My equipment

Film developer: Ilford Ilfotec DDX 1+6. In my opinion it is the best film developer, both in terms of performance and reliability, that Ilford make (true then and still true now). The top line of the specification that together for Ilford DDX it give performance similar to ID11 powder developer but in a convenient liquid concentrate rather than powder.

Paper developer: Ilford Multigrade 1+4, 1 minute resin coated (RC), 2.5 minutes fibre based (FB). Multigrade developer gives a slightly warm tone compared to Ilford PQU (also at 1+4), which I also occasionally use. Both can be used at 1+9 using longer development times to achieve the same result.

Paper: I always use Ilford Multigrade variable contrast black and white papers because they provide such a powerful creative tool. Having different levels of contrast in parts of the same print seems to create images with an extra dimension compared to single grade papers.

I use Ilford Ilfostopwhich is diluted 1+19 (50 mls per litre). It is effectively citric acid (lemon juice) and has a yellow colour from the bromocresol purple indicator used to show when the solution is no longer effective.

Fixer: Most fixers are similar in terms of ingredients but have different strengths. The Ilford formulae were some of the most concentrated on the market which meant that they could process more prints before they were exhausted. I always use Ilford Hypam 1+4 for both film and paper. It is based on acetic acid with a few inorganic salts to remove the unexposed silver halide (ammonium thiosulphate) and to stabilise the solution against oxidation (sulphite).


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