View Full Version : Suggestions please - what dev to try next?
I've just come to the end of a 5 litre stock of ID-11 that I've been using to develop Pan F, FP4, HP5 and Tri-X. I've been really pleased with the results - and I've tried stock solution, 1+1 and 1+3. Whilst I'm happy to stick with it, is there something else I should be considering for a change before I go and buy some more ID-11? -
Generally I'd say keep on using the ID11 :)
If you ever wanted to try the faster films at 1600asa, or more, then you could maybe buy a litre pack of Microphen to compare the results though.
There are lots of different developers around. Best option would be to keep it going with Id-11 or D-76 which give the same outcomes. Best way to go is to concentrate on a single film and developer.
For a classic look try Rodinal at 1:50 (for 100 ISO or lower films, traditional emulsions). Don't use this one with 400 ISO films.
For tabular grain films, try Kodak Tmax or Ilford DD-X with films such as Kodak TMX or Ilford Delta 100. Or Xtol with the same films.
For the classic photojournalist look try HC-110 with Kodak 400TX (Tri-X).
I have had good results with Tetenal ultrafin
Yep, ID-11/D-76 is an excellent developer, and if you're happy with it then I think you should stick with it as your main dev. But I can also understand the desire to try others, and I would agree with julio1fer that Rodinal and HC-110 would be worth trying (they're all I ever use these days myself).
Rodinal at 1:50 with slow films like FP4 can give a very traditional look (though I do think it is worth trying with ISO 400 films too - it will emphasise the grain, but the harsh gritty look that results can be good with some subjects).
I'd also suggest HC-110 too - it's probably my favourite developer, and is very versatile. If you use it very dilute (eg dilution H) with very little agitation you get a very strong compensating effect that can render high contrast lighting very nicely indeed (I hadn't thought of it as "the classic photojournalist look", as julio1fer puts it, but I do think that's a good way to describe it).
ID 11 is among the best there is. You can get super sharp, super smooth, or a nice blend by varying dilution as you discovered.
Nothing does a whole lot better in any department so spend you time making photos.
The only exception is Delta 400, not 100, that does better in xtol or DD x.
I'll second HC-110 at dilution H with very little agitation. Here are older threads with some discussion of these starting points (YMMV):
Start with doubling the dilution B times and agitating gently every 3 minutes instead of every 60 seconds to get a feel for the compensating effect.
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