Monday, 15 October 2012

An insight into making up ID11

Ilfords ID11
Ilfords ID 11 is the starting point for many a photographer wishing to develop there own monochrome negatives. It is one of the most popular pre-packaged powdered developers on the market along with Kodak's D76. The attributes of these developers are almost identical. Some photographers are put off initially from using these developers because it is in powdered form, but you needn’t be, they are straight forward to make up.

I have used both these developers before and for a long time almost exclusively when it came to processing my film. I recently exposed an out of date roll of 35mm HP5 film. I decided to make up a new batch of ID 11. I know how good or bad these negatives will be without having to do a test.

The kit: (to make up five litres)

    The mixing kit.
  • Measuring jug, that will take at least Four litres of fluid.
  • Thermometer.
  • Mixing stick
  • Five litre storage container
  • Bucket if you do not have large enough measuring jug for mixing.
  • Disposable gloves, Face masks if you think it is necessary.
  • Ilfords ID 11, in this case.

If you are new to making up ID 11 take your time.

Remove the two packets from the box and then tear or cut the box open. On the inside are the instructions for making the powder into a fluid. What follows is how I made up the developer from those instructions.

Adding packet A of the waterr
The box of powder I have purchased will make up five litres of stock solution enough to process fifty roll 35mm or 120 film (medium format). Once I have all the equipment in place, I warm the measuring jug and bucket with boiling water to stop the water loosing heat to the containers by conduction. Then bring the water to a temperature of 40 degrees centigrade (104 degrees F) making up 3.75 litres. Which I transfer to the bucket ( do not forget to remove the boiling water first) for mixing, checking to make sure that there has been no heat loss with the thermometer. I use this method because my measuring jug will only make up 2 litres at a time. Once the water is ready open packet marked A and pour in the powder slowly, while you stir, making sure that the powder does not clump together. Keep string until it is all dissolved (Always pour the powder into the water and not the other way round and add the powders in the right order) it will not take very long to add the contents of packet A. Now open the packet marked B and again add to the solution slowly stirring all the time this will take longer to add as it is a far larger amount of powder (make sure you do your mixing in a well ventilated room). Keep stirring after all the powder has been added to make sure it has all dissolved. Now stir in another 1.25 litres of water at room temperature making it up to the full 5 litres. With the help of a funnel I pour the developer into its storage container and allow it to cool.

Adding packet B of the developer

I usually make up my ID11 the day before. It will take an hour to cool ten degrees depending on what material your storage container is made of.

Pouring developer into storage container after the
Final  2Litres of water have been added.
I use this developer at 1+1 in most cases and as a single shot (use once and throw away) but it can be reused as long as you adjust the time to allow for it:

  • Two film add ten percent.
  • Three film add twenty percent.
  • Four film add Thirty percent.
  • Five film add forty percent.
  • Ten film add Ninety percent do not re-use above this amount.

Developer in storage container
coolling down before cap is
ID11 can be used with the following film from the Ilford range and many other makes besides: HP5+,Fp4+, Pan F+, Delta 100 Pro Delta 400 Pro, Delta 3200 Pro, SFX 200. It can also be used at three different dilutions: stock, 1+1 and 1+3. So the times for HP5+ exposed at 400 ISO, developed at twenty degrees C would be 7.30 minutes at stock, 13 minutes at 1+1 and 20 minutes at 1+3.

For more film makes, developer combination and times visit digital truthsmassive Dev chart.

How did the roll of HP5+ turn out? You will have to wait and see.

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