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Thread: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

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  1. #1

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    Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    Re-embarking into large format after a 20 year hiatus.

    Plans at this point are to shoot Ilford FP4 and a little Ilford Ortho Plus.

    I am looking at developers and currently have a bottle of the Ilfosol 3 but some reading elswhere mentioned the Ilfotec LC29 as a good fit for the FP4.

    What are the thoughts of the group?

    Maybe another developer that the two I have mentioned?

    Bill V
    Tempe, AZ

  2. #2

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    A wide variety of developers will work perfectly with both of those films (especially FP4 which should work well with literally any general purpose developer). Ilfosol is fine (slightly grainier than average but that's basically irrelevant in large format anyway). Ilfotec LC29 is similar to Ilfotec HC, so it's more or less the equivalent of Kodak HC-110. The issue with LC29 is spotty availability. Ilfotec HC is easier to get but is expensive. There are many options though. For example if you're ok with Ilfosol you might like Adox Rodinal, which is convenient and has a good shelf life.

  3. #3

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    I selected the Ifosol3 due to two reasons.

    The fact it seemed like Kodak had gotten out of the photographic chemistry trade and stocks of their products on the shelf were few.

    Ilfosol3 was the only film developer that seemed appropriate left on the shelf at the camera store. (they had plenty of digital cameras though...)

    Given it was made by the film manufacturer and did not seem to be headed out of production helped.

    Bill V
    Tempe, AZ

  4. #4

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    Ilfotec LC28 and Ilfotec HC are the same developer. LC28 is a more diluted HC and, when looking at the cost per unit of working solution, HC is one of the cheapest developers Ilford sells.

    I use both and for large format I prefer HC because it never goes bad. I am on my 3rd year with the same bottle. Ilfosol 3 is a beautiful developer with wonderful fine & sharp grain, but as others have said - it doesn't matter in large format, and it doesn't last as long. I only use Ilfosol 3 with 35mm film because of its beautiful grain structure.

    Some folks say that Ilfotec HC loses about 1/3 of a stop of film speed. I have not tested this and have not noticed eyeballing the negatives.

  5. #5

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    Ilfotec HC seems to be largely unavailable in the places I have looked, when I do find it the cost is $90 for a liter. Good thing it lasts I guess...

    Ilfotec DD-X shows up a lot, how does that figure into things?

    Bill V
    Tempe, AZ

  6. #6

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beevo View Post
    Ilfotec HC seems to be largely unavailable in the places I have looked, when I do find it the cost is $90 for a liter. Good thing it lasts I guess...

    Ilfotec DD-X shows up a lot, how does that figure into things?

    Bill V
    Tempe, AZ
    DDX is Ilford’s standard general purpose PQ solvent developer. Full emulsion speed, short toe, good highlight contrast, fine grain. It’s not the most economical though.

  7. #7

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beevo View Post
    Ilfotec HC seems to be largely unavailable in the places I have looked, when I do find it the cost is $90 for a liter.
    You are confused. Developer prices should be compared when looking at working solutions, not concentrates. One $90 bottle of HC gives you 50 liters of working solution at 49+1. That's $1.8 per liter. One $33 bottle of DD-X gives you just 4 liters of working solution at 1+3. That's $8.25 per liter. DD-X is four and a half times more expensive than HC.

    Ilfotec HC is one of the cheapest developers available along with other HC-110 clones. Another similar option to consider is LegacyPro L110.

  8. #8

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    Ilfosol 3 goes bad very quickly after opening the bottle. If your developing sessions are months apart, then it's a very poor choice. When it goes bad, it goes totally bad, and you'll get no image at all, not even the edge markings.

    If you like the convenience of liquid, then Rodinal (or equivalents) is great for large format, as is HC110 (or equivalents). Both of them have very long storage life in the bottle after opening.
    Repenting Sinar Blasphemer ... stonings at 11

  9. #9

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by sharktooth View Post
    Ilfosol 3 goes bad very quickly after opening the bottle. If your developing sessions are months apart, then it's a very poor choice. When it goes bad, it goes totally bad, and you'll get no image at all, not even the edge markings.

    If you like the convenience of liquid, then Rodinal (or equivalents) is great for large format, as is HC110 (or equivalents). Both of them have very long storage life in the bottle after opening.
    Would gassing the bottle with nitrogen before capping it after use be of an advantage?

    Bill V

  10. #10

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    Re: Ilfotec LC29 or Ilfosol 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beevo View Post
    Would gassing the bottle with nitrogen before capping it after use be of an advantage?

    Bill V
    No. The screw cap itself has poor vapour sealing, and that's part of the problem. The bottle has a glue top, like on motor oil, that has to be cut open or peeled off. Once that glue seal is broken, it's a rapid decline since the screw cap is crap.
    Repenting Sinar Blasphemer ... stonings at 11

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