Rodinal Article with Dev Times for Film, Light Conditions, Dilution and Enlarger

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Richard Jepsen, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Below is a link to a 1979 Popular Photography Article authored by Bob Schwalberg 32 years ago.

    http://forum.mflenses.com/1979-pop-photo-rodinal-article-t37502.html

    This article was reference in the recent post, How To Get the Most Out of Rodinal.

    This classic article gives the photographer a range of options related to light, film, dilution, and enlarger light source. It also gives handy dilution procedures.

    I found the suggested developing times for FP4 and Tri-X to be more than a good starting point. My only disagreement concerns box speed. Tri-X at EI 200 and FP-4 at EI 64 or 80 is a better place to start for shadow detail.

    Thanks to the fellow who scanned this. This type of information is getting lost.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2011
  2. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    "Some Europeans use a 1+25 dilution with medium- and high-speed films in available light, but this produces too much grain. Rodinal is for image quality"

    Guilty as charged :D

    Thanks for the link. This article on Rodinal was published one year after I was born. I love to see such preservation of culture. Thanks again for the great read.
     
  3. jbl

    jbl Member

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    I did some tests a while back with Tri-X in Rodinal 1+50 and found Zone I to end up with an EI around 320 with 13 minutes of development time. I was surprised at this because I've generally heard ISO 200-250 for Rodinal.

    Richard, how long do you end up developing for with TX and FP4+?

    -jbl
     
  4. srtiwari

    srtiwari Member

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    I have been using Rodinal 1:100 Sand development with great success recently. P. Lynn Miller posted this on RFF, and he has had great results. It also seems to work on most films quite well. This is almost the easiest film development method I have seen, second only to Diafine, which you don't even need to mix each time.
    Here is the link... http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=927796&postcount=47
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    No wonder rodinal is grainy with such a gritty developer:D

    I make such typos all the time but this one just seemed so appropriate given the comments on Rodinal not being a fine grain developer

    No offence intended

    pentaxuser
     
  6. srtiwari

    srtiwari Member

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    :laugh:You're right ! It is so easy to be creative when not trying !
     
  7. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I was born on the same year and the month.

    Success story

    Developer concentration: 1+50

    Agitation Scheme: 16 mins and 3 inversions on every five minutes.

    Temperature: 20 degree C.

    Film: PanF+ @ EI 25. I will test with the box speed soon.
     
  8. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    For a starting point use the recommendations in the 1979 article matched for film, dilution, light conditions and enlarger type. I have developed Tri-X, at EI 200, 20 C, 1:75, 4 inv each 60s, 14 min. The negatives print at 3 1/2 for my condenser enlarger and paper. I'm not satisfied with my negatives and need to fine tune for both FP-4 and Tri-X. You may get different results than me.

    Here is what the The Film Developing Cookbook mentions about the unique tonal quality of Rodinal. "Rodinal negatives possess a beauty and impact that is recognizable their own. Among commercially available developers Agfa Rodinal offers gradation that cannot be obtained otherwise."

    So what does that mean? Google "Rodinal Tonality" and you won't a useful definition. Fine grain is mentioned which is misleading. Rodinal is not fine grain but looks fine with 120 film at an enlargement factor of 8X. Creamy highlights are mentioned and reference to a glow.

    Last night I ran into a Mike Johnston article
    http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html
    I can't find the specific link but he wrote Rodinal takes a zone 5 tone and pulls it down to zone 4. This is what I see. Rodinal compensates in the high tones and can produce pearly highlights combined with darker mid-tones. That may produce print results where a zone 6 highlight surrounded by a dark area appear to glow. I have prints where I see this affect.

    I like a hint of ambiguity in my images. One departure from reality is to alter the tonal balance.

    Rodinal is no magic soup. But it has properties like sharpness, highlight compensation, long shelf life, and a tonal departure which are different from a general purpose developer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2011
  9. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I still say if you are looking for sharpness, highlight compensation and good midtones there are other choices, namely FX2/TFX-2 (Metol/Glycin), and PMK (staining Pyro). Particularly on the sharpness front, both of these choices are significantly sharper than Rodinal which, contrary to popular belief, while very slightly sharper than D76 1+1, is not a true high acutance developer. It is also important to note acutance developers such as FX2 are naturally compensating. You don't need to resort to stand development or even drastically reduced agitation (unless of course you want extreme contractions). Even used at the normal dilution with normal agitation, there is a natural, more gradual highlight roll-off than seen with typical solvent developers. Rodinal lies somewhere in between.
     
  10. jbl

    jbl Member

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    Richard,

    I developed a roll of Tri-X in Rodinal 1+49 (I keep going back and forth on proper syntax here, 5 ml Rodinal to 245 ml water). My development time was 12.5 minutes with 30 seconds of initial agitation and 4 inversions at the start of every minute.

    I was rather happy with this shot that I just scanned. I'm not sure if this is just composition itself, but I do like the tonality in it and maybe I'm seeing the "glow" people seem to refer to.

    -jbl

    2011_11_Roll_06_Kodak_Tri-X_at_320_in_Rodinal_17.jpg
     
  11. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I would not recommend Rodinal for 35mm Tri-X unless your trying for a certain effect and wish for grain. Your development time is about 2.5 min longer than the charted suggestion of 10 min at 20c. If you are scanning film the combination is bad. On the other hand Ralph Gibson http://www.ralphgibson.com/ uses Rodinal with 35mm. His images are contrasty and often show some grain.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-07-14.shtml

    The link above mentions how Rodinal depresses middle values. Mike Johnston makes an important point how the Film/Developer/Paper (FDP) combination is linked to the final image.

    The previous poster mentioned film developers which improve sharpness and mid tone values vs Rodinal. Another is Xtol diluted up to 1:3. It is sharp but not in the same class as his suggestions. Development time for Tri-X 135, EI 400, 20C is 12.50. You can shoot at EI 200 without adjusting the time if easy on agitation. Xtol at 1:2 is the dilution I typically use. Time at 20c is 10.5.

    If you develop with Xtol or D-76 it's recommended to use 500ml per roll of undiluted stock chemical when developing at 1:1 dilution or higher. That recommendation includes Rodinal but I confess to using 7.5cc of stock Rodinal with 17 oz of water.

    I like Xtol but 5L is more stock developer than I use in 12 months.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2011
  12. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Indeed XTOL 1+3 is both sharp and very fine grained. Graininess varies widely depending on development time though. I am using it more and more for contractions with 35mm, rating 100 speed films such as TMX at EI 32-50 and it is the closest thing to grainless I have ever observed, smoother even than super-fine grain developers such as Perceptol, while also being sharp. For low contrast development in any film format, XTOL/TMX is about the closest thing I can think of to the illusive silver bullet - excellent tonality, exceedingly fine grain, high sharpness.
     
  13. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    As Michael writes XTOL is sharp. The Kodak tech web site lists XTOL's improved attributes over D-76. What Kodak doesn't mention is XTOL's shelf life is longer; maybe by 50% over D-76. The original published times were 1:1 to 1:3 with different EIs. Lots of options. Although XTOL is sharp, Rodinal looks different. I just developed FP4 (EI 64) in Rodinal 1:75 for 11 min, 20c. That combo looks very nice. The negs show good shadows and brilliance without being contrasty. Proof is in the printing which has to wait a few days.
     
  14. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I'm glad you're getting closer to obtaining the results you were looking for. :smile:
     
  15. tbreslow

    tbreslow Member

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    This is an amazing article! Thread has been dead for a year but I hope it somehow gets listed on new posts? I have an extreme backlighted situation -- snow. The article has a less extreme example and suggests Rodinal at 1+75 for only 9 mins. Wow, my bottle says 1+50 for 14 mins. Is 1+75 for 9 mins really OK?
     
  16. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Subscriber

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    I love Rodinal and don't find it too grainy. I use it with HP5 at 1+25, never any weaker. Any attempts to get really grainy (like with 1+15) seemed to fail but I do like the overall textured and sharp look I get. Certainly the Tri-X of today seems resistant to grain and is always crisp, polite and kind of technological looking in Rodinal.

    I like using the original WW1 era Rodinal from Adox. APH 09. Probably just out a sense of romance.

    Thanks for the link.
     
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  17. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Today's films are vastly different from those available in 1979. So I doubt the relevance of this article. It may be interesting from a historical viewpoint.
     
  18. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Im finding it hard to consistently get the tonal balance I'm looking for. This month I tried to match FP4, condenser light source, Ilford Galerie G3, and Rodinal. Kinda frustrating but not ready to give up yet. I want sharpness with shadow detail in zone 3 to 4 and good mid tone separation while not blowing out highlights. I may be asking too much. You can get good highlight detail but I believe with these parameters mid tones will sag.

    What happens if you develop FP4, EI 64, Rodinal 1:50 for 9m and let it stand for 3m. Will that increase shadow and low mid tone detail?

    The article examples show strong back lighting and high light compensation. Rodinal's place is not to be a sharper D-76 but a developer to tame highlights.

    About the times. I have a few images in bright Oklahoma summer light where 11m development time, ratio 1:75, FP4, EI 80 or 64, 20c, produce a neg either a tad under exposed or under developed. The negs print on grade 3 or 3.5 on a condenser. I don't use the articles recommended agitation so my results can't be directly correlated. However, I believe the articles times may be a bit short for today's FP4. Still a starting point. Note the article guidelines for using different times for different light and enlarger light sources.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2013