Tri-X in HC-110. What is your workflow?
Old 05-18-2015   #1
p.giannakis
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Tri-X in HC-110. What is your workflow?

Hi everyone.

I have been using Tri-X for a number of years and has been developing it in Rodinal. Recently i run out of Rodinal and decided to give HC-110 a try. Searching on the internet about developing times, dilutions etc.. i got more confused.

Can we start a thread with focus on a few things
  1. How do you expose Tri-X that you are planing to develop in HC-110 (what iso)
  2. What is the dilution/developing/agitation that you use
  3. Can you post a sample picture?
Thank you.

Edit: Sorry, i forgot to mention. I have the full strength HC-110 (American version).
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Old 05-19-2015   #2
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I expose at 400, use HC-110B and use the MassiveDev recommended procedure of 5:30 at 21C

I don't think I have a sample online, but I can upload one later today.
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Old 05-19-2015   #3
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HC-110 Dilution B. 6:30 minutes, agitate 2 times a minute or so. I shoot it at box speed.
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Old 05-19-2015   #4
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Can I ask how long the stock solution and the concentrate (once opened) last? I've often thought of trying this solution, and my D76 stocks are depleted. I'm hoping for less grain and more convenience with TriX.
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Old 05-19-2015   #5
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I divide a bottle of hc110 into smaller glass bottles, so they are air tight.. I use it direct, stock solution one shot every time i develop. Have used stock solution thats been about 2 years old, no issues. Just dont dilute it, mix it from stock stock..
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Old 05-19-2015   #6
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I use dilution H (1:63) mixed directly from concentrate, developing for 11 minutes at 20 degrees C. I agitate by inversion for the first 30 seconds and then do seven inversions every 30 seconds.

In concentrated form HC-110 lasts indefinitely. I recently finished a bottle which I probably had for five years. The last few drops in the bottom of the bottle were bright red and it still gave me consistent results.
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Old 05-19-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bojic View Post
Dil B @ 6:30 is a good starting point.

But always, always inverse vigorously 5 times each 30 seconds. That is a must.
May I ask you why? I never understood the need for the cocktail-shaking-kodak agitation method.

I just started to try out dilution H with minimal agitation (3 agitations every 3 minutes, slightly longer times, around 15min. for tri-x/tmax at 400) and it seems to give me better results they B with 3 agitations every minute. Never tried to cocktail-shake my films though.
But I'm also quite sloppy with my exposures, everything that compensates slightly in the development stage fit's me right.

What are the pros & cons for the recommended Kodak-cocktail-shaking-agitation-method?
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Old 05-19-2015   #8
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I have been typically exposing at EI 250, diluting 1:45 (20cc in 900cc tank) and developing for 6 minutes at 20C with 5 sec agitation every 30 seconds. The tonality is very good, sharpness is OK and the grain is visible, but not obtrusive. ( You will get more grain than with D76 Pete). Here's an example:
20124409 by marek fogiel, on Flickr

On a side note - if you are a fan of Rodinal and like no hassle liquid developers with good acutance, you should try Acurol N - I am currently experimenting with it, so don't yet have pictures ready to post, but it definitely is a "better Rodinal", and equally flexible in dilutions. Main advantages: smaller grain and more linear characteristic curve.
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Old 05-19-2015   #9
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1. I shoot it at 200
2. I use HC-110h, 11:45 minutes,30 seconds initial gentle inversion agitation, then 3 inversions at 10 minutes, 6 minutes, and 2 minutes.
3. Here are more than you can look at:

https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_...rix&view_all=1
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Old 05-19-2015   #10
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i run hp5 in hc-110, dilution H, 75F, 10.5 minutes; swirl agitation 10 seconds to start, then 5 seconds gently every minute. used the same flow for Tri-X; i use HP5 only because it dries so much flatter. and yes, hc-110 syrup lasts forever ...
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Old 05-19-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
. ( You will get more grain than with D76 Pete).
Thank you.
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Old 05-19-2015   #12
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I tend to shoot Tri-x at 1600 for night or and lower light shooting.
I use a mix of Unofficial HC110 page and Massive Dev chart at the Digital Truth. So for [email protected] it would HC110 Dilution B for 16min. I'll mix straight from concentrate so I'd mix 7.5ml into a 300ml or water for a single roll. Three inversions every 30 seconds.


http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart...ch&TempUnits=C
http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110/

[email protected] in HC110
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Old 05-19-2015   #13
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my hc-110 sirup is 4 years old and still works perfectly well (Altought it turned red now)
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Old 05-19-2015   #14
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i have to agree with Ned on this one.

i always follow the manufacturer's recommendation unless there are clear and proven reasons not to.

In the past i would have problems with uneven development and it nearly drove me nuts trying to cure it. One day i read Kodak's datasheet on the film and decided to follow their recommendation as closely as I could, including agitation. Voila, no more uneven development and I love my prints. It even helps solve wierd problems with your scanning workflow.
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Old 05-19-2015   #15
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Developing Tri-X in HC-110 is a process that Kodak has done much scientific research to arrive at basic starting techniques. Rather than you starting with whatever tweaked technique that works for someone else with their water, thermometer, method of metering, etc., etc, etc. why not start with the well researched Kodak recommendations?

Tri-X in HC-110 has been my standard for years. After trying many tweaks, I have settled on something so close to the Kodak recommendations.

I suggest downloading the Kodak HC-110 eight page technical publication J-24

Unless of course you believe that old "ILeicaDude" in BFE knows more about Tri-X in HC-110 than Kodak does.
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Old 05-19-2015   #16
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Tri-X exposed @250, 12:30 m in dilution H, (gently) agitate, three inversions every minute.
https://flic.kr/p/iTnB2y
https://flic.kr/p/ksWUhK
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Old 05-19-2015   #17
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HC-110 in Europe may be different to what Kodak USA sells here in Canada and USA.
I use the original full strength USA, HC-110.
I couldn't figger out those wild 1:63 dilutions.
I use 1:50 with slight less development.
My experiences with TRI-X were OK, but I hate the curl.
A major problem for my "found in the street" Canon scanner.
It cannot or won't scan curved negs.
So I use Ilford film HP+5 or mostly Kentmere 400.
I used Rodinal for about 40+ years but no more.
I love the no chemical fog on film base, the tight grain and developer lasts forever.
I use a stop bath(Kodak it stinks) and Ilford Rapid fixer.
I use 2 fixer baths.
There are a few charts to work with.
The Kodak one is suspect in being too short times!
Enjoy.
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Old 05-19-2015   #18
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I always followed the agitation and time for the developer's manufacturer (i.e. Ilfords 4x in 10s every minute when using DD-X, Kodaks 5/5 every 30s when using Kodak juice) - figured that's how they got their starting point times
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Old 05-19-2015   #19
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Can you still buy this "European HC110"? I've never ever seen a bottle of it anywhere in any store.
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Old 05-19-2015   #20
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These days, I usually develop Tri-X in Diafine, exposed at iso 800. However, when I want to minimize grain and go for a smoother look, I develop in HC 110 dil. h, following a procedure similar to charjohncarter's above: I expose at 250, develop in HC 110 dil. h for 11:30 mins., 30 second initial agitation and then three inversions every three minutes counting down. Sample:

Belem by bingley0522, on Flickr
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Old 05-20-2015   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
  1. How do you expose Tri-X that you are planing to develop in HC-110 (what iso)
  2. What is the dilution/developing/agitation that you use
  3. Can you post a sample picture?
Pan, I expose at box speed, unless I push, which I have tried up to 3200. I've tried several dilutions but tend to use H these days unless I'm pushing because the time becomes quite long; then I use B mostly. I do find the dilutions quite difficult to figure out, esp. given the various info online as to how much HC-110 at a minimum is required per roll.

I agitate quite non-aggressively during the first 30s and then 2-3 turns on on the minute. I find this gives the best results.

Not sure it helps to post examples since I virtually always add a curve etc to my scans, but here are a few of dilution B, dilution d, and dilution E. I don't have any dilution H photos on Flickr. I think most of the examples are Tri-X.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete B View Post
Can I ask how long the stock solution and the concentrate (once opened) last?
Pete, I've had my bottle for 3 years and it's by now half full and keeps working as intended. It's long-lasting. In fact, I believe one will sooner run out than experience it going bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
My experiences with TRI-X were OK, but I hate the curl.
A major problem for my "found in the street" Canon scanner.
It cannot or won't scan curved negs.
So I use Ilford film HP+5 or mostly Kentmere 400.
I agree re the curl issue - though my scanner (9000) does fairly well with its 135 film holder it annoys me on occasion. Kentmere is really nice, I find, and very good value too, including in bulk.

But the last year I've pretty much only shot 5222. Absolutely love that film and its grain. Pushes well too and dries very flat. If there is the slightest curl it can easily be removed by rolling the film emulsion side out in a film can or putting it under a few books. These tricks don't work at all as well for Tri-X.

Best
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Old 05-20-2015   #22
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Excellent source of information, thank you all for your input.
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Old 05-20-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bojic View Post
May I ask why gently?

Many people erroneously mix developing film and washing clothes. They think that if they agitate vigorously they might strip the image off the film as it would strip dirt off dirty clothes.
Or they think that the action of agitation will somehow "carve" the grain to a grossly sized Golf Ball.
They also think that a gentle agitation will gently stroke the film and minimize the grain.

All of the above is absolutely wrong.

I'm still curious: why gentle agitations? What would be the purpose of the gentleness?
Be kind to your film, don't shake it like it owes you money 😉. Uneven development is a risk with (semi) stand development, not if you inverse the tank calmly.
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Old 05-20-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bojic View Post
Scientific proof, please.

What's semi? A turn at the 30th minute mark?
30 minutes of bromide dragging anihilated by a single (calm) agitation?
Have you printed a blank frame to make sure your negative is even?

Also, what's up with the 60 required minutes? What if I told you that The developer exhausts after 16 minutes? Why would you even bother to inverse the tank 14 minutes later and then wait for another 30 minutes?

Stand development is nothing more than a folkloric ritual meant to separate the ones who value Quality from the ones who think they value Quality.

All IMO (for political correctness)
I agree with you on semi- stand or/and stand. Just gives what your last sentence stated. You won't get any scientific evidence from me, but I do or more correctly did get uneven development with stand or its neighbors. Mostly, it was with Rodinal, and really very little with HC-110. So after two trys (consistent quality wasn't there), I said, 'this isn't worth it.'
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Old 05-20-2015   #25
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My workflow with Tri-X has been the same for at least 3 years. I expose at ei200 and develop in Dilution H for 12 mins at 20c. I agitate continuously for the first 15 seconds, then 2 invertions at 4 mins and 2 invertions at 8 mins then empty the tank at 12 minute mark. I use exactly the same routine with HP5+ and lately I like that even more than Tri-X. I have never ever had a problem with bromide drag, but I did have some surge marks once or twice from sprocket holes and I found that using only the top reel in a 2 reel tank cured that one !

Examples on my flickr and examples of HP5+ on tumblr. (Links below)
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Old 05-21-2015   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bojic View Post
Dil B @ 6:30 is a good starting point.

But always, always inverse vigorously 5 times each 30 seconds. That is a must.
So you've made you views on stand development clear and I have to say that I'm not a big fan of stand development myself. Tried it a few times, but the results weren't better than with my regular proces.
I'm interested to know what the benefit is of vigourous agitation. What's your opinion on the effects on the contrast of the negatives?
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Old 05-21-2015   #27
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goodness-gracious, ned: why do YOU put on the internet YOUR recommendations?
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Old 05-21-2015   #28
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6:30 minutes isnt the recommended time by Kodak, but you came to that conclusion...
Just saying..
Maybe he likes bromide drag, or uneven development, let him come to that conclusion..
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Old 05-21-2015   #29
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This is my workflow for any NEW to me B&W film
  1. Load camera and take photos at -2x box speed to +2 Box speed, leave a blank frame between different ISO's
  2. (ISO 200, 400, 800)
  3. Develop the film at Manufactures suggestions, (or use the Master Developer Chart App)
  4. Stop, fix, wash, PhotoFlo as normal
  5. Hang Dry
  6. Pick the best negative, and use that ISO.
I personally agitate 1/2m at start and 5s every 2 or 3 minutes with a spinner tank.

I shoot Tmax 400 at 400, and 10.5m in HC110 (H, 1:60) at 20c. (for one roll in a 2 real tank, 10ml syrup + 590ml filtered water... that is USA HC110 syrup)
I increased the time from 7.5m to 10.5m to add contrast to my liking. (I use 1:60 instead of 1:63 because it easier to measure for whole numbers)

HC110 needs a minimum amount depending on the dilution you pick.
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Old 05-21-2015   #30
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Old 05-21-2015   #31
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I always bought the 16 oz bottle of HC-110 and then poured it into 4 oz brown bottles from the drug store. It lasts forever that way. Since you can only buy it by the quart now, I guess I have to sweet talk the nice women at Walgreens out of some more bottles.
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Old 05-21-2015   #32
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not at all, Ned. i assume you mean well, but you are so, so ... adamant ...

and the op DID ask for RFF members' recommendations.

i use the swirly development kit (peterson's?); different agitation regimen; cannot tell you if it is equal to kodak's inversion regimen; basics from which i started were recommended by a long-time newspaper photographer with decades of hc-110 experience; he noted that water quality variances can require different temperatures, and that the proper combination for a photographer's development goal can take a while to determine, assuming the same agitation regimen for each combo.

i get really nice, clean negatives with excellent tonal range with the water available at my house. your mileage - and negatives - may vary ...
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Old 05-21-2015   #33
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Watching the documentary on Vivian Maier, I was shocked at the agitation!
Thought it was because film old and exposed long ago..
I have become more and more gentle and had to increase development times..
Maybe more VIGOROUS agitation..
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Old 05-21-2015   #34
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I was taught to gently agitate back in the early 1980s when I was the intel photographer on my ship in the US Navy. Why? Who knows, but it must have been an internet legend....years before there was an internet, and decades before this forum!

I seem to remember it was something about not generating bubbles, but could be wrong. But from my wetplate and large format experience, I see no reason to vigorously shake my chemistry. You are trying to get fresh chemicals next to the emulsion. A simple amount of movement and convection will do. Shaking would do what? Get, um, more....different....parts of the chemistry...uh...there....faster? It sounds like as much voodoo as the "gentle" advocates. Of which there was probably a vast majority in the past 90 years of film development. But I'd have to research that....and don't care.
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Old 05-21-2015   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bojic View Post
As I asked you first: why and what's the purpose of a gentle inversion, and why are you recomending it to other people on the internet?
The old story of expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights, in my opinion, isn't completely correct. It should be expose for the shadows, develop for the mid-tones, and agitate for the highlights. So you have a choice (by agitation schedule) of the type of highlights you want, and the manufacturer doesn't dictate (along with shadows and mid-tones) your highlight personal choice.

But you may be right, each person has to develop, expose and agitate to their own likes. And rather than recommending we should be encouraging experimentation.
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Old 05-21-2015   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
But you may be right, each person has to develop, expose and agitate to their own likes. And rather than recommending we should be encouraging experimentation.
Thank you. It sums up perfectly what i had in mind when starting the thread.
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Old 05-22-2015   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
The old story of expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights, in my opinion, isn't completely correct. It should be expose for the shadows, develop for the mid-tones, and agitate for the highlights. So you have a choice (by agitation schedule) of the type of highlights you want, and the manufacturer doesn't dictate (along with shadows and mid-tones) your highlight personal choice.

But you may be right, each person has to develop, expose and agitate to their own likes. And rather than recommending we should be encouraging experimentation.
+1 to that John. The heavy shakers of this world might like that way of developing, but it does nothing to keep highlights in check. It is not about more contrast, or less contrast, but all about the right contrast to make an image work with minimal dodging and burning or post processing.
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Old 05-25-2015   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bojic View Post
I'm still curious: why gentle agitations? What would be the purpose of the gentleness?
Years ago I had a talk with a Kodak Tech who told me the primary reason for gentle agitation is to prevent excessive air bubbles from forming on the film surface. Tapping the tank on the flat surface may not dislodge all of the bubbles since there will be more than normal the amount of these bubbles.. Gentleness prevents the excessive build up..

As you state agitation has nothing to do with grain..
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Old 05-26-2015   #39
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All this talk of gentle agitation had me a bit concerned about agitating too much. Then I watched Chris Crawford's video of film developing, and I relaxed. He states he experimented a lot before settling on his method. That and Kodak's recommendations mean I'm not afraid to really ensure new chemical is swirled over the film. I wouldn't shake enough to make a milkshake though.
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Old 05-26-2015   #40
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Excessive agitating a la Tom Cruise shakes drink can lead to dropped tank...don't go extreme either way.
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