rodinal first try : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

this is from the irst film i developed in rodinal. 1:50, tri-x@800, 18min, m6 with 35lux, bathtub: 38C

the grain is MASSIVE! you can see it on the neg with bare eyes. will a dilution if 1:25 reduce the grain or will i need a finegrain developer for that?

-- stefan randlkofer (, January 29, 2002


stefan This neg has been hugely over developed and under exposed. Rodinal is not my standard dev. but I would tend to think about rating the tri-x at 250-320 and devving it for maybe a third of the time (others can be more precise). If you must uprate tri-x try ilford microphen (rate it at c.640) or id-11 and be prepared to lose shadow detail.

-- steve (, January 29, 2002.


I know this isn't an image review but I'd like to input my thoughts on the above image. I notice that the sharpest part of the image is the line between (your girlfriend's?) the hair and background. While this may have been the easiest feature to focus on with the rangefinder (most contrast) had you concentrated on getting the eyes in razor sharp focus the picture would have communicated MORE to the viewer. Maybe next time try to use the contrast between the whites' of her eyes and pupil to focus on. You may like the result.



-- John (, January 29, 2002.

If you develop Tri-X in rodinal, you will get big grain. You only do this if this is the look you want.

If you want a smoother look, try D76 or XTol.

-- Pete Su (, January 29, 2002.

My experience w. Rodinal dates 20 years back, but one thing I remember is that it is not a good dev. for pushing (unless you like huge grain). Like Steve, I'd recommend that you rate Tri-x around 250. I think my best results in this dev. were w. Ilford FP4. You will always get clearly defined grain w. Rodinal, that is part of the charm of this particular developer.

-- Niels H. S. Nielsen (, January 29, 2002.

Tri-X is an older generation film, and Rodinal is a high-acutance developer. This all adds up to BIG grain. For fun, try 1:100 for about 30 minutes.

Or switch to Delta 400 in PMK.

-- Peter Hughes (, January 29, 2002.

Before you give up on it - do give it a try at e.i. 320 and dev'd for c.8mins. It can give a lovely crisp grain. Pyro and delta is a different ball park altogether (the 2 combinations could hardly give more different results).

-- steve (, January 29, 2002.

Unless you look for grain:

Rodinal is definitely not to be used on pushed films, especially at 1:50 where on some films you get a speed reduction. Rodinal works well on films up to 400 (but better with slower ones). The fastest film I process in Rodinal is Agfa APX 400 rated at 320.

Rodinal was revived with the apparition of T Grain films. T grain films have a nasty tendency at blocking highlights and lacking gradation. Highly diluted Rodinal is a good cure against that. I got beautiful results with delta 100. Some people use it also with 400 T-grain films, supposedly with good results. I didn't try enough to be sure.

Basically, I use Rodinal for slow to medium speed films and APX 400. For faster films I use something else.

D-76 is a safe bet, used for decades, for pushing TRI-X although for many the new favorite is Xtol. I used D-76 for a long time. Now I'm using Tetenal Emofin, a 2 baths developer: As I use fast films in low light or night situations where you have often huge contrast ranges (due to artifical lights, ...), a 2 bath developer keeps highlights in control.

-- Xavier C. (, January 29, 2002.

Tri-X in Rodinal 1:50 is my favorite combination. not push the film with Rodinal. I get good results at EI400, 12 minutes, 20 degrees - pleasing grain with that traditional look, very sharp, tonality like none other. Also, 38 degrees is way too hot, this will contribute to massive grain more than the EI800. Try it at 20 degrees. Lastly, 18 minutes is outrageous overdevelopment, especially when you factor in the temperature. Agfa recommends Tri-X at EI500, 14 minutes at 20 degrees in Rodinal 1:50. If you want to shoot Tri-X at 800, try HC-110 dilution A for 5 1/2 minutes at 18 degrees to start with. Agitation really matters with Rodinal. In a stainless steel one reel tank, I use 1 minute constant, 10 seconds every minute thereafter, of fairly vigorous agitation. I prefer to use an old Agfa Rondinax daylight tank, spinning the agitation knob once every 3 seconds. 1:25 is good too, especially in low contrast situations. At 1:50, Rondinal brings out details in the highlights, details in the shadows, smooth tonal gradiation, acutance better than anything else I've tried, and that lovely fine grain, especially nice in skin tones and sky. An acquired taste for some, but I've acquired it.

M6, 50 'Cron, Tri-X @400, Rodinal. This will keep me busy for my next 48 years! Love this combination.

-- Hil (, January 29, 2002.

Ok, I get it - the bathtub was at 38 degrees! Every thing else I said applies, though. :-P

-- Hil (, January 29, 2002.

I agree: TX EI400 in Rodinal 1-50, 12 minutes @ 20C. TX EI200 for 8 minutes is very nice, less grain.

-- John F (, January 29, 2002.

Your picture looks like it might have some reticulation. You could see that on the negative with your bare eyes.

-- John F (, January 29, 2002.

thanks to all. what is reticulation?

i got the developing times from

how about ultrafin sf? would this be suitable for pushprocessing? i usually use id11 and it works just fine for me pushing any film up and down the ladder

-- stefan randlkofer (, January 29, 2002.

Reticulation on a negative looks like clumps of grain in a repetitive web-like pattern. You can do it by subjecting the developed negative to temperature shock. Some people experiment with this effect by using either hot or cold water baths, usually cold. Combined with toning can give some interesting results. I don't really see it in your post, but may be visible on the surface of the negative.

-- Hil (, January 29, 2002.

Next time don't put your model, camera, lens, and rodinal in the bathtub all at the same time ;-)

Oh, and try 20C, 6 min, and ASA 250.

Where is the definitive John Hicks when we need him?

-- Mani Sitaraman (, January 29, 2002.

I guess I don't have a whole lot to say about it; I think "massive" would probably be a reasonable term for the grain of TX pushed in Rodinal. It's been so long since I did that, though, that I'd be referring to the TX and Rodinal of 30 years ago.

Right now I'm looking at a slightly larger print from TMZ in Microphen blasted to EI 6400 and I swear it has finer grain than that scan. Sometimes I do kinda miss the gritty look.

Anyway, Rodinal is generally a speed _decreasing_ developer, the opposite of what's wanted. Compared to a standard of, say, TX in D-76 1:1 at EI 400, I'd expect TX in Rodinal 1:50 to come in at about EI 250 if developed to the same CI. So let's say that to begin with TX in Rodinal will be 2/3 stop slower than "standard."

Now..the idea of pushing is to underexpose and develop appropriately (or "overdevelop," if you must) so that the neg can be printed on relatively normal paper.

If you rate the film at EI 800 and develop it in D-76 you've only underexposed it one stop and may need to extend development time only 10% to 20%. Otoh, for Rodinal, you've underexposed the film 1 2/3 stops and would need to extend development _more_ to get the highlights to the same density or, iow, you'd need to develop the film to a higher CI and an higher CI brings with it more graininess.

Do that with Rodinal, which gives nice sharp crisp assertively-large grain anyway and you end up using the word "massive."

Or consider an alternative; use a "speed-enhancing" developer. I don't mean the ridiculous claims that sometimes appear on developer docs, I mean the slightly higher speed that those and some other developers actually give.

A few examples are DD-X, Microphen, Acufine, Xtol and T-Max.

I'd expect these to give "real" speeds of EI 500-640 for TX with normal development; in this case EI 800 would be only a 1/3 or 2/3 stop push, only a slight increase in development time. These developers _do_ carry at least a slight grain penalty compared to a standard developer but it's nowhere near that of Rodinal.

As for Rodinal, if you're determined, there are a few tricks that can reduce the graininess a little and give back a little speed.

The classic way is to add some sodium sulfite to the working solution _and_ to use a fairly high dilution. Dilute Rodinal 1:75 or so and, once you've mixed it, add sodium sulfite at the ratio of 50g/L or a full plastic film cannister to a quart, a half-full cannister to a half-quart etc. You don't have to be very precise. This will give back 1/3 to 2/3 stop speed and will reduce the graininess a bit.

The new way, from Patrick Gainer, is to add sodium ascorbate at the ratio of 4g/L. That's specifically sodium ascorbate, _not_ ascorbic acid. It works well, somewhat better overall than sodium sulfite.

But I'd rather push in D-76 or Microphen.

Aren't you glad I didn't have much to say? (G)

-- John Hicks (, January 30, 2002.

John- I've tried the sodium sulph. trick but I can't see I really saw the point of it. The solvent effect takes away the main joy of Rodinal which is the high acutance. Surely, if you want solvent effect, you'd be better off sticking with undiluted id-11...?

-- steve (, January 30, 2002.

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