HP5 and Rodinal for grain?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by horacekenneth, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    So HP5 and rodinal produces lots of grain and nobody likes it - understood. What if I'm looking for lots of pronounced grain? Still bad or is it what I want?

    thanks
    Horace

    Edit: If you do like the combo - I'd be very interested in hearing why. I've been reading lots of posts about HP5 and rodinal being bad because of grain and I've been (with difficulty) trying to reverse engineer what they didn't like (I'm trying to get grain...)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2013
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    HP5+ at EI 800 in Rodinal isn't so grainy, but what's there is beautiful.

    I recommend trying the film at different speeds and developing times to find your ideal print. Nobody else can tell you what you want. What's grainy to one person is not to another. Perception is everything.
     
  3. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Who said nobody likes it? It's a completely subjective matter.

    You can't say it is "bad". It might be "bad" if someone wants finer grain or a different kind of tonality. But that's all.

    If you want pronounced, reasonably sharp grain, there is no reason not to try HP5 with Rodinal, experiment with it and decide for yourself if you like how it looks (that includes tonality, speed etc - there is a lot more to a film/developer combination than graininess).
     
  4. arealitystudios

    arealitystudios Member

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    HP5 and Rodinal? Love it! Granted, I don't shoot much 35mm so maybe that is where the majority of the complaints come from. Who knows.

    All I know is I've never been a photographer who is afraid of grain. I tend to embrace it and find it quite attractive in the right context. HP5 and rodinal is a lovely combination if you ask me. I shoot it at box speed typically, and develope 1:50 for 11 minutes just slightly cold (around 67-66 degrees) to keep the contrast down. Works wonderfully for me.
     
  5. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    I love the look of HP5+ and Rodinal.
     
  6. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    Thanks for chiming in in defense of the combo - if you'd explain why I'm trying to put feelers out there to see if I'm heading in the right direction to get pronounced grain.
     
  7. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    HP5+ and Rodinal does not equal grain. It's how you develop it. Look at this for an ei of 3200 http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterbcarter/4102416846/in/set-72157622674774965 . Anyone using rodinal for any length of time has a tecnique to give them any look they want.

    1) swirl your "cup" gently like a fine wine to control your highlights.
    2) develop over 10 minutes for lower contrast and finer grain
    3) develop under 5 minutes for sharpness and finer apperence of detail - with more grain
     
  8. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Agree! I used to not like HP5+ in Rodinal shooting at 200-400. Just seemed to lack some sort of "snap" for me. Saw a post here of some people trying it and loving it at 800 (and compensating for such in developing times). I first I thought, "Wha'? Many say its "true speed" is more like 200-250, how can it look good at 800? And in Rodinal?" Then I tried it. Love it.
     
  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    This combo worked for me. If someone needs finer grain than this, it's out there. If someone wants a different look than this combo, it's out there. HP-5 & Rodinal is what it is.

    If you want some grain, try Delta 3200, 35mm, in Rodinal.
     
  10. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Years ago, it use to be you wanted to reduce or eliminate grain. Panatomic-X, Technical Pan, T-Max. The first two are long gone.

    Now its used to give a certain look and is desirable. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
     
  11. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    I didn't expect a consensus one way or another but I'm surprised to find everyone on the opposite side of what seems to be the general consensus. (maybe a good time to bring up how much I like Ken Rockwell?)
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have just re-examined John Garrett's book "Black and White Photography Masterclass" The vast majority of the prints are from HP5+ 135 film negs, many of which were developed in Microphen and rated at 800

    I have seen smaller golf balls than the grain he gets :D Of course I am judging on print reproduction in a book and I am not a fan of grain in the main but if you are then this isn't a bad combo.

    My own experience with Rodinal and HP5+ is limited and based on its grain will remain that way :D but I'd say it would meet most users' definition of "grain"

    pentaxuser
     
  13. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Well, I think what you have here is a slightly non-representative sample overall, but it still should give you an indication that HP5 and rodinal can be used to achieve a variety of results, and that you have to play around to find what you like. I make a point of defining my end use clearly. If you are going to scan, you will have a different outcome to darkroom printing. My own results (that are of course scanner hardware and software dependent) lean towards very nice darkroom prints, not so nice scans, for HP5+ at EI 400 with Rodinal 1:50 at 11 min, which I think is sort of middle of the road. My results for the other Ilford films follow the same pattern, with FP4 maybe the one I prefer most in Rodinal. I print up to 9,5 x 12 inches from HP5 35mm negatives, and the grain is not bothersome for me. Your preferences may be different, though. I have seldom found a beautiful photograph (by myself or others) taken on fast film, where I wished it had less grain. Somewhere in the equation of evaluating the impact of a great photograph, grain just falls by the wayside. I think our minds cannot process more information than what ISO 400 film can record. Of course you can print large and then put your nose to the print, but when you look at the image as a whole, that's about where it cuts out. It is maybe the equivalent of 6 MP in digital terms. Someone will have the real numbers, so don't hold me to them. This is just my gut impression.
     
  14. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Well, I like Ken as well, his photos not so much :smile:

    And I don't like HP5+ in Rodinal, but now when everybody says to try it at ASA 800 - I will give it a try :smile:
     
  15. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Tri-X (box speed) in Aculux 1+9 has nice looking grain

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    HP5 in Rodinal looks to me like 1970s photojournalism. The grain is obvious, but not large or ugly. I think it's a good look.
     
  17. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    Thanks Michael. I just posted a quick comparison of my results with HP5 vs TX both at 800 in Rodinal. (in the same section of the forum) Won't be sure until I print them but right now I really like the HP5 at 800.

    Athiril, I've seen you post that picture before, it is really nice.