Advice on developing settings (Apx 100/ Rodinal)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tofek, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    Hello,
    I'm currently shooting APX100 at 100 ASA and developing it in Rodinal 1+25, 8 min at 20°C. However, I can't seem to get the negatives look like I'd like them to : on the negative, there aren't really white spots, and there aren't completely dark spots. That means low contrast. I know developing longer will increase density, but if I also want white spots, what should I do ? What should I do to improve the negative ?

    Thank you in advance,

    Krystof.
     
  2. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Shoot better light.
     
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    You need to define what you mean by white and dark spots. Do you mean pure white and pure black. These will only be relevant if there were pure white and pure black areas in the scene which is unlikely

    It is not how the neg looks that is important. It is how the print appears. Try a print at grade 2 or 2.5. If that looks to have full range of tones then the neg is right.

    If the print looks muddy which is low contrast then you can adjust with variable contrast paper on this occasion and then consider longer development next time.

    The only proper way to determine if your negs are correct for your camera's meter or handheld meter with this developer and your agitation routine is to conduct a proper film test but that's another subject.

    Until you have seen most of your negs as prints I wouldn't make any assumptions about what to change You have used the development time given in The Massive Development Chart which is probably what Rodinal recommends anyway. Usually the maker's times for development are longer than most users who test their films actually use.

    So I would avoid increasing development time until you are sure that the prints are low contrast at grade say grade 2.5- 3.

    pentaxuser
     
  4. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    Ok, I will do some prints at grade 2 soon and will let you know. I would ask you about the proper film test then.

    Thank you.
     
  5. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    I'm using the very same combination of APX 100 and Rodinal 1+25 for 8 minutes with a very nice result.
     
  6. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    I prefer using 1+50 for 12m at 20ºC!
     
  7. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    I tried that one once and the negatives came out too thin.
     
  8. clayne

    clayne Member

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    APX100 doesn't lay down "hot" contrasty negatives - and you don't want it to. This is the responsibility of the printing phase, by far.

    Also, try 1+50 and adjust accordingly, as it's a better known match with APX100 (although 1+25 won't do anything bad). Even then, do not expect contrasty negatives. Expect flattish grey looking negatives.

    You don't want a contrasty negative that reduces your flexibility.
     
  9. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    True. I'll try 1+50, beginning with 17 min as Agfa advises. I might reduce it later, though I like dense negatives.
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Judging negatives is difficult and requires some years experience to do it accurately. Make some prints.
     
  11. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    Ok I developed the prints : I began with a bad frame which contrast was really low, but it was probably underexposed. Then I tried another two which were perfect. Seems like the processing is ok. Still have to get the exposure correct...I wonder if the problem isn't more the exposure. But I guess it's better to have no white spots (transparent spots) and high density rather than many white spots and low density...

    Edit : forgot to say that the two good prints were made at grade 2 and 3. I see it depends a lot on the light and exposure.
     
  12. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Well more exposure tends to compress the shoulder and place more of the image higher up the curve. You don't need super dense negatives to get good prints but, and wholly dependent on subject matter, good exposure with adequate shadows always helps.

    If you're attempting to make APX look punchy and contrasty it simply isn't that kind of film. It's emphasis is on midtone tonality. Sure it can have some contrast but it won't be Tri-X or Neopan.