Beginner B&W Developer Question : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, I'm just starting to develop my own 4x5 and 8x10 negs. I have had success using a CombiTank for my 4x5 with no problem at all. Now I want to tray develop my own 8x10 negs. I'm using HC 110 (Dil B). Film is Bergger BFP200 and Arista 125 (Ilford FP4, I believe)

I don't know if I've missed something or not, but what amount of developer do you use per 8x10 sheet? I used 2 litres for 8 sheets with no problem, but I was just guessing ... Is there a rule of thumb for this or is it in the Kodak site or on the bottle and I've just missed it somehow?

Thanks in advance, Richard

-- Richard Rankin (, May 13, 2002


I asked a similar question a while back and was directed to the manufacturer's docs. You have to calculate the volume from the capacity. The Kodak page at df lists the capacity for tray processing as 2.5 8x10 per liter, so you need 400ml per 8x10, or 3.2 liters for your 8 sheets. Kodak gives the capacity as twice that if you do the development in a tank. I don't know why there is such a difference - maybe oxidation in the tray?

-- Larry Gebhardt (, May 13, 2002.


I don't have the book available to me right now, but this question is the subject of a significant discussion in Anchell and Troop, "The Film Developing Cookbook." They say that one 8x10 = one roll of 120 = one roll of 35mm as far as film area and developer requirements. I have followed their recommendations with success. Perhaps someone else has the book handy for a quick answer. Otherwise, I will try to dig it out tonight. By the way, you might like the book if you have not read it.

-- Dave Karp (, May 13, 2002.

It's a good idea to be generous with the amount of developer per square inch of film. You will get more even development in the tray and fewer mechanical problems (scratches). Don't work the developer to death. It's cheap and your pictures aren't. This idea is better explained somewhere in Adams, and I second the recommendation of "The Darkroom Cookbook" and "The Film Developer Cookbook". So I use 2L of developer in an 8x10 tray to process 8-12 4x5's. 8x10s would require 4L in an 11x14 tray. At least that's how it worked when I last used 8x10.

-- Mark Sampson (, May 13, 2002.

Thanks for the responses. I've ordered Anchell's books and have found the proper section in the Kodak pdf mentioned. Thanks to all for the speedy assistance!


-- Richard Rankin (, May 13, 2002.


For undiluted developers, Anchell and Troop recommend at least 250 ml of developer solution. For dilute developers (such as XTol or D-76 1:1 Rodinol 1:25 or 1:250, HC110 1:31 from concentrate, or PMK) they recommend 500 ml. For very dilute developers (D-76 or XTol 1:3, Rodinal 1:100, HC110 1:90 from concentrate) they recommend 1 liter of developer solution. They believe that Kodak's recommendations may not be enough to allow the film to develop to its fullest potential. Hope this tides you over until you receive the books!

-- Dave Karp (, May 13, 2002.

Richard, for years I have used HC110 1:64 on Arista 125 4x5. That comes to 2oz of HC110 to a gallon of water for 12 4x5s. I just started shooting 8x10, and am using 4 oz. in 2 gallons, for 6 8x10s. Seems to work out ok. Joel

-- Joel Brown (, May 14, 2002.

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