HP5 Rodinal and Base fog

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by David Lingham, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. David Lingham

    David Lingham Member

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    For the first time I tried extended development and reduced agitation with a roll of 35mm HP5. Exposed at box speed and processed in Rodinal 1+50. Development was 25mins and with 15sec intial agitation then 15secs every 5th min. The negs are of a softly lit misty woodland and they look v.good and printable, all except for the overall base fog that seems a bit on the high side. I don’t think it will be a problem to print through but is raised base fog normal for this process?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Very strange, I used to use only Rodinal for all my films but it never gave base fog, its very clean working compared to ID-11/D76, the de facto "Standard Fine Grain Film Developer".

    Ian
     
  3. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    If this is not your first roll of 35 mm HP5+ then you know it has a base density of close to one stop. If it's much higher than that, it may be due to the long development time. There's not much use trying to overdevelop HP5+ in Rodinal 1+50 to pick up the contrast. A gradient of about 0.65 is about the best you can do. After that, it does what you saw: builds up fog which actually may reduce contrast.
     
  4. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Rodinal is one of the only two developers I use. I did try an EI test of Tri-X at 12,800 (I know, I know!) a few months ago that I'd read about. It was 1 hour with one inversion every 5 minutes and I got negs that Ansel Adams would have coughed up blood over! I'd guess the EI was about 1600 but the b+f was sufficient to view a solar eclipse through! I'm not sure, but my guess would be that stand development may only work with the old thick emulsions.
     
  5. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I had a batch of HP5 developed in Rodinal to show a lot more base fog than usual several months ago. I've been using HP5 and Rodinal for several years but never had this to happen before. My times and dilutions were the same as I have always used and the film was a mixed batch of 35mm and 120 rolls done in a large tank at the same time. I never figured out what happened to that batch of film.

    David, what is eerie about your post is that I believe I shot all that film under heavy overcast, misty rain conditions over several days during a trip. Conditions similar to those you describe.
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Did you mean "1 five minute agitation, and stand for an hour"? Stand development works just fine with modern emulsions, but it needs to stand.

    I haven't tried Rodinal for stand developing though, and it wouldn't be my first choise either. If I have no idea what conditions a film was exposed under, and whether the exposure was under, on, or over, or in some cases where I don't even know what film it is (!), I give 90 minutes stand in half-strength FX-2.
     
  7. David Lingham

    David Lingham Member

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    Thanks you all. Gainer, I wasn’t after an increase in contrast, but trying a process I’d read about here that was said to be suitable for soft lighting. ie: Extending development time with reduced agitation to retain shadow detail and not block the hilights. I’m happy with the resulting negs although I’ll know more after the weekend when I’ve tried to print from them. I just wondered if anyone else had used HP5 and Rodinal the same way and experienced a raised base fog level.
    Lee, interesting that you had the same experience in the same condititions, were your negs printable?
     
  8. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    No - sorry Ole. I used 30 secs continuous initial agitation, then a single inversion of the tank every five minutes throughout the one hour. It turned out to be a futile exercise anyway but didn't want to leave a stone unturned as they say. The thought only occurred to me after reading a piece on Atget and combined it with the Digital Truth info.
     
  9. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I too remember reading an article on using Rodinal and Tri-X for very high EI values. I tried it at EI 1600 and for 22 minutes, with good results. If your results are any indicator, anything above EI 3200 will be fraught with problems.
     
  10. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Love the quote Snapshot. Unfortunately my mind's empty - now I know what my other problem is!
     
  11. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    Well, I can't take credit for it. I've paraphrased a comment made by Leo Bascalia I heard some years ago. :smile:
     
  12. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    "Lee, interesting that you had the same experience in the same condititions, were your negs printable?"

    Yes, they were all printable although exposure times were longer than I'm used to. It's still a mystery to me why it happened. I haven't had the experience again.
     
  13. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Even so, I think 25 minutes at 1:50 is somewhat longer than optimum for HP5+. I think if you were to do a test where you develope a whole roll of the same subject and exposure, removing a few frames from the developer at, say, 3 minute intervals after 15 minutes, you might see that the contrast had reached its maximum at around 15 and the overall level increased after that. I'm thinking of a set of curves Phil Davis published some years ago in Photo Techniques, maybe while it was still Darkroom and Creative Camera Techniques I can't find my copy right now. The contrast vs development time for Rodinal flattened out fairly soon. After that point, any change in density would give more fog.
     
  14. David Lingham

    David Lingham Member

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    Thanks Gainer, that sounds like a good article.