Support our Sponsors, they keep FADU free:   AG Photographic   Keyphoto   The Imaging Warehouse   Process Supplies   RH Designs   RK Photo   Second-hand Darkroom Supplies   Silverprint Ltd

Notices

Go Back   Film and Darkroom User > Monochrome Work > Monochrome Film

  ***   Click here for the FADU 2015/2014 Yearbooks   ***

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 27th September 2020, 09:09 PM
George George is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 8
Default Economical substitute for DD-X?

I've not been very exciting with using different films and developers. I've only ever used DD-X and nearly only HP5

This has, however, given me good consistency and my negatives are becoming simpler to print.

So, is there a developer out there that is as good as DD-X? I have two dev tanks, so 500ml does me 2 rolls of 120 then I ditch it. I have only recently got my second tank, so I developed hundreds of single rolls with DD-X at 1:4 before ditching.

This, as you rightly thought, is expensive. 2.40 a roll in fact. Now 1.20 a roll with 2 tanks which isn't so bad.

Just been on Silverprint and they stock many types - thought I's ask the knowledgeable among here rather than sifting through google for hours.

Cheers!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 27th September 2020, 10:12 PM
MartyNL's Avatar
MartyNL MartyNL is online now
Friend
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: based in The Netherlands
Posts: 2,562
Default

Ilford DD-X is an excellent developer but not the most economical when used as a one-shot developer.

Finding the best film/developer combination(s) that suits your photographic style is a great part of the analogue journey.

Personaly, I rarely use film above 100 asa and prefer fine grain developers.

For economical use, you could try Ilford Ilfotec HC or Kodak HC 110.
__________________
MartyNL

Last edited by MartyNL; 27th September 2020 at 10:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 27th September 2020, 11:40 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Daventry, Northants
Posts: 7,722
Default

George, I switched from DDX to Xtol over 10 years ago. Not sure what made me do this now. Probably a mixture of its alleged all-round qualities and its then much cheaper price The difference in price in Xtol's favour has lessened of late but is still there. Xtol makes 5L of stock whereas DDX makes 4L of stock at 1+4 and is still slightly cheaper per purchase

It seems to do everything for me that DDX did but I sometime wonder about my judgement in that a lot of users on another site seem to be able to see the kind of major changes in negatives developed in different developers that I fail to.

The ultimate product of any negative has to be the print and certainly at my usual size which is 5x7 I can detect no difference and I doubt if I would at 8x10

So I suspect that the differences between film developers for my needs are marginal which is a negative way of saying that there may several developers cheaper than DDX that are as good at producing what I need in terms of negatives as subsequent prints but I have stuck to Xtol because like you I know what I will get with it

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 28th September 2020, 05:56 AM
MartyNL's Avatar
MartyNL MartyNL is online now
Friend
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: based in The Netherlands
Posts: 2,562
Default

The data sheet for ddx makes for interesting reading about its re-use.

And then there's always the possibility of (semi-) stand development and/or mixing your own developer from raw chemicals.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ILFOTEC-DDX-AUG19.pdf (297.3 KB, 8 views)
__________________
MartyNL
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 28th September 2020, 09:02 AM
CambsIan's Avatar
CambsIan CambsIan is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,226
Default

Hi George,

I used DDX ages ago and gave it up as, like you say, I found it quite expensive. Then I switched to D-76 which was great, but once mixed the shelf life was too short for the amount I develop.

I now use HC-110, which has a life of almost forever and I use semi stand at 1:150. Using this I use 4ml per film (just over the minimum of 3ml), so reckon I'll get something like 250 films out of a litre. Even if you use 1:49, it's only 10ml which is 100 films.

If it works out using 1:150 reckon that's less than 15p a film.

It's perhaps not the easiest to work with, but I'm getting to grips with it and it works for me.

Ian
__________________
Learn to live, live to learn

Last edited by CambsIan; 28th September 2020 at 09:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 28th September 2020, 09:31 AM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 1,285
Default

Hi George,
I use HP5 a lot and develop it in ID11 at a dilution of 1+2 or 1+3. This works out at about 50p. for a roll of 120 film, less for the 1+3 dilution which I use for high contrast exposure, i.e. films exposed on a bright sunny day. I think ID11 at these dilutions is just about as good as things get. I have done comparative tests and found that diluted ID11 is better than Rodinal and Xtol, and on a par with Pyrocat HD which some photographers think is the absolute bees knees.

Alan
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 28th September 2020, 12:01 PM
skellum's Avatar
skellum skellum is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Isle of Lewis
Posts: 1,028
Default

I only ever used DDX with Delta 3200, and it gave lovely results but it is costly per roll.
You are about to receive almost as many suggestions as there are developers. For occasional users a developer with long shelf life is valuable. HC110, Rodinal and Pmk Pyro all fit the bill. I used HC110 many years ago and liked the results. Now I've settled on PMK for all my films- long life, and lovely tonality on HP5. Better at EI 200 than 400. Works out at 50 to 60 pence per roll of 120, cheaper for 35mm.
I did try Rodinal a long while back, didn't like the grain at all, but some folk swear by it.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 28th September 2020, 12:25 PM
Martin Aislabie's Avatar
Martin Aislabie Martin Aislabie is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Posts: 1,658
Default

Hi George

I use ID11 - it comes as a powder and you have to mix it yourself.

It currently costs 13.74 for a 5L pack.

It takes about 15 ~ 20 min to mix up.

It is very straight forward a process to follow.

I use ID11 as a one shot developer at a 1+1 dilution with water.

I am not at all convinced that any one developer is "better" than any other - but ID11 is a fairly similar beast to DD-X, producing very similar results.

With powdered developers you are trading the economy of powered developers against the convenience of liquids - only you can decide whether it is a worth while trade.

Martin
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 28th September 2020, 01:48 PM
Svend Svend is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,036
Default

George,

If you like the look of DDX, and you value a film speed increase (or at least no decrease), then you might look at Ilford Microphen. It is a phenidone-hydroquinone developer like DDX, and is said by some to give very similar results. There are a few here who really like it and can advise on speed, dev times, etc. for HP5. Personally I have not used it, but have been meaning to try it as a replenished developer for some time (just haven't gotten around to it as yet). There's a long thread here on Microphen with lots of good info if you're interested:
http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...ad.php?t=11350

But, as others have noted, if you ask a question about developer choice you will get a dozen different answers all based on the writer's personal preferences. Part of the fun of this hobby is to try different things, and film-developer combos are certainly fun to experiment with. I would say that changing the developer can change the look of a film (just run one roll of HP5 in Rodinal and another in Perceptol and you will see what I mean). It's worth it to dig into this, decide what "look" you're after (amongst other variables - e.g. film speed, economy, etc.), and then zero in on a film-developer combo that will do the job.

Hope this helps...
__________________
Regards,
Svend
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 28th September 2020, 02:31 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Daventry, Northants
Posts: 7,722
Default

This may take us off the thread to a certain extent but as Svend has mentioned Microphen, I recall Argentum doing tests with D3200 and he found that only Microphen delivered full box speed. I'd need to search for his thread which was several years ago but I think and it is no stronger than "think" that he also used DDX.

I find that both DDX and Xtol do equally well at 1600 for D3200 but if Microphen genuinely improves on this in terms of speed and has no minuses it is certainly one to consider, George.

NB It comes in 1L powder so its life while in powder form is virtually indefinite and easy to store. Once in liquid stock 1L may be easier to store in small 125/250 ml bottles than the 5L of Xtol to retain maximum life . However even at 1+3 which is not recommended for fast speed films it still works out the most expensive as it is 4L max(at 1+3) whereas DDX is 5L (1L at 1+4 ). So if it does deliver better speed than DDX and you are a user of D3200 it may be worth the extra cost for the likes of D3200 or Tmax 3200

Cost-wise however it does not appear to be meet the definition of both all round developer that is economical

Mike
Reply With Quote
Reply
Support our Sponsors, they keep FADU free:   AG Photographic   Keyphoto   The Imaging Warehouse   Process Supplies   RH Designs   RK Photo   Second-hand Darkroom Supplies   Silverprint Ltd

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anti-newton glass substitute GoodOldNorm Darkroom 6 23rd June 2019 09:10 PM
Grey card substitute GoodOldNorm Photography in general 54 23rd August 2015 06:07 PM
Ilford FB matt Substitute kimberellie Introductions 3 25th October 2010 07:51 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.