Old Rodinal

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

  1. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    Rodinal

    This morning I ran off a series of shots to use as clip tests. And then developed short strips first in fresh Rodinal and then from the old bottle I had that had given me such poor results.. Using the recommendation that rjs003 gave I shook the bottle vigorously before mixing. It was as he stated the solution had separated and shaking recombined the elements,. The results showed equal activity They [the results] are no way an accurate measure of the film or developer normal results. But do show that the developer activity is fine. I was frankly surprised that shaking solved the problem or that liquid developers could separate like that. Thanks for the advice
     
  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Realistically speaking, Rodinal doesn't go bad. Seriously. Yes, I can believe if it sat for a very long time that components would separate, but with vigorous mixing, it'll be good to go. I had a bottle that sat, 80% empty, and NOT hermetically sealed, for a good 7-8 years. A good shake, and I developed a half-dozen rolls with the tar-looking substance in the bottle, and they came out perfect.
     
  3. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    I have a half bottle left and still going strong after ten years, but it does reveal I only use it on the odd occasion and I only keep it for the odd experiment with film or dilution.

    Steve
     
  4. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Question, how long does Rodinal have to sit before it's at the stage it needs to be shaken? 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? just in general, how long would it take? good to know for the future ya know?
     
  5. erikg

    erikg Member

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    No harm in shaking every time, or at least if it has been sitting for weeks/months certainly years!
     
  6. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Well I've never shaken mine before, also wouldn't shaking it every time introduce more unnecessary oxygen that normally just sits at the top of the bottle? I always pour a full bottle of new Rodinal into one of those amber bottles when I open it (because the Adox Adonal lids on their plastic bottles suck) and then have a smaller bottle I work out of for convenience, so the larger bottle sits in the basement a few months at a time undisturbed. So that's why I asked, but when I pour off into the smaller bottle, I haven't noticed that my images have suddenly lost quality on account of pouring off the top without shaking... so that's why I asked.
     
  7. heterolysis

    heterolysis Member

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    I've had a bottle for a year that doesn't seem to have (visibly) separated at all.

    I always heard rumours that the stuff never went bad, and I just thought people meant relative to other developers... but 7-8 years? Wow!
     
  8. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I've heard stories about 30 year old Rodinal that was still good. In a time test, I don't know if HC-110 or Rodinal would win but both will really last longer than the time it takes to use them, even if you develop only a little bit a year. FWIW HC-110's expiration date says "indefinite" haha
     
  9. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I have a bottle I bought in the mid 80s, I think it was, developed a couple of rolls in, couldn't get results I liked, and gave up. I can give it a try when I get a chance.

    I didn't like it then so I'm not sure what to expect, but I can certainly tell if it still "works" and is in the ballpark for contrast given a reasonable development time/temperature/dilution.
     
  10. dorff

    dorff Member

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    It is not uncommon to hear of 30 to 40 years old Rodinal working as when new. My own experience is with 25 yo stuff, still have some of it. What would be awesome, is someone finding old full bottles pre WWII and developing film with that!

    I have found Parodinal to be long-lived as well, provided it is prepared with the correct chemicals at the correct concentrations. My oldest samples are now two years, and showing no signs of deteriorating.

    Edit: BTW the reason why shaking up the bottle helps, is maybe because it re-dissolves some of the crystallised aminophenolate, i.e. it replenishes the active developer in solution. Good Rodinal must always have a few crystals lying in the bottom of the bottle, and when decanting into other containers, one must transfer the crystals too. Otherwise, the developer will crash sooner. If you suspect oxidation, one should not use only the top layer of the liquid. Diffusion in a viscous liquid such as Rodinal is very slow, and it can happen in reality that the replenishment simply does not take place via diffusion over the time frame you mention through a liquid column a few inches high.

    Rodinal proper contains at least two salts, namely potassium sulphite and potassium aminophenolate, in addition to potassium hydroxide. There could also possibly be chloride and bromide, depending on the formula. Two things are important: The aminophenolate in solution must be close to or exceed 0,5 moles/L, and the sulphite must stay in solution. To get this, sodium cannot be totally replaced for potassium, and the most one can get away with is ca 1 part of sodium per one part of potassium. I don't know what the current R09 formula contains exactly, but I am pretty sure it is based on potassium chemistry. The DIY formulas such as in the Darkoom Cookbook suggest using 4-aminophenol hydrochloride, and sodium hydroxide with potassium metabisulphite. This results in an additional amount of chloride in the developer, but that is of course greatly diluted in use. In the Parodinal formula, it is not chloride, but acetate that forms. In metonal (from metol), it is sulphate. In practice, I have found as yet no effect on how and what forms the main constituents are added, as long as they are there in the final product. In other words, after all reactions have taken place (acid-base neutralising etc) there should be excess hydroxide, sulphite and aminophenolate. The extra baggage of chloride, acetate or whatever else, is mostly inconsequential. When using sodium hydroxide, the sulphite must be potassium. And vice versa. One should not filter home preparations. Rather, one should strive to get the quanities of chemicals correct, and leave the precipitate to form and stay there, as it is responsible in part for the longevity.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2013
  11. ath

    ath Member

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    Two days ago I used the Rodinal I opened in 1998. No Problem.
     
  12. StoneNYC

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    For what it's worth, the representative who posts here from ADOX has just posted that the CURRENT formula for Adox Adonal is the original EXACT formula of Rodinal, and that the newer R09 formulas from other companies are similar but not EXACTLY the same formulation, he also said that soon they will be able to label the US bottles as Rodinal again :smile: cool huh?
     
  13. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    It's long overdue, my head starts spinning each time this topic comes up and I end up NOT KNOWING what I am currently using myself.
    R09, Adonal, Rodinol, Calbe, Adox, AGFA

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! :blink:
     
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  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    haha, yea I felt like that until I learned that Adox had bought the patent a few years ago and at least could feel confident that Adonal was probably the closest, and this confirmed it, he said 3 years ago he couldn't say that others weren't using the same formula for sure (so I assume there were some patent things going around allowing others to make the exact formula as Adox was or something to that effect, who knows) but now, for sure, ADOX Adonal is the ONLY true Rodinal formula :smile:

    They also have the "Old Rodinal" which is the formula from before my mother was born (pre 1950's), I've always been curious to try it, but no one can tell me the difference... haha
     
  16. miha

    miha Member

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    No more rumours please Stone!!
     
  17. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    oh ok, but I wasn't saying "I heard" I was saying "I assume" based on the phrasing of how the ADOX rep said things, before 3 years ago, there were more companies making the official Rodinal formula, he said it, that's not a rumor, and I was only supposing the reason was about patents, who knows the real reason, I'll leave it to you to find out then.
     
  18. miha

    miha Member

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    Mirko never said that. Agfa Rodinal was only made in one facoty in Vaihingen, it still is, sold as Adonal. He did said that 3 years ago there were several companies selling Rodinal made in Vaihingen, under different names.
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Sorry I miss-spoke, when I said "made" what I meant was "buying the chemical and slapping their sticker brand on it" ... I did mean that, but obviously that's not what I typed... sorry.
     
  20. miha

    miha Member

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    No problem Stone, I'm just saying that one needs to be precise when stating things otherwise rumours start to spread.
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    You are correct sir and I welcome those kinds of corrections :smile:
     
  22. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Ian Grant probably has the long history on all this Rodinal stuff straight. It's a confusing 120+ year saga.
     
  23. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Oh, and by the way:

    The number one reason for using Rodinal, is the amazing surprise, at the end of developing when pour the developer out and you see what colors it has, amazing! (and varies with the film used ^^ )
     
  24. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I've never noticed that, it's always clear for me...

    I'm pretty sure it sounds more like you don't pre-soak your film and you're seeing the anti-halation layer coming out...
     
  25. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    At present I believe:
    If the name "Vaihingen Enz" is on the container, it used to be called Rodinal but is now sold under various names.
    It is more alkaline than the earlier version based on the "liberated" formula.
    The color is probably a reaction product of Indophenol formed by oxidation.
    The crystals are probably not p-aminophenol base, although this is precipitated at lower pH, but are probably aminophenolate, and a Sodium form is more likely as Sodium salts are often less soluble than Potassium.
     
  26. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    True, with Rodinal I never do, it reacts with it and creates pretty awesome color results, hehe ^^