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Quendil 1st October 2021 03:39 PM

Ilford Ilfotec HC Users
 
I have just purchased some Ilfotec HC as I need something with a longer shelf life than Ifosol 3 due to the fact I am not having much time to shoot film let alone develop it.

I am after some advise on using it as I would prefer to use it as a concentrate and mix when needed rather than using a stock solution.

So is there anyone on here that does this and can you offer any advice as I have not used it before?

Thanks
David

Michael 1st October 2021 05:07 PM

David, just straight out of the bottle is fine. I've always used it as one-shot. It keeps extremely well if you use Protectan (lots of discussion available on the forum).

Pretty much any grad will do for initial mixing, as long as it can take the same again in water for several dilution steps.

MartyNL 1st October 2021 07:16 PM

Coincidentally, I've just opened a 500ml brown glass bottle of Ilfotec HC I decanted more than 10 years ago! It's worked perfectly for the 30 sheets of Delta 100 4x5" that I've rotary processed so far. And I'll be processing another 30 sheets of Tmax 100 this weekend before making some prints.

I use a syringe to measure accurate volumes and dilute 1+49 for one-shot use and easy calculations.

soulstar 1st October 2021 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MartyNL (Post 141677)
Coincidentally, I've just opened a 500ml brown glass bottle of Ilfotec HC I decanted more than 10 years ago! It's worked perfectly for the 30 sheets of Delta 100 4x5" that I've rotary processed so far. And I'll be processing another 30 sheets of Tmax 100 this weekend before making some prints.

I use a syringe to measure accurate volumes and dilute 1+49 for one-shot use and easy calculations.

wow this is amazing. I was looking at picking up some hc110 but as i live in the UK i will pick up some ILFOTEC HC as they are basically identical correct?

redtreephoto 2nd October 2021 07:58 AM

I know this is not what you are asking but I would recommend that you keep some 1+3 stock solution handy and then mix 1+7 for a standard working dilution B as you need it. If you keep the stock in an airtight container it lasts for months. Empty crew top Caprisun 330ml or 500ml pouches for example are great to squeeze out all the air. Then when you need to develop, it is super quick to mix and achieve consistency in your concentration.

Sent from my CLT-L29 using Tapatalk

B&W Neil 2nd October 2021 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soulstar (Post 141679)
wow this is amazing. I was looking at picking up some hc110 but as i live in the UK i will pick up some ILFOTEC HC as they are basically identical correct?


AFAIK the two are much the same, although I've always used HC 110. So use the times Ilford say, see how you go, and if you need any more look at the HC 110 times.


Neil.

B&W Neil 2nd October 2021 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soulstar (Post 141679)
wow this is amazing. I was looking at picking up some hc110 but as i live in the UK i will pick up some ILFOTEC HC as they are basically identical correct?


AFAIK the two are much the same, although I've always used HC 110. So use the times Ilford say, see how you go, and if you need any more look at the HC 110 times.


Neil.

soulstar 2nd October 2021 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B&W Neil (Post 141683)
AFAIK the two are much the same, although I've always used HC 110. So use the times Ilford say, see how you go, and if you need any more look at the HC 110 times.


Neil.

cheers neil

MartyNL 2nd October 2021 10:56 AM

The reason I turned to my 'vintage' Ilfotec HC is that my new full bottle and a half of Spur HRX was a deep yellow colour, even though one was completely sealed and in its original packaging.
I did a clip test and clearly of the two, the Ilfotec HC hadn't lost its potency, by comparison.
Spur HRX is a fine developer but I find its shelf life on the short side. I'm looking forward to giving the Kodak Xtol clone, Adox Xt-3 a run for its money but after that I'm going to stick with standard, run of the mill developers, like good old Ilfotec HC!

Mike O'Pray 2nd October 2021 03:38 PM

Leaving aside the question mark that may or may not hang over the "new" HC110 in terms of its longevity v "old" HC110 and how this alters its longevity v Ilfotec NC, what I am unsure about is whether leaving Ilfotec HC in its concentrate form is better from a longevity aspect than diluting it to stock at 1+3 and then further diluting it to working concentration.

I'd be interested in any opinions either from a theory aspect or better still from those who may have tried both methods. Intuitively it seems to me that introducing a lot of water such as 500ml or 1 litre as Ilford suggests would affect its longevity adversely but intuition isn't always a reliable instinct

However from the convenience aspect in terms of measurement it struck me that if you use the 1+47 dilution from stock at 1+3 this makes the maths a little harder as compared to 1+50 which is much easier.

The two methods do result in very marginally different dilutions, I think, but at these kind of dilutions i.e. 1+3 then 1+ 47 v 1+50 the difference might be so marginal that it can safely be ignored

Any comments are appreciated

Thanks

Mike

B&W Neil 3rd October 2021 08:56 AM

1:49 times are available on the net. Or use Kodak's 1:63 times which I use - produces very nice negs. There are many different dilutions (unofficial and otherwise) to use including semi-stand and stand routines. Too many really - can be confusing, they all work, I've tried many. But the 1:63 suits me and I get very nice negs everytime with no faffing about :-) You pay your penny and you make your choice!

Ansel Adams used HC 110 and it is becasue of this that it is more popular in the USA than the UK.

Neil.

MartyNL 5th October 2021 11:16 PM

I had to throw away some paper developer today, a relatively new, unopened bottle of Tetenal Variobrom. Meanwhile, I cracked open my 2019 stock solution of Bromophen and it worked like a charm.
There’s something about the older chem’s, more robust, more reliable and generally a lot cheaper.
As much as I like to try new materials and support suppliers, I find myself coming back to the old faithfuls.

Miha 6th October 2021 06:40 PM

Ilfotec HC was my go-to developer for several years between 1998 and 2010, works really great with HP5+ in 135 even pushed all the way to EI 3200, always at 1+31, realy tight grain, easy to print negatives. I prefer it to DDX with this film.

Mike O'Pray 6th October 2021 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Miha (Post 141731)
Ilfotec HC was my go-to developer for several years between 1998 and 2010, works really great with HP5+ in 135 even pushed all the way to EI 3200, always at 1+31, realy tight grain, easy to print negatives. I prefer it to DDX with this film.

Miha, is this the 1+31 based on the Ilford recommendation that you use a stock solution that is made up by diluting the concentrate 1L +3L of water , then dividing the 4L into 1L containers and using that at 1 part stock to 7 parts water to make up yet another litre which becomes the working developer for 1+31?

It all sounds quite complicated to me and means using a lot of bottles and mixing

Or do you use 1+31 as one part concentrate and 31 parts water which seems much less complicated and easier to mix but results in a slightly more concentrated developer?

Finally what time did you use for HP5+ at 3200? Ilford does give a time for HP5+ at 3200.

Thanks

Mike

Terry S 7th October 2021 12:07 PM

Having never used the Ilfotec HC developer before, and as a current user (happily for a good while now) of home mixed D76 / ID11, I have found my interest in Ilfotec HC peaked even more, after skim-reading the Ilford pages for its use.

It recommends mixing up a stock from the whole bottle and then further dilutions depending upon how you develop your films and then ending up with various bottles, which then need to be diluted further.

I have looked at The Massive Development Chart though, which gives more sensible options (at least in my eyes) when developing my go to film of Ilford HP5+ in Ilfotec HC, as it gives straight forward dilutions of the original developer, which I presume must need to be measured with a syringe?

I find it rather odd that Ilford seem quite adamant in their literature about not proceeding with direct dilutions from the original bottle.

So, does anyone take developer straight from the original bottle and then dilute it directly with water to make a working solution, inline with The Massive Development Chart?

I'm also curious as to why, when the whole dilution aspect is quite lengthy, that people use the developer at all? So what is it about the developer that people find so worthwhile with so many rules to follow, to then go and actually use it?

Terry S

Edit: and rereading the Ilford literature it states in paragraph one, on page one, ' Do not use ILFOTEC HC developer as replenisher.'

But it then says on page two, paragraphs nine and ten , 'Preparing stock replenisher Stock replenisher solution is prepared by diluting the concentrate 1+7 with water.' And 'Preparing working strength
replenisher solutions
'.

This just confuses me (and I'm sure others) even more and has definitely put me off even trying it!?!?

And carrying on reading the information, I now also question if the times mentioned on The Massive Development Chart are from original stock, directly from the original unopened bottle or whether the times and dilutions quoted are after making a stock solution first....?

I want my photography to be fun and NOT headache inducing!

Mike O'Pray 7th October 2021 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terry S (Post 141746)

And carrying on reading the information, I now also question if the times mentioned on The Massive Development Chart are from original stock, directly from the original unopened bottle or whether the times and dilutions quoted are after making a stock solution first....?

I agree with all of your sentiments Terry and it was that part of you reply that I quote above that made me wonder as well. Is the MDC 1+31 the same as Ilford's 1+31 or is it 1 part concentrate plus 31 parts water?

That's why I have asked the question of Miha about how he arrives at his 1+31. However and based on my possibly "shaky" maths the Ilford two stage "1+31" is I think only marginally different but very slightly weaker than the concentrate 1+31

My instinct says that the two methods are close enough in terms of the dilution's final strength to make no real difference but I could be wrong .

Both methods involve a lot of squirts of gas unless it can be assumed that Ilfotec HC is more or less the same as HC110 or say Rodinal in terms of longevity whereby there is no need to squirt gas each time you deplete the 1L container of concentrate.

In my case for instance with a 135 film and Jobo tank I'd only need 7.5 cc of concentrate each time at the 1+31 dilution but eventually unless I had decanted the 1L into say a very small bottle of maybe 50cc I might need gas at some point

So it gets even more complicated with more questions than answers as things stand

Hopefully the 1L concentrate never needs any gas so all problems solved or second best it needs one squirt when you remove 25 or 50cc on concentrate and you then rely on the small bottle lasting a shorter time than the period beyond which gas has to be used

Mike

MartyNL 7th October 2021 01:39 PM

I mix Ilfotec HC neat using a syringe. I tend to shoot quite a lot of film and process in bulk but sporadically.
The time in-between can be quite long, anything up to 6 months. And in my experience at least, most developers, be it for paper or for film, lose potency or oxidize completely in this period.
I prefer to start with fresh chemicals wherever possible but I find decanting and filling to the brim the next best option for my situation.

Bill 7th October 2021 01:46 PM

I always dilute to whatever mix I am using straight from the bottle of concentrate. I have some very old measures from a colour kit I once used and as they are tall and narrow I find I can measure the small quantities I need. I have tried syringes but could not get on with those. For those worried about longevity my first bottle lasted 22 years with no gas squirts. My current bottle is relatively new at about 6 years and is working as it should.
I now only use HC for 4 x 5 processing. I use Tanol for 35mm and 120.

Bill

Mike O'Pray 7th October 2021 05:56 PM

Well, both Marty's and Bill's replies helps settle the key questions which are that using concentrate and avoiding the double dilution of the Ilford method is OK and that llford HC has a very long life based on Bill's experience

Marty, I wasn't so clear about your comment on longevity. Were you saying that HC loses its potency after 6 months or drawing the distinction between HC and the other developer which at best lose some potency and in the worst cases exhaust completely in as short as 6 months?

As far as dilution go, the MDC and Ilford give the same times for say HP5+ but this might simply mean that MDC expresses its 1+31 based on the same 1+3 then 1 + 7 to give Ilford's 1+31 or it could be that in the MDC's case it is a straight 1 part concentrate to 31 parts water

I cannot work out a way of telling but it may not matter based on the following

Ilford takes 100% concentrate, dilutes it to 25% (1+3 ) strength then further dilutes it to just over 1/8th of 25% Thus the final result is just over 3% of the original concentrate

Straight dilution to 1+31 is just over 3%. In fact the Ilford method and straight dilution from concentrate may even the exact same number

Mike

MartyNL 7th October 2021 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray (Post 141750)
Marty, I wasn't so clear about your comment on longevity. Were you saying that HC loses its potency after 6 months or drawing the distinction between HC and the other developer which at best lose some potency and in the worst cases exhaust completely in as short as 6 months?

Mike

The second. Drawing a distinction between Ilfotec HC and many other film and paper developers stored under the same conditions in my darkroom. Not very scientific, I know! :)

Miha 7th October 2021 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray (Post 141736)
Miha, is this the 1+31 based on the Ilford recommendation that you use a stock solution that is made up by diluting the concentrate 1L +3L of water , then dividing the 4L into 1L containers and using that at 1 part stock to 7 parts water to make up yet another litre which becomes the working developer for 1+31?

It all sounds quite complicated to me and means using a lot of bottles and mixing

Or do you use 1+31 as one part concentrate and 31 parts water which seems much less complicated and easier to mix but results in a slightly more concentrated developer?

Finally what time did you use for HP5+ at 3200? Ilford does give a time for HP5+ at 3200.

Thanks

Mike

Hi Mike, I mixed it directly from the bottle, using a small graduated cylinder. I don't remember the time, sorry.

Mike O'Pray 7th October 2021 09:06 PM

Thanks, Miha. I think a graduated small cylinder sounds like a good way

Mike

Mike O'Pray 7th October 2021 09:29 PM

Thanks Marty. Just as an aside in terms of cost it would appear that not only is HC very long lasting but one of the cheapest commercial developers on a cost per film basis

While Xtol 5L gives me 40 135 films at 1+1 and now costs about 17, Microphen gives 8 films for about 6.50 at the same dilution of 1+1 but HC gives just over 123 for about 31

So on a price per 135 film basis Xtol is roughly 42.5p per film, Microphen is just over 81p per film and top of the league in terms of value for money is HC at just over 25p per film

Mike

MartyNL 7th October 2021 09:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Mike, have you taken a look at the Ilford data sheet and specifically page 13?
It states the capacities are even higher, especially following the replenishment regime!


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