Rodinal and MF Stand Developing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Pioneer, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    I have a question. I just finished my first stand developing of some medium format film using Adox Adonal and everything seemed to turn out ok. But I have since been told that stand developing MF film will almost always result in uneven development.

    My technique:
    Water Rinse (2 minutes)
    1+100 Adinol - Agitate slowly for first minute. Leave alone for 59 minutes.
    3 Water Rinses
    5 Minute Fix
    Final Wash (5 inversions, 10 inversions, 20 inversions.)

    Since I have done this with MF only once and gotten away with it once, I am certainly not an expert. For those who do this more regularly, is this a problem to watch for and, if so, is there a solution? I like the results I received although the negs seemed a little bit flat so I could probably agitate just a hair more (maybe once at the 30 minute mark.)

    Anyway, thoughts and suggestions are welcome. I will certainly try again and continue to experiment just because I enjoy doing it.
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    As with any film/developer/time combo, it will not always be the best process for all films. Stand development is okay for taming contrast, but when you try it with flatly light exposures you might very well throw the negatives away. Stand is only one tool in our arsenal of tricks, use only when needed. BTW, I have heard it said that stand development was perfected by a lazy person who didn't like having to work at developing film.
     
  3. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    It depends on the film. I have used it for 120 Rollei Retro 80s which is a fairly contrasty film with great results. I use it as my standard processing method for 120 Fuji Acros with great results as well. I also use Adonal. For both films I have been using it 1/100 for 45 minutes. Light agitation for the first 30 seconds and the same in the middle of the development time.
     
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  4. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    When I stand develop, I like to use a large multi-reel tank, putting a 35mm reel in first so that the next reel (holding the film) is elevated above the bottom of the tank by the height of the first reel. I am concerned that bromides might concentrate at the bottom of the tank during the long stand development time and affect development of the film along its lower edge. Raising the film reel means the bromide products collect below the level of the film. I also like to have extra developer above the film.
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    The unevenness problem with stand development is bromide drag. Whether you get it or not depends on a bunch of factors, mostly which film type you're using. If you develop several rolls and never see streaking from very strong highlights (e.g. streetlights in a night photo), then you can probably be confident that your film doesn't suffer from that problem.

    Of course, there's not a lot of point unless you want a lot of compensating action.
     
  6. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    Lazy probably describes me reasonably well at times but actually what has attracted me to the process is that I can keep the cost down (Adinol at 1+100 is quite inexpensive) and second, it seems to be a reasonably good developing method for developing more than one type of film at a time, eg; Pan F + 50 and Adox Pan 25. I frequently have one roll of one type and another roll of another type of film lying around and this may be a way to run that film. It is even more common for me to have two or three different film types when I shoot 4x5. Typically, if I have shot several rolls or sheets of the same film I do prefer to use the tried and tested standard developing methods.

    To test the hypothesis I just developed a batch of 35mm using one roll of Arista Edu Ultra 100 with a roll of Ilford Pan F Plus 50 in a larger Jobo tank. The film is drying right now but it looks like it came out relatively well. I'll know a lot more when I can get it on the light table tomorrow.

    As for contrast, the roll of medium format was a little flatter then I expected but still shows reasonable contrast. I should easily be able to bring it back up a little in printing, if I want. I have to replace my dark cloth on my office window so I can print again, but I hope to get to that this week as well. (Grandkids and Xmas permitting, and the crick don't rise.) There is always more than enough to keep me occupied.

    BTW - Thank you ever so much for taking the time with this. I searched and did get some guidance on stand development but not a lot about the differences in using it for 35mm vs 120 vs sheet film.
     
  7. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    Or you like playing around.

    I'll have to work some more with the Arista films to see if this will continue to work out.

    Here is one of the negatives from that run.

    Ski Lift Two.jpg
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I think I see some definite edge effects in that image - course I don't know whether that has anything to do with the scan.
     
  9. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I would agree with Matt re the light sky area in the upper right. I see this with 120 film if not careful about agitation with semi stand, with Rodinal. It occurs mostly in lighter areas (Z6-7 and up). It's as if the agitation at the edges (especially the top edge of the reel, where exchange is better than at the bottom) is greater than in the middle of the film. My agitation for semi stand is for 20 seconds, slow and steady, inverted with twisting motion.Seems to take care of it, most of the time, and, as pointed out, depending on the film.
    There is already a lot of info in this forum on stand development, you can find it by searching for it. Many people have greatly varied experiences with it (stand and semi stand), your best approach is to do testing for your own set of circumstances.
     
  10. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    To Agitate or Not To Agitate

    Thanks for the heads up on the lighter areas. I would not have thought to look for that. Next time I try this with 120 film I'll try a larger tank. Interestingly I have read on this forum where people have been advised to use an empty reel at the bottom of the tank, with the film reel above that, when doing stand development with 35mm. There was no mention of edge effects being caused by the film being too close to the top of the solution.

    As for information on stand developing found on this forum (and on Flikr BTW,) I have been searching and reading, and I have been learning a lot. But the majority of the info that I find deals with 35mm, usually lower speed, not 120 or sheet film. And there is very, very little on higher speed 120 films.

    The other thing I find interesting is that I need to increase agitation. I understand the roll of agitation during normal development and I can certainly increase agitation here. But based on what I have read, if I understand correctly, too much agitation will exhaust the small amount of Rodinal in the 1+100 solution. If I want to agitate more, then I should probably go to a 1+50 solution, agitate semi-normally, and be done in 20 minutes, not 1 hour. But that really isn't what I started out to do.

    Hmmm. More questions. Time to play with chemicals again.

    As you can certainly tell, I am obviously a complete neophyte at this. Like George said, I do need to play with this entire process a whole lot more to figure out what it can do and cannot do for me. Thank you for your help. Your comments and suggestions coming from your experience give me more ideas to try.
     
  11. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    One thing I have noticed lately - not yet proven, is that high dilutions may yield more edge surge effects. Not sure of this yet, but I keep very good records of what I do for each roll of film.

    One other tip - you will waste (in some sense) a roll of film, but if you place the camera on tripod very close to a light colored evenly lit wall (inside the house will work), focus on infinity (not looking for detail here), and place the value of the wall on zone 7 or 8, and fire off all exposures, then develop with your method, then print on grade 3 or higher - but print the value down to maybe zone 5, you will see the surge. A contact sheet is best. You might be shocked. When you can develop a consistent and uniform roll this way, you've got it.
     
  12. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    Still being a little new to this game, I assume if I use the right filter with my variable contrast paper I will get a similar result. Correct?
     
  13. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    A few general points regarding stand development:

    -Usually more successful with slower films
    -Typically results in less highlight compensation than one might expect
    -Tends to slightly reinforce lower values
    -Can result in exaggerated edge effects

    Note edge effects (adjacency effects) have nothing to do with uneven development and/or surge effects.
     
  14. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Michael R - thanks for those comments, they agree with my experiences. I've been doing different stand and semi-stand processing only for the last 5 - 10 years, and I would agree (but didn't realize the slow film thing). Do you know why slow films are more responsive?

    Pioneer - yes, the VC filters will work, it's what I use. The reason for the higher contrast printing is that it will reveal the effects of surge more readily. The reason for placing the value of the surface photographed on a higher zone, when exposing the film, is that the higher values in the neg are more vulnerable to surge (you won't see it in the shadows.) By printing the value down to a mid-tone with enhanced contrast, any surge will be easier to see.
     
  15. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    Thanks for that Michael R. Most of the posts and other information I have read agree that slower films respond better to stand development. But there is not a whole lot of info about stand development with higher speed films, specifically ISO 400 films. I have found a Flikr site where someone has done something similar in 1+200 Rodinal.

    A little background.Most of my developing is done with standard methods using a Jobo daylight tank. I always try to fill the tank whether it is 35, 120 or 4x5 sheet film. In 4x5 I usually use ISO 100 film but, once in a while, I will shoot a sheet or two of ISO 400 4x5 film. This happens so seldom that I can have an exposed sheet or two lying around for months waiting to accumulate enough to make a special run in the Jobo tank. I was reading about stand development the other day and learned that it was useful for developing different types of film. My little brain went "Ding, ding...pay attention here!" Maybe this is a way to develop some of my 400 along with my 100 and 125. Since Rodinal is pretty inexpensive, especially at these solution levels I decided to try it out. I shoot a lot more ISO 400 roll film so I am trying it there first.

    My goal is a printable negative with reasonable contrast and relatively low grain. Since I doubt that I am the only one who has tried this, I thought I would throw the idea up on the forum and see what others have learned. BTW, if it helps, I typically shoot Arista Edu 100 or 400, and slower (ISO 50 & ISO 125) Ilford films.

    Thank you all for your ideas, and I welcome anybody's input on this. I will continue to experiment and will let you know how it works as it progresses.