Rodinal... Is there an alternative one shot?

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Jack Hubbell

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I've used Rodinal film developer for over 25 years now. I'm not too willing to give it up but it's getting harder and harder to find nowdays. I prefer the concept of the one shot pre-mix developer throw-away. Anything else out there that will provide the same high acutance results? Am I asking too much?
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Rodinal has a pretty distinctive look. There are many other one-shot developers, but if you like Rodinal, why switch? Even if you can't find it locally, you can get it easily enough by mail order, and it lasts a long time, so you can stock up.
 

Alex Hawley

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I've been ordering it from Adorama with no problem so far. But its been a couple months since I got a bottle. Where have you been getting it Jack?
 
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J&C (see sponsors at the top of the page) sells R09 - considered to be the original, pre-WW2 Rodinal formula.

Never tried it.
 

RAP

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Apparently Agfa is getting out of the B&W film business. So then what will happen to Rodinal? Photographers' Formulary sells a Rodinal formula. Also try Calumet Photo at the top of the page.
 

bjorke

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When I lived in Hawaii I was forced to go cold turkey on Rodinal -- each little $6 bottle carried a $25 hazmat fee when mailordered. I weened myself onto Xtol and have found it to have more latitude & less grain but workable. I mix it in 5-liter batches and throw it away as used.
 

jansenh

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You could also try Kodak HC-110. Like Rodinal it is a highly concetrated one-shot developer - I dilute it 1:47. Convenient to use - no powder to mix and no stock-solution in bottles... Shelf life is quite god I believe (it hasn't let me down yet). HC-110 has not got the same sharp and defined actuance that Rodinal. On the other hand it is not as dissolving as Xtol.

For 135 films HC-110 is a very good developer, very close to Xtol. I turned down Xtol due to the mixing & botteling part of it, which I hate.

Still, as a highly diluted compensating developer (1:100) for 120 films Rodinal cannot be replaced.

If Agfa is shutting down its B&W products or not should not have any impact on any desicons regarding Rodinal,... it'll be around somehow anyway.
 

Lex Jenkins

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I recently tried some Tetenal Neofin Blau in one-shot fashion on some Efke R100 and was very pleased with the results. High acutance and resolution, tight, sharp grain. As supplied via JandC Photo it came in a box of five vials, each containing 30ml of concentrate. The concentrate makes enough for a single roll of MF or two rolls of 35mm.

The supplied data is pretty thorough but takes some careful reading to decipher. Information is supplied for agitation (continuous and 1-minute intervals), contrast indices, etc.

It's not quite as affordable as Rodinal tho'. However Neofin Blau is reportedly a standard Beutler formula, which can be readily mixed up from commonly available chemistry. Recipes alleged to produce some version of Rodinal are available but the components are rather less user friendly.
 

Ole

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I use (nearly) everything as one-shot?

  • Neofin Blau and Neofin Rot
    Ilfosol S
    Ilford DD-X
    Pyrocat-HD
    Beutler's
    Maxim Muir's Compensating Pyrocatechin
I've never used Rodinal, though...

The only developer I'll re-use is "divided" D23.
 

Black Dog

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Never had any problems getting hold of Rodinal myself in the UK. However I also recommend Neofin. Or you could try making up the original Beutler/FX1 & 2 -see the Film Developing Cookbook (Anchell & Troop). Believe Photographer's Formulary also sell packaged versions of FX1 & 2 . Good luck experimenting.
 

Jim Chinn

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One of the problems with getting Rodinal has been shippers have had to add a hazardous materials surcharge on any order containing it, usually about $15. Either that rule is dependent on the shipper or the applicable regulation has been changed because Freestyle is advertising that there is no longer a hazardous surcharge on certain chemicals when shipped by ground. If you do business with other suppliers, (B&H, Adorama, etc) you may want to check if they now have eliminated said charges.

One problem locally is that one of the camera stores told me that Agfa was requiring retailers to buy a minimum of $2000 of Agfa products per order, no re-orders of items in lesser amounts. Since there is not enough market locally to support carrying Agfa paper, (they carry Kodak, Ilford and Forte) that becomes a lot of bottles of Rodinal and Neutol and Sistan to have sitting on the shelf. They usually split the order with the only other supplier of B&W materials in town, but once the Rodinal is gone, it might take 6 months or longer before they place another order.
 

dustyh

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Freestyle Photo also sells rodinal in 2 sizes, and there is no hazmat surcharge for ground transportation.
 
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Jack,
Try Willi Beutler, high acutance developer, (supposed to be Neofin Blue).
1 g metol
5 g sodium sulphite
5 g sodium carbonate
Good luck.
 
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