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Thread: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Sydney, Australia
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    Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    Hi,

    I mostly shoot colour in 8x10 and in smaller formats I just get my B&W developed along with my colour to save time but lab doesn't offer this for 8x10. I did some B&W home development years ago but there I just used the T-Max I had lying around from my small format work. I'd like to start doing this again but with a developer matched to my needs and film stock.

    I'm looking for a developer:

    • Suited for the film stock in my freezer: 8x10 HP5+ and Tri-X
    • Which either keeps very well or is one-shot
    • Is available and affordable in Australia
    • Is "idiot proof" for someone starting out in home development, i.e. is popular and has tons of info e.g. on the massive dev. chart
    • (optional) has the flexibility of different dilutions so 1 bottle of developer can be used for different results


    Anything in particular come to mind? I'd guess something like HC-110 or an Ilford equivalent but that's just from googling around, not from experience.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Somewhere between SoCal & Norway
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    263

    Re: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    I'd suggest Rodinal.

    Hardcore users here will probably suggest HC-110, it's what Saint Ansel himself used, but it's a lot of juggling and measuring, and my tests with it some years ago didn't really convince me it provides any better results.

    If you end up using a Tab grained film like T-Max, you'll most likely find you'll get the best results with the matching developer.

    Most important is to find an emulsion (or two) and developer (or two) and stick with them, learn how to manipulate your results with time and dilution for different exposure.

    Rodinal checks off all your boxes.

  3. #3
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    South Dakota
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    Re: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    I've been using HC-110 on Ilford film for a year & half now with no issues at all. Consistently good results and it's easy.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    993

    Re: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    HC-110 would fit your needs well. It's the only developer I've used for LF Tri-X for 40 years.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Dunedin,Otago,New Zealand
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    185

    Re: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    Given your developer quantities, read up on Kodak Xtol,Replenished. Replace with 70-80ml for each 8x10 sheet, good for years. My stock bottle is 5+ years in, and going strong. Vanbar has it.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    320

    Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    Easiest, most fool proof is probably diafine.
    You dissolve it in water at room temp, lasts forever (and I mean years), donít have to worry about adjusting or controlling temperature (within reasonable limits), itís all nominal processing (meaning you donít worry about developing for N-1 or whatever; times are fixed), and gives you a speed boost. Also, no prewash, and plain water is your stop bath, so one less chemical to worry about. Other than cross mixing the part A and B thereís nothing much you can do wrong, and works beautifully with both of the films you mention.
    Once you move into HC-110 or Rodinal youíre basically splitting hairs. Theyíre both still pretty simple, you just dissolve a few ml into water on every use according to their manuals. But you need to worry about adjusting times as a function of temperature. Also I think Rodinal generates a more visible grain which I donít like (at least in 1:50), mostly visible in the highlights. HC-110 is better in that regard.

  7. #7

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    Jan 2013
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    Madisonville, LA
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    Re: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    HC-110 would fit your needs well. It's the only developer I've used for LF Tri-X for 40 years.
    +1 and for HP5+ also.

  8. #8

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    Re: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    D-76 and ID-11 are pretty basic. I'm not thrilled with the latest D-76 from Alaris though so I switched to Clayton---I'm not sure if Clayton is available in Australia---so you might want to try ID-11.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9

    Re: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    I use x-tol for everything including corn flakes for breakfast. x-tol lasts a long time in bottles, is very sharp and has lots of contrast. It's very forgiving for slight variations in temperature. David

  10. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    5,730

    Re: Beginner-friendly developer for 8x10 HP5 and Tri-X in 8x10"

    I user the T-max developer because it is a liquid with excellent storage properties. It is used one-shot and it has long development times at 24 degrees. Works for me with every film I have tried in the last 25 years. Very consistent results. The only time I was not pleased was with tray development.

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