Posted on 07/29/2015

Photo taken on June  2, 2012

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The Road to Colondannes

The Road to Colondannes
Taken a few years ago, these Plane trees form an attractive tunnel on the D951 road between Colondannes and Dun-le-Palestel, both within the postal code of 23800.

D-76H is an unofficial variant of Kodak D76, which omits the hydroquinone and increases metol by 0.5g,. It behaves very like the original, and has the advantage of not discharging hydroquinone to waste water. Best used as a one shot developer at 1+1 dilution.

water (50°C) 750ml
metol 2.5g
sodium sulfite (anhydrous) 100g
borax (decahydrate) 2.0g
water to make 1 liter

1950's Ensign Selfix 16-20, f3.5/75mm Ross Xpres lens, x2 yellow filter. Shanghai GP3 in homemade D76H 1+1, 12mins @21C. Scanned @ 1200dpi on Epson V500

Robert Warren, SYLDERO, giovanegian, Chris M and 3 other people have particularly liked this photo

7 comments - The latest ones
François Collard
François Collard
Where do you find the chemicals? When I was still a teacher, I ordered through my school, but now, I'm retired, and I miss some of them. Especially those used in great quantities like sodium sulfite or carbonate.
A metol (aka genol) developer is considered to be softer than an hydroquinone developer, isn't it?
3 years ago.
Bonjour François, not an easy question to answer!

On the rare occasions that I take the car to England, I stock up with chemicals from Silverprint in London: www.silverprint.co.uk They are not too expensive, have almost everything, but they will not post any chemicals outside of UK.

Most photo chemicals can be bought on eBay, but I have found eBay.co.uk better than eBay.fr, - a much wider choice, and cheaper, but of course, there is always the cost of postage! As for sodium carbonate, I usually use cristaux de soude, can be bought in any Intermarche for €0,99/kg, but it contains approx 50% water (with each box I do a simple test by weighing out say 100g, and then heating until all the water is evaporated, and then weighing again) so you need to make the adjustment.

Here are a few links to eBay vendors:

I have found it almost impossible to buy small quantities of chemicals in France, - Labo Argentique labo-argentique.com used to sell them, but now I think they only sell chemicals for litho work.

I've never noticed any great difference between metol and hydroquinone, but together they become "super additives" and are more vigorous and need shorter times. A similar effect is seen with metol and ascorbic acid, which need only tiny amounts to make a powerful developer, as described by Patrick Gainer here: unblinkingeye.com/Articles/VitC/vitc.html

No matter how good les numériques become, I would miss all this greatly !!

3 years ago. Edited 3 years ago.
François Collard
François Collard
Thank you, Mike.
I knew for sodium carbonate, but I did not dare to try. Long ago, when I processed many films, I also noticed that sodium bisulphite could be replaced by potassium bisulphite, which is easily available, as it was used in wine making (I live in Champagne!).
3 years ago.
Murray Kelly
Murray Kelly
Sad to say Pat Gainer was lost to us recently. About the same time as Robbe. He certainly had a positive impact on my returning to photography.


I use metabisulphite from the home brewers' shop. Used W/W for bisulphite usually. When we were in France I had no problems getting supplies from Germany. In fact I had Rodinal Special mailed to Australia, no questions asked.
3 years ago.
Mikeinlagardette has replied to Murray Kelly
Hi Murray,

ah, that is sad news also, I did try to get in touch with Pat some time ago, and all I could find was that he was still around, but not posting on any forums, then the trail went blank.

He had some very interesting ideas, and his Vit C developer is amazing, considering how tiny the amounts of chemicals that are in it: unblinkingeye.com/Articles/VitC/vitc.html

And yes, I mostly buy chemicals in Germany, no probs, but that may change following the outrage in Paris - security is getting tighter in France now.

Best, Mike
3 years ago.
Robert Warren
Robert Warren
That is a beautiful photo and a nice formula based on D76 which is a developper that I like very much. I will try to find a place in Canada to get the chemicals. When I see formulas I am always happy to see people that share their precious heritage and their knowledge. Robbie use to do that oftem to my great pleasure and this photo reminds me of those precious souvenirs.
3 years ago.
Mikeinlagardette has replied to Robert Warren
Hi Robert, many thanks for your kind words!

Now, I enjoy looking at alternative developers, sometimes a disappointment, but often, as here, a nice surprise !! D76H is described in "The Darkroom Cookbook" by Anchell & Troop as are many, many others, which will keep you amused for ages !!

As for chemicals in Canada, that might be a problem, - maybe The Photographers Formulary, in Condon, Montana could be the place to begin - they ship woldwide, but probably have a minimum order value. Otherwise, look on eBay, but from Europe postage will be a heavy penalty !

Try Caffenol !! Washing soda and cheap soluble coffee from the grocery store, Vitamin C powder from a health food shop _ great developer and no toxic chemicals to pollute the waste water, what more could we want !!

Best, Mike
3 years ago.