Rollei Retro 400S and Acufine

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Pentode

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The Massive Dev Chart suggests 17 minutes for Rollei Retro 400s at EI 200 or 400.
Based on the suggested times for other films with this developer that seems like an awfully long time. Anybody besides me think that maybe that's a typo? Seems like 7 minutes might be more likely. Every other film on that list at EI 400 falls between 4 and 10 minutes.

I have a bunch of expired 120 rolls of Rollei Superpan 400, which I've read is just Retro 400S rebranded for the Japanese market, but I can't verify it. I've tried it at both 400 and 200 in D-76 1:1 but found the negatives to be quite thin. I suspect the film has lost some sensitivity due to poor storage and I plan to experiment further with times to try and get better density with the D-76 but I also have some Acufine and thought it would be interesting to try it with this film.

When I looked at the MDC numbers I was immediately skeptical: Superpan 200 is listed at 4.5min at EI 200 and 400. Can Superpan 400 really be 17? Whaddya think? I'm inclined to try a roll at EI 200 for 7min and see what happens. Curious to know what all of you might do....
 

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One tried and true method would be to process the film so a Zone VIII frame prints just off white at a pre-established printing time to produce a minimum exposure for maximum black of the film base+fog.
 
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One tried and true method would be to process the film so a Zone VIII frame prints just off white at a pre-established printing time to produce a minimum exposure for maximum black of the film base+fog.
Thanks, yes, that would be the ideal method.

I was hoping to benefit from others' experience for two reasons: 1) I don't currently have an enlarger set up so I'm scanning, which is a less than ideal way to assess negatives and 2) I would end up using more of the film testing than shooting. I hope to have adapted my tiny darkroom space to fit my enlarger within the next couple of months, but I'm not there now and now is when I'd like to be shooting. That's why I was hoping to get a starting point from someone more experienced with Acufine. I do appreciate your input, though!
 
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Whenever I can't find a developing time for a certain film or developer, I look at the times for Tri-X and go from there. That will usually get you an acceptable result on your first roll.

If you know your Acufine times for other films you can extrapolate off of that. Compare what Rollei is in D76 for example, then what Tri-X is in D76. You can then get close with your Acufine.

The MDC is only as good as the people who give their times, but since anyone can provide input, and a lot of beginners are the ones who do, the whole thing is pretty much useless if you ask me.

Hope that helps you.
 
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Whenever I can't find a developing time for a certain film or developer, I look at the times for Tri-X and go from there. That will usually get you an acceptable result on your first roll.

If you know your Acufine times for other films you can extrapolate off of that. Compare what Rollei is in D76 for example, then what Tri-X is in D76. You can then get close with your Acufine.

The MDC is only as good as the people who give their times, but since anyone can provide input, and a lot of beginners are the ones who do, the whole thing is pretty much useless if you ask me.

Hope that helps you.
Thanks. It does help, actually. It's sort of the direction I was going to head; choosing another film that I use a lot with D-76 then extrapolating from the Acufine time, as you suggested. Since I do shoot a lot of Tri-X it seems as logical a choice as any. As it turns out, D-76 1+1 is one of the few developers Superpan 400 is listed for and the time is very close to Tri-X with Retro 400S being listed at just a few minutes longer, which means the time in Acufine should also be very close. That would put it at between 3 and 5 minutes, NOT 17! Thank you for the affirmation that I'm not losing my mind!

I agree that the MDC must be taken with a grain of salt. Okay, sometimes several grains. Okay, sometimes several really big grains but I'm not sure I would say it's useless. Much of the data comes straight off of manufacturers' literature, which is only ever intended as a starting point anyway. If I'm playing with a new film/developer combination I'll always look at MDC and FilmDev but I don't take any of it as gospel. I always take a minute to consider whether the numbers look credible or not (which is why I questioned 17 minutes in the first place). If I don't see any red flags I'll use those numbers - or something close to them - as my starting point and it usually gets me close enough to dial things in after just a few more rolls. Sure, it's far from perfect, but I still think it's a valuable resource (as long as I'm not trying to develop Superpan 400 in Acufine!). Then again, your approach might get me just as close or closer 90% of the time. There's a lot to be said for an educated guess!
 
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