Rodinal Disaster?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Will S, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Persuaded by the Proselytizers for Rodinal (hereinafter referred to as the PFR) I bought a kit from Photgrapher's Formulary to try it out.

    Never before have I encountered so many things that can kill you in the same small package. I mean, I've read about such things, but to actually hold them in your hands is quite a different manner. A substance that can burn you without you feeling it burning you has to be respected. Never before have I had to worry about keeping some ice handy to slow a chemical reaction, and then be told the leave the room and don't come back until the vapors are gone if the ice doesn't work. Scary.

    Nevertheless I forged on. I got to the part where you add Solution B to Solution A in an effort to dissolve the percipitate that will form when B is added to A by adding more B to A. I must admit, it all made sense at the time. I was doing a 500ml kit, and I added the B to the A and got the precipitate, but it never seemed to reach a point at which the precipitate wasn't continuing to form and was instead dissolving. The instructions recommended 90 ml of B. I got to 180 without any loss of precipitate before I gave it up and decided something was wrong. The stuff basically looked like a melted orange push-up. I tried filtering it into a brown jar, but the filter kept clogging.

    So, is there any way to save this? Is it actually OK? Does the PFR really think that it is "OK" to use a developer that must contain some precipitate to keep the solution alkaline? And how do they keep that precipitate in the solution while using a funnel with a filter in it? If you don't filter the preciptate out, what kind of things might it do in the developing process? I mean, after all, a precipitate is a hard little scratchy thing. Wouldn't it tend to do bad things to the film? Like, er, scratch it?

    Seriously, what went wrong? I couldn't get the precipitate to go away no matter how much I stirred and how much acid I put in. Something too hot? Too cold? Not mixed right?

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  2. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    I have no clue what strange Rodinal you purchased, but I buy this one:
    http://www.adorama.com/AGR125.html

    I'm no chemist, so I sure wouldn't buy any do-it-yourself Rodinal, which is what it sounds like you bought! :wink:

    Try again with the painless version! :D
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Beats me. I use Agfa.
    Mix it 1:50.
    Done
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Why mix your own? A 500 ml bottle is about $10 in most places and it lasts forever.

    I agree with Neal. Buy a bottle. Mix it 1+50, use it, dump it. That's all.

    - Thom
     
  5. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Will,

    Rodinal is a highly saturated solution - one of the secret of the high dilution rates.

    If you buy a bottle of the real stuff (and I recommend it, to boost the sales and keep Agfa in Vaihingen making it ;-)) and continue to use it, you´ll find these precipation on the bottle of the emptying bottle.

    You shouldn´t remove them -they are vital for the proper function, IIRC it´s the alkali- and don´t worry, they won´t harm and scratch the film, the crystals will stick to the walls/bottom of the bottle when you pull the last ml of Rodinal from it - they are too heavy to come out and to large to be sucked into the syringe.

    And Thom - I disagree. Don´t dump the empty bottle, it´s great to mix the Rodinal dilution and to keep cold water at hand in hot summers - it´s tight, easy to clean and the material is tough. ,-)
     
  6. Dr.Kollig

    Dr.Kollig Member

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    Dear Will,

    it sure that have been easier to buy the real thing. You said you added 180 ml of B, how much B are you supposed to add? I assume B is the base and I guess it takes a certain pH-level to dissolve the precipitate. I would not have bothered too much about the precipitate and not filtered it but rather let it sit for a few days. The precipitate will settle at the bottom. When using Rodinal I use a pipette to take the 5 ml I need.

    Wolfram
     
  7. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I use the Agfa stuff and I have had any problems...The church advises you to use the pre-mixed stuff. Just like any other religion :tongue:
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Sounds very much like false economy, with no advantages buying a powdered version when the real thing Agfa's Rodinal liquid is quite reasonably priced.

    If you must save money a cheaper alternative is RO9 from J&C which is the pre-war formulation of Rodinal made in the former East Germany.

    You'll note from all the other replies that everyone uses the real thing, what the Photographer Formulary sell is not Rodinal only a close imatation.
     
  9. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Hmmmm... here in Ottawa, a 500ml bottle is $12.00 cdn, and lasts forever. I assume that you must have been mixing your own just for an experiment.
    I try not to read the warning labels on things :sad: If I did I'd never use them.

    cheers
     
  10. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I bet that some candy is more toxic than Rodinal and other devs...!
     
  11. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Was there any information with your kit? I'd be interested to know just what was in it.
     
  12. Will S

    Will S Member

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    There are about 5 pages of instructions, including dev times, etc. My favorite is the advice to leave the room if the B solution starts steaming...

    I will buy the pre-mixed. Not sure why I bought the kit. I buy all of my chemicals from PF, and they don't sell the pre-mixed. Knowing that the crystals stick to the bottle helps ease my mind. I suppose one isn't supposed to shake it up before usage too.

    Thanks all,

    Will
     
  13. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Are you sure they gave you Rodinal and not Radium? lol!
     
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  15. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Will, please stop reading "Photography Made Complicated". :smile:
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Diane

    A 1913 (J.Desalme) Developer of Rodinal Type contains:

    Para-aminophenol hydrochloride
    Sodium Sulphite
    Sodium carbonate

    These are used to create the free base of Para-aminophenol which precipitates and is collected on filter paper.

    The free base is then dissolved in Sodium Bisulphite and Sodium Hydroxide solutions which gives you the concentrated stock solution.

    Of course there are other variations / similar formulae.

     
  17. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    I'm just curious, as I'm fairly recent in my return to film and use D76 with all my films, why is Rodinal so great? Feel free to PM me if you think my question is too off-topic for this thread. Thanks!
     
  18. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    For me it's a question of economics. I can develop around 50 rolls of 35mm from one 500ml bottle of Rodinal at a dilution of 1+50.
    I also have a 1L bottle of Ilfotec DD-X which has to be diluted at 1+4 giving me enough for 11.5 x 350ml solutions. Although Ilfotec can be reused (where Rodinal cannot because it doesn't keep long once diluted) you have to know exactly how many times a dilution has been used, and then compensate by lengthening the developing time by 10% for each successive film.


    I find it quicker and easier just to mix up some Rodinal at 1+50 and pour it away when finished.
     
  19. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    A visit to the Church of Rodinal will answer all of your questions. Do you wish to be saved?
     
  20. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    LOL! Where, pray tell, is the Church of Rodinal? Do I follow the light? Show me the way, Jim :smile:
     
  21. panchromatic

    panchromatic Member

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    I wish to learn more about this, In all the schools i've been to (high school and college) all the photography classes ive taken the teachers preach kodak chems like there isn't anything else.

    Am I walking a sinful path using all kodak chems, if so suggestions or savior would be welcomed!

    Ryan
     
  22. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Rodinal is a very interesting developer, aside the economics of it.
    It gives film a very distinct look, because it's solvency is low, grain seems more apparent, shrpness appears to be higher and the tonal scale is very interesting.

     
  23. panchromatic

    panchromatic Member

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    so it has a higher grain structure... and if you needed or wanted an extremely fine grain what would you suggest? (of course i've been schooled that microdol was what to use in that case)

    --Ryan
     
  24. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Hey, do you drive a Ford or a Chevy?

    While Kodak devs. are quite good ( I have occasionally strayed from the Church and used them; I'm sorry!) , there is just more than one way skin a cat. For some shots/films, Microdol- X might be your dev. of choice. HC-110 is quite economical and easy, D-76 can be found almost anywhere on the planet and Rodinal has it place, too. While many photographers eventually settle on one dev., and there's nothing wrong with that, to not acknowledge other devs. is a bit narrow. Many photographers spend too much time worrying about devs. and grain and not enough on lighting and composition.

    Just hang out here long enough. The light from the Church will find you!
     
  25. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Large format :smile:

    Joking aside, I use the 5x7 camera for the creamy, grain-free stuff and Tri-X in Rodinal for things that ask for a little more bite.
     

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  26. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Thanks Ian!
    I am a chemist, that's why I asked. I use D76, not Rodinal.