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Let's look at the bench mark developer ID-11/D-76. Both of these developers are pretty much the same formula but packaged differently, Ilfords ID-11 coming in two bags and Kodak’s D-76 in one. These produce good negatives for all general purpose photography. This developer became the benchmark by which all other developers are measured, not because it is the best but purely because there had to be one! It’s a great all-rounder and will develop most films well. A jack of all trades but master of none would be a fair description.

When mixing the formula below take 750ml of the water, add a pinch of the measured Sulphite and dissolve. Then add and fully dissolve the Metol. Continue with the rest of the Sulphite and remaining chemicals in the order given. The pinch of Sulphite stops the Metol oxidising.

  • This developer can be used as stock or diluted up to 1+3
  • Stock: develop film for 5 to 15 mins at 20C dependent on the speed of the film - faster films need more development
  • Many photographers favour 1+1 as a balance between grain size and sharpness

For other developing times, at differing dilutions, just multiply by the total number of parts e.g. 5 minutes at stock concentration is the equivalent of 20 minutes at 1+3 (5 minutes x 4 total number of new parts).
The original D-76 (as shown below) does have its problems. It changes alkalinity with time - not a good thing for a developer because its activity then changes.   D-23 was formulated to overcome these problems and is a better developer.

D-76 Formula
Water 750 ml
Metol 2g
Sodium Sulphite 100g
Hydroquinone 5g
Borax 2g
Water to 1 Ltr