Rodinol...what's the deal?

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joeyk49

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I've viewed a number of impressive photos who's creators proudly tout the wonders of Rodinol. Some contributors here are devoutly loyal to the stuff. I can't blame them. Once you find something that works well for your, you tend to stick with it...

So, please forgive my naivete, when I ask, "So what's the big deal?"

Now remember, I'm a greenhorn, who's yet to process his first roll in a tank. But as I eagerly look forward to that day, soon, I wonder, "Does a beginner like me start off using what some consider the Elixer of Life? (12 year old single malt Scotch, notwithstanding). Or, do I start with the lesser touted general purpose developers?
 

clogz

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Rodinal is very good stuff. However, do not use Glenlivet to dev a film as you'll never forgive yourself.
Cheers
Hans
 

TPPhotog

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Joey,

Try this thread which is quite similar (I only know of it because I took part in the thread :wink: )

(there was a url link here which no longer exists)

Any questions ask away there are many of us happy to talk about Rodinal and Scottish Single Malt Whiskey till the cows come home LOL

Tony
 

david b

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I agree. Rodinal is very good stuff. It's a great dev for APX 100. Probably my favorite combo.

It's not the sharpest or most fine grain developer but it's worth using. Try it.
 

photomc

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The previous posters have said it all..Rodinal is not the latest or greatest. It is cheap (like me), last forever on the shelf (no comments) and does a very good job. D76 (ID11) is the developer that most are compared to, Xtol, Pyrocat-HD, PC-Tea, are others you will see a great deal of here. Read all you can, learn the basics (I still am) and enjoy...no darkroom needed to develop a roll of film, so do it.
 
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joeyk49

joeyk49

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Thanks a bunch. I wish I was around in June for the thread TPPhotog linked up...It looks like Rodinol will probably be in my future...since I'm also known as CheapJoey..LOL...
 

TPPhotog

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Joey, The important thing is your here now and I LOVE RODINAL arrrrrrrrr. We have to warn you as we do with everyone though that Rodinal is A ... A ... Addictive :smile: Right I'm off to bed it's 2am here LOL night :smile:
 

mikewhi

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joeyk49 said:
I've viewed a number of impressive photos who's creators proudly tout the wonders of Rodinol. Some contributors here are devoutly loyal to the stuff. I can't blame them. Once you find something that works well for your, you tend to stick with it...

So, please forgive my naivete, when I ask, "So what's the big deal?"
general purpose developers?
I've used for a number of years, primarily in my 35mm days, but I still develop LF negatives in it, too. Rodinal, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1) Real sharp grain, not fine, but sharp.
2) Extrememly easy to mix and use
3) Really easy to vary dilutions for various film's contrast curves (slower films, more contrast, more dilution; faster films lower contrast less dilution)
4) Inexpensive
5) Lasts forever in it's concentrate form in the bottle. I must have some over 10 years old and it's still great.
6) Look at my gallery. All the night shots and the church interior are all Plus-X and Rodinal. I love the look of the negatives to this day. One of the rock abstracts is 5x7 EFKE ASA 25 film developed in Rodinal.

You really really can't go wrong using this developer.

-Mike
 

Steve Roberts

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Hi,
As someone about to try Rodinal for the first time, one of its appealiing features is the much-mentioned long shelf life, but I'd like to know whether this refers to just full, unopened bottles or to half full bottles with a certain amount of air in them.
I've sometimes ended up dumping old developer concentrate (usually Ilfosol, which deteriorates rapidly) but wondered whether there would be any mileage in opening a new bottle and decanting it into several smaller, airtight containers. This sort of thing isn't a problem for the pros and high-volume users, but for those of us who develop a couple of films a month, wastage and throwing away chemicals goes "against the grain" (sorry!)
Any thoughts on the above?
Steve
 

clogz

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You can prevent developers from going off by using Tetenal Protectan gas. A drop of ether will do the trick as well.
 

photomc

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Steve, it turns an ugly color but I have had a bottle that was over 6mo old that was fine and others here have noted much older. As a side note for those using Rodinal for the first time, it will also work as a nice paper developer, though not as economical as a paper developer. Used it one session at 1:10, using Ilford MGWT.
 

titrisol

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Don;t worry about having black rodinal, it'll work as fresh.
I found a bottle with a little in it in the back of one of my shelves (about 2yr old) and it worked fine, I mixed the left over with a new bottle.

Sometimes you can see a "sludge" at the bottom of the rodinal bottles, don;t worry about it. From my understandig Rodinal is a saturated solution of p-aminophenyl so having some of it settling shoulnd't be bad.


Steve Roberts said:
Hi,
As someone about to try Rodinal for the first time, one of its appealiing features is the much-mentioned long shelf life, but I'd like to know whether this refers to just full, unopened bottles or to half full bottles with a certain amount of air in them.
I've sometimes ended up dumping old developer concentrate (usually Ilfosol, which deteriorates rapidly) but wondered whether there would be any mileage in opening a new bottle and decanting it into several smaller, airtight containers. This sort of thing isn't a problem for the pros and high-volume users, but for those of us who develop a couple of films a month, wastage and throwing away chemicals goes "against the grain" (sorry!)
Any thoughts on the above?
Steve
 

bobfowler

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Rodinal IS the nectar of the Gods

There is a very misguided lab tech in my area who throws out Rodinal on a regular basis because it's turned black! I've tried time and again to tell him of the error of his ways, all to no avail...

Oh well, I guess you can't teach some people ANYTHING.

Rodinal IS the nectar of the Gods!
 

Max Power

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I'm really glad that Joey asked about Rodinal. After all of the posts touting it, I have been thinking about giving it a go as well. The only real problem is that I can't find any in my city.
As soon as I can get my hands on some, I'm going to try it.
 

Mongo

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Steve Roberts said:
...I'd like to know whether this refers to just full, unopened bottles or to half full bottles with a certain amount of air in them.

Steve-

In my experience, it doesn't matter. I take out what I need and just re-cap the bottle. No squeezing air out, no adding inert gasses, no decanting into smaller bottles...just use the stuff and put the cap back on. My Rodinal progresses from virtually clear, to the color of Chablis, to the color of diet coke, to the color of espresso, all without a change in effectiveness. The only reason I put the cap on is to stop any chance of spillage.

Dave
 

modafoto

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I like the tones and grain of Rodinal. It gives my negs the ability to say "PLING" when watching them on the light table.
Furthermore it is easy to use because of the one-shot convinience and the easy mixing (it is not as thick and syrupish as HC-110).

The big deal....a matter of taste. I also use HC-110 and T-Max for faster films, and Rodinal for films lower than 200 (and Tri-X @ 320).

Greetings Morten
 

Dr.Kollig

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There are two versions of Rodinal:
- Calbe R09,a.k.a FOMA R09, seems to be the very original formula, my Foma bottle is actually black and I have not opened it.
- Agfa Rodinal, a version from the 1950, slighly different dilutions between 1:25 and 1:100, comes almost colourless, will turn reddish brown and after some years darker brown. I guess the bottle in my kitchen was opened 5 years ago...

In an old issue of Leica Photographie 1950-1960 they compared Rodinal zu MQ and other developers and Rodinal was the only system which enabled the user change contrast with dilution without decrease in film speed or excessive developing times.
Actually 1:100 gives a small increase in film speed, like 60 mins for HP5+ at 800.
If I'm in a hurry I use 1:50.

Rodinal used on 35 mm gives good "sharpness" by the grain structure on a 18*24, grain size will be reasonable on film like FP4+ and fine on TMX and very fine on Efke 25/50 films. If enlarged larger, eg. 12 times one will find actually resolution is not very good as grain size has an influence on resolution of fine details.
(When I did experiments with Brenzcatechine similar results: I had high sharpness at 6 times but at 12 times resolution was rather poor)

Rodinal 6 years and MacAllen 12 years serves film and photographer! Skol!
 

modafoto

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Dr.Kollig said:
Rodinal 6 years and MacAllen 12 years serves film and photographer! Skol!

It is quite funny that almost everybody who appreciates Rodinal as film developer appreciates Whisk(e)y as a photographer developer :tongue:

Dr. Kollig. Thanks for the good explanation on the different Rodinal versions.

Morten!
 

modafoto

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TPPhotog said:
Joey, The important thing is your here now and I LOVE RODINAL arrrrrrrrr. We have to warn you as we do with everyone though that Rodinal is A ... A ... Addictive :smile: Right I'm off to bed it's 2am here LOL night :smile:

Rodinal is the wonderdrug. I skipped my anti-depressives and now I inject pure Rodinal twice a day (2 x 12 ml. into the veins....ahhhhh). Happy as a troll.

Morten
 

Ed Sukach

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I think that I am as much of a Rodinal fan as any here. I progressed through a number of developers ... *many* touted as *wonderdrug* developers ... and over time, have settled, rather narrowly, on Rodinal. There is something about the "honesty" of this stuff ... call it "clarity", if you will. Once I shook the idea of "fine grain" as some sort of panacea, Rodinal, in my mind stands head and shoulders above all else.

The point where I discovered a lot of (photographic) courage was where, after I listened to many voices screaming "You CAN'T use Rodinal with a fast film!!! It will be awful! It will be terrible! There will be widespread weeping and wailing in the streets!!", I decided to try it anyway, With Tri-X, Tmax, Fuji Neopan, AgfaPan 400 - and in every case... I *LIKED* the results.

The net result was that I became far less susceptible to the "everyone knows" information out there. Everyone DOES NOT know ... a philosophy I've carried ever since.

I like the idea of a "Rodinal" T-shirt. To me, that would be an ikon representing "courage to explore, and freedom of thought". Maybe, I'll see about combining an image of a bottle of Rodinal with a pair of wings...
 

Dr.Kollig

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modafoto said:
It is quite funny that almost everybody who appreciates Rodinal as film developer appreciates Whisk(e)y as a photographer developer :tongue:


Morten!

A good bottle of Rodinal is about the price of a drinkable blended whisky, so for 10€ you can either for 20€ you can get both! And at 50 € it is a good bottle of single malt or a bottle of Rodinal plus 30 m good film!
See it is all logic, it is a law of economy!

I like the idea of the Rodinal T-Shirt, too bad my stocks of Agfa chemicals only go back to the 70ies, so no glass bottle of Rodinal.

How about Einstein with a bottle of Rodinal, everything is relativ - even the distribution of grain size!

Or John F. Kennedy with the words: Ich bin ein Rodinaler! So maybe it was Kodak Eastman who shoot him....


Latest breaking news on Rodinal-Latest breaking news on Rodinal-Latest

Rodinal even works with Digital cameras, develop your digicam in straight Rodinal for best results :D
 

rjr

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Well... guys... I am way ahead of you. ;-)

Just kidding, but really, a friend and I recently decided to make such a thing, Franz already got some original Agfa-Shirts from the Vaihingen/Enz plant - where Rodinal is made.

The background is - we know a fellow Rodinalist in the Philipines, but there is no real stuff available and he lusted for it since he tried Orwo R09 and read the Orwo manuals. So we sent him a bottle - via Indonesia, which was considerably cheaper than sending it from Germany.

So, both of us are eligible to bear the title "Agfa Entwicklungshelfer" - "Agfa developing aid". And this is what will be printed on our shirts. :cool:

Never forget what Dr. Momme Andreesen did for us 120 years ago... <g>

Gruesse von der Mosel!
 

Jim Moore

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My bottle is due to arrive from Calumet tomorrow.

I can't wait to give it a try.

Jim
 
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