A good way to test yourself if this is a good method for you.
Originally Posted by Patrick Robert James
Shoot a whole film on a single scene "at once" (all 36 frames). If possible put your camera on a tripod and use a camera with motorwind. Take a scene with some contrast & details. Preferably under circumstances with a steady lighting during shooting (avoid days where the sun comes & goes because of clouds, etc.).
Then cut the exposed film in half and develop each part separately (with & without added salt, or whatever the factor is) to see what the effects are. Keep all the other factors (temp, agitating, developing times, ....) identical to eliminate a combination of effects. This way you're certain what factor causes what deviations in results.
Can you see any difference? And do you like it?
As Ian points out mixing the Rodinal with a sulfite solution will improve the grain. Years ago a 9% solution was recommended as the resulting developer would be close to the recommended sulfite content for such developers as D-23 and D-76. However, it now known that maximum halide solvency occurs around 80 g/l so a weaker solution would be better. When using this method development times should be shortened by approximately 20%.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
If you're going to mix in solvents like sulfite to soften the grain then it's not Rodinal any more and you might as well use a solvent developer.
Softening the grain with sulfite is one way to make an image smoother, but the grain won't get smaller. In fact, you can make resolution worse because the silver-solvent effects act a bit like a low-pass filter, i.e. it spreads things out a bit. D76 stock for example makes things very mushy, especially compared to Rodinal. Totally different look.
Ah, even this fine forum is not safe from Internet trolls. They are easily ignored.
It works for me. No golf balls. If you can't figure out how to make stand development work for you, that's not a good reason to be rude to your forum mates. I hardly think you'd behave thusly in person. Shame!
The "softening" effects of sulfite are dramatically overstated by people. One must look at the formation of image silver at microscopic levels to see why. Studies have shown the differences in true acutance (excluding edge effects) to be immaterial in many cases. Where differences do exist, they are significantly smaller than the corresponding differences in granularity, and the pH of the developer has a lot to do with granularity. Furthermore, the effects of sulfite levels in a developer formulation are very dependent on the film. Myths abound when it comes to image structure and definition. The subjective impression of sharpness is heavily influenced by edge effects and granularity. One study by Richard Henry showed that Rodinal produced relatively pronounced edge effects with the films tested, and increased granularity. It is the combination of these two effects that likely gives people the sense of sharpness when it comes to Rodinal.
Thin skin, perhaps? Calling someone a troll because your technique is questionable makes you feel better? And don't forget: The Size of Grain is NOT related to the degree of shaking. Just by this statement one quickly realizes that you don't understand the subject. You want fine grain out of a coarse grain film? Use a fine grain developer. The least amount of time in the developer, the smaller the grain will be.
Originally Posted by viridari
When you wash your hands, do you scrub your hands against each other or do you simply leave them soaking in soapy water for 30 minutes without moving them in hope to get them clean? Stand-washing technique? The same goes for developing film: The whole point of shaking the can is to remove exhausted developer to make way for fresh developer. By not shaking the can you jeopardize the contrast as well as the evenness of development. You're basically killing the film's native contrast curve. What a bad thing to do.
Out of the 10,000 films that I have successfully developed, it took me 3 stand development trials to come up with garbage negatives. Never again!
If anything, you should thank me for being direct and because I have given you GOOD advice. But no, you prefer to call people trolls just because you don't get the free ego stroke you're expecting. Rather sad.
Maybe he meant me, for my trite 1-sentence post. But I maintain I see no redeeming quality to Rodinal. Just because it has been around for 125 years and has a fan base on that account, it's still a grainy mess of a developer. Granted it's a general purpose film developer, but lye soap is a general purpose soap too. At one time it was a bath soap, shampoo, laundry and dish soap.
Are we in danger here of getting into a religious discussion?
Stand or semi-stand development is a special purpose technique. It only serves well as a general purpose technique if the affects it adds to negatives (tone compression and edge effects) are what a photographer seeks.
And unlike Tom1956, I like Rodinal, in the hands of some photographers. It has a fairly distinct look. It doesn't suit me though.
The granularity of a film is essentially fixed during its manufacture. This is why Kodak can specify a RMS granularity of each of its film. The granularity can be reduced somewhat by the choice of developer. Obviously a solvent type developer will produce finer grain.
Now the perception of grain is influenced by several factors among them the Gamma or Contrast Index of a negative. The lower this value the less grain perceived by the human eye. When film is stand developed it is usually developed to a lower Gamma than normal and so will appear less grainy.
There is only one reason to use stand development and it is usually described in manuals on the Zone System. That is to reduce the overall contrast of a contrasty subject to match the tonal scale of a particular paper. I can't think of a single subject in photography that is the source of so much speculation, unfounded claims and general folderol than stand development.
At one time when films were coarser grained than now it was fairly common practice to use them with added sulfite. Besides Agfa Rodinal another example would be Edwal FG-7 which recommended this practice. I don't think the people at Agfa or Edwal would have accepted your statement that their developer became something else. There was a time when I used Rodinal-sulfite, as it was called, quite frequently. I really liked the tonality it gave to my negatives.
Originally Posted by polyglot