What are paper developers?

Paper developers allow the latent exposed image to become visible to the naked eye and form part of a processing workflow along with a stop bath and fixer.  Read our guides, for more information on picking the right paper for you or which chemistry to choose 

When shopping for photo chemistry always check the application. We produce a range of photo chemistry including stop baths, fixers, toners, wetting agents as well as film developers. Film developers are specifically used to process films and are not to be used on paper or for printing (unless specifically stated).

Developers for Printing / Processing Paper

We have a broad range of both liquid and powder concentrate developers which are all compatible with our resin coated and fibre base paper products. Depending which developer is used, the image tones can vary from neutral to warm.

We have a range of 6 developers suitable for processing paper. Below is a short overview of each and what they are best suited to: 

Powder paper developers (for dish/tray processing)

Powder developers require a little more time and care to prepare compared with liquid developers. We generally recommended these for photographers who are already comfortable with using chemistry. Once you are familiar with handling powder chemistry, they can be more economical to use.

We have one powder paper developer in our range. 

BROMOPHEN

This developer gives a good performance with all of our darkroom paper products. It gives a neutral to slightly warm image tone. Bromophen is available as a 5L item and is used at a 1+3 dilution. A 5L carton used at 1+3 dilution will produce approximately 3500 resin coated 10x8" prints, or 2250 fibre base 10x8" prints.

Liquid paper developers

Our liquid concentrate developers are easy to use/mix and come in two variants - those for dish/tray processing and those for machine processing (in professional labs).

MULTIGRADE

This developer offers good performance with all our darkroom paper products. It's easy and economical to use, has good keeping properties (can typically be reused) and gives a neutral image tone. It is available as 500ml, 1L and 5L items.

It can be used at either 1+9 or 1+14 dilutions. A 1L bottle used at 1+9 dilution should produce approximately 1000 resin coated 10x8" prints or 500 fibre base 10x8" prints.

PQ UNIVERSAL

This developer gives a good performance with all our paper products producing a neutral to slightly warm image tone. It has good keeping properties, so can typically be reused, and is available as 500ml, 1L and 5L items.  

It is used at a 1+9 dilution with 1L bottle producing approximately 700 resin coated 10x8" prints or 450 fibre base 10x8" prints.

Note - this developer is also suitable for processing sheet film (1+9 or 1+19). A 1L bottle at a 1+9 dilution will enable 100 10x8" sheets of film to be processed.

HARMAN WARMTONE

This developer gives a good performance with all our paper products and produces a slightly warm image tone. t has good keeping properties, so can typically be reused, and is available as a 1L item. It should be diluted at a ratio of 1+9  which will produce approximately 600 resin coated 10x8" prints or 350 fibre base 10x8" prints.

Machine processing developers (for labs)

2150 XL

This machine developer is primarily designed for use with ILFORD resin coated papers only in the ILFOLAB 2150 table top processor. It gives a neutral to slightly cool image tone and is available as part of a kit. The kit contains a 3L bottle of developer and a 3L bottle of fixer.

The entire kit is used in a 2150 processor - the correct working strength end volume is generated from the processing machine automatic water top up. The 3L kit should produce approximately 1000 resin coated 10x8" prints and is designed to be used at 35C (95F).

2000RT

This machine developer is primarily designed for use with our resin coated papers in roller transport processors. It gives a neutral to slightly cool image tone and is available as a 5L item. It is designed to be used at temperatures of between 20-40C (68-104F) and at a 1+4 dilution.

2000RT developer is replenishable - it is guide advised as needing to be replenished with between 150-250ml/m2 (13-23ml/ft2) working strength developer. A 5L bottle used at 1+4 dilution, which has been replenished with 200ml/m2, should produce 2427 resin coated 10x8" prints.