Rodinal Agitation - The Definitive Thread
For what seems like weeks I have combed the APUG archive researching Rodinal agitation schemes. I've learned lots and have made some adjustments to how I handle Rodinal and Tri-X (35mm). Thanks for all who contributed through their posts.
For myself, I've learned for the six years I've been using Rodinal seriously I've been over-agitating the h*ll out of my negatives. And I knew for some reason I was not "connecting" with Rodinal and now I understand why...thanks to APUG and all of you. I earn my living with photography and for over 20 years my standard Tri-X developer had been D-76 1:1, then came curiousity and desire to make a more soulful image, Rodinal seemed (and still seems) to be the answer.
From what you all have said over the years, this is a developer that has many faces and agitation is a key to Rodinal's many masks...in a good way.
What I thought might be useful for the future is to put all Rodinal agitation experience into one place...here.
Please post what you've found.
Again, thanks for this amazing space.
Please post what you've found.
Why not consolidate what YOU'VE learned instead ?
Originally Posted by df cardwell
Your response has me wonder if I am out of line here? Your contributions in the past have been among if not the best of all that I've read...I am in your debt. My only intent is to have one place where as much that is known about agitation can have a home. If this is troublesome to you and the community I am sincerely sorry.
I have used Rodinal 1+25 with agitation "by the box", 1+300 semi stand and 1+100 in a Jobo. I like them all, but none have created any magic for me. What I have found over the years is that while I do enjoy the subtle changes between developers (especially the first time I try them:>) ), I am "picking the fly poop out of the pepper" when I compare them honestly.
I use Tri-X 400 135, exposed at ISO 250, developed for 11 min in APH 09 1+40 or Rodinal 1+50 with two gentle agitations at the beginning of each minute. I started out at 13 minutes but in hindsight I think the agitation, combined with the longer time tends to blow the highlights. I am still working on it and I am getting closer now, I think.
I have been using the ISO 250 as a ballpark figure, but honestly, I should do a test to find my EI. One of these days...
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu
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I develop all my films in Rodinal 1:25. By hand it's what's on the massive dev chart with constant agitation for :30, four inversions every :30, and constant for the last :30. With a processor I constantly agistate for :30 under the chart's suggestion.
1:25, 15 slow inversions at start then five slow inversions every minute or so. five inversions last 30 seconds. I usually shoot box but extend time about a minute for most subjects.
1:25 + tri-x at EI 400, at 20C/68F, 2 slow gentle inversions + taps every 30 seconds, for 5 minutes, 45 seconds. Super grain, strong accutance.
1:50 + tri-x at EI 400, at 20C/68F, 2 slow gentle inversions + taps every 30 seconds for 11 minutes. Grain much smaller, accutance not as strong, but there's a "glow" to the pictures.
Stand development gets super glow.
Also, I almost always use a #8 yellow filter and always overexpose by a half a stop on a center-weighted metered camera, if that matters. Metal tanks, small.
The size of your metal tank matters. Then again, with a development time of 6 minutes, all sorts of stuff can make the whole process change.
I would like to start pulling my film, but I can't find any reliable numbers out there for 1:25 with pulled Tri-X.
"If this is troublesome to you and the community..."
not at all to me, and I'm sure not to the community,
but without CONTEXT,
the conversation can only result in a list of every conceivable way to agitate film.
It's like asking, "What should I eat for lunch ?"
By offering a context for the thread, you can guide the discussion,
and by setting some of your own findings on the table,
help somebody who could use a hand.
For my own purposes, to make the grain look its best, and to get razor sharp prints, and finally to get the midtone qualities I want - intermittent agitation.
I develop all films the same way, and they are exposed between box speed and one stop overexposed usually. I hear Foma needs shorter development times.
30 minutes, agitate continuously by rolling my daylight tank on the floor for the first 90 seconds, then two gentle inversions every 5 minutes.
Dilution: 1:200 using 500ml per film.
Temp: Starts out at 70*F, then it depends on the room temperature what it ends up being.
Rinse and fix. Fully developed shadow values. Glorious midtones. Awesome local contrast. Grain that is beautiful both in 35mm and 120 formats. Highlights that are very easy to control during printing. Basically, it produces a negative that prints easily and is easy to manipulate. To emphasize on Don's 'what's for lunch' analogy - you get a five course meal that you can choose to devour any way you like to.
I have attached a print scan from an Efke KB 100 35mm neg. I used diffusion while printing, so the grain isn't really apparent. Ilford MGWT fiber glossy, developed in Ilford Multigrade 1+9 at 68*F.
I hope that helps. But I concur with Don - tell us what you have found to give some substance to the thread.
"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