.

There's been a lot of speculation on photo boards that Germain's is also close to 777 but I've never tried it.

Sal Santamaura
28-Jan-2011, 18:03
...Read Wayne's response (post #11) and you will realize why I mentioned it.Post #11 offers no insight as to why you mentioned it.

Later posts have indicated there's still a possibility the product will be made if demand is sufficient. Seems the thread is still relevant. Now an even richer place in the archive for Harvey's 777 information.

Gem Singer
28-Jan-2011, 18:47
Sal,

I mentioned it because Harvey's 777 developer was discontinued a while ago.

Wayne (venchka) verified that fact in post#11.

I was experiencing difficulty with Ilford DDX developer. Frequently getting blow out highlights. I began searching around for a developer that would match my personal method of exposing for the shadows and developing for the highlights.

The Unblinking Eye website published an article about Harvey's 777. When I inquired at Bluegrass, I was told that it was a proprietary formula that was mainly sold to commercial labs.

Shortly after that, Sandy King's Pyrocat-HD became available and I forgot about Harvey's 777.

Pyrocat-HD has been my developer of choice since that time.

JohnN
29-Jan-2011, 13:32
Does anyone know if it's the same as what Photographer's Formulary offers? I was going to try this developer in the spring.

http://stores.photoformulary.com/-strse-950/HARVEY%27S-DEFENDER-777/Detail.bok

Thanks.

Roger Pellegrini
29-Jan-2011, 13:56
John,
Thank you very much for brining this to me attention. I should have checked with them too. I just ordered it.
Roger

Jay DeFehr
29-Jan-2011, 17:56
I doubt that they'd do it, Jay. As an aside, the closest thing I've seen to it in a published formula that I've tried is Crawley's FX-2. In fact, it's so close that I'm sure 777 must have glycin in it, though Bluegrass swears that it doesn't.

There's been a lot of speculation on photo boards that Germain's is also close to 777 but I've never tried it.

Hi Jim,

I doubt they'll do it, too. I have my own glycin-only developer (GSD-10 (http://gsd-10.blogspot.com/)) I'm happy with, and my own replenished superfine grain developer (Halcyon), too. I'm surprised you compare 777 to FX2; I thought 777 was a superfine grain developer like Edwal Super 20, etc., not an acutance developer. That's very interesting, because I've been surprised at the sharpness I get with Halcyon. Very interesting!

jnantz
29-Jan-2011, 19:03
Does anyone know if it's the same as what Photographer's Formulary offers? I was going to try this developer in the spring.

http://stores.photoformulary.com/-strse-950/HARVEY%27S-DEFENDER-777/Detail.bok

Thanks.

but is this the actual developer .. the same that bluegrass sold
or the guessed-recipe from the unblinkingeye article ?

a few years back i spoke with the person that used to mix+ship the developer
about the recipe, she said the unblinkingeye article " wasn't even close" ..

if they sold the recipe to the formulary that would be great ..

Michael Kadillak
29-Jan-2011, 20:38
if they sold the recipe to the formulary that would be great ..

Great idea. However before it could happen a couple of things would need to take place.

First would be to bring this concept to the formulary. Second would be the willingness of Bluegrass to buy into the concept and find an incentive to get the original formula back in play.

If Bluegrass feels that there is no financial incentive to continue mixing or selling the formula then it could simply reside in limbo in an obscure company safe.

When I spoke to Bluegrass a while back I was of the impression that it was becoming increasingly challenging to acquire one or more of the formula's ingredients.

Jay DeFehr
29-Jan-2011, 20:44
I wonder how PF can call their developer "Harvey's Defender 777"? I suppose they can call it anything they like if no one takes legal action to prevent them doing so, but I wonder how they justify using the name?

HeinrichVoelkel
30-Jan-2011, 00:46
I wonder how PF can call their developer "Harvey's Defender 777"? I suppose they can call it anything they like if no one takes legal action to prevent them doing so, but I wonder how they justify using the name?


Gentleman, did any of you bother to contact Photographers formulary about the 777 first???

Jay DeFehr
30-Jan-2011, 00:53
I've emailed and await their reply.

HeinrichVoelkel
30-Jan-2011, 00:57
I've emailed and await their reply.

Thank you.

That's a man of senses. Please share your findings with us.

Jay DeFehr
30-Jan-2011, 01:03
Will do, Heinrich.

Brian C. Miller
30-Jan-2011, 01:33
Very likely Photographer's Formulary has licensed the formula from Bluegrass. Otherwise there'd be a nasty little legal spat about it. Bluegrass will sell the developer in commercial quantities, while PF will sell it in small sizes.

Jay DeFehr
30-Jan-2011, 02:15
Or....it's a different formula, and Bluegrass doesn't own the rights to the name, in which case, no legal spat.

jnantz
30-Jan-2011, 06:59
exactly !

Jay DeFehr
31-Jan-2011, 08:39
What PF sells as Harvey's Defender 777 is the Germaine's Fine Grain Developer formula:

Germain Fine Grain Formula

Distilled water (125 F) 700ml

Metol 7g

Sodium sulfite 70g

Paraphenylene Diamine (base) 7g

Glycin 7g

Cold distilled water to make 1 liter

Use without dilution. Replenish with same formula.


Why they chose to call it Harvey's instead of Germaine's is anyone's guess.

jnantz
31-Jan-2011, 08:54
i spoke with someone at bluegrass this morning ...
they do still make and distribute "777"
they are waiting for supplies at the moment ...

Mark Sampson
31-Jan-2011, 11:21
It can't be the magic bullet if you can actually purchase it...

patrickjames
31-Jan-2011, 18:25
I gave the Bluegrass 777 a go a few years ago. It gives really nice tones, but isn't great on the sharpness. Even though they say it doesn't have glycin in it doesn't mean it doesn't have glycin under another name. Remember the formula is from around WWII when glycin was called other things. In the end, I didn't think it was worth the hassle or expense, plus I am a stickler for acutance which is lacking a bit. Like I said though, it gave great tonality as most solvent developers do. The story behind the developer is awfully romantic though. To think about all of those now famous photographers sitting around in NY talking about and using Defender 777!

From what I understand about chemistry these days, it seems that Defender 777 could be similar to D-23 with PPD added to increase the activity of the Metol at the low pH and some buffering agent(s) could be added as well. It definitely has PPD in it. I was fascinated by PPD a few years ago and did all kinds of whacky experiments with it. I did end up liking Edwal 12 and plan on using it again the next time I place an order with PF and can get some more PPD. I normally use Rodinal and Pyrocat-P. Of all of the other developers I have tried over the years, Edwal 12 was the most interesting.

sun of sand
8-Feb-2011, 02:14
I read 777 took 7 years to get right and be put out on the market

awful lot of 7s in the story

Lynn Jones
8-Feb-2011, 09:33
Hi Wayne,

My long time friend Ed Buffaloe, Unblinking Eye, uncovered the formula for Harvey's Panthermic 777 some time ago. However, I'm old enough that I used the stuff in the 1950's. It is a good general purpose developer. The interesting thing about this is that for practical purposes all developers are "Panthermic". 777 is a perfectly good developer, but in my experience certainly no better than several others.

Several developers that I like and that hold their speed, have reasonable grain, and maintain sharpness include, MCM 100, D76, UFG, Acufine, Microphen, Diafine/other split developers for medium speed films. For high speed films (mostly 400ASA/ISO) I like UFG, D76, Acufine, Microphen, Diafine/split.

Lynn

Mark Sampson
8-Feb-2011, 09:58
I first heard of 777 when I was 20 years old and took a workshop with the photojournalist Charles Harbutt (who went on to become president of Magnum). Of course everyone wanted to know his technical secrets. Even then the developer was hard to come by, there was one mail-order source in Kentucky...sound familiar? As it turned out I never tried it. But you can see how 777 works with 35mm Tri-X if you look up his book 'Travelog'. Harbutt talks at length about 777 in the book 'Darkroom 2', published by Lustrum Press around 1980 and available used. In fact that's a fascinating book for any darkroom worker.