The technical information pdf for Ilford Ilfotec HC states:

We do not recommend push processing using reused developers.

Looking through Choosing a B&W Film Developer, it says for some developers:

For normal or push processing.

But does not have this under for Ilfotec HC.

Can I use Ilfotec to push bw film? Mixture of tmax 400, trix 400, hp5 400, all set at 800.

Thank you

  • \$\begingroup\$ Get some rodinal for T-max and Tri-x. People have used it on pushed hp5 too (see the massive Dev chart). At 1:50 dilution it'll last for ever. FYI Ilford makes the ddx to develop pushed Delta film. They night have something dedicated to hp5 too. \$\endgroup\$
    – JoErNanO
    Jun 18, 2015 at 20:29

2 Answers 2


You can use it, but it will upset your replenishment schedule. That's why they don't recommend it for reused developers. You can always treat it as a one-shot developer, though - if you have no plans to replenish a given batch (let's say it's been used and replenished already, and is approaching its limits) pushing is no problem, but getting a batch back up to strength and balance after it's been used for pushing needs testing gear you probably don't have. It's often (probably usually) cheaper to use a one-shot developer for push-processing than to kit out a usable chem lab; it's just a bit of a pain to mix and dilute for each processing session, especially if you're using powdered chemistry. But it beats throwing out a replenishable developer simply because you don't know how much to add.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the info. I will probably use it just as a one-shot developer then. I have ~15 rolls to develop, in a 4 reel tank, how fast do you reckon I will go through 1 litre of ilfotec? What do you recommend I buy as my next developer? Mostly pushing one stop. Thanks \$\endgroup\$
    – plyck
    Jun 18, 2015 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @plyck - It's been a long time since I played the game. I usually used either HC-110 or pyro, but they're both better for larger formats - they don't give as tight a grain structure as some of the more modern developers, so they're not necessarily good choices for 35mm. Your litre should go a ways since it's a double-dilution concentrate (similar to HC-110 in that regard), but I can't say how many rolls you'll get out of it as a one-shot. \$\endgroup\$
    – user40631
    Jun 18, 2015 at 14:16

I have personal experience doing this with a few developers, most recently Ilfosol-3 and Ilfotec HC.I would use the HC as a single-shot developer if you are pushing, perhaps you could squeeze out two uses. In experimenting with reusing single-shot Ilfosol, I noticed similar results with reusing HC that had been involved in push processing. Neither of those cases produced results that were particularly good. Basically, if you want to push with HC, treat it as a single or two shot developer. When using developers beyond the suggested number of rolls, I typically increase development time by 10-20% for each subsequent use.


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