Kodak Tri-X 400 developing notes

My late uncle David (Dede) took fantastic pictures and unsurprisingly his four sons are all enthusiastic photographers. Dede had a darkroom at the back of the family home in Tunbridge Wells, which had just enough space for a single basin and an enlarger – although my cousin Richard says that film development usually happened in the kitchen with a washing up bowl used as a water jacket.

After my uncle and aunt died the family home was sold, and during the clear-out my cousins found the crib sheet Dede had drawn up for Richard (when he went to school up in Yorkshire in the early 1970s) for developing Ilford FP4, the family's film of choice. So four decades on I've created an updated version for Kodak Tri-X 400, which I've used since 2008. I switched to HC-110 developer in 2009, when I had to develop 70 rolls of film in a few months and baulked at the cost of T-Max developer – HC-110 is much more concentrated (i.e. cheaper) and looks lovely.

Looking at Dede's notes I can't help but feel the negatives would come out very flat as there's so little agitation, although that probably worked for him as he did his printing in the house's small darkroom. The march of progress means that I now scan my negatives using the lovely Minolta scanner that arrived too late in his life to be fully mastered. You may want to add in more contrast with extra inversions – that's really down to personal developing preference.

Incidentally Kodak's film business is very much a going concern – they've even released an iPhone app for people who want to find out more about their product range.