Please help- For finer grain is TriX best in Rodinal or D-76?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Nicole, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    I just developed my usual film, TriX 400, in Rodinal and have found my negs to be very grainy. Why is that? I haven't used D-76 yet. I do like fine grain but found this result a little too much grain for my liking.

    1) What the differences are there in grain etc... when developing in Rodinal vs D76.

    2) How did you find various styles of agitation affect the results?

    3) Do you have any examples you can show?

    Thanks for your help.
    Kind regards,
    Nicole
     
  2. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Hi Nicole
    Rodinal is a Non solvent developer aka acutance developer. It is not a fine grain dev
    But enhances the sharpness and also the grain
    D-76 is a solvent developer, When used full strength, because of the sulfite containt. It desolve the grain a tiny bit making them apear finer. There is true fine grain developers like Perceptol.
    Cheers Søren
     
  3. marcello.brussard

    marcello.brussard Member

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    I've found D76 1+1 to be a good compromise. I like the grain of tri-x and usually develop it in rodinal, but when I want a smoother look I go for D76 1+1
     
  4. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Darned. I was going to find some neg to compare but the ones I thought was D-76 is Xtol. So feel free to disregard my last post.
    Sorry
    Søren
     
  5. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Rodinal produces negatives that have very sharp, well-defined grain. Film like Tri-X, being a relatively high speed film, is inherently more grainy than a low speed film.

    D76 used full strength with Tri-X will give you less apparent grain at the expense of sharpness. Diluted 1:1, it's a nice compromise in grain and sharpness. Diluted 1:3, it will give you a little more apparent sharpness with a little more increased grain.

    I've always used sodium sulfite with Rodinal to reduce the appearance of grain. It doesn't seem to affect the tonal quality of the negative and it doesn't turn the grain to mush. I also have used Rodinal very highly diluted and processed for shorter that the recommended times, which might help to reduce the apparent grain in the print.

    But everyone works out how they process their film and print their negatives to arrive at a personal method of processing.
     
  6. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    You might also consider a staining developer, like PMK pyro, which has good sharpness and also has the ability to mask grain somewhat. Nice smooth tones for skin and some loss of film speed, but it works very well with tri-x.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I agree that D76 is a very good compromise between grain appearance and sharpness. I would like to make a push for Xtol, however. It's a fine grain developer with reasonable sharpness. I have seen some very good results with this combinations.
    Rodinal is not a fine grain developer, but will yield extremely sharp negatives.

    In regards to agitation - gentle agitation usually yields somewhat finer grain, as does a higher dilution of Rodinal.

    Hope that helps,

    - Thom
     
  8. sp_maher

    sp_maher Member

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    While I now typically dev my TriX in HC110, I have fond memories of rating TriX (the new stuff) at 200 and developing in D76 1:1 (sorry, don't have my times in front of me--I can post them later if you like). Grain was fine and tone was beautiful.

    Sean
     
  9. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    Nicole: I used Rodinal, D76 1:0, D76 1:1, and HC110b in various dilutions. D76 1:1 is best for reduced grain (in120 anyway). You might want to try D23 too. But if grain is your problem, you probably should give different film a try also.
     
  10. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Thanks everyone! When I developed TriX 400 recently in Rodinal at 1+50 with gentle agitation at box speed and instructions I have found the grain to become 'gluggy' rendering about 50% of the images useless. I'm wondering if this was 'pilot error'.

    I like to shoot TriX 400 and recently Agfapan 400 but am most importantly trying to get good contrast and tonal ranges allround. I'm getting a little disheartened lately as it's just not giving me what I'm after.
     
  11. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Is FX-39 avaliable in your area? Its my standard developer for Agfapan 100. I'm not sure how it would work with the 400 variety, but its worth a try. Although, IMO it doesn't seem to work as well with Tri-X.
     
  12. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Rodinal will work for 400 films, but grain will be very apparent. Even though I like the look of TX in ROdinal.

    is D76 your only option?

    Can you get DDX, Xtol or something similar? Those should give you far better results regarding graininess and film speed.


     
  13. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Food for thought! Thanks. I do often have to push TriX to 800 in low light conditions - again increasing grain.
     
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  15. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I shoot Tri-X @200, 320, 400, 640, 800, 1000 and 1600 and dev them in Rodinal. Grain fetish? :tongue:
     
  16. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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  17. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Nicole,

    Try Xtol. Detailed instructions concerning most films and processing methods are readily available online. When used full strength you get very fine grain with legitimate shadow improvement. The only problem with it is the minimum size (5l) and the storage. I keep it in separate 250ml bottles filled to the brim (about 280ml). I have kept it that way for a year without problem (during the days I was expeimenting with PMK Pyro). Do not try and store it in half filled bottles as it reacts quickly with air.

    Neal Wydra
     
  18. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Hi Nicole - after many years of trying differnt combinations, for MF, and Tri-x I have settled on XTOL - It doesn't mush the grain and yet renders very fine grain - also with good accutance. It falls outside the realm of standard Metal/ HQ or Staining developers as the primary ingredient is a cousin of Vitamin C. Which is friendly to yourself and to your sewage system. You can make your own:
    MYTOL
    Distilled Water 750 ml
    Sodium Sulfite 60 g
    Sodium Metaborate 4 g
    Sodium Ascorbate 13 g (purchased as vitamin C)
    Phenidone 0.15 g
    Sodium Metabisulfite 3 g (same as sodium bisulfite)
    Distilled water to make 1000 ml

    All these chemicals are inexpensive and easily mailordered. I use it 1:1 and am very happy with the results. Rodinal is likely best used with very slow film unless you are going for golfball sized grain - Rodinal uses a chemical cousin of Amidol and if I were going to use this type of developer, I would use pyrocat HD. Finer grain, cheap and easy to make and there is a grain masking stain that lets you have smooth tones and accutance. - I use this for all my 4x5 negative but it works well in MF - Mytol will give you a little more enlargability.
     
  19. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    Nicole try XTOL and look never back. In a german lab mag there was a test Xtol was the winner in sharpness and grain against the rest of the world.
    And if you are not belive me then I start the church of XTOL ;-)))
     
  20. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    And I will be the first acolyte. I've used XTOL and Tri-X for a couple of years and LOVE IT. I wasn't excited about Tri-X until I developed it with XTOL. Now, I'd never use anything else in 400 speed b&w
     
  21. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Wow, everybody sure jumped on this one with some interesting information.

    My faveroite developer for Tri 120 is D 76 1:1 @ 68 deg for 71/2 to 81/2 minutes depending on the exposure of the film with agitation five seconds each thirty seconds.

    With stainless Nikkor tanks and reels, I fill the tank with developer. In the dark load the film on the reel or reels (using a T hanger lift device with two reels or more) ease the reel and film into the developer filled tank and put the lid on. Timer has already started. turn on the room lights and pick up the tank and rotate it gently right and left for five seconds. Do the same agitation five seconds every thirty seconds for the duration of developement time. Nothing fancy, nothing extra to add but it will give you an excellent printable negative.

    Everybody has their favorite combinations, but they are just that, personal
    favorites no more. For the type of work you do D76 1;1 or straight for that matter is perfect for you. Pushing to 800 is possible, but quality definitely suffers. Especially in the shadow areas. The magic formulas and recommendations others have given are all workable and do a good job, I have used and will use many of them again, but D 76 is difficult to find fault with if you want top quality negatives and prints with out a lot of hassel. (not blad)
     
  22. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I use PC-TEA as well as Mytol - The PC-TEA is very good but Mytol has the edge in fine grain --- probably because of the small quantity of sodium sulfite - even 1:1, Mytol is finer than PC-TEA - If you are enlarging big - you will notice. I tend to use PC-TEA with FP4, APX100 or HP5. For Tri-X, I always go with MYTOL.
     
  23. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    If you don't want to mix your own, use Xtol. If you want to mix your own, a very simple (3 common ingredients) is easy. The above MYTOL will work fine, except that the sulfite is totally unnecessary and does nothing in a Phenidone/Ascorbate developer.

    Consider trying this:

    water 1 liter
    5 g (1 tsp.) sodium metaborate OR (depending on your desired developing time and level of activity) 6g (1 tsp.) sodium carbonate
    4 g (1/2 tsp.) Vitamin C crystals or powder from your health food store
    4 ml. 1% Phenidone stock solution (I dissolve 1 g Phenidone in 100 ml. 90% isopropyl alchohol from the pharmacy.)

    Try a starting time around 6-7 minutes at 72F (22C). You may have to play with it a bit to get the time you want, but that will get you in the ballpark.

    Use this as a one-shot. Takes no more than 2 minutes mixing time. Very fine grain, full tonal scale. I call it PCM for the phenidone, Vitamin C, metaborate version or PCC for the carbonate version. I find the carbonate works best with Delta 100, Fuji ACROS, while the metaborate version works best with Delta 400. For the slower films, the metaborate version needs 9-10 minutes.

    Larry
     
  24. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Competition? :tongue:

    See ya out there preaching :tongue:
     
  25. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Larry,

    Is that sodium ascorbate as in the Mytol formula you quoted from Frank Hovie, or ascorbic acid?

    Thanks,
    Lee
     
  26. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    We have a heretic on our hands :>)))