Suggestion for beginners: start with D76, skip the monobath

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Autonerd Contributing Member • Posts: 767
Re: Suggestion for beginners: start with D76, skip the monobath

Steven Seven wrote:

D76 or ID11 are probably best for beginners

Why? What is so special about them to be "best for beginners". Why not Xtol or DD-X or HC-110?

I (re-) started with D-76 because it's what I used as a kid and it's known to work with everything (including D-76).

I switched over to HC-110 a couple of months ago because the liquid concentrate is more convenient, but I found a problem: Development time for Ilford HP-5 (one of my go-to films) in Dilution B is 5 minutes -- too short for my liking. Dilution H has a longer time but doesn't hit the 6ml minimum developer threshold for my single-reel tank. (Can't imagine why you'd need a minimum amount if it's diluted, but I did think the negatives looked a little flat.) I went back and bought more D-76 and now use it for HP5 while I do my FP4+ in HC-110 Dilution B. I'm happy with the results. I'd hoped to settle on one developer but, well, the best laid plans, etc.

I think D-76 is better than HC-110 for beginners for another reason: While it's a pain to mix up the stock solution, it's easier to dilute. If you're pouring out 110 ml of water and 110 ml of developer and you're off by a couple of ml, no biggie. If you're adding 10 ml of HC-110 to 315 ml of water and you're off by half a mil on the developer... biggie.


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