The opposite of Rodinal

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Doug Bennett, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Since I started shooting seriously a few years ago, I've tended towards slow film and acutance developers, typically Rodinal. I've used HC-110; it's OK. I've played with staining developers with WD2D+; great when it works out, but I have trouble with consistency.

    If I want to try the opposite of Rodinal, i.e. a lower acutance, very fine grain developer, what does everyone like? My typical films are FP4 and APX100, with an occasional Efke thrown in.
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I really like Pyrocat HD, and unlike the pyrogallol developers it is not as prone to uneven stainning and it is the most consistent of the stainning developers I have used. OTOH, the middle tone separation is not as good as that with Rodinal, but it is not far off, I think you would like it.
     
  3. garryl

    garryl Member

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    Do you want it in kit form, or pre-mixed liquid, or mix it from scratch?
     
  4. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Thanks, Jorge, that was one that I was thinking about. As I said, I liked the WD2D+ when it worked out, but my experience was that, with film, exposure, and processing being apparently equal, I got wide swings in negative density. I'm a condenser guy, so I prefer a thinner negative.

    I have no complaints about Rodinal or HC-110. They're easy to use, and especially with Rodinal, I get negs that are blazing sharp. But, I'm starting to do more people photography (as opposed to landscape), and unless the subject has flawless skin, an acutance developer can be brutal. I'd like to find something with smoother tonality.
     
  5. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Garryl: any of the three is fine.
     
  6. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    To clear things out. The Church of Rodinal will just ignore this thread and pretend the question was never asked. :tongue:

    *sad priest*

    Morten
     
  7. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Microdol-X in kit form is the closest IMHO

    PPD developers (old stuff) should be what you need.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I am a big fan of Pyrocat-HD. However, given your requirements, another developer worth serious consideration is Agfa 8. It is similar to Rodinal but is finer grained and gives excellent skin tones. The shelf life is very good, as well.

    Agfa 8

    Water (125 F or 52 C) - 50.0 ml
    Sodium Sulfite (anhy) - 12.5 grams
    Glycin - 2.0 grams
    Potassium Carbonate (anhy) - 25.0 grams
    Water to make - 1.0 liter
     
  9. roteague

    roteague Member

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    What if we just put it in Rodinal bottles?
     
  10. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Pure blasphemy to the One! :tongue:
     
  11. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Morten,

    I'm not leaving the church, I'm just gonna visit a different service for a Sunday. Besides, I've got way too many of those little white-and-red bottles around! :wink:
     
  12. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Now I'm relaxing...when you are done fooling around with other developers, come back and confess :tongue:

    I myself must admit that I have bought D76 for some testing...

    "Let the one who is purely grainy cast the first bottle of Hot Rod"

    (Sorry, if I seem to hijack your thread).
     
  13. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Morten,

    Those young women in your personal gallery are a perfect example of what I'm talking about. They're young, with nice skin; detail is their friend. However, I recently shot some photos of my dear old gray-haired mother, devved in Rodinal. She was none too happy............
     
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  15. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I get your point...

    This is what I say to the girls:

    "I have got this developer that I have pledged allegiance to, and it only works with young and pretty girls...so you HAVE to come into my studio now" :tongue:
     
  16. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I must remember that line I could do with some more portrature and current fashions in my portfolio :wink:
     
  17. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I kinda miss the old brown glass bottles with the rubber stopper that had to be breached with a hypodermic syringe. ;-)

    Have you tried Ilford's DD-X (liquid concentrate) developer, Doug? I think it provides a nice balance between fine grain, sharpness and smooth tonality. I haven't tried it with APX100, but it's nice with FP4+ and PanF.
     
  18. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Well, ya know, good old D-23 has so much sulfite in it that it smooths and reduces the grain quite well. It is one of the simplest formulas around.
     
  19. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Good point I was happy using Ilfords Pan F; FP4+; HP5+ and Delta 3200 souped in DD-X until I found I prefered the look of Rodinal. Again not tried it with any other makes of film.

    Doug just tell her how much the Rodinal has captured her character and wisdom :smile:
     
  20. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    DDX is great for pushing and works very well with Deltas (3200 mainly)
    is my 2nd developer in the darkroom.....
     
  21. garryl

    garryl Member

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    Have you gone to unblinkingeye.com to catch the article about adding Ascorbate to Rodinal to reduce grain?
     
  22. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I have always liked Tri-X in FG-7 mixed with a 9% Sodium Sulfite solution. Relatively sharp with smooth grain.
     
  23. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    I was an advocate of FG-7 for a long while too (until I couldn't get it in Hawaii for hazmat issues -- JUST LIKE RODINAL!!!). There's also a variant for tabular-grain films, it was a longtime favorite with Delta (my standard kits in the early 90's: rodinal/tg-7/hc-d)
     
  24. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I thought for sure Morten's answer to this question would simply be "death"

    :smile:
     
  25. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    "If I want to try the opposite of Rodinal, i.e. a lower acutance, very fine grain developer, what does everyone like?"

    Not that I like it much but Microdol-X used full strength is definitely a finer grain, less sharp developer. I don't know if it's still available--I haven't used it in many years.
     
  26. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm with you on this. D-23 - with optional borax afterbath - is has the simplest of all formulas (opposite of Rodinal), gives very low acutance (unlike Rodinal), smooth "mushy" grain (unlike Rodinal) and is very, very cheap (unlike Rodinal). If used with the borax afterbath it lasts just about forever (as working solution, unlike Rodinal)...