Rodinal and Tmax, or Help me get my process under control!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by chuck94022, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2005
  2. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Traditionally I've been processing B&W film in my Jobo. I've always had great results, but would like better agitation control. I recently decided to learn to use my simpler Patterson tank. I decided to play with a test roll of TMax 120.

    As an engineer I should know better than to have two indepedent variables in my experiment, but, duh, I also decided to try out that new bottle of Rodinal I bought - a developer I've never used before.

    So the roll I produced sucked. I had surprisingly, unacceptably high grain and some streaking. I also know I made at least one mistake. I didn't do the initial constant agitation, I went right to the 5 seconds every 30 seconds pattern. That part was just new process-itis on my part, not a preference.

    So before I process again, I can think of several potential problems right off the bat:

    1. Improper initial agitation.
    2. Poor follow-on agitation technique. I would invert while twisting 90 degress, hoping for more random sloshing, then tap the bottom on the counter several times at the end of agitation.
    3. Inappropriate use of Rodinal with Tmax. Are they compatible?
    4. Inverting rather than using the swizzle stick on the Patterson.
    5. No pre-wet. It did not appear to be called for, so I went without, though I do prewet Tmax with my Jobo.


    I'd like to be able to avoid the very high grain and the streaking. Any ideas before I soup some more test rolls and chase down lots of random variables?

    Thanks!

    -chuck
     
  3. david b

    david b Member

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    This is just my opinion, but I would not use rodinal with t-grain films.

    It's great with traditional films like pan f and apx 100.

    For tmax and delta films, I use xtol 1+1 with great success.
     
  4. argus

    argus Member

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    What dillution dit you use? 1+25, 1+50 ? Rodinal tends to produce smaller grain in higher dillution but 1+100 is said to narrow down the tonal scale. I mix 1+50 with good results.

    The streaking is due to too much agitation, I had the same problem lately. Agitate Rodinal smoothly the first 30 seconds, then each minute. Don't use the tank as some samba ball, but gently tilt the tank (not 90 dgr.) and back. The last few minutes I even let it stand.

    As I don't use Tmax, I can't say anything about dev. times.

    G
     
  5. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I used 1+50 and the recommended time for that dilution at 68 degrees.

    So I probably completely misunderstand inversion then - I turned the tank completely over, 180 degrees. Are you saying I just need to rock it gently, less than 90 degrees? Would it be better for me to use the swizzle stick device to gently spin the reel instead? Is this Rodinal specific, or for any developer in an inversion tank?

    -chuck
     
  6. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    Hi Chuck,

    I always invert the tank completely, but slowly. For me, one inversion cycle takes two seconds. One second to invert the tank, and one second to set it back upright. Some people tend to shake the tank like a cocktail shaker when they first start out and end up overdoing it. Gentle agitation is best.

    I recall seeing posts on rec.photo.darkroom by a gentleman named Frank Calidonna, who uses T-Max 100 in Rodinal diluted 1:100. For your refernce, I have copied a post he made on this subject. He agitates differently than I do, but his methods work well for him.


    "With either Tmax 100 or 400 try Rodinol 1-100 at 75 degrees for 11
    minutes. Agitate gently for the first minute then vigorously for 5
    seconds per minute thereafter. This should be close. Adjust your times
    to suit your equipment and taste. I rate both 100 and 400 at their rated
    speeds for normal contrast situations. Rodinol and T-Max films are a
    wonderful combination.


    Frank Rome, NY"

    Hope this helps, Mike Sullivan
     
  7. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I can't comment on the idea of just tilting the tank as an agitation technique. I've never tried it. When I use inversion, I do about 4 inversions in 5 seconds then rest for the remainder of the 30 seconds. That seems to work very well for me with 4x5 sheets in an HP CombiPlan tank as well as with 35mm and 120 film in a SS tank. To address the Rodinal and T-grain films question, I can say that I'm not too terribly fond of the combination. XTOL, Microphen, D-76, or ID-11 would be far better choices IMO. Rodinal is not too bad with TMX, and probably the same can be said for Delta 100, but not good with the faster offerings.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Rodinal is a perfect match for T-grain films, and is highly recommended by a number of fine art photigraphers. I used it with Tmax100 for about 15 years usually at 1:50, never at 1:25 which I found to be far to contrasty. For N+1 development I used 2:75.

    BTW APX100 is a new technology film just like Tmax & Delta.

     
  9. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    This is a great resource for everybody using Rodinal. I always use this page as a starting point for different films in Rodinal.
    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Developers/Times_Rodinal/times_rodinal.html

    I think TMX and TMY in Rodinal is a great combination. It's silly because I always told myself that I don't like the TMX film. But somehow I always got good results when I was forced to use it. Go figure. Now I don't mind using it, but I still prefer APX 100, Ilford and the Efke films with this developer.
    The only thing I don't like about the Tmax films is washing out the dye.

    Hope that helps,

    - Thom
     
  11. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the info guys!

    -chuck
     
  12. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    My opinion is the total opposite. I like it for Delta 100!
    Nice to see that we all aren't alike :smile:
     
  13. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    1+50 is the best and most versatile dilution! One of my ten commandments in the church!
     
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  15. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    No surprise there, Morten. Come on, fess up. Don't you use Rodinal as an after-shave? :wink:
     
  16. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Rodinal works fine with t-max 100. 1:100 will probably cut your speed. Try 1:50 to start. Two inversions in 5 sec for 30 sec to start. Then 5 sec/30 sec.

    Use only enough to cover the film. Don`t fill the tank as the solution needs to move. Invert and twist 90 deg if you have a steel tank. Paterson will work with inversion only, but rotate 90 deg as you set it down.
     
  17. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Does anyone use the little swizzle stick with the Paterson instead of inverting?

    -chuck
     
  18. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I just developed a new roll of TMax 100 (120 format). This time it came out perfect. I was much more rigorous on temperature control - kept all chems in a 68 degree bath, and pre-cooled the Paterson for a few minutes in the bath (no prewet though) just to be on the safe side. Then processed in Rodinal 1:50 for 12 minutes.

    Had one near disaster - as I poured out the Rodinal, the damn funnel on the Paterson started to fall out. I caught it after it moved about 1/4 inch out, quickly slapped it back on, and poured in the stop, making sure this time the funnel was locked in place.

    I had to fix for about 9 minutes to fully clear the pink, but in the end the roll was perfect, with no damage from the inadvertant slip at the end of development.

    Initial examination of the prints show spectacular results. After they dry I'll check them closely.

    Thanks all!

    -chuck
     
  19. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    I do, except I have the Arista plastic tank (it's cheaper and the reels are a lot easier to load). And, unlike the Paterson (I think), with the Arista tank the whole post and reels move up and down while spinning (I think the Paterson only spins). I do this mainly because I lost my cap and didn't want to order another one, and my negs look just fine spinning them.
    -Grant
     
  20. AndrewH

    AndrewH Member

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    9 minute Fix?

    Ouch, that is a LOT of fix.
     
  21. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I thought so too, but for some reason recently I've been seeing longer fix times with my tmax, even in the Jobo. Didn't seem to do any harm, and the negs are clear and sharp.

    -chuck
     
  22. happusa

    happusa Member

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    I use BW2 from "Photographers Formulary". BW2 is formulated for use with T-grain films. I am very satisfied with the results. Contrast can be controlled with development time variation.
     
  23. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    That's nuthin'. I fix TMY for at least 15 minutes, sometimes 20.
     
  24. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    As for the fixing, I find that soaking the film after fixing (rather than using shorter cysles of wash with lots of agitation, helps to clear modern films much better allowing a shorter fix time of 5-7 mins. This diffusion method works really nicely after a few good wash cyles in the tank to give a thorough rinse. You can also walk off and watch TV, coming back every few minutes for a quick agitiate.

    A while back I commented on Peter Hogan's assertion that even a little too much fixing can bleach negs. I do not agree with this and this view appears to be backed up by Frances Schults's article in the latest B&W photographer, "...fixing must be 10 or 20 times the minimum fix time before you start to lose image silver..". I dont know whether this is guesswork or based on some form of testing. I will get around to testing this one day to be sure, but certaily I have abused film in fix (and paper) and never seen anything detrimental. Just my opinion.....

    Tom
     
  25. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    I am curious - if you have always had great results in your Jobo, why change? IMHO Jobo's agitation is about as controlled as you are going to get.
     
  26. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Yes, I do...of course!