Classic Combo: Tri-X & Rodinal

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arigram

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Hello guys.
Being new in film cooking, I would like some advice, even though my
question could be the king of FAQs.
After a year of playing it safe, I've decided to try a different developer
and film than my usual soup of HP5+/D-76. (I've taken a look at almost
every film I could get my hands on including Bergger and Efke stuff, but
not seriously as they are not to be found around here).
My project is the local faces of old shopkeepers, artisans and fishermen
shot handhelp with a Hasselblad 501CM/80mm lens
and I've decided to get myself the 120 format new Tri-X 320 to give
the photos the bite they need. I heard that pairing it with Rodinal gives spectacular reasults: strong edges, high sharpness, hard grain.
Since I've never toyed with them before, what's a good proccess?
Dilluition, temperature, time, agitation?
I'll shoot a few and will develop them three at a time in a 1500ml Paterson
tank if that makes any difference.

Do you have any samples I can take a peek at?

Thank you,
a.
 

titrisol

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yes, look in my gallery under Fountain in Raleigh Rose garden fountain and detail of that pic.
Maybe not the best aesthetical example though....
 
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arigram

arigram

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Ha! I didn't know that Salgado was a Kodak devotee...
Any ideas on the practical stuff?
Should I use a 1-50 dillution?
How does the dillution of Rodinal affect Tri-X?

a.
 

Louis Nargi

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classic combo

I'm new to this sight and I find it very interesting, but I thought the classic combo was tri-x and HC-110. Ansel Adams portraits of farmers and other available light portraits were great. He would the 400 speed for this.
 

Jim Chinn

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Adams used HC110 for a many images, but keep in mind he was shooting LF, and a great deal of his work at that time was 8x10. So you could get the advantages of very dillute HC110 without worring about the grain.


As far as Rodinal and TriX, keep in mind that people like Ralph Gibson (and I think Eugene Smith also used that combo) were using papers made at that time, the TriX was a different emulsion and for all i know the Rodinal is also a slightly different formulation then it was then. (HC110 supposedly has been altered many times since Adams used it)

So you need to test what ever combo you settle on to find the best results for your images.
 

bjorke

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Jim Chinn said:
As far as Rodinal and TriX, keep in mind that people like Ralph Gibson (and I think Eugene Smith also used that combo) were using papers made at that time, the TriX was a different emulsion and for all i know the Rodinal is also a slightly different formulation then it was then.

Um, http://www.ralphgibson.com/ "that time"?

And yes, he overexposes AND overdevelops -- the negs are almost black. He documented it in "Darkroom 2" (Lustrum Press, mid-70's -- his own company)
 

mobtown_4x5

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Guys- thanks for sharing the websites of these two great photogs- the documentary guy is a master and I actually liked the concept guy (not usually my bag).

Thanks again I really enjoy getting turned on to this stuff, I never know where to look I don't know the names.
 
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arigram

arigram

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Why is it that even the Massive Dev Chart has no times for
developing the new Tri-X 320 Pro in Rodinal?

a.
 

titrisol

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I printed some negatives from that combo last night, nice tonees for portraiture (most of them of my daughter and some other babies), very sharp, but I could see grain when printing 4x6s (from 35mm)
 
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arigram

arigram

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Btw, I printed some photos with TriX 320 (120) and Rodinal the other day for the first time in 50x60cm (20x24") sizes and they absolutely rock!
Grain is visible when looking at them from a normal distance (of half to a meter), but its beautiful! Tight and sharp and the whole image has great tonallity and character!
 

avandesande

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I don't see anything about Ralph Gibson in my version of this book. Anyone have the correct reference?
Thanks

bjorke said:
Um, http://www.ralphgibson.com/ "that time"?

And yes, he overexposes AND overdevelops -- the negs are almost black. He documented it in "Darkroom 2" (Lustrum Press, mid-70's -- his own company)
 

gnashings

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I found, (in my modest experience) that the simple, by the book approach gave me pretty much the results you describe: shot at box speed, developed in Rodinal 1:50 with my standard agitation (30 sec initial, 10 secs evey minute), at 20 degrees C. In medium format that will give you strong grain but not to the extent that it does in 35mm, where the grain almost has to become a part of your composition - an integral part of the image. These were pretty much the "defulat" results that I found with this combo when I was learning my way around developing (so I was not experimenting, rather going for "correct" results, which leads me to believe that it should be pretty easy to obtain with a little care) - perhaps you may be looking for something different, but from your description it sounds pretty much spot on to what I was getting. Best of luck - I think you will fall in love with the combo!

Peter

PS. I believe I was using 12.5 minutes myself - but have seen references for slightly more time (13 min).
 
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arigram

arigram

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Thank you Jay and Peter.
Its really nice to discover something like that. Like when I fall in love with FP4+ and Ilfosol-S. Now to try the opposite end: PanF+ and Perceptol.

Btw, I hope Kodak continues TriX and Rodinal doesn't try out.

I wonder how HP5+ would look...
 

df cardwell

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arigram said:
Ha! I didn't know that Salgado was a Kodak devotee...
Any ideas on the practical stuff?
Should I use a 1-50 dillution?
How does the dillution of Rodinal affect Tri-X?

a.

Dilution: NO AFFECT

Agitation: Half of Everything

Exposure: The other Half.

Dilution has an INDIRECT effect. By increasing the dilution, you must increase the time, usually reducing the proportion of time spent in agitation. The less agitation, the less grain will clump. Also, there is a perceived 'compensation effect'; which reduces perceived grain in the highlights.

Good grain: sharp, regular: fine.
Bad grain: mushy, clumpy: coarse.

.
 

George Collier

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I used Tri-x 35mm and Rodinal in college many years ago almost exclusively. Film rated at 250, 1:65 Rodinal 72 degrees F, for 12 minutes, agitate every 40 seconds. Loved the results, sharp, edgy, as you said.
I recently tried this combination with a Rollei, 120 film. Tri-x rated 250, Rodinal (1:50 with Distilled water) at 70° for 12 min. The image quality was wonderful, good contrast, and with the larger image size, even better than the 35mm stuff from years ago. One problem it took me forever to solve, though: the outside edges were developed more than the internal areas, and inconsistently from beginning to end of roll, and not always. I finally was told that because Rodinal is so highly diluted, it can exhaust itself quickly in areas receiving less agitation (the internal areas on the reel). So I started agitating every 15 seconds, more vigorously (it took me awhile to get use to this) and after the usual inversions, I roll the tank on it's side once back and forth. Since then, great results. This is apparently not an issue with 35mm because of the small film size.
 

df cardwell

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George Collier said:
...EDIT.... One problem it took me forever to solve, though: the outside edges were developed more than the internal areas, and inconsistently from beginning to end of roll, and not always. I finally was told that because Rodinal is so highly diluted, it can exhaust itself quickly in areas receiving less agitation (the internal areas on the reel). So I started agitating every 15 seconds, more vigorously (it took me awhile to get use to this) and after the usual inversions, I roll the tank on it's side once back and forth. Since then, great results. This is apparently not an issue with 35mm because of the small film size.

Glad it's working for you, but the diagnosis wasn't correct.

How were you agitating when you were having problems ? What kind of tank ?



.
 

MMfoto

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df cardwell said:
The less agitation, the less grain will clump.

That's interesting. I've never heard that before. Can you elaborate?
 

MMfoto

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Salgado: I've always heard that he used TX Rodinal for his past work and have been amazed by the relatively fine grain of some of his images. There is obviously something he is doing that I am not... I've read that his lab develops his film by inspection(since when I don't know). If so I this would afford him to use a longer negative density range which in turn would allow printing on lower paper grades.
 

George Collier

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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Collier
...EDIT.... One problem it took me forever to solve, though: the outside edges were developed more than the internal areas, and inconsistently from beginning to end of roll, and not always. I finally was told that because Rodinal is so highly diluted, it can exhaust itself quickly in areas receiving less agitation (the internal areas on the reel). So I started agitating every 15 seconds, more vigorously (it took me awhile to get use to this) and after the usual inversions, I roll the tank on it's side once back and forth. Since then, great results. This is apparently not an issue with 35mm because of the small film size.


Glad it's working for you, but the diagnosis wasn't correct.

How were you agitating when you were having problems ? What kind of tank ?

To d.f. - thanks for weighing in on my experience. The tank is Kinderman, with a new ss reel from Calumet, I forget the brand, made in England (their better reel). My previous agitation was a tilted, rotated, inversion or two every 30 sec. The new one is a more violent action much the same, followed by a roll back and forth in the sink, every 15 sec. Also, I measure the developer to have no more than what it takes to cover the reel(s) comfortably, to allow the developer to move around.
 

df cardwell

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MMfoto said:
That's interesting. I've never heard that before. Can you elaborate?

Well, that's pretty much it.

It's slight, and it's a result of other things, as far as I can guess.

Since clumpy, irregular grain ( as opposed to the classical notion of fine grain: regular and even ) is the result of over exposure and/or overdevelopment ( bad kharma and other stuff ), reducing agitation slows the density building in higher exposure areas.

To restore shadow density, increase the time. Most films require progressively greater development time as dilution increases, so the proportion of development time in which agitation occurs diminishes. And the most apparent grain is reduced.
 

df cardwell

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I finally was told that because Rodinal is so highly diluted, it can exhaust itself quickly in areas receiving less agitation (the internal areas on the reel).

In practice, it takes a long time for this to happen. And, in practice, many Rodinal users take advantage of this to build acutance, shadow detail, and create the fabled Rodinal Long Straight Line.

If you watch a Rodinal image develop, it appears very quickly. And we see all the irregularities at once. Yet the Rodinal image takes a long time to develop to a normal density, 25 to 40 times it's emergence time. The irregularities that would be deathly in a metol developer, for instance, are no big deal, for the Rodinal image smooths out promptly, and goes about its developing business.

I'd guess most 'kindly misinformation' about Rodinal comes from photographers very adept and knowledgeable other developers and project their working technique with other developers ( like D-76, POTA, etc ) on Rodinal, assuming Rodinal behaves like dilute metol or dilute phenidone developers. It does not.

Try this, maybe going in the opposite direction will help.

I use the same tank and reels, btw, HEWES reels are awesome, better than my 35 year old Nikor reels !

Assume Rodinal wants to build image density very slowly, lasts a good long time in solution ( 1+65, say several hours ), and is very powerful.

Try your 1+65 dilution, but develop for 18' with agitation at the start, and at 6' and 12'. Agitate for a full ten seconds. My Kindermann 120 technique is a little idiosyncratic but it ought to work well for you, lay the tank on it's side and roll it back and forth, 3 or 4 revolutions either way. Go ahead and fill the tank. Goodness knows if it works for me, it should work for anybody.

You may find the shadow speed increases a bit, and you may want to adjust the dilution to fit the midtones. Please let me know how this works--- I'd love to accumulate a reliable catalog of Rodinal Technique.

PM me if it's a disaster :surprised:

don
 
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