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  1. #1
    NikoSperi's Avatar
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    HC110 vs Rodinal: Help?

    These are two identical shots, using the same camera, on the same film, with the same exposure. The only difference is one is developed in HC110B and the other in Rodinal 1:50

    I am a newbie at anything other than HC110, so it's a bit frustrating to have to start all over with getting used to a new dev. I wanted something with a bit more "bite" so I tried Rodinal. I think it's obvious which was which.

    Question is: Is this what I should be expecting? It looks to me not any sharper, just with more prominent grain. Any advice much appreciated!

    Kodak Tri-X (400TX)
    HC110B: 7' @ 20°C 1 inversion per minute
    Rodinal 1:50 13' @ 20°C 1 inversion per minute
    Negative scan, no processing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Developer-Comparison.jpg   Rodinal.jpg  
    If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.

    - Walker Evans on using color

  2. #2

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    At the risk of bringing the wrath of the rodinal church I will say yep rodinal is pretty ugly.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  3. #3

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    Nicola, Rodinal can be very good under the right circumstances. Not so good on another. YOu got exactly what should be expected. Both negs are sharp and Rodinal is grainier. If you want beautiful gran, Rodinal cant be beat, if you are contact printing and want very nice middle tones, Rodinal once again is excellent.
    The best advice I can give you is not to expect a magic bullet with any developer. I would even say there is no such thing as a "best" developer, the developer is only as good as you are with it. From what I have seen you are doing very well with HC110, why mess with success?

  4. #4
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    I'm not a user of HC-110 but P.Gainer has a perverted version that I took the liberty to transfer to the chemical recipe area.
    Maybe that'll give you the "snap" you look for
    http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=37
    Mama took my APX away.....

  5. #5
    david b's Avatar
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    I am sure this will come up a few times, but rodinal works best with slow films.

    Now there are lots of folks who rate Tri-X at 200 and soup it in Rodinal. I am not a fan of it.

    But I love APX 100 and Pan F+ in Rodinal 1+50. Beautiful stuff.

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Jorge & David are right, as a user of Rodinal for about 15 years I wouldn't dream of using it with Tri-X, HP5 etc I'd expect grain.

    As a developer its particulary suited to the newer breed of emulsions like Tmax, Delta and APX.

    Prior to using Rodinal I used Ilfotec HC, Ilfords equivalent of HC110, the only real differance I found was I could rate my film about a stop faster in Rodinal and still get superb tonality.

    You could try Rodinal and Tmax 400 its a combination I've used for medium format & 35mm and give a nice tonality with fine grain. Or as Jorge suggests you might be best sticking to what you know HC110.

  7. #7
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikoSperi
    These are two identical shots, using the same camera, on the same film, with the same exposure. The only difference is one is developed in HC110B and the other in Rodinal 1:50
    I think it's obvious which was which.
    Not obvious to me. I'd have to see the original negative. One frame appears to have foliage a trifle out of focus..?

    Which is which?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  8. #8

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    I've used Rodinal for Tri-X and other 400 speed films with good success. Grain is not fine, nor can it be expected to be fine, but the tonality of the image is mostly why you would soup such a film in Rodinal. On the other hand, I think Rodinal does its best work on slow films.

    HC-110 is a rather nice dev., just different from Rodinal. Try different films with each of these devs. and see what you like.

  9. #9
    NikoSperi's Avatar
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    Wow, thank you all for the turn out! I guess I was a little disappointed that I didn't immediately achieve stunning results on my first try with a new developer :rolleyes:

    Jorge: Why mess with success? Well, skirting the definition of success... why because of the greener grass of course!

    Titrisol: Thx fr the formulary, but mixing my own stuff is a line I'm not ready to cross... yet. Preparing KRST scares me, glacial acetic acid scares me... I scare easily.

    David & Ian: I should have added the Tri-X is 120, where the reduced enlargement factor doesn't make it a really grainy film for me. I do usually use it at 250, just not here.

    Ed: Really? I guess it's deceiving as we're all looking on different screens, but I thought it seems obvious which frame is which dev, given Rodinal's reputation for prominent grain... the left frame is the Rodinal. The full frame shot is also the Rodinal, just to place the enlargement factor into context. As for the leaf, tripod-mounted identical setup, so I'd rule out different focus in camera.

    Jim: Grain is fine, and was expected (I did do a little reading up on the stuff ). I was really looking for greater accutance, of which maybe I am sort of seeing a bit.

    Conclusions: None really, other than to try some more. I guess it swings to two extremes - start with a slow fine-grained film as the Rodinal's increased grain will be less noticeable - or go overboard and use a fast film like Delta 3200 and shoot for the popcorn.

    I'll try some 4x5" today in the two soups. I can pick from Tri-X 320, Delta 100, HP5, Acros. I'm undecided... Still life, strobe lighting, maybe a portrait if I can get my 2 year old to sit still enough.
    If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.

    - Walker Evans on using color

  10. #10

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    In our country we don't have tri-x pan so I never try to develope that kaind of film. I herad about tri-x everything the best. I saw many exhibition with photography from that film. Any way, autors have the same way, Tri-x pan in D76, very fine grain, normal contrast, and best results.
    You can try, and tell
    best regards

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