Old developer called 777, any good for Large Format

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I met up with a retired commercial photographer the other day, and in the converdation we talked about black & white film processing and he got all fired up about a developer he used back in the 1960's called 777. I have never heard of it and neither did my local photo store that stocks a good amount of darkroom supplies. This man claimed it gives the best shadow detail and won't overdevelop the highlights, he went on and on about this developer. Anybody know what he was talking about, and is this a packaged product or do you mix yourself???. Would this be a good developer for 4x5 black & white sheet film????

-- Jerry D. Buck (jerryb@craigmaxwellphoto.com), May 18, 2002


hi jerry you must be talking about harold harvey’s panthermic “777” developer.  here is an article about it


there is also a formula for it so you can mix it yourself.

i think photographer's forumulary is the only place you can get glycin, and you can probably pick the other ingredients up from them too . if you get the chemicals from them, ask if they can send you "fresh" glycin. they might delay your shipment by maybe 10 days, but it is worth it. (it will make a better developer if it is fresh.) i process my film ( 4x5 & 5x7) in another developer with glycin - formulary 130 -- used to be called either ansco 130 or gaf universal developer. it is also very fine grain and nice shadow detail, doesn't block up highlights. most people make prints with formulary 130, but it is good for both. it must be the glycin ... best of luck

-- jnanian (jak@gis.net), May 18, 2002.

There was an article in the Leica Historical Society of American magazine about the 777 Panthermic developer about 4 years ago. It stated that this developer gave results very close to Pyro in terms of acutance and sharpness without blowing out highlights and without the staining characteristic. At that time it was still available from a source in Kansas I believe. I remember back in the late 60's and early 70's I knew of a few photogs that had played with it and they were impressed. As I remember it came with replenisher as it wasn't as inexpensive as standard developers. I'll try and dig out the article (can't seems to ever throw away photography magazines!!) and will post info. If it does what it's supposed to for 35mm it must work well with medium or large format also.


-- F. William Baker (atelfwb@aol.com), May 19, 2002.

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