Reformulated: Kodak HC-110
Old 08-17-2019   #1
Ted Striker
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Reformulated: Kodak HC-110

If you look at B & H's web site, you'll see that there's a new entry under HC-110. Now labeled "New Formula" it appears in 2019 Kodak has made a very substantial change to the HC-110 formula. So substantial a change that former Kodak engineers consider this a different developer, very unlikely to have the same long shelf life that HC-110 is known for. I'll link the thread below where they talk about it.

HC-110 has been my go to developer for the past 10 years. Aside from DD-X, it's all I have ever used. You can still get the old formula now, but for how long, no one knows. I hardly shoot film now so my current liter of HC-110 will last me many, many, many years. But should I need a new developer, I will no longer turn to Kodak for this need as I am uninterested in this new formula.

https://www.photrio.com/forum/thread...ormula.169322/
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Old 08-17-2019   #2
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Ted - thanks for the heads up. Like you I rarely shoot film and should have enough of the old HC-110 to last me.
Cheers
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Old 08-17-2019   #3
p.giannakis
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The HC-110 is my main deveoper too so i would be interested to see how the "New HC-110" compares.
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Old 08-17-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
The HC-110 is my main deveoper too so i would be interested to see how the "New HC-110" compares.
My current opened bottle of HC-110 is many years old. It is extremely dark red and semi gelatinous. I used it to develop 2 rolls of Neopan Acros today. It was, as usual, 100% spot on. This developer is indestructible. Sadly, that property is likely lost as judged by the former Kodak chemists in the thread that I linked to.

I dont like this reformulation. If it were so good, Kodak would have told us why and how it is improved instead of this stealth move.
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Old 08-17-2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shac View Post
Ted - thanks for the heads up. Like you I rarely shoot film and should have enough of the old HC-110 to last me.
Cheers
David
You are very welcome.
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Old 08-17-2019   #6
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Dang. Now I'll have to go and buy up the stock at Central camera.
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Old 08-17-2019   #7
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Just bought a bottle of the original on B&H that is still in stock so no need for me to worry as what I have will last what 10 years, heck I may be dead by then.
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Old 08-17-2019   #8
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Assuming you're using 1:32 that would be about 128 35mm rolls of film, 12.8 per year, or about 1 per month. Sounds like you just need to shoot more film.
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Old 08-17-2019   #9
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True, but I also use Rodinal, T-Max, Paranol S, Pyrocat HD, and have some Superfine to try.
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Old 08-17-2019   #10
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Is the US HC-110 now the same as European HC-110?
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Old 08-18-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Is the US HC-110 now the same as European HC-110?
The European and US HC110 used to be the same thing but at different concentration. What has happened is that Kodak has reformulated HC110 to remove the need for a manufacturing step that involves bubbling sulfur dioxide and hydrobromic acid gases into the organic alkali. It now resembles the Legacy Pro HC110 copy and the main functional difference is that it now has water in it whereas it previously was a non-aqueous liquid. Whether this means that the European and US product will be different is unclear, or if the US product will be the new formula and the European product will be the old product, as some have suggested, is unclear.

I never liked the tonality HC110 gave, so it’s no loss to me, but I can understand the angst that changes in products cause the people who use them. This type of thing will be common as demand dwindles and suppliers consolidate.

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Old 08-18-2019   #12
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Marty, does that in your opinion affect its shelf life?
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Old 08-18-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
Marty, does that in your opinion affect its shelf life?
Absolutely. HC-110's legendary shelf life was due to its total lack of water. It is no longer a water free product and so shelf life will be dramatically lower. The presence of water allows for many side reactions between the various chemicals to occur. This shortens shelf life.

Kodak really should be commenting on this change.
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Old 08-18-2019   #14
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Agreed - shelf life and open bottle ageing are vital bits of information. I nearly had two films entirely ruined by almost off developer that was well within its shelf life, photos I'd never be able to take again.

So many people use this developer with certainty about its ageing - if a formula is changing that changes that, they need to be told.
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Old 08-18-2019   #15
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Seems that this change to HC-110 is not alone. Dektol and XTOL now have 2019 versions. Reading further production is also moving back to the US.

This must be related to the Tetanal bankruptcy. They previously made all of Kodak's chemicals. Ilford must be having issues too.

Seems that the "new" Tetanal is losing a ton of business. How they will survive is anyone's guess.
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Old 08-18-2019   #16
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Is there a way to tell the difference in packaging between the old and new? Wondering if the bar code/UPC number is different?
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Old 08-18-2019   #17
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We are being told it is a new formula, right on the bottle. Different catalog number as well.
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Old 08-18-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raydm6 View Post
Is there a way to tell the difference in packaging between the old and new? Wondering if the bar code/UPC number is different?
My understanding is that the old formula is made in Germany. Look for that.
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Old 08-18-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
Seems that this change to HC-110 is not alone. Dektol and XTOL now have 2019 versions. Reading further production is also moving back to the US.

This must be related to the Tetanal bankruptcy. They previously made all of Kodak's chemicals. Ilford must be having issues too.

Seems that the "new" Tetanal is losing a ton of business. How they will survive is anyone's guess.
Couldn't care less about HC-110, but Xtol, too?! Argh...

New Tetenal should be back in business, but Kodak dropping them even if their alternative is obviously worse seems odd.

For example the Tetenal RA-4 kit, previously unavailable for some time, is available again. Maybe with (temporary) lower production capabilities they are concentrating on products with higher margins (sold under their own brand) and Kodak didn't think that they will be able to produce stuff for them soon enough (cheap as before?)?
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Old 08-18-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Couldn't care less about HC-110, but Xtol, too?! Argh...

New Tetenal should be back in business, but Kodak dropping them even if their alternative is obviously worse seems odd.
D-76 too. All of these Kodak chemicals now have 2019 version formulations. Seems that there has been a wholesale move away from Tetanal.

I'm not sure why D-76's formula would need to change.
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Old 08-18-2019   #21
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Environmental concerns?
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Old 08-18-2019   #22
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Ok, I think I have a theory.

According to my wife who works in the chemistry sector, since the beginning of the year, companies who trade chemicals harmful to environment, they need to be REACH registered. For anything above 1 tonne the registration becomes very expensive. If Kodak wants to sell within the EU she needs to register so it is possible that a reformulation of chemicals is more cost effective for them.
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Old 08-18-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
Ok, I think I have a theory.

According to my wife who works in the chemistry sector, since the beginning of the year, companies who trade chemicals harmful to environment, they need to be REACH registered. For anything above 1 tonne the registration becomes very expensive. If Kodak wants to sell within the EU she needs to register so it is possible that a reformulation of chemicals is more cost effective for them.
That's what I figured. B&W film chemistry is a small niche market and the regulations will make some things too costly.

Looking forward to hearing how the new formula works. I assume that aging issues will have to wait for, well, actual age to occur? Not sure if heat acceleration or other ways to speed up such tests will really match 'under the sink' conditions for most of us.

Well, with Fujifilm's ACROS II hitting the market this fall, might be time to update my standard developer.
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Old 08-18-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
That's what I figured. B&W film chemistry is a small niche market and the regulations will make some things too costly.

Looking forward to hearing how the new formula works. I assume that aging issues will have to wait for, well, actual age to occur? Not sure if heat acceleration or other ways to speed up such tests will really match 'under the sink' conditions for most of us.

Well, with Fujifilm's ACROS II hitting the market this fall, might be time to update my standard developer.
REACH is not new. It's been around for a long time. The old formula would have had to have been REACH registered to be sold in the EU. The new formula would obviously have to be REACH registered.

It's also very unlikely that every single product Kodak makes having REACH issues all at the same time. D-76, XTOL, Dektol have all been reformulated.

Further, REACH registration would not necessitate moving production out of Germany back to the USA.

This whole situation is likely driven by the Tetanal bankruptcy. It has likely not gone as smoothly as we were told.
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Old 08-18-2019   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
This whole situation is likely driven by the Tetanal bankruptcy. It has likely not gone as smoothly as we were told.
That would be my bet, too.

But more importantly, where are the highly connected insiders (to tell us that we are all wrong) when you need them...
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Old 08-18-2019   #26
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Quote:
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That would be my bet, too.

But more importantly, where are the highly connected insiders (to tell us that we are all wrong) when you need them...
Sadly, they are not here.
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Old 08-18-2019   #27
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Wonder if this has to due with the financial issues faced by Tetenal. Who if I remember correctly produced the chemicals for HC-110, among other developers.

HC-110 is my favorite developer so I just picked some more up, never goes bad.
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Old 08-18-2019   #28
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For those pondering the change...why don't you just ask Kodak?
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Old 08-18-2019   #29
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Just ordered enough to last me till I’m done with film.
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Old 08-18-2019   #30
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My most recently purchased HC-110 (February 2019 from Freestyle) is in the tall squared-off bottle.
It is the characteristic yellow color, made in Germany and bears the old Kodak product number.

I haven't seen the old-style rounded bottle in years, so I suspect the photo on the B&H website may lead to some confusion.

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Old 08-18-2019   #31
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Just as well I threw all my chemicals and processing "stuff" out long ago and just let someone else do it for me. They can figure it out. The day no one can process my film....well....I may just buy another Leica digital M....
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Old 08-18-2019   #32
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Thanks for the heads up. I mostly only use it for very old films or pushing certain types such as HP5+. Think I'll order a litre now.

I did read the thread at APUG (Photrio now I think). It was very helpful, thanks. It reminded me of why I virtually never post there. A few helpful members trying to shed light on the topic, and a bunch of others bickering with each other and dribbling—situation normal. No Forum is perfect but I think we have it pretty good here.
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Old 08-18-2019   #33
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I've used many developers over the years. All have their plusses and minuses. HC-110 is reformulated? When I need more developer, I'll try it and if it doesn't pass muster, I'll use something else.

No big deal at all.
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Old 08-18-2019   #34
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I've never used HC-100 but now I'm curious about the longevity issue. (I've never experienced longevity issues with any developer as I tend to use them up before problems would occur.) How many rolls of 35mm can be developed with the 1L bottle of HC-110? I'm guessing a lot based on the price.
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Old 08-18-2019   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawarden View Post
I've never used HC-100 but now I'm curious about the longevity issue. (I've never experienced longevity issues with any developer as I tend to use them up before problems would occur.) How many rolls of 35mm can be developed with the 1L bottle of HC-110? I'm guessing a lot based on the price.
Depends on the film and dilution. Using dilution E and Acros, I can process just shy of 100 rolls of film with 1 liter.
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Old 08-18-2019   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Thanks for the heads up. I mostly only use it for very old films or pushing certain types such as HP5+. Think I'll order a litre now.

I did read the thread at APUG (Photrio now I think). It was very helpful, thanks. It reminded me of why I virtually never post there. A few helpful members trying to shed light on the topic, and a bunch of others bickering with each other and dribbling—situation normal. No Forum is perfect but I think we have it pretty good here.
You are very welcome.
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Old 08-18-2019   #37
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Like other users who develop sporadically long shelf-life is a major reason I use HC-110 as my standard developer.
I too am concerned that the new formula may not have same keeping properties as the old. Only time will tell...

Chris
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Old 08-18-2019   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawarden View Post
I've never used HC-100 but now I'm curious about the longevity issue. (I've never experienced longevity issues with any developer as I tend to use them up before problems would occur.) How many rolls of 35mm can be developed with the 1L bottle of HC-110? I'm guessing a lot based on the price.
Dilution "B" is 1:32 and is a pretty standard dilution. So at 500 milliliter per roll, that would be ~17ml per roll of developer stock. So 58 rolls plus or minus per liter at a typical dilution. Of course lots of variable in this number. For example, I use 425ml per roll and dilute 1:50, so 8.5ml stock HC-110 per roll so over 100 rolls per liter.
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Old 08-18-2019   #39
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my bottle of hc 110 has been made in France in 1988 (!) and is in use since then - no problems at all, and still half full...
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Old 08-18-2019   #40
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I've still got about 2 liters of the HC-110 made in Germany, and as I use dilution H, which is 64:1, I think it'll probably last me a few decades.

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