Rodinal Substitutes?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by zenrhino, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    The prof in my printing class told me there is a Rodinal clone sold by Photographer's Formulary, but I can't seem to find anything like it on their site.

    Have any of you seen or used it? If so, how does it compare?
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I've seen it listed there, but have never used it. I have mixed my own with chemicals from the Formulary according to the recipe in Anchell's "The Darkroom Cookbook". I could see no difference.

    FWIW, there are other devs (I feel the wrath of the Church upon me!) that are also accutance devs: FX-1, followed closely by FX-2, Neofine Blue (perhaps the old Beutler formula), dilute X-tol, and Acutol.
     
  3. collect888

    collect888 Member

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  4. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Now i could say a word or two on behalv of COR but in fact I actually brewed a batch of FX-2 yesterday and I'm looking forward to try it.
    Not that it will ever replace the Holy Hot Rod, not at all :smile:
    Søren
     
  5. Allen

    Allen Member

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  6. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    FWIW, the .DOC file referenced by Allen caused OpenOffice.org to crash on my system. :sad:

    In addition to the B&H link provided by collect888, you can find the PF Rodinal clone on their own site by going to the store and searching on "Rodinal." That'll provide links to the stuff in all three sizes. Unfortunately, it seems to be out of stock at the moment. I've never used it, but from what I can tell from the description, it ships as a powder. This is probably just the powdered components that you'd mix as you would if you were mixing it from scratch. This is more dangerous than mixing most developers, since it involves handling either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide (lye), which is nasty stuff.

    There are also Rodinal-type developers manufactured and sold by others in liquid form. In the US, J&C sells Calbe R09 -- or they normally do; they're out of stock at the moment. There's also Fomadon R09, which is rumored to be the exact same formula, but manufactured by Foma. I don't know of any US supplier for Fomadon R09, though. There may be others, too, but I don't know about them.
     
  7. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    Hoorah!! Freestyle just shipped my 10 bottles of Rodinal today. That ought to give me a nice time cushion before I have to start experimenting with other developers. Get 'em before they're gone...

    Bruce
     
  8. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Phtographers' Formulary does sell a Rodinol clone as "Paraminopheno (Rodinol) Developer," but is is currently listed as out of stock. J&C sells R09 as a Rodinol clone.
     
  9. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Just ordered some Rodinal from Freestyle. Was told on the phone that they expect (but are not completely certain) that they have 92 bottles arriving end of next week. Of the 92, 56 are "spoken for".

    But I wouldn't get too worked up. One would think that the formula for Rodinal, if truly proprietary and not easily replicated, would be a valuable asset that would be sold and then back on the market. And if it is replicable, the absence of Agfa Rodinal would pave the way for "son of Rodinal", whether it be Calbe R09 or whatever.
     
  10. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    -7. Just ordered 7 myself. Reminds me of that song.

    99 bottles of rodinal on the wall 99 bottles of rodinal take one down and order it now 98 bottles of rodinal on the wall....
     
  11. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I just finished mixing and testing a sodium version of Rodinal. 50 grams of p-aminophenol.HCl, 130 grams of sodium bisulfite, 70 grams of sodium hydroxide in the form of Red Devil lye from the supermarket. You need not concern yourself with the mysterious few undissolved crystals. Just mix those ingredients in enough water to make a liter of stock solution. I tested it on Arista II 100 at both 1+25 and 1+50 dilutions using the times listed on the side of a bottle of AGFA Rodinal, and the results were just as I remembered them.
     
  12. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    The times I used were those listed for APX 100.
     
  13. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    re: The dangers of potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide

    The safety of mixing your own developers is, of course, relative. Something like PC-Glycol is pretty low on the danger scale; just restrain yourself from eating or drinking the ingredients or rubbing them into open wounds and you should be fine. Potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, though, are potentially dangerous if mishandled; they can cause warm water to boil, perhaps spewing chemicals all over the place, and if you get them on bare skin (or worse, in your eyes), they can damage your own tissues. Pyro developers are also potentially risky to mix, but for different reasons. Of course, none of these things is as dangerous as, say, mixing up your own TNT. I expect the average person could mix up Rodinal with little risk of personal injury if that person reads the instructions carefully and takes appropriate safety precautions, such as using cold water for mixing the hydroxide and wearing protective gear (safety goggles, gloves resistant to hydroxide, etc.). Nonetheless, the safety issues do bear mentioning because Rodinal creation is high on the danger scale, at least as calibrated for darkroom chemistry.
     
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  15. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Here is yet another variation. Sodium salts, p-aminophenol, sodium sulfite, sodium hydroxide.

    To about 750 ml of water at room temperature, add
    p-aminophenol...............38 grams
    sodium sulfite (anh)........160 grams
    sodium hydroxide............23 grams
    Add water to make 1 liter.

    There is no danger of the this mixture boiling when the hydroxide is added, although it's a good idea not to add it very rapidly. (Never add water to hydroxide. That is when you will get localized boiling and spattering. If you should foolishly decide to add water to hydroxide, then is the time to do it so rapidly that it has no time to react.)

    Using the base p-aminophenol instead of the hydrochloride and the sulfite instead of the bisulfite reduces the amount of hydroxide and eliminates the chloride that results in the "original" formula. My resulting solution was clear with a slight yellow tint. There is again no need in mixing to worry about leaving an undetermined few crystals undissolved.

    Arista II 100 at 1+50 required only 8 minutes at 70 F. The reduced time over the previous version may have been due to the fresher agent or to a miscalculation of the amount of hydroxide. Either way, I like it. A 12X enlargement at normal viewing distance shows no graininess and all the other characteristics that have kept Rodinal in use for 125 years.

    Notice that a liter of working solution at the 1+50 dilution has 0.76 grams of p-aminophenol, 3.2 grams of sodium sulfite and 0.46 grams of sodium hydroxide. If there were no sulfite, the pH would be about 12. I don't have a pH meter, so cannot tell the actual value. It certainly qualifies as a classical compensating acutance developer. More important to me is that looking at my negatives and prints convinces me that it is what theory says it should be. Now all I have to do is to wait 10 years to see if it will have the staying power of good old Rodinal. That will give me an excuse to live to 88 years of age.
     
  16. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    Rodinal is a well-know formulation, and others apart agfa do sell it.

    Check those:

    Adox APH09
    Calbe R09
    Fomadon R09
     
  17. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    True enough, but the availability of a fully equivalent and easily made home brew will help keep the price from running away. The ingredients are too widely used to become scarce, I believe. The one thing that might spoil our fun is to have p-aminophenol declared a controlled substance. Well, I forgot the other thing. What if there were no film that could be developed in Rodinal?
     
  18. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I have no idea how to substitute Rodinal...the R09 is the old formula, and afaik nothing is a true substitute for the current real deal (new recipe Agfa stuff). I have stocked up a bit and will do for approx. the next 5-8 years now, and after that I will see what will be available for souping at that time. :sad:

    Morten
     
  19. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I just told you how. It contains the same ingredients, looks the same, smells the same, works the same as the last AGFA Rodinal I bought. If you are averse to using sodium salts, mix 18 grams of p-aminophenol, 92 grams of potassium sulfite and 16 grams of potassium hydroxide in 400 ml of water at room temperature and add water to make 500 ml. Compare it with the Rodinal you bought. Remember the formula if Rodinal becomes unavailable or exorbitantly priced.

    p-aminophenol has too many other commercial uses to become unavailable. Has anyone tried to concoct a developer out of Tylenol? Maybe a combination of Tylenol and Folgers instant will be the soup of the future. If nothing else, it should cure the common headache.
     
  20. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    According to Elie Shneour of Agfa this is the original formula for both Rodinal
    and Calbe R09. The formula was the 9th in the Agfa recipe book (Rezeptbuch 09) hence the name.

    Rodinal and Calbe R09, as now formulated, contain potassium hydroxide. In
    addition, Rodinal now contains potassium bromide. When Rodinal was first formulated the metabisulfite and hydroxide were available as concentrated solutions making manufacture very simple.

    Solution 1

    Distilled water ......................... 625 ml
    Paraminophenol HCl ...................... 100.0 g
    Potassium metabisulfite ................. 300.0 g

    Add a pinch of the bisulfite to the water and then add the p-aminophenol hydrochloride and when dissolved add the rest of the metabisulfite.

    Solution 2

    Distilled water (10°C) .................. 300 ml
    Sodium hydroxide ........................ 200 g
    Distilled water to make (10°C) .......... 400 ml

    Method of Preparation

    Concentrated paraminophenol formulas are prepared differently from other
    developers. Follow the directions below carefully.

    Add 280 ml of Solution 2 to Solution 1 with stirring. A precipitate of paramino-
    phenol will form. Slowly add more Solution 2 with constant stirring until there
    is a sudden darkening in color. At this point, begin adding Solution 2 drop by
    drop until all but a small amount of the precipitate dissolves.

    IT IS IMPORTANT THAT NOT ALL OF THE PRECIPITATE DISSOLVES.

    Should all of the precipitate dissolve then add a few crystals of potassium
    metabisulfite to restore a small amount of precipitate.

    Make up the resulting solution to 1 liter. Decant the solution into a stoppered
    bottle and allow to stand overnight. Then filter the solution and place in well
    stoppered bottles of 2 to 4 ounce capacity.

    Paraminophenol is sufficiently acidic to form a salt with potassium or sodium
    hydroxide. This salt is quite stable in the absence of any excess hydroxide.
    It is extremely important that a small amount of precipitate remain as this
    guarantees that an excess amount of hydroxide has not been added. If all the precipitate dissolves then the solution will not keep.
     
  21. Jürgen

    Jürgen Member

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    I think pat may have mis calculated the amount of hydroxide. Calculations show that your formula has 0.348 moles of paraaminophenol and 0.575 moles of sodium hydroxide. From my understanding you are to add enough hydroxide to convert the phenol into the phenolate ion. You have about 9 grams extra hydroxide which will make the pH quite high. That may explain your shorter times.

    Jurgen
     
  22. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Fomadon and Adox sell Calbe R09 under their own labels.
     
  23. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The best substitute for Rodinal is... well... more Rodinal. Agfa should be forced by international law to provide it to us since we have supported Agfa all these years don't you think?

    I wasn't sure if I wanted to have the spell check "learn" the words Agfa and Rodinal. I did because I might want to reminisce about the company and Rodinal from time to time in that I am not ready to let go and get over it.

    Someone should print out some Agfa Rodinal labels so we can put them on the R09 generic bottles just to make us feel better. Just a thought. Get out there and buy all of the Rodinal you can. The quicker it's off the market the better. No sense prolonging the agony. Actually, there are other developers it's not the end of the World.
     
  24. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    it's the same, yes, but the distribution chain isn't the same, then perhaps someone could find useful having three brands despite it's the same product. Anyway it's also the same than agfa's, so... :smile:
     
  25. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    The p-aminophenol and the sulfite form a flocculent precipitate, as you know, which dissolved when I added the hydroxide. I suspect I did overdo the hydroxide, but the time for HP5+ specified for Rodinal 1+25 on the jug, 8 minutes, worked pretty well. I think part of the difference was the age of the p-aminophenol hydrochloride that I used in my first trial. I don't remember it as being coal black when I got it some years ago. When I get some more p-aminophenol I will try 14 grams instead of 23 and see what happens.

    I don't remember how I arrived at 23, but I think it was by observing how much I had to add to the solution of sodium bisulfite and p-aminophenol hydrochloride to make it work and subtract from it the amounts that would be required to make sodium sulfite and sodium chloride.

    It doesn't seem to me that 9 grams extra in the concentrate is such a terribly high concentration in the 1+50 dilution. That would be about 0.18 grams/liter, which is about 0.0045 moles. A pretty small amount of sodium bisulfite added to the working solution should neutralize that and tell me something. 0.48 grams per liter should do it.

    I don't know how to calculate the pH from the contents of the diluted solution. If the hydroxide were the only contributor, I could figure it out from the info in the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.
     
  26. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    You may or may not find this link interesting. While I love my photo chemicals, chemistry itself has always given me blurred vision and migraines. Fortunately my 5 year supply of Rodinal arrives tomorrow. That fact virtually assures that it will not leave the market.


    http://tinyurl.com/az3wa