I use Rodinal almost exclusively these days. What attracted to me at first was its long shelf life and very easy mixing but I quickly grew to love it's development qualities as well.
I would say it is on the grainy side compared to some others, but that has never been something that bothers me. Heck, I rather like it! I find it especially beautiful with the more "classic" emulsions like FP4, Hp5, Fomapan, Adox CHS etc. etc. With Fuji Neopan 400 it is just brilliant!
I prefer the ratio of 1:50 in most cases. Extends the development time with most films to get good tones and punchy grain.
I've tried several times over the years to like HC-110 as I can pick it up at my local camera store unlike Rodinal which I have to order by mail. It just doesn't do it for me though.
"even though its got a bit of a rep for high grain" For many it is because of that rep, check out Ralph Gibson's black and white work. Impossible to know how many people he has sent seeking out Rodinal over the years. It's no myth, but I don't look at grain as a problem, just an option. Funny that Jim mentions Recording film, Rodinal is one of the developers I used with that stuff to get a really nice high grain image. It worked great with high speed infrared too.
True. All my HIE was developed in Rodinal.
Originally Posted by erikg
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
I've finally standardized on Rodinal. I use it at 1:100 or higher, only use 1:50 for some N+ work. Incredible tonality and great highlight control (and separation) with minimal agitation and semi-stand techniques. It's incredibly versatile and at the dilutions I'm using it's dirt cheap.
Last edited by Shawn Dougherty; 05-19-2009 at 10:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
The thing that I like about Rodinal is the highlights, as Shawn Dougherty says. I am sure it could be reflected or expressed somehow in terms of the curve, but subjectively it seems to me that the highlights have a clear watery glow to them. I have been using it 1-100 with 120 Acros. I did a bunch of side by side tests with different developers to be able to see the differences and the Rodinal 1-100 won out for me. It was very close to using Beutlers formula but with a bit more of the sense of glowing light.
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I simply love Rodinal for it's honnest grain.
I used to develop NP27, the DDR (East German) Tri-X in it and got great results.
Still using it in Holland for all my B&W films from 25 ASA to 400 ASA.
Rodinal tends to produce "sharp images" with "sharp" grain.
Rodinol and Xtol only for me. Rodinal, I use at 1:100 and develop "normally" - agitate first minute then three inversions every minute. As was pointed out Ralph Gibson's work is, I believe, exclusively Tri-X and Rodinal. I also got some great results with 4x5 Tech Pan at 1:150. It's interesting that one of he oldest developers remains one of the best.
Plus ca change..................
"Why is there always a better way?"
Personally I don't like Rodinal. I have used it, and still have half a bottle left. I prefer Ilfotec HC which gives the same economy, slightly higher speed, tighter grain, and a (to me) better tonality.
Just to make a dissenting post...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Rodinal 1:50 with the Rollei Ortho25 film is absolutely spectacular. Especially when combined with Zeiss glass. What a beauty.
However, you mentioned Studional aka Rodinal Special. It's been around 15 years or more, and I began using it for all APX films back in '94. Super tight grain, beautiful tones, and a fantastic "look". Try it with some Fomapan (closest thing to APX left not counting the actual APX badged as Rollei until it runs out). Gives HC-110 a kick in the bollocks!
If the lens doesn't read "ZEISS", then it just isn't.