Rodinal stand development at low temperature (13 degrees celsius)

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I recently read that negatives developed in rodinal at low temperatures exhibited less grain and clumping. So I used stand development at 1:100 dilution of rodinal at 13 degrees celsius for 2 hours for the following images. I found that the grain was less pronounced than at higher development temperatures for Fomapan 100 sheet film.
Senescent River Red Gum
Senescent_Red_Gum_1000pix.jpg
Lilydale Lake in Fog
lilydale_lake_1000pix.jpg

peterkinchington.com
 

Gerald C Koch

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Perhaps the grain is less pronounced because the negatives are under developed. This is certainly something to consider. Then too if there were merit to this technique then Agfa would have recommended it,
 
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Perhaps the grain is less pronounced because the negatives are under developed. This is certainly something to consider. Then too if there were merit to this technique then Agfa would have recommended it,

Hi Gerald,
The negatives do not appear to be under developed.
Cheers Peter
 

pdeeh

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This one crops up from time to time.

It often creates a bit of a ding-dong as the photochemists can't see a mechanism for this effect, while others swear by it, and still others will log on just to tell you that Rodinal is awful and you should use their favourite developer.

My suggestion: if you feel you can see an improvement in your negatives, and you feel your prints look better from negatives developed this way, then I suggest you just carry on using your method.

FWIW When I use Rodinal, I develop at 18C and I'm sure I can see a difference from developing at 20C; Whether that is because I am expecting a better result and my cognitive process adjusts to give me the result I want, or whether there is *really* any difference in the negative, I can't tell. Mostly because my scanning electron microscope is at the dry-cleaners and so I can't examine the grain-clumps to see.
 
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I recently read that negatives developed in rodinal at low temperatures exhibited less grain and clumping. So I used stand development at 1:100 dilution of rodinal at 13 degrees celsius for 2 hours for the following images. I found that the grain was less pronounced than at higher development temperatures for Fomapan 100 sheet film.

You can read almost 'everywhere' that Rodinal is less grainy when used at lower temperatures. Unfortunately, noone bothers to show any actual examples comparing the same exposure developed at different temperatures. Your low resolution sheet film scans from the negatives are also not suitable to judge if it is true or not.

I almost exclusively stand develop in Rodinal and have myself not noticed any significant differences between roundabout 15°C and 23°C. If I eventually get my proper film scanner fixed, I might do a pixel-peeping test and see if there is actually anything to it. It may of course also be, that it has an effect in combination with film types, which I am not using.
 

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Without wishing to be facetious, the one thing the scans have established is that Rodinal can operate at as low as 13 degrees C. My understanding is that most developers may not operate at all or at least show problems which the OP's scans suggest are not present with Rodinal. Of course unless you need to operate at a very low ambient temperature such as having an unheated darkroom in Winter then unless there is another benefit such as lower grain there may not be any benefit. A comparison of grain at 18C and 13C would certainly be helpful.

OP, a grain comparison may be possible by looking at two negatives under a grain focuser. I'd have thought that if the difference is more than very marginal you'd be able to see it. How you can then show this to the rest of us I have no idea but I'd be happy to hear what you believe to be the evidence of your eyes under such a test.

Thanks

pentaxuser
 

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I don't know if this has been suggested before, but my theory is that a lower temperature implies less Brownean movement of the molecules in the solution, so it is largely equivalent to less agitation.
 
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After some googling, I managed to find at least a written statement (no images though) in a German forum from someone, who developed and compared an exposure of the same motiv on the same film in Rodinal at 14°C and 20°C. At least with the film he tested, he could not se any difference in grain or sharpness between the two negatives.
 
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Without wishing to be facetious, the one thing the scans have established is that Rodinal can operate at as low as 13 degrees C. My understanding is that most developers may not operate at all or at least show problems which the OP's scans suggest are not present with Rodinal. Of course unless you need to operate at a very low ambient temperature such as having an unheated darkroom in Winter then unless there is another benefit such as lower grain there may not be any benefit. A comparison of grain at 18C and 13C would certainly be helpful.

OP, a grain comparison may be possible by looking at two negatives under a grain focuser. I'd have thought that if the difference is more than very marginal you'd be able to see it. How you can then show this to the rest of us I have no idea but I'd be happy to hear what you believe to be the evidence of your eyes under such a test.

Thanks

pentaxuser
Hi pentaxuser,
My observations are subjective. As you suggest perhaps the greatest benefit is the ability to use water straight from the cold tap in an unheated darkroom - this is very handy and ensures that the temperatures of the developer, water rinse and fixer and wash water are within 1C of each other. I think the benefit of rodinal is largely its forgiveness in a variety of situations and its compensating effect with high dilutions and stand development (for 1-2hours).
Best Regards Peter.
 
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Your results are interesting. Would you mind posting unedited snapshot of the negatives?
Hi Raghu,
The negatives are overall a dark gray with some variation of tones across the images. I'll post some snapshots of the negatives as soon as I have some spare time.
Cheers Peter
 

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Would it also be helpful to know if if the developer temp was maintained? Today the ambient temp in my house is about 80f (26.6c), with the cooler going full tilt (105f/40c outside). If I start a stand development at 20c, an hour later I’m guessing it’s at 25c, since I don’t have any mechanism to maintain the temp.
 
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Would it also be helpful to know if if the developer temp was maintained? Today the ambient temp in my house is about 80f (26.6c), with the cooler going full tilt (105f/40c outside). If I start a stand development at 20c, an hour later I’m guessing it’s at 25c, since I don’t have any mechanism to maintain the temp.
Hi Abruzzi,
I have used dilute rodinal and stand development in similar conditions to yours in summer with very good results - however I get grainier results than at low temperature.
Cheers Peter
 
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The negatives are overall a dark gray with some variation of tones across the images.

Do you with 'overall a dark gray' mean that the film base itself is much denser than after a standard development? That is a problem I've had as well with other films when experimenting with what I would call excessive stand development. A 1:100 dilution for 2 hours is indeed quite a lot of 'bang' on the film.

My intention was to replicate the alleged ultra-push capabilities of some films. Some even claim that e.g. Tri-X 400 can be exposed at E.I 12,800 or even 25,600 and be stand developed with great results in Rodinal. My experience is however that at some point, increasing the concentration or extending development time will not increase the density of the exposed parts of the film, as though the film has been fully developed just as photographic paper is fully developed and won't continue to darken when kept for a longer time in the developer. What however do happen is that the film base continues to darken when the film is kept too long in the developer. That may not have any relevance if you are only going to scan the negative, but it is a great disadvantage if you are going to wet-print the negative as exposure times are significantly prolonged.
 

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This one crops up from time to time.

It often creates a bit of a ding-dong as the photochemists can't see a mechanism for this effect, while others swear by it, and still others will log on just to tell you that Rodinal is awful and you should use their favourite developer.

My suggestion: if you feel you can see an improvement in your negatives, and you feel your prints look better from negatives developed this way, then I suggest you just carry on using your method.

FWIW When I use Rodinal, I develop at 18C and I'm sure I can see a difference from developing at 20C; Whether that is because I am expecting a better result and my cognitive process adjusts to give me the result I want, or whether there is *really* any difference in the negative, I can't tell. Mostly because my scanning electron microscope is at the dry-cleaners and so I can't examine the grain-clumps to see.

I think that very often claims for some 'improvement' from lower temperatures may be accompanied by so many changes in process as to be essentially worthless hypotheses. I suspect that poor temperature control leading to overdevelopment is likely almost always the culprit of anomalous grain levels & the lower the temperature, the easier it is to hold it consistently & more importantly, your margin of error in developing time is much larger. The whole 'grain-clumping' saga seemed to have more with mis-identification of possible reticulation & it really doesn't exist as a phenomenon outside of an incomplete/ poor emulsion melt (I have seen the latter on some Efke films from just before the plant terminally broke down) - it's quite distinctive, unlike the rather amorphous claims that are often made by people with an inchoate acutance developer fetish...
 

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The discussion about the alleged merits of low temperature Rodinal development has been going on for some years. Recently someone has claimed he had done tests and found out that constant agitation Rodinal development at elevated temperatures (26 C?, IDR the precise value) is the magic bullet as it will reduce grain and increase speed etc. Others say stand development is the magic bullet for higher speed, lower grain etc pp

I like the pronounced Rodinal grain as it is (@20C and normal inversion agitation) very much, even in 35mm ISO400 film, and have a hard time to understand why folks who strive for smoother grain (or better speed) use a developer that is known for accentuating grain and not making good use of speed in the first place and then go to great lengths to "tame" the inherent properties of the developer, when there are so many developer choices out there that are designed to give just that, smooth grain and better speed, and all that without resorting to obscure technique.
 

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I recently read that negatives developed in rodinal at low temperatures exhibited less grain and clumping. So I used stand development at 1:100 dilution of rodinal at 13 degrees celsius for 2 hours for the following images. I found that the grain was less pronounced than at higher development temperatures for Fomapan 100 sheet film.
Senescent River Red Gum
View attachment 201998
Lilydale Lake in Fog
View attachment 201999

peterkinchington.com

How were you able to maintain 13C for two hours? I have developed using very dilute Pyrocat-HD. Left the 8x10 sheet to stand overnight in the fridge. Got a lovely, fully developed negative.
 

M Carter

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After some googling, I managed to find at least a written statement (no images though) in a German forum from someone, who developed and compared an exposure of the same motiv on the same film in Rodinal at 14°C and 20°C. At least with the film he tested, he could not se any difference in grain or sharpness between the two negatives.

This was my experience as well; still life, same roll, testing times and dilutions. Judged by enlarging a very small area of the neg by a great amount, where the grains were like 1mm.

My tests showed no difference between 18 and 20°c; I did find 1+25 to be much grainier than 1+50 though. This work was all eyeballed, I don't have a densitometer or microscope. But all I wanted to please was my eyes anyway.

I have found that with many Ilford films (at least), if you want a bit of that sort of sharpness-pop of Rodinal, with greater shadow detail and less grain - DD-X is very impressive. I use it 1+7 and it's an excellent developer. Expensive of course, but I'll likely stock more of it for negs that are "special" or that I feel will benefit from it.
 
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Do you with 'overall a dark gray' mean that the film base itself is much denser than after a standard development? That is a problem I've had as well with other films when experimenting with what I would call excessive stand development. A 1:100 dilution for 2 hours is indeed quite a lot of 'bang' on the film.

My intention was to replicate the alleged ultra-push capabilities of some films. Some even claim that e.g. Tri-X 400 can be exposed at E.I 12,800 or even 25,600 and be stand developed with great results in Rodinal. My experience is however that at some point, increasing the concentration or extending development time will not increase the density of the exposed parts of the film, as though the film has been fully developed just as photographic paper is fully developed and won't continue to darken when kept for a longer time in the developer. What however do happen is that the film base continues to darken when the film is kept too long in the developer. That may not have any relevance if you are only going to scan the negative, but it is a great disadvantage if you are going to wet-print the negative as exposure times are significantly prolonged.

Hi Tor,
It is not a general fog because the unexposed film edges are clear. I would say the negatives are low contrast/soft.
Cheers Peter
 
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How were you able to maintain 13C for two hours? I have developed using very dilute Pyrocat-HD. Left the 8x10 sheet to stand overnight in the fridge. Got a lovely, fully developed negative.
Hi Andrew,
13C was the temperature in my unheated studio/darkroom. I am looking forward to trying the simpler pyrocatechol developer (without metol) although unlike pyrocat HD you have to halve the film iso to ensure details in the shadows according to Ansel Adams.
Cheers Peter
 
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