HC110 Dilution Help!
Old 11-08-2019   #1
simonbakhshnia
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HC110 Dilution Help!

Hey, guys not really sure if this is the correct spot to be posting this questions. So my question is what dilution of HC110 dev will give me high contrast in the shadows and highlights. I really love images where the contrasty parts are really dark and the whites are really white.

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Old 11-08-2019   #2
charjohncarter
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To get a high contrast negative by development you have to increase development time (or temp.) or increase agitation. There are other non development ways to increase contrast: varying E.I., filters. I've never done any of these (so I'm not an expert) but the work of Ralph Gibson's technique is well documented so you may want to research that.

Here is a start:

http://www.theonlinedarkroom.com/201...on-method.html
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Old 11-08-2019   #3
benlees
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You might want to try Rodinal. If you use it with 400 film you should also have a liking for a bit of grain.


I used HC110 for years because it wasn't that contrasty!
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Old 11-08-2019   #4
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EDIT: (I should have led with How do you print? Are you looking to process your negatives to achieve the look you want?

Do these images have the kind of look you want?

http://timothybriner.com/boonville

http://www.stewartsimons.com/dear-hunter/

These were all shot on Ilford FP4 and HP5 and I processed them in HC-110, dilution B. I've run thousands of rolls and sheets through it; it works well with most films. I like the look.

That's the beauty of exposing negatives; you get two exposures to make your final image - and then you can reproduce it at will. As long as you get the first one right, you can do anything you want with the second exposure (rendering into positive) however you achieve that; so I wouldn’t aim for high contrast negatives. You can always adjust the contrast in your positive, whether it be a traditional darkroom print or scan or what have you. It’s easy to add contrast to your image, but you can’t add detail that isn’t there. All things being equal, a slightly flatter negative that has full tonal range with detail throughout will be easier to print, easier to scan, and easier to get whatever you want in your final image. A high contrast negative will only ever give a high contrast positive, with less detail in your highlights and shadow areas. Just my 2 cents.
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Last edited by drewbarb : 11-08-2019 at 18:49. Reason: content
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Old 11-10-2019   #5
simonbakhshnia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewbarb View Post
EDIT: (I should have led with How do you print? Are you looking to process your negatives to achieve the look you want?

Do these images have the kind of look you want?

http://timothybriner.com/boonville

http://www.stewartsimons.com/dear-hunter/

These were all shot on Ilford FP4 and HP5 and I processed them in HC-110, dilution B. I've run thousands of rolls and sheets through it; it works well with most films. I like the look.

That's the beauty of exposing negatives; you get two exposures to make your final image - and then you can reproduce it at will. As long as you get the first one right, you can do anything you want with the second exposure (rendering into positive) however you achieve that; so I wouldnít aim for high contrast negatives. You can always adjust the contrast in your positive, whether it be a traditional darkroom print or scan or what have you. Itís easy to add contrast to your image, but you canít add detail that isnít there. All things being equal, a slightly flatter negative that has full tonal range with detail throughout will be easier to print, easier to scan, and easier to get whatever you want in your final image. A high contrast negative will only ever give a high contrast positive, with less detail in your highlights and shadow areas. Just my 2 cents.
Unfortunately, I do not have the space to print at this moment but what I do now is scan. I tried development B with hc110 but I think I did it wrong because my negatives were extremely dark. I use the 2019 edition of hc110 at a 1:31 dilution ratio. Am I diluting wrong?

Also yes the links you provided is exactly what I am trying to get!
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Old 11-10-2019   #6
Phil_F_NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonbakhshnia View Post
Unfortunately, I do not have the space to print at this moment but what I do now is scan. I tried development B with hc110 but I think I did it wrong because my negatives were extremely dark. I use the 2019 edition of hc110 at a 1:31 dilution ratio. Am I diluting wrong?

Also yes the links you provided is exactly what I am trying to get!
When you say extremely dark, do you mean your scans were dark or do you mean you had "bulletproof" highlights and midtones in the negatives themselves? What was your developer temperature? Are your negative shadows what is dark? That is to say, does the film base look dark? Is your film old or fogged?
I love using Dilution "H" which is 1:63 and taking my time. I get low contrast negs but have a very long tonal scale so my scans can capture as much detail as possible. I have never tried the new "HC-110" and when it was announced, I bought most of what Freestyle had left of the old syrup. That said, the new stuff is supposed to have the same developing properties as the old. I'd say get a fresh roll of film, shoot it as a pure test roll, mix a fresh shot of developer, do it over again and be very mindful of every single thing. Make sure all your chemistry temps are the same, even your stop/rinse, it makes a difference, and it's just good practice to be that strict in your process.

Phil Forrest
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Old 11-10-2019   #7
shawn
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If you are scanning I wouldn't aim for wide contrast in development. It won't scan as well and you can easily tweak for the look you want in post.

What film are you processing?

Shawn
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Old 11-10-2019   #8
simonbakhshnia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
When you say extremely dark, do you mean your scans were dark or do you mean you had "bulletproof" highlights and midtones in the negatives themselves? What was your developer temperature? Are your negative shadows what is dark? That is to say, does the film base look dark? Is your film old or fogged?
I love using Dilution "H" which is 1:63 and taking my time. I get low contrast negs but have a very long tonal scale so my scans can capture as much detail as possible. I have never tried the new "HC-110" and when it was announced, I bought most of what Freestyle had left of the old syrup. That said, the new stuff is supposed to have the same developing properties as the old. I'd say get a fresh roll of film, shoot it as a pure test roll, mix a fresh shot of developer, do it over again and be very mindful of every single thing. Make sure all your chemistry temps are the same, even your stop/rinse, it makes a difference, and it's just good practice to be that strict in your process.

Phil Forrest
I will try a new roll!
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Old 11-10-2019   #9
simonbakhshnia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
If you are scanning I wouldn't aim for wide contrast in development. It won't scan as well and you can easily tweak for the look you want in post.

What film are you processing?

Shawn
I use Ilford HP5
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Old 11-10-2019   #10
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If you are scanning, aim to get a relatively thin, relatively low-contrast negative and make the photo look how you want in post processing. Consumer scanners do a terrible job with high contrast negatives and even with drum scanners the outputs are worse than for thinner negatives.

When you say 'dark' do you mean thick and dense? Control density and contrast with development time. Using a more dilute HC110 will help you get more controllable times - with HC110 dil B decreasing your development time by, for example, 10% can be hard because the starting time might only be 5 min. Whereas with dil H the start time would be 10 min (2x dil B is roughly right for dil H) and a decrease of 10% is to develop for 9 min.

There is heaps of voodoo on the internet that just misleads people starting out. Learn to expose well and agitate consistently during development, then modify contrast by decreasing time. You can get it right 99% of the time this way without magic, voodoo, homeopathic developers or other nonsense. And once you get it to work consistently and it looks right to you, don't let anyone tell you it is 'wrong'.

Marty
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Old 11-10-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
If you are scanning, aim to get a relatively thin, relatively low-contrast negative and make the photo look how you want in post processing. Consumer scanners do a terrible job with high contrast negatives and even with drum scanners the outputs are worse than for thinner negatives.
******************
There is heaps of voodoo on the internet that just misleads people starting out. Learn to expose well and agitate consistently during development, then modify contrast by decreasing time. You can get it right 99% of the time this way without magic, voodoo, homeopathic developers or other nonsense. And once you get it to work consistently and it looks right to you, don't let anyone tell you it is 'wrong'.
Marty
So valid that what Marty said is worth repeating and rereading.

All I can add is to not evaluate your negs by how they look but by how the finished product, after post processing, looks. Ditto for what comes out of the scanner since you are outputting digitally. My experience is that flat crappy looking negs and scans give me the best prints when I am finished.
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Old 11-11-2019   #12
shawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonbakhshnia View Post
I use Ilford HP5
I haven't used HP5 with HC110 but it looks like B at 5 minutes or H at 10 or 11 minutes should be a good starting point.

https://filmdev.org/developer/show/1...id=1004&page=1

Also, what camera are you shooting with? If you are shooting meterless (and are new to it) you have a lot of variables at play. If that is the case shoot a couple of rolls in the same metered camera so you have consistent exposure while you nail down developing.

Lastly, are you using the HC110 one shot?

Shawn
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Old 11-11-2019   #13
benlees
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I used HP5 with Hc110 for years. Dilution H is the way to go for solid, repeatable results. 10 minutes is a good amount of time: you don't have to rush so you can concentrate, and take notes, on agitation technique, adding or taking away time, and so on. Pick one temp for the water and chems and stick to it until you get consistent results. When experimenting only change one thing at a time.
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Old 11-11-2019   #14
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You mention not yet able to print. I eagerly recommend printing. In my case I have access to a community darkroom and it is a world of difference specially on the hands-on experience. Despite being a longstanding member, I only began to do the whole B&W process this year for the same reason of accessing a darkroom.

HP5 is a fantastic all-round film. Hope not to bring more confusion to the table. From the beginning I've used the not that popular Dil E (1:47) which sits around 7:30 min for HP5 and a good middle ground time between B and H. Good medium format negatives that have been rather low contrast but easy to print, and good on the flatbed scanner.

Marty's advice is golden. I found that sticking to one film one-developer is the best for consistency. Although I succumbed into trying other films, specially in 35mm; which does noticeably bring different results but also development and printing challenges.
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Old 11-11-2019   #15
john_s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
....you have a lot of variables at play.....

Shawn
Absolutely. Someone advised to judge the final print, but the negative stage has to be got to a reasonable level first. If the OP could give us a photo of a strip of his negatives we might be in a better position to guide him.
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