HP5 in Rodinal = thin negs?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by wiseowl, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Tried HP5 in Rodinal today for the first time, the results are somewhat dissapointing and I'm hoping for a a little insight. From a visual inspection I'd say the film is about 1 stop underexposed. ie The highlights are thin and shadows have no detail whatsoever.

    The film was shot over a period of about 1 week, metering was with a proven Weston and I've experienced no problems with the camera. I rated the film at 400 iso. Processing was rodinal 1 + 50 @ 20C for 11 minutes (I got the time from digitaltruth.)

    Could this be down to old dev, my rodinal is somewhat dark I used it because I've been given the impression that it has a great shelf life? Or would increasing dev time improve shadow detail as well as highlight density?

    Has anyone any experience of this combo, if so could you suggest times/ei ratings.

    As always, thanks in advance

    Martin
     
  2. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hi Martin,

    As luck would have it I have just finished developing 3 rolls of 35mm HP5+ rated at 400 in Rodinal 1+50.

    After the first roll which I developed at 20C for 15 minutes was a little dense but just kept in the highlight details, I settled on 14 minutes for the final 2 rolls. Both are still drying but look spot on and full of detail :wink:

    BTW I have found Rodinal seems to work better once it has turned brown.

    HTH Tony
     
  3. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    If there is no detail in the shadows the problem is not enough exposure. How did you meter? Old Rodinal is OK no matter how dark it is, there was a thread recently about the longevity and some of us have used it up to 10 years old.
     
  4. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I've read that Rodinal is one of those developers the give a loss of film speed to the combo. I shoot my Ektapan at EI 80 instead of the rated 100 to get the best results. I've noticed other films look a bit thin and should have been exposed more if I'd thought about it. Do some bracketing and see what EI give the best results for you.
     
  5. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Thanks for the very prompt replies and for putting my at rest about the Rodinal.

    Les, some frames I considered to be average and metered reflected light, others I used an invercone. The film's density overall is very similer, which to me points to a consistent error, either at the exposing or processing stage.

    Could you advise as to the best course of action, my normal approach would be to shoot several frames at different iso settings and develop as normal, in this case 200, 320 and 400 and then evaluate the negs.

    Thanks

    Martin
     
  6. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    My first piece of advice would be to avoid using an invercone when exposing black and white film, I have three Weston meters, all redundant, but I threw away the invercone for all of them, I think they are a waste of time for black and white photography. First of all every meter is calibrated to an 18% grey card which means that it thinks that everything it reads is mid grey. To give the correct exposure you need to adjust the camera settings after making the light meter reading. So, when you meter a dark shadow and want it to be very dark you close down the lens by up to three stops, two stops to see detail in there and one stop to see very good detail in there. I close down the lens only one stop, in effect placing my shadows on Zone IV in zone system terms. I would suggest that you read the reflected light from two specific areas of the image, the shadow and the highlight. Expose for the shadow as described, the reason for metering the highlight is to determine the contrast range of the subject to determine development. Normal contrast range is up to 5 stops which means normal development, minus contrast range in 3 stops which means plus development and plus contrast means more than 5 stops which requires minus development. I would rate the film at 400 ISO. I hope this helps, if not please ask some more questions.
     
  7. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Thanks again Les. Looks like I'll have to chalk this one up to sloppy metering technique and thanks for the advice.

    Martin
     
  8. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    HP5 can be rated @400 in Rodinal 1+50.
    I give it 9 min @24C
     
  9. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Member

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    Before blaming the under exposure on sloppy metering you might try doing personal film speed and developement time tests whenever you change developer/film combinations.
     
  10. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Thanks, I'll give it another try at 400 first. I definitely was a little cavalier with the metering. I'm a little concerned that I didn't manage to get 1 right out of 12, but at least their consistently off.
    If the next one turns out similarly I'll have to reconsider my options.