Semi Stand Rodinal Disaster

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mikepry, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    I have recently aquired a Leica lllc and thought I'd try to do semi stand development with Rodinal. I thought this would be a great way to get in the ballpark so to speak with 36 exposures/roll not always having the same lighting situations. I am coming from Large Format work in 8/10 where I use BTZS to expose each sheet individually for the given range of light.

    Anyhow, I used Fomapan 200 rated at 100 (wanting to insure good shadows) exposure read with an incident meter and developed the film for 1 hour at 1:100. I agitated for 15 seconds initially and then 15 sec. at 1/2 hour. 70 degrees throughout. The result ...... impossible to print! These things are so contrasty that even after one full minute @ f/4 on my enlarging lens my shadows go to ink and the highlights don't even start to come up yet! So.......... thinking of the old adage, expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights am I safe to assume that I simply developed to long or perhaps should of been 1:200? Or maybe I should use the box speed of 200? I would appreciate any help anyone could offer. Inspecting with a loupe shows me good shadow detail so should I perhaps cut the time in development or rather just increase dilution?
    Thanks in Advance,
    Mike
     
  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Mike, IMHO you developed too long. I would try semi-stand for 25 to 30 minutes with the 1:100 dilution of rodinal at 72F. I have not used the 1:200 dilution myself but I know others have reported good results with it.

    I developed my last 2 rolls of Fomapan 200 for 16 minutes at 72F, Semi-Stand in Pyrocat-MC diluted 1 part A plus 1 part B plus 100 parts water. I got excellent results with great shadow and highlight detail.
     
  3. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Most recipes I've seen for semi stand call for 1:200. The thing about semi stand is it depends on the developer approaching localized exhaustion to control the contrast and Rodinal is so active in needs a fair amount of dilution to kill it.
    Try some grade OO VC contrast on it and see if anything comes up.
     
  4. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Restricted Access

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    g'day mike

    it's really quite simple; forget the exotic developing procedure, halve the ISO, expose for a mid tone in the subject and process using the developer and procedure recommended by the film manufacturer, if the light is contrasty reduce dev time by 20-30%

    why test? after all the manufacturer has tested the materials already, far better than any amatuer photographer could or should

    why use exotic developers and or procedures? if this is to better render tones in the subject maybe you need to reconsider your metering technique

    don't make it more complex than it needs to be
     
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  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    [I agree with the others: keep it simple. No need to be too terribly exotice. BTW, if you need to make the negs more easily printable, try Farmer's Reducer.
     
  6. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    Various exposure settings on a single film.

    Mike,

    I write to suggest the chromogenic black and white films to you. According to Roger Hicks, in his 1992 book "Successful Black and White Photography", this type of film has huge intolerance to exposure settings.

    here's a paragraph, from pg. 70:

    "Chromogenic films have a greater recording range than conventional films, perhaps as much as nine stops or 512:1, and can therefore stand quite remarkable variations in exposure. Ilford's XP-2 is generally agreed to be around its rated speed of ISO 400 or even ISO 200, but quality does not begin to suffer significantly until you overexpose by about three stops [equivalent to rating the film at EI 50] or underexpose by two stops [equivalent to rating the film at EI 1600]. What is most remarkable is that all these exposures can be intermingled on on the same roll, and anything in the EI 100-800 range [two stops over to one stop under] is likely to be first class. There is a compression of the tonal range, it is true, but this can be accommodated by choice of contrast grades in printing."

    This time of year is awfully dark where I live, so I've ordered some of the Kodak chromogenic stuff [BW400CN] to use in my Rolleicord. One drawback: I don't look forward to having to take in to my local shop for developing - since I really enjoy developing my film at home.

    I anticipate being able to expose at EI 800 when the light is weak, and at EI 100 when bright, or at times I desire a limited depth of field.

    So - I thought your desire to expose at various EI values on any single film might warrant experimenting with the chromogenic films [developed in C41 process]. The negatives look like colour negatives and print in perfect monochrome.

    Good luck.

    Larry Manuel.
    Kingston, Ontario.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Your dilution was too strong, and your time was to long. You have over developed. As others have suggested, cut the time by half, or 1:200.

    If you are just learning developing, I'd say keep it simple, but it sounds to me like you have a good handle on what you are doing, and will be perfectly able to master semi stand development. You just need better information, (which you now have) and a little bit more shooting to find your speed. If you enjoy the hunt, experiment, one variable at a time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2007
  8. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    Thanks all, and JB, I love the hunt. I figured I overdeveloped and will tweek one varible at a time. I'm just spoiled using BTZS with sheet film...... and the reason behind my interest in semi stand was that I wanted to have a tool that will will yield "acceptable" prints from all the different lighting situations found on a 36 exposure roll. I wasn't by any means a Fred Picker groupie but I certainly agree with him (and you) on eliminating, or changing only one thing at a time.
     
  9. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I use Foma 200 (Rated 160) in Rodinal 1:100 for 16mins. 1 Hour is WAY over the top cut your time back to 16-18 mins with minimal agitation, say one inversion every other min.
    You'll get negs that are very printable even in very different lighting conditions.
    [​IMG]
    Above is Foma 100 developed for 13mins 1:100
    I have some Foma 200 tests here:
    http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/2007_06_03_archive.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2007
  10. Drac

    Drac Member

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    "why test? after all the manufacturer has tested the materials already, far better than any amatuer photographer could or should"

    In which case why are you rating the film at half iso?
     
  11. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Restricted Access

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    excellent question Drac

    because I'm not sure how or why the tester sets exposure, i just know that for me, the lighting i photogrtaph in, the way i set exposure and the way i dev and print, this gives me great shadow detail and good highlights

    Ray
     
  12. Cor

    Cor Member

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  13. dida

    dida Subscriber

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    I have to agree that 60mins for 1+100 is very long development time. Rule of thumb for rodinal is 6xtime_for_1+50_dillution for 1+200. So you will have nearly hour for 1+200. And moreover, if you pulled fomapan, you have even to shorten development time. E.g.: Rodinal 1+50 for fomapan200 gives about 9min. So 6x9 for 1+200 is 55mins. For pulling it will be 2/3 ? Don't know for this film. But I think that pulling fomapan200 is useless ...
     
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  15. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Mike, with semi-stand you will get box speed on most films and developers (pyrocat & rodinal). You may also get better than box speed for some scenes. Some prints may actually improve with black shadows. Throw away the BTZS stuff for this one and just play, snip and play some more. Sounds like a "true learning experience" again. Ah, the joys of photography!. Best, tim
     
  16. skahde

    skahde Member

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    Mike,

    I think you worry to much. Do a little sensitometry, develop the Foma to an N-1 when you encounter harsh lighting conditions. Develop in whatever gives you the grain and sharpness you prefer and you will find life to be easier than you expected.

    best

    Stefan
     
  17. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Also, how do you know what ISO you are using without testing your equipment? Shutter speed, iris calibration, lens transmission, etc. Knowledge of all these goes into knowledge of the actual ISO you are using. I may find that I must use the box speed to get the same result another gets with half or twice the box speed. Furthermore, the manufacturing tolerance is or used to be 1/3 f-stop in speed.
     
  18. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Mike, I test my film for minimal agitation using BTZS methods if I can get sheet film as the same emulsion Shooting roll film, I just develop at SBR 7.5 for a typical roll. I bought a 25-sheet box of 4x5 Fomapan and made my tests - then shot the rest in my Speed Graphic.
    juan
     
  19. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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  20. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Not true. Testing by the manufacturer establishes baselines for average all around performance, for acceptable, but average, results, for "normal" printing. Box speed is merely a reference for the advanced photographer. Different exposure conditions, developers, developing regimens, printing styles, printing processes, and personal preference for grain structure, density, and contrast determine a photographers personal rating for a particular emulsion. If I shot box speed, many of my negatives would be very difficult, or impossible for me to print.
     
  21. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    But when you find that box speed will not work for you, is that after you have calibrated your equipment? I would never deny you the right to calibrate your whole setup by adjusting ISO setting to make your pictures be what you want them to be, but could you, or in fact would you, say dogmatically that the same setting would work for me? Given enough experience, most of us will begin to suspect shutter or f-stop errors if they are there. I am not telling you anything new, and in fact you should forget I mentioned it, but maybe some of us should consider when we make recommendations that the other guy might have to use twice box speed to get the same result you get with half. Maybe their equipment is not up to snuff. It happens even to Leica. That is why the older ones have shutter curtain adjustments.
     
  22. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    This is why I always caveat my explanations of film speed and development schemes with "this is what works for me". I am well aware of the fact that my film speed and development practice have evolved out of the particular combinations of taking and processing gear that I have, and the films and papers I use. I'm still aware of it because I only recently made some major changes in my work style, to accommodate the kind of work I wanted to do, and those factors are fresh in my mind.

    I think many of us forget this because we get so used to our particular setup and workflow that it seems second-nature, reasonable and "obvious" - it's obvious to us, so obvious we've forgotten all the intermediate steps, because we do it every day.
     
  23. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    Well.......... I just got through devoloping another roll I shot today and tried 1:200 and have to say (here's the kiss of death) the negs look pretty darn nice. More to what I feel should print nice. I didn't want to change more than one thing at a time during this (sort of) testing but I did make two exposures of each scene ..... one at box speed (200) and one at 100. The box speed looks spot on. So we shall see how they print. Now, may I drop a bomb here .........

    Being new to film scanning I have found that you can pretty much scan anything and get an acceptable image with Photoshop, etc , but to make a good print I think is a whole different thing, at least for me as I am not the greatest printer (with an enlarger). My stronger point is alternative/contact printing. So having said that and not to sound snobby, I am looking at images posted on the web using a film scanner with a whole different light. My question is this ....... do you view negative scans in a different way than prints?
     
  24. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Well yes, all things being equal, which they may not be, as you well point out. On the other hand, your shutter, stop calibration, or lens transmission would have to be grossly out of whack to result in half rating an emulsion, and the manufactures box speed would still be merely a serving suggestion for your fubared camera, and incorrect as far as their testing goes as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2007
  25. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, to me a scan is an electronic representation of a negative or a print. When I scan something I try to adjust it to mimic the real print, or how I envision the negative will print, but much is missing or distorted. The "back lit" effect of a monitor is where it first goes skeewampus for me, the lack of tones and dmax is next, and the nagging feeling that it looks completely different on a Jujixto monitor compared to my Miasushii, not to mention Bill and Steve's concerning gamma. If I show you a print, there it is, exactly as I intended it.
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    This is why I do semistand development with practically all my roll film and 35mm. It evens out the difference between frames and is incredibly helpful if shooting in varying lighting conditions. That's one answer to Ray Heath as to why using 'exotic' techniques. I claim it isn't any more difficult than regular development, but holds a few advantages.
    If you've got good shadow detail, you have probably not over-exposed, but rather over-developed. I have used 1+100 for semistand, but with agitation every three minutes. My time was 16 minutes with FP4 (at 70*F and EI 80). Negs look great, although I prefer using Pyrocat for even more controllable highlights and a bit more punch to prints on graded paper.
    Try again, I hope things work out for the best. No reason they should.
    - Thomas