Rodinal seems a bit special.....

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sperera, May 19, 2009.

  1. sperera

    sperera Member

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    it seems to me reading countless threads etc that Rodinal holds a special place in many people's hearts even though its got a bit of a rep for high grain.....a good friend of mine, local photographer, a guru old school guy who's tested everything out there loves it and has used it at 1+25 and 1+50 and even 1+100 mixes......says its really really economical and his fave all time developer.....and it seems to me so many more people out there agree.....
     
  2. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Yup.

    Wait until you try Rodinal Special, or Studional. Same great Rodinal results but with faster dev time and finer grain.
     
  3. sperera

    sperera Member

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    are these new improved versions????
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Used correctly you can get exceptionally good fine grained negatives with Rodinal particularly with APX100 or Tmax100. Personally I've never seen anyone getting high grain unless they use it with inappropriate films like APX400, Tri-X, HP5 etc.

    I used Rodinal for nearly 20 years with 35mm through to 5x4 and grain has never been an issue, it's something I dislike and avoide in my landscape work. I switched to Pyrocat HD for other reasons.

    Ian
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Rodinal Special/Studional has nothing in common with Rodinal it's a very different developer.

    Ian
     
  6. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    I've just started using Rodinal. I dont develop a lot of film, so finding something with good shelf life was a priority (I guess HC-110 would fit the bill, too). I think 35mm HP5+ in Rodinal 1:50 looks great despite claims to the contrary (I havent made the leap to medium format yet). There is grain, but it's not obtrusive, at least I dont think it is. The few pictures I've printed so far are sharp and crisp, but the minute little details like small wrinkles around the eyes, little skin bumps, and the like arent there. Of course using medium or large format would give more detail and less grain, but I'm quite happy with 35mm HP5+ in Rodinal.
     
  7. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    I dont think APX400, Tri-X, HP5 are "inapropritate" with Rodinal, just not what one would use if fine grain is desired. Wether or not it looks "good" or "bad" is subjective. I like it and you dont, which is cool. So goes the subjectivity of art :smile:
     
  8. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I diifer somewhat with Ian. I have some very nice negs with Rodinal and those "inappropriate" :smile: films. It depends on what you like. If you like the economy of Rodinal, the ease of mixing a one-shot dev, great tonality and don't mind some grain, by all means use it. If grain is an issue, don't use it. I have a stunning (IMHO) 16x20 at a wedding taken with MF TX and souped in Rodinal. Tones are great and it's just showing some grain. Yes, I dould have done it in PPD, Edwal FG-7 with sulfite, but I thought that Rodinal would look nice on this one.

    I often go to the Church of Rodinal, but not every Sunday! I feel it really shines with some films; slow 35mm and most MF films, all LF, but I don't think I'd use it to dev Recording Film (no longer made, but you get the point).
     
  9. sperera

    sperera Member

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    Im feeling you brother......Im in film/developer combo purgatory at the moment.....I have TMax 100 with Tmax developer but i think its expensive for what it is.....I just bought Ilford Perceptol and havent used it yet so am thinking Fuji Acros and Tmax with it....but then Rodinal is calling for my soul.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2009
  10. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I have used Rodinal to dev HP5+ shot at 3200. Still got great results. The 'grain' thing seems to be largely myth. I've dunked all sorts of film in Rodinal, never had a problem with grain.
     
  11. arealitystudios

    arealitystudios Member

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    I use Rodinal almost exclusively these days. What attracted to me at first was its long shelf life and very easy mixing but I quickly grew to love it's development qualities as well.

    I would say it is on the grainy side compared to some others, but that has never been something that bothers me. Heck, I rather like it! I find it especially beautiful with the more "classic" emulsions like FP4, Hp5, Fomapan, Adox CHS etc. etc. With Fuji Neopan 400 it is just brilliant!

    I prefer the ratio of 1:50 in most cases. Extends the development time with most films to get good tones and punchy grain.

    I've tried several times over the years to like HC-110 as I can pick it up at my local camera store unlike Rodinal which I have to order by mail. It just doesn't do it for me though.
     
  12. erikg

    erikg Member

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    "even though its got a bit of a rep for high grain" For many it is because of that rep, check out Ralph Gibson's black and white work. Impossible to know how many people he has sent seeking out Rodinal over the years. It's no myth, but I don't look at grain as a problem, just an option. Funny that Jim mentions Recording film, Rodinal is one of the developers I used with that stuff to get a really nice high grain image. It worked great with high speed infrared too.
     
  13. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    True. All my HIE was developed in Rodinal.
     
  14. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I've finally standardized on Rodinal. I use it at 1:100 or higher, only use 1:50 for some N+ work. Incredible tonality and great highlight control (and separation) with minimal agitation and semi-stand techniques. It's incredibly versatile and at the dilutions I'm using it's dirt cheap.
     
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  15. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The thing that I like about Rodinal is the highlights, as Shawn Dougherty says. I am sure it could be reflected or expressed somehow in terms of the curve, but subjectively it seems to me that the highlights have a clear watery glow to them. I have been using it 1-100 with 120 Acros. I did a bunch of side by side tests with different developers to be able to see the differences and the Rodinal 1-100 won out for me. It was very close to using Beutlers formula but with a bit more of the sense of glowing light.
    Dennis
     
  16. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    I simply love Rodinal for it's honnest grain.
    I used to develop NP27, the DDR (East German) Tri-X in it and got great results.
    Still using it in Holland for all my B&W films from 25 ASA to 400 ASA.

    Peter
     
  17. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    Rodinal tends to produce "sharp images" with "sharp" grain.
     
  18. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Rodinol and Xtol only for me. Rodinal, I use at 1:100 and develop "normally" - agitate first minute then three inversions every minute. As was pointed out Ralph Gibson's work is, I believe, exclusively Tri-X and Rodinal. I also got some great results with 4x5 Tech Pan at 1:150. It's interesting that one of he oldest developers remains one of the best.

    Plus ca change..................:smile:

    Bob H
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Personally I don't like Rodinal. I have used it, and still have half a bottle left. I prefer Ilfotec HC which gives the same economy, slightly higher speed, tighter grain, and a (to me) better tonality.

    Just to make a dissenting post... :D
     
  20. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    Rodinal 1:50 with the Rollei Ortho25 film is absolutely spectacular. Especially when combined with Zeiss glass. What a beauty.

    However, you mentioned Studional aka Rodinal Special. It's been around 15 years or more, and I began using it for all APX films back in '94. Super tight grain, beautiful tones, and a fantastic "look". Try it with some Fomapan (closest thing to APX left not counting the actual APX badged as Rollei until it runs out). Gives HC-110 a kick in the bollocks!