Since returning to Rodinal about 2 years ago after a long time using mostly HC-110, I have found my ideal regime with 35mm Tri-X and Neopan 400 (used interchangeably) to be 15 seconds of initial agitation followed by 2 inversions at 4 minutes and 2 more at 8 minutes, emptying the tank at 12 minutes. Dilution 1:50 and temperature 20c.
(I use Jobo plastic tanks). This is my personal favorite recipe and it preserves highlights well. I also gleaned a wealth of information on how to get the best from Rodinal from the archives and in particular from the writings of one D.F.Cardwell. I agree with his earlier comments that you need to find your own way, but a nudge in the right direction always helps .....
I have found, with rodinal, that if I reduce my agitation and increase time accordingly, that it does change the negative noticeably, primarily in the reduction of grain. Even if this is as little as reducing the agitation from every 1 to every 2 min. But all this stuff has been discussed on these forums before.
If I go that direction and don't overdevelop my Rodinal TX negs will have less apparent grain than my HC110 (1+50) negs. No fault of HC110...still getting a handle on it after all.
But it is b/c I've found Rodinal to be such a dynamic developer in this regards that I use it.
Graeme, I completely agree with you. What seems to change the most for me, besides grain, with different agitation is the mid-tones. I use very dilute developer, and with variations in agitation, the highlights are always very well compensated for, but the midtones can really get a bump when I go from 5 min agitation intervals to 3 min.
I love to overexpose films like FP4+, Plus-X, or Fuji Neopan SS, and then do semistand with 5 min intervals. Sharp, very fine grain, and rich rich mid-tones. It works especially well in medium to high brightness range. Uniform lighting with little contrast - not so good.
I also agree with your sentiments on HC-110. I love HC-110, and use it a lot for rotary development, but for reduced agitation it'll be Rodinal all the way.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
For me the only weird test is one from which you don't learn anything. Doesn't sound like you're headed in that direction.
Originally Posted by WGibsonPhotography
One other option you might try with Rodinal and fast film is Rodinal + sodium ascorbate (form of Vitamin C) suggested here: http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Rodinal/rodinal.html and discussed multiple places on APUG. The addition of sodium ascorbate does change the grain characteristics of the film, finer than only Rodinal, and times change so that at 1:50 dilution you should use times for 1:25, and 1:50 times for the 1:100 dilution.
I'll second the move to heed any rodinal (or other) advice from df cardwell here on APUG. A search will bring up lots of info.
Thomas, right you are. My exposure and dev times vary massively, and agitation moderately, to control grain and, yes, moreover, the mid-tones. It all can give radically different negatives.
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I'm sure I'll learn something. Will I get the results I'm looking for on the first try? Probably not, but I should have something to work on when I get back to school in January.
Originally Posted by Lee L
Thanks for the website. That's definately something to consider. I think I'll use just Rodinal for now just to get the feel for it. If I get the results I'm hoping for, I might give that a try just to see the difference. When I first started researching for this test, I was hoping there would be one ideal development time and agitation method for Delta 400 and HP5. I guess I was a little off on that asumption.