HC-110 A Cautionary Tale
I may be wrong here still – but think I that what I have done is a common enough mistake for first time users of HC-110.
HC-110 comes as a concentrate and the label on the bottle gives you the dilution ratios for different uses.
B Dilution is used for films like Tri-X 400 and Acros etc and tells you to dilute to 1 + 7, so one part developer to 7 parts water.
What I failed to take note of is the fact that you need to dilute HC-110 concentrate 1+3 to make a stock solution that you then use for the correct ratio as per the bottle label and the technical sheets from Kodak.
So my developer was four times stronger than it should have been and blew the film out, even at 3 minutes. If I had taken it to 6 minutes I think I would have ended up with no contrast at all; as the shots were all in the bright sun.
With this in mind I am going to try a 1+31 dilution (which is B dilution from concentrate) and develop for 6 to 7 minutes at 20 degrees tonight on a test film of Tri-X400 (as this is a forgiving film).
Having read about the dilutions people tend to use, it appears that this developer is much less prescriptive than Ilfotec DD-X and a common dilution is unofficially called H (half the strength of B and double the time) with one agitation per minute (Ilford Method).