Using Rodinal to Push Portra 400

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Lamar, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    I read a while back where someone used Rodinal to stand develop C-41 at 1:100 for an hour(??) then rinsed and processed normally in C41 developer/blix/stab to get pushed color negatives with color. I never saw a posted scan though. Has anyone heard of this? I know you can use Rodinal to process C-41 and get B&W results, its the partial stand then full develop with normal C-41 chems afterwards I'm interested in trying if it's possible to get color results that are better than a normal 2 stop C-41 push.
     
  2. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Yep. Done something similar. Can't remember if I did stand develop or not though. I don't think I have any stand develop versions up. But here is what I do have.

    [​IMG]
    Superia Xtra 400 Test Shot (Custom Process) by athiril, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Superia Xtra 400 Test Shot (Custom Process) Comparison by athiril, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Little Cousin by athiril, on Flickr


    The best push results I've had in C-41, is from combining a pre-flash with a long push.


    This is Superia 800 exposed at 12800, with a C-41 development time of 6 minutes (38 degrees celsius)
    A bit poor
    [​IMG]
    Superia 800 @ 12800 no preflash by athiril, on Flickr

    Here is what happens when you get just the right pre-flash, from the same roll, so same development, just with a pre-flash
    [​IMG]
    Superia 800 @ 12800 Zone 3 preflash by athiril, on Flickr



    I've been meaning to do this, but test it with post-flash and see if the results are the same, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
     
  3. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Better? Depends on what you think is better, but yes you can use Rodinal or any other common developer as the first developer in c-41. I used to use Rodinal as part of a cross process (ektachrome as color neg). Photo Techniques published a recipe for it. I liked the look, but it wasn't a conventional look.
     
  4. fretlessdavis

    fretlessdavis Member

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    I was actually wondering about this recently. I had read about it a few months ago, but couldn't find the article.

    Anyone do the opposite? Pull Portra 400 to get even more Dynamic Range? Maybe a similar first developer to the people using T-Grain films and putting 17 stops of usable DR to film. Maybe longer in the color developer to bring out some more saturation?
     
  5. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Subscriber

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    Excellent idea !
     
  6. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    Well I just shot a taekwondo belt testing using roll of Portra 400 at ISO 1600 to experiment with. I probably need to shoot up a few more rolls of C41 before I mix up batch of chemicals so it may be a week or two before I process. That will give me some time to study up. Thanks for all the info!!
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The process involves more than just what is described above. I hope you have it all lined up.

    PE
     
  8. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    Yes, and no I don't. I figured that I needed quite a bit more info but to be honest I'm having problems finding any reliable data to get a starting point. I've seen where some are exposing the film to sun after the Rodinal, others are Using 1:100 Rodinal for 30 minutes then using "very very old" Tetenal developer and blix.... I haven't found too much data to work with yet. Semi-Stand using Rodinal 1:100 for 2 hours has worked well with Tri-X at ISO 3200 for me and produces images when scanned having more acceptable grain to me than the same developed in XTOL, granted the contrast is high but the images are nice and visually appealing considering the push. I was hoping to achieve the same effect with Portra 400 pushed 2 stops somehow and retain some reasonable color information. 135 Portra 400 pushed two stops in C41 chemistry is ok but I would like to see if I can get better results and reduce the grain, hence the stand.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2014
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you want a negative image from a negative film, and you are aiming for about 2 stops over or under, you should never push or pull. You don't need to. More than that change and you will probably want to.

    Portra as a reversal film will give some odd colors and an orange background. Ask Dan (Athiril) for the exact procedures he used. AFAIK, he has gotten the best results so far. I've done it, but to me it is a waste of good film (IMHO).

    PE
     
  10. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    I tried Portra 400 at 3200 once and did not like the results but I have never tried shooting it at 1600 without pushing. Perhaps I need to do that first to see what it looks like. It would be less complicated for sure.
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I read people saying this but I find the results of underexposing even one stop pretty bad. I've admittedly not tried pushing neg film to see if it actually works better. Pushing E6 does work and works pretty well actually.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Roger, see the set of photos I posted here on over and under exposed scanned negs and prints. I have posted both here and on PN.

    PE
     
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    How would that work?

    -) if developed to completion there would be no developable halides left for the colour developer. The image would only be the faint colour one produced by Rodinal

    -) if not developed to completion in diluted Rodinal expecially the lights would be affected and thus excluded from image forming except for that faint Rodinal colour.
     
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  15. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    AgX, it wouldn't be developed to completion, the density would be massive for that to occur, and takes a lot more developing power. I've used Rodinal to develop dMax to completion in the highlights on colour neg film before without any solvent added, and it took approx 2 hours, at 40 degrees celsius for 1+50.

    You would fix after first development, bleach the image back, and expose to light and reprocess in normal C-41 (not counting wash steps etc).

    You could first develop, then C-41 process as normal with no light exposure in there. I'd use a weak developer to amplify the latent image before processing in C-41 to give some boost.


    The best C-41 film to reversal I've done has been Reala. But I didn't do standard process. I used my own first dev in that case though.

    [​IMG]
    Reala (120) in Custom E6 by athiril, on Flickr

    It's unpredictable to what you'll get, it's kind of pointless wanting any kind of quality results out if I think. Rehal? Yes. Reversal? No.


    This is the most extreme I've taken with Portra 400 -
    [​IMG]
    New Portra 400 @ 25600 by athiril, on Flickr

    From memory the development wasn't nearly enough - I wasn't expecting more shadow detail with more development, but the overall density was too low.

    I'd like to revisit this sometime with a longer development, given the results the pre-flash with Superia 800 gave me.
     
  16. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Re-halogenisation thus.

    That is something different than stated before. Thank you for clarification.
     
  17. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    That is more along the lines of what I was thinking. In my very limited experience with semi-stand developing the diluted Rodinal seems to give a very appealing (to me anyway) look to the grain at higher ISO's in B&W film. The Tetenal and Digibase C-41 is not as nice when pushed. I thought a partial development in 1:100 Rodinal for some period of time, rinse, then complete the color development with a normal or pull C-41 process might let me obtain a negative with decent color and reduced grain compared to normal push.


    I had given up on pushing Tri-X 3 stops until I read about stand processing using Rodinal but the results I'm getting are so good I thought maybe there is some room for improvement in the C41 side using similar methods. Here's the motivation: My last test roll of 135 Tri-X shot at ISO 3200. Process: semi-stand developed in Rodinal 1:100 for 2 hours, 1 min initial agitation with 3 gentle swirls at 40 and 80 minutes. Fix and Rinse normally. No noise / grain reduction at all and just a little sharpening after the resize.

    20140310-01 TriX at 3200 Rdn F2SB 32.jpg 20140310-01 TriX at 3200 Rdn F2SB 23.jpg


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2014
  18. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Rodinal is known to lose half or even a full stop, whereas C41 CD reaches full emulsion speed. I would therefore assume that a pretreatment in Rodinal lowers color dye densities in the regions that had more exposure, while the weakly exposed regions remain mostly unaffected. As a result one can push harder with C41 CD without getting runaway contrast. If I were to try this technique, I'd slowly work my way up with Rodinal pretreatment and do at least a two stop push with C41 CD, possibly more for optimal shadow detail.

    Athiril, how did you get rid of the orange mask in your Reala slides? Also how is color stability if you process C41 film with a CD-3 based color developer?
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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  20. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I dont know about the stability. Presumably less so, I haven't made any kind of testing into stability. If I can find that particular piece of film again I'll check it out.

    If I were to guess, I would say it's better than with E-6 films and a CD-4 developer, I'm sure I've had a slide I processed in whatever first dev I had at the time, and used the C-41 process from the colour dev step instead of E-6, after returning to the slide, I found it quite dull and poor looking, I think it degraded in a short period (~12 months). I dont remember that kind of thing happening to the C-41 reversed films. Though these films have dye stabiliser built in which may or may not help, I'm sure I used a formalin based stabilising bath for both films though anyway.

    It was digitally balanced with levels, the integral mask is still there, however it is somehow balanced well enough against it, that it's not particularly noticeable by eye too much on a light table comparatively to any other neg I've reversed, it's the best looking C-41 film to reversal I've done imo.




    In regards to B&W dev pre-treatment... if I were to try this, my starting point would be very weak, as in, you don't want a visible developed negative, but rather amplification of the latent image, but not to the extent of visibly.

    Think of SLIMT (selective latent image manipulation technique) vs a full strength bleach. So, a regular developer would be equivalent to a full strength bleach, you want a developer equivalent to the strength of bleach used for SLIMT. At least imo that's where I would start.

    The areas that had some amplification/development, would be like increased exposure in those areas, so you need very little. A visibly developed negative would likely give runaway density real quick I would assume.
     
  21. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    PE,
    I did what you recommended and developed the roll normally and the results seem very acceptable. Much more so that I would have thought. A few samples are attached. They appear a little better than when I push in C41. The grain looks a bit nicer but as the light drops off to the back of the room the grain gets worse. This is where I wanted some improvement and thought the Rodinal pre-process may help. I'm sure that's ISO 3200 equivalent exposure or higher back there. These are straight scans color balanced and rezized. No grain / noise reduction. No tone curve adjustments, linear from black point to white point. A little sharpening to clean up after the resize. Light drop-off in the room was really bad since there was a big north facing "shop" window on one end of the long room with florescent lighting inside adding to the mix. Shooting with my Nikon F and standard prism. I was metering using a phone app at ISO 1600 on the blue mat where the subjects were standing. Developed with newly mixed Tetenal C-41 press Kit.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2014
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I don't see how higher contrast would help. That is what to expect with a push.

    Looks good to me.

    PE
     
  23. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    Yeah, your right. This is a definite improvement over what I was getting for sure. I don't want more contrast.
     
  24. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Okay, I just did a test out of curiousity's sake.

    I shot some Lucky 200 (C-41 film of course) at 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 3200 repeatedly, cut the roll in half, loaded 1 in C-41, then stand developed other half in Rodinal 1+100 for 10 minutes, stopped, then washed the film and dried it in the dark, I cut one from off and examined in the light, there's a good visible B&W negative. Once dry I then processed it through C-41.

    The Rodinal pre-treatment half has lower density than the C-41 only shots - on 200, mainly in the shadows - and signifnicantly noticeable lower density over all in the 3200 shot.


    This isn't a case of the B&W dev taking up too much of the available halide, otherwise the 3200 shot would be less affected not more.
     
  25. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    That's really interesting, so it appears the effect is higher on areas with lower exposure so the rate of development could be expressed as a logarithmically regressing curve with local exposure on the x axis development rate on the y...... I would have thought 10 minutes to be insufficient to produce much of a result at that high dilution. What is the impact on overall image quality? Is there an improvement in the grain appearance? Is the color affected much?
     
  26. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    It's kind of like a restraining action, but less effect on higher exposed areas than usual, I'll scan them tomorrow. I haven't looked at image quality. I'm wondering if I can use this to increase colour contrast.

    I only inspected them on a light table, and can notice large density difference.

    I imagine the majority of development occurs early in 1:100, then slows down for rest of stand, as it's not diluted enough for slow development